How Do I Prevent Oily Skin?

Susan Grindstaff

For most people who have problems with oily skin, prevention may be near impossible; however, various products and skin treatment regimens may help manage excess oil production. The most common treatments are over-the-counter acidic cleansers and astringent toners. You may also be able to manage the problem by using oil-absorbing face powder or blotting powder. Serious conditions may require a visit to a dermatologist for more advanced treatments. Regardless of the severity of the problem, most doctors agree that to prevent oily skin, the first step is to keep problem areas as clean as possible.

The simplest way to prevent oily skin is to wash one's face twice a day with warm water and a gentle cleanser.
The simplest way to prevent oily skin is to wash one's face twice a day with warm water and a gentle cleanser.

Before you begin any type of treatment to help prevent oily skin, keep in mind that skin oil production is natural and often beneficial. Oil secretion is a protective reflex, and is usually triggered by hormones, environmental factors, and changes in the weather. Skin oils help prevent harmful chemical agents from penetrating and drying the skin, and are considered to be a key element in wrinkle prevention. The downside is that these same protective oils can sometimes block pores, leading to blackheads and blemishes.

Citrus fruits are sometimes used in skin toners for oily skin.
Citrus fruits are sometimes used in skin toners for oily skin.

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To prevent oily skin, the simplest way to begin is to wash your face, and wash it correctly. According to dermatologists, most people actually increase their likelihood of oily skin because they are washing their faces the wrong way. To wash your face correctly, you should only use your hands, not a cloth or sponge, and the water should be just slightly warm rather than steaming. In addition, rather than using soaps with strong cleansing agents, it is better to use low-detergent brands.

For some people, washing with soap will not be enough to prevent oily skin. If this is the case, it may be necessary to use an acid-based facial cleanser instead of soap. These cleansers are available without a prescription at most pharmacies and typically contain either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. In addition to acid-based products, you may need to apply an astringent toner to the skin immediately following cleansing. If you find that your skin becomes oily throughout the day, you can use oil blotting paper or absorbent powder to take care of the shine.

If you have excessive oil production that is leading to serious outbreaks of pimples or acne, it may be necessary to see a dermatologist to obtain prescription-strength cleansers. Sometimes, these cleansers are used in conjunction with oral medications such as antibiotics. If these treatments are not sufficient, the dermatologist may also recommended procedures such as chemical peels or light therapy.

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