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Beauty is skin deep: 10 tips to control oily skin this spring

Photo credit: Daxiao Productions /

If you have oily skin, you know trying to get your skin to that perfect balance of not too oily or not too dry is a hassle. It’s a constant cycle of finding products or methods that won’t leave your skin too oily, or so dry you can practically feel your face chipping away.

Though oily skin can sometimes give your pores the blues and can lead to acne breakouts, dermatologists from the American Academy of Dermatology claim oil has positive benefits too.

“There are many reasons for oily skin, including stress, humidity, genetics and fluctuating hormones,” said board-certified dermatologist Deirdre Hooper, MD, FAAD. “These factors can make oily skin difficult to manage; however, there are several things you can do at home to reduce the oil.”

Check out these 10 tips Dr. Hooper recommends to achieve perfectly balanced skin.

  1. Do wash your face every morning and evening, and after exercise. While washing, resist
    the temptation to scrub your skin — even to remove makeup. Scrubbing irritates your skin,
    which can make it look worse.
  2. Do choose skin care products that are labeled “oil-free” and “noncomedogenic.”
    Products that have these labels — including cleansers, moisturizers and makeup — won’t
    clog your pores or cause acne.
  3. Do use a gentle, foaming face wash. Many people with oily skin believe that they need to
    use a strong face wash in order to dry out their skin. However, using a face wash that is too
    harsh can irritate your skin and trigger increased oil production. Instead, look for a mild, gentle
    face wash.
  4. Don’t use oil-based or alcohol-based cleansers. These can irritate your skin.
  5. Do apply moisturizer daily. Although you have oily skin, it is still important to apply
    moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated. To save time and protect your skin from the sun’s
    harmful ultraviolet rays, look for a moisturizer that also contains a broad-spectrum sunscreen
    with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  6. Do wear sunscreen. Sunscreen helps prevent sun damage that could lead to
    wrinkles, age spots and even skin cancer. To prevent acne breakouts, look for sunscreens
    that contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, and do not use sunscreens that contain fragrance
    or oils.
  7. Do choose oil-free, water-based makeup.
  8. Don’t sleep in your makeup. Always remove all makeup before going to sleep.
  9. Do use blotting papers throughout the day. Gently press the paper against your face and
    leave it on for a few seconds to absorb the oil. Don’t rub the paper on your face, as this will
    spread the oil to other areas.
  10. Don’t touch your face throughout the day. Although it’s tempting to touch your face, doing
    so can spread dirt, oil and bacteria from your hands to your face. Only touch your face when
    you’re cleansing, moisturizing or applying sunscreen or makeup, and make sure your hands
    are clean first.

“Every person’s skin is different, and there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to skin care,” said Dr. Hooper. “If you are concerned about the amount of oil your skin is producing, or if you’re struggling with blackheads or acne, make an appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist.”