How Can I Care for Oily Facial Skin?

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  • Written By: Bobbie Fredericks
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 19 July 2019
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Treating oily facial skin can be done with methods such as washing, special products, and prescription preparations. Oily facial skin is a common problem among teenagers, and can persist into the adult years. People with oily skin have shiny faces, large pores, and get pimples frequently. Oil is usually concentrated on the forehead and down the nose to the chin, an area known a the T-zone.

Overactive sebaceous glands cause oily skin. Your genes, together with hormones, predict how oily your skin will be. Women may have an increase in oil during menstrual periods, pregnancy, perimenopause, and menopause.

The first defense against oily facial skin is washing. You should wash your face twice a day with water and soap or a cleanser containing salicylic acid. Washing with warm water will open pores, and rinsing with cold water will close them. Open pores are more likely to collect dirt, dead skin, and oil, causing pimples. Washing your face more than twice a day may cause more problems, since some oil is necessary.

One washing a day should be followed up with an astringent, or toner. These products tighten pores and help remove any dirt left behind after washing. Astringents will probably make your face feel tight and tingly. This is normal, and will not last long.


If acne is a problem, a specialized acne cream can be used. Prescription versions are available if the regular creams do not work. Creams should be applied at least 45 minutes after washing the face to minimize irritation.

Cutting down on moisturizing may also benefit oily facial skin. Non-oily moisturizers are available, and may be labeled noncomedogenic. These can be used once a day, but you can use them less often or not at all.

A clay mask is also a good treatment for oily facial skin, and can be applied once or twice a week for at least 10 minutes. The clay will help absorb excess oil and tighten pores. Masks can be made by mixing oatmeal, honey, and lemon juice in equal parts to make a thick paste.

You can still wear makeup if you have oily facial skin. Makeups are available that are oil-free. If your pores are large, it is important to use a makeup remover to take off the makeup. All makeup should be removed before regular cleansing.



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