At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
Oily skin and acne are a problem for many people concerned about their appearance. This problem often affects adolescents and teenagers but can persist into adulthood. Many cases of acne can be helped with a combination of hygiene and skin care products. An acne sufferer should wash his face with soap and water in the morning and again before going to sleep. He should also use an astringent to help clean pores and an acne cream for visible outbreaks and an oil-free moisturizer to prevent overdrying.
During puberty, a person's skin starts to produce more oil. This oil can then clog the pores of a person's face, leading to unsightly acne. Most acne treatment regimes begin by cleaning the face with soap and water to remove as much oil as possible. This should be done at least twice a day.
Once the face has been cleaned, a person suffering from oily skin and acne should use a cotton ball apply an astringent to his face. This will cause the pores of the face to shrink slightly and produce less oil. Witch hazel is a mild astringent that has been used for centuries, though many other astringents are available. These products should be applied in the morning and at night after the face has been washed.
Once acne has broken out on the face, many people turn to acne creams to help get rid of pimples. These creams usually contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, which promote peeling of the outer layer of skin and kill acne-causing bacteria. Many daily treatments also contain salicylic acid to prevent pores from clogging. Use caution with these products, because they can cause excessive drying of the face. One way to avoid such overdrying is by using an oil-free moisturizer that will help the skin maintain an appropriate moisture level without simply adding oil when the overall goal is to remove it.
If a person's problems with oily skin and acne can't be kept under control with over-the-counter products, he may choose to consult a dermatologist. Typically, a dermatologist will prescribe an oral or topical antibiotic along with some prescription facial creams to help combat acne. The dermatologist can also treat pimples directly in his office by draining or lancing.
Always use caution when using new acne treatments. Many people have a sensitivity to salicylic acid and other chemicals used to treat oily skin and acne. Start by testing the acne cream on a small area of the skin before treating the entire face with it. It may take several weeks to see positive results from acne treatment, but daily cleansing with appropriate skin care products should improve the condition over time.