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Oily Skin: Break the Shine

Ever feel like your face is a perpetual grease ball as you progress throughout your day? The makeup that you have so meticulously applied to your face in the morning starts sliding off your face by noon? Well, you most likely fall into the Oily Skin skin type.

Oily skin is often characterized by excess sebum production caused by the hormone androgens. Androgens are sex hormones responsible for the reproductive health in all genders, but are found in larger amounts in males. The most commonly known androgen is testosterone. Hence, the reason why males tend to have oily skin. High sebum production together with dead skin cells within the pores prevent the secretion of oil from the pores. This results in larger pore size and presence of blackheads and whiteheads.

Great news is that you'll have less issues with fine lines and wrinkles as Oily skin tends to be better hydrated. However, it is not to say that Oily Skin cannot be dehydrated. Scroll down to learn more.

Key Traits of Oily Skin

Here are some of the common signs of Oily Skin.

1. Your face is shiny and usually appear greasy later in the day

2. Makeup tends to "slide off" rather than stay on

3. Visible enlarged pores around nose, forehead and chin

4. Occasional persistent pimples

5. Clogged pores and blackheads

How to Manage Oily Skin

The goals to manage Oily Skin is to minimize appearance of pores, control sebum production, and to prevent pores from clogging.

1. Cleanse your face twice a day (Max!).

2. Use a gentle Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) to deep cleanse your pores.

3. Choose ingredients that have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties to reduce irritation and prevent bacterial infection in the skin pores.

Dehydrated Oily Skin

Whaaa? Oily Skin can be dehydrated? How is that possible? It is actually more common than you think. :)

What is Dehydrated Oily Skin

Well you see, sebum is not all bad for the skin. Sebum, along with the fat molecules called lipids, create an antimicrobial layer to protect the skin from harmful pathogens. This indirectly helps keep the moisture within the skin.

However, higher sebum production doesn't equate to better hydration within the outer layer of the skin. Dehydration can trigger the sebaceous glands to over-produce sebum in order to compensate the lack of moisture in the skin. This is why dehydrated skin can often be mistaken for oily skin.

How do you know if you have dehydrated oily skin?

You may find the experience the following signs:

1. You have enlarged pores but have shadowy circles under your eyes and an overall loss of radiance.

2. Increased breakout and congestion of your pores than usual resulting in blackheads, pustules and cystic acne.

3. Lack of elasticity in your skin. Perform a quick pinch test on your forehead very gently. If you notice a shiny, crinkly effect and doens't bounce back after you let go, it is a sign that your skin is dehydrated.

How do you treat dehydrated oily skin?

First and foremost, try not to over-cleanse. Over-cleansing can strip your skin of its natural oil, leading to more sebum production. Secondly, hydrate your skin with power ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide, Squalene and Ceramides. In terms of lifestyle, reduce the consumption of caffeine, drinking alcohol in moderation and drinking enough water daily can help reduce the likelihood of dehydrated skin.

Ingredients Spotlight for Oily Skin

Salicylic Acid. Centella Asiatica. Betaine Salicylate. Salix Alba (Willow Bark). Retinol. Hyaluronic Acid. Clay (Kaolin, Bentonite). Tea Tree. Sulfur. Azelaic Acid. Vitamin C. Green Tea. Propolis Extract.


While it may be tempting to keep washing your face throughout the day, DON'T! Frequent washing can dry out your skin completely, causing more negative effects and good. Tips on choosing a cleanser for Oily Skin:

1. Choose a gentle cleanser that doesn't strip off your skin's natural oil. If you feel that squeaky-clean finish, you've gone too far!

2. Double cleanse in your evening routine to remove excess dirt, sebum, makeup and sunscreen.


Tips on choosing a toner for Oily Skin:

1. Choose a light-weight, oil-free toner to hydrate the skin.

2. For blemish-prone skin, choose an alcohol-free toner with Beta Hydroxy Acid to help cleanse out the pores.

Salicylic Acid, Betaine Salicylate, Salix Alba and Witch Hazel are some of the key ingredients that help penetrate deeper into the skin layers to clean out the pores and control oil production in the skin. These ingredients help remove dead skin cells and speed up regeneration of new skin cells to improve your skin texture.

Essence/Serum/Ampoule/Mask/ Eye Cream

The key goal of treatment is to control sebum production and to reduce irritation to the skin when your skin is experiencing active acne.

Some ingredients of choice include: Tea Tree, Centella Asiatica, Retinol, Sulfur, all which have abilities control oil production and antibacterial properties to prevent or treat acne.


There is a common misconception that using a moisturizer for those with Oily Skin may exacerbate the symptoms of acne, causing more blemishes to form. On the contrary, a moisturizer is important help keep the skin hydrated by creating a protective film to trap moisture within the skin.

Choose a gel-based moisturizer that absorbs easily and has soothing properties for oily skin to control excess of sebum and reduce irritation to the skin.


Choose a sunscreen that is lightweight and has a matte finish to help control sebum production without leaving a greasy mess behind. A trick to reduce the shine on your skin is to use a setting powder after applying your sunscreen.