If you have oily, acne-prone skin, which is already shiny, the thought of applying a slick layer of moisturizer could easily send you into a cold panic.
But although it seems counter-intuitive, moisturizing is one of the best things you can do for an oily skin.
The right moisturizer can actually improve your skin, making it less oily, with fewer breakouts and a much better skin texture.
Let us explain.
What makes your skin oily
Sebum is the natural oily substance produced by the skin’s sebaceous glands. It’s what keeps our skin and hair soft and healthy.
Oily skin occurs when these sebaceous glands produce too much sebum, resulting in enlarged pores and shiny skin.
This excess sebum can then combine with any dead skin cells on the surface, clogging pores and leading to breakouts and acne.
Gently does it
Taking care of oily, acne-prone skin is a delicate balance.
The temptation is to use harsh cleansing products, and skip the moisturizer, in an attempt to get rid of the oil. But this will cause sebum production to go into overdrive to compensate, making the situation even worse.
External factors, such as pollution and UV rays, also damage skin’s moisture barrier, causing loss of moisture and an increase in oil production – and even shinier skin!
This is further exacerbated if you are using an acne treatment. Typically they can dry out the skin, causing tightness, excessive flakiness and inflammation – resulting in the skin compensating with even more sebum. A vicious cycle!
The best way out of this cycle is to use a lightweight moisturizer every day to increase the hydration level in your skin.
Why your skin needs hydration
Skin’s hydration level is the water-content of the skin, not the oil-content. So when skin looks excessively oily, it’s not the same as it being hydrated.
Keeping your skin well hydrated not only improves elasticity and helps slow down the aging process, but in oily skin it can help to reduce excess sebum by stopping this cycle of overproduction.
A good moisturizer improves the hydration level and prevents further moisture loss when combined with natural humectants. These will attract moisture from the air keeping skin moist and supple throughout the day.
Moisturizers also aid with skin cell turnover and form a protective barrier on the skin’s surface.
So even the oiliest skin will benefit from a moisturizer in order to deliver hydration and protect against the elements.
The best ones to use
Hopefully we’ve convinced you as to why you need to use a moisturizer on oily skin. But how do you choose the best one? Because not just any one will do.
It’s important to choose one with a light consistency which will help replenish vital moisture, but without adding any extra shine.
Try to steer clear of moisturizers based on heavy emollients. Avoid those which include mineral oil, cocoa butter, lanolin and petrolatum, as they can clog your pores, and leave a shiny film.
With these ingredients in mind, here are three of the best moisturizers for oily skin:
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion – a lightweight, non-greasy formula which contains glycerin and Vitamin E to help hydrate your skin but without causing breakouts.
Otis Hydrating Daily Moisturizer – from a French skincare company developed especially for men, this fresh-feeling lightweight moisturizer includes additional anti-aging benefits. With active ingredients, like Hyaluronic Acid, Aloe and Jojoba Oil it absorbs instantly to increase your skin’s hydration level, restore elasticity and reduce fine lines. It also includes the peptide Matrixyl® to promote collagen production.
Ole Henriksen Counter Balance Mattifying Moisture Crème – this oil-absorbing moisturizer gives skin essential hydration while also reducing the appearance of enlarged pores. It includes Aloe vera gel to moisturize, calm and condition the skin.
So, don’t be afraid to moisturize your oily skin! The right moisturizer can help to restore calm and balance to your skin – without adding any extra shine.