Sunday, July 10, 2011

Oily Skin: It's Not a Curse

Oily skin is caused by the overactive sebaceous (oil) glands that produce too much oil and in most cases pores are visibly large.  It can feel dirty and look greasy.  During puberty, pregnancy and menopause our hormones start fluctuating, producing more sebum (oil). During this time, androgens (male hormones) are at a high causing the over production of sebum.  As we age, we produce less sebum. This is the reason you had acne in high school and it may have diminished into your 20's.  What's the good news about oily skin?  Oily skin ages much slower then other skin types!

Why is my skin so OILY?
  • Hormones & Pregnancy: Oily skin will increase anytime hormones are fluctuating, including during pregnancy, menopause and using birth control pills.
  • Hereditary: If your parents have oily skin, chances are you do too.
  • Diet: I have noticed through out the years, what will make me food, anything high in sugar, dairy.  Everyone is different, but is most cases, these are the main triggers for acne. 
  • Humid & hot weather: Humidity and warm hot weather irritate and swell sebaceous glands, causing them to produce even more sebum.  Moisture in the air makes the skin even more sticky and very prone to clogging. 
  • Birth control pills:  Birth control pills offer higher does of estrogen (female hormones) to balance out the raging androgens (male hormones).  Androgens are what drive our oil production up.  
  • Cosmetics: Cosmetics containing oil attracts oil, bringing oil to the surface of the skin.  Synthetic ingredients can clog pores.  Mac cosmetics are a HUGE culprit for acne.
Oily Skin Tips
  • Don't over cleanse skin or use harsh products to strip skin of oil.  This will cause skin to overcompensate and produce even MORE oil.  Choose a gentle oil free cleanser (2x a day) like Murad Clarifying Cleanser.  Your skin should not feel tight and dry after cleansing.  DO NOT USE SOAP-it clogs pores and leaves a film on skin.
  • Cleanse with warm or tepid water, NOT hot water.  Hot water strips skin of its natural oil and will produce more oil.
  • 1-2X a week use a clay/mud based mask like Murad Clarifying Mask to absorb oil and purify skin. Makes a great overnight spot treatment too!
  • Avoid eating fast food, fried food, processed & junk food, anything with a lot of sugar, dairy, soda, and artificial coloring.  Choose water to flush your system and eat healthy fruits,veggies, grains, proteins, ect.  Your skin will thank you for it!
  • Drink Green tea to detoxify your body.
  • Carry oil absorbing sheets with you.  Don't reapply more power, it will contaminate your brush/sponge, look chalky and possibly cause breakouts.
  • Don't touch your face, rest your hand on your chin, press your face against cellular phone, headset.  Oil will spread, as well as bacteria causing clogged pores.
  • Use a gentle antiseptic toner containing tea tree oil (will not create more oil & is a natural antiseptic,  great for acne).  Make your own with a few drops of tea tree oil in water.  Mix a new batch 1x a week.
  • Hydrate with a light moisturizer like CeraVe or Murad Perfecting lotion.  Yes, even oily skin needs to be hydrated. 
  • Stop oil in its tracks with a mattifying lotion like, Murad Oil Control Mattifier Spf 15.
  • Choose oil free cosmetics appropriate for oily skin.  Avoid thick formulations, stick foundations, cream to powder cosmetics.  I suggest Bobbi Brown, Tarte, Lorac or Estee Lauder.  Don't reapply powder throughout the day, it will spread oil & bacteria, causing breakouts.
  • Clean your makeup brushes & applicators once a week with warm water and fragrance free liquid anti-bacterial hand cleanser OR unscented liquid dish soap to avoid contamination.
  • Don't forget SPF 30+ everyday Olay spf 30 sensitive skin is great for oily skin. You already have skin that ages slower-protect it =)

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