Know Your Skin Type: Oily Skin

For a very long time, I assumed my skin type was oily, because every hour I would pass the back of my hand along my t-zone to remove the excessive oil that accumulated. And, if I wanted to, I could use that oil to moisturize my hands. No exaggeration.

I learned however, that I had combination skin, which later, as I got older, and due to hormonal changes turned into oily skin. It can be somewhat confusing, and if you are confused, this is for you. Skin type falls into one of the following 5 categories. Oily, Normal, Combination, Dry, Sensitive.  The next five posts will focus on each skin type and how to best treat it.

In her book, “Beauty the New Basics,”  Rona Berg details the five different skin types, and how best to determine which category you fall into. Berg suggests you take the “skin test.” Wash your face, pat it dry, then take a few pieces of rice paper or lens-cleaning tissue paper and press on different spots on your face. If your skin is oily, the paper will stick, pick up oily spots and become translucent. If the paper doesn’t stick or pick up any oily spots, your skin is dry. If it sticks in your t-zone (forehead, nose and chin) then you have combination skin.

First up, oily skin, which is usually defined by large pores, shininess, some tightness, blemishes and pimples. The great benefit of oily skin however, is that it’s not prone to premature wrinkling and aging. Proper care can turn this problem into an asset later on. Here are some tips to follow daily. Remember, consistency is the key.

  • Do not scrub. Rather, wash, gently, twice daily with a mild cleanser. You do not want to remove all the natural sebum (oil) from your skin. This will only stimulate the oil glands to produce more oil to compensate for what was lost and this can be even more problematic.
  • Avoid Alcohol based astringents. Use a milder variety.
  • Though some would advise not to use a moisturizer everyday, my dermatologist has assured me that it’s ok to moisturizer up to twice daily after washing. But, be sure to use  a non-oily, SPF moisturizer. It’s one of the best things i’ve ever done for my skin. I moisturize 365 days per year.
  • Choose oil-free make up products. Water-based are best, since they will not clog your pores.
  • Diet plays a very important role in controlling oily skin. Avoid starchy, sugary and processed foods. Also, stick to a low fat diet, which should include fresh fruit, vegetables and grain, and be sure to drink lots of water daily.
  • If your take vitamins, your daily intake should include, vitamins should include A, B complex and C.

Be sure to consult your dermatologist if the above tips do not work. Your skin may require a retinoid or some other prescribed topical.

So, tell us, what’s your skin type, and how do you treat it? Leave us a comment below, we’d love to hear from you.

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