7 Things You're Doing Wrong With Your Oily Skin

For years I thought I was alone in my struggle with oily skin. I thought it was something I would always battle with and lose. Then one day the stars aligned and my oily skin and I finally called a truce. The truce didn’t last long.

skincare products from multiple brands used on oily skin
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After a while, I noticed that my skin was oily and shiny all the time. Not just at the end of the day like was during the truce. My mineral powder makeup was disappearing from my face a few hours after application. Also, my pores were smiling back at me and I was breaking out more than I had in years.

It was frustrating and embarrassing. I wasn’t sure what to do. So I sat down one evening and spent hours watching YouTube videos and reading articles about how to shrink pores and take care of oily skin.

From all of that research, I realized there were several things I was doing that were doing more harm than good to my skin. That's when I decided that I needed to start from scratch when it comes to my skincare routine. Here are the seven things I realized I was doing wrong and have eliminated from my skincare routine:

1. Wrong cleanser

Using the right cleanser for oily skin and whether you wear makeup or not can make all the difference. Oil production can be impacted because of how dirty or clean your skin and pores are.

For years I was using the wrong cleanser for my skin and didn't know it. That cleanser didn't foam and it wasn't great at getting in my pores but it was light and gentle on my skin. What I didn’t realize was that was not the type of cleanser I needed to use on my skin.

Instead of that really gentle and really light cleanser, I needed a good cream, foaming, or gel cleanser that was going to completely remove my makeup, get deep into my pores, and remove excess oil from my face without drying it out. This is where the Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser came in. This experience has also caused me to rethink all of the products I use and realize that I may need to mix things up every now and then.

2. Using hot water

Who's ever thought that hot water was a cure for oily skin? I did. So I used hot water on my face all the time. I would even wash my face in my steamy hot showers. All this was doing was drying out my skin which caused it to create even more oil and open up my pores. It was a vicious cycle. Instead of using hot water on my face, I now use mild or cold water. It's much better for my skin and even helps to shrink my pores.

3. Washing too much or too little

Yes, you can wash your face too much or too little. Washing your face too much is considered over-cleansing. Over-cleansing can be bad for your skin. It can dry out your skin causing it to produce more oil to compensate. 

Don't wash your face enough and it can leave dirt, oil, and product on your face causing irritation, breakouts, and extra oil production.

In doing research for myself I found that most dermatologists recommend washing your face twice a day. Washing your face in the morning after you get up removes all of the skincare products applied the night before and any oil, saliva (yes), or hair products that may have transferred to your face from your pillow (and this is where I go to change my pillowcase).

Washing your face at night removes dirt, oil, sweat, and makeup that has accumulated on your skin throughout the day.

I have seen dermatologists say if your skin is really sensitive you can wash your face in the morning by doing a water rinse. I sometimes do this in the winter when parts of my skin can dry out. I will saturate my washcloth with warm water and rub it gently on my face. Then I finish up with my toner, serums, and moisturizer.

You can see more on my morning skin routine on Instagram.

4. Exfoliating too much

Doing a facial scrub to exfoliate can be helpful when you have oily skin. When it’s done in moderation. I used to use a facial scrub every day. Surprisingly my skin didn't respond negatively to it though I have to admit my skin wasn't as clear then as it is now. 

Over time I’ve realized that while removing dead surface skin is important I can’t and shouldn’t do it every day. That will just cause irritation and have a negative versus positive effect on my skin. Now, I exfoliate my face 2-3 times a month using a less harsh facial scrub.

5. Using the wrong face mask

Mud masks are great for oily skin which I have because they can help reduce shininess and clear out pores. If I’d realized that I would have done masks more often and actually done mud masks in the past.

To help get my skin back on track and stay on track I use a mud or clay mask a couple of times a week. You can find some great options for facial masks in 5 Face Masks You Must Try If You Have Oily Skin.

6. Not using a toner

I used toners back in my high school days but stopped because the toners were full of alcohol. Instead of helping my skin like toners are supposed to they dried out and irritated my skin. So I stopped using toners and didn’t use any for years.

As my skin started to change I realized that bringing a facial toner back into my routine was necessary to help remove traces of oil and makeup, soothe my skin, and restore the pH balance of my skin. 

For a while, the facial toner I used for years was a homemade one with witch hazel, apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, and water. Lately, I've been using toners from Thayers.

7. Being light-handed with moisturizer

I can’t remember where I got this idea from but I thought that because my skin was on the oily side I didn’t need to moisturize my skin every day or every time after I wash it. So there were times that at night I wasn’t using a moisturizer so my face could dry out. That obviously had the opposite effect.

Now I know that oily skin can be dehydrated which can cause an overproduction of oil. I've found the key to using moisturizers on oily skin is to use light, fast-absorbing, oil-free moisturizers that hydrate without adding too much oil to my face. Moisturizers like the Neutrogena Hydroboost Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid and SPF 50 or the Equate Hydration Gel Moisturizer.

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