What Are the Best Tips for Washing Oily Skin?

Lori Spencer

People with oily skin tend to suffer more with acne, enlarged pores, blackheads, and whiteheads than those with other skin types. Cleansing is probably the most important step in maintaining unblemished skin. Washing oily skin frequently, washes away bacteria that cause breakouts, leaving behind a smooth, matte surface that doesn't look like an oil slick. One of the worst things for oily skin is not taking time to completely remove makeup at the end of the day. Sleeping with makeup on over oily skin can often result in waking up to a new pimple or two.

It's important to use the right skin care products for oily skin, but without over-cleansing and drying out the skin.
It's important to use the right skin care products for oily skin, but without over-cleansing and drying out the skin.

Of vital importance is finding a cleanser that matches your skin type and sticking to it. Since changing cleansers frequently can actually cause flare-ups in oily skin, the secret is to keep using one cleanser consistently. Choose a cleanser that has oil-absorbing properties; there are numerous foams, gels, and exfoliating scrubs specifically made for washing oily skin. Read the labels carefully when selecting an oily skin wash, as some of these cleansers actually contain oil. Unless the problem is combination skin or treating dry patches, it is strongly recommended that any cleanser with oil in it be avoided.

Oily skin can benefit from using a toner.
Oily skin can benefit from using a toner.

Never use bar soap unless it has been specially formulated for washing oily skin. Bar soap certainly strips away excess oil, but soap products can over-dry the skin. Choose a milder cleanser designed for sensitive skin whenever possible. The perfumes and artificial colors found in many commercial skin cleansers can trigger irritations and allergic reactions, which in turn cause breakouts.

If a person has oily skin, they should never use regular bar soaps.
If a person has oily skin, they should never use regular bar soaps.

Before cleansing, remove eye makeup with a cotton ball or pad. Using a makeup remover protects that delicate skin around the eyes. Sweep lightly across the eyelids but do not tug. Then splash your face with lukewarm (not hot) water. This opens up the pores, allowing the cleanser to penetrate the skin more deeply. Pump a dime-size amount of cleanser into your palm and work into a foamy lather. Massage the cleanser into your face using your fingertips, a washcloth, or facial cleansing sponge. Scrub in a circular motion, taking care not to rub too hard. When washing oily skin, it is important to remember that any kind of irritation can trigger eruptions, so treat the skin very gently.

A facial scrub with exfoliating beads can be effective for reducing oil and eliminating blackheads.
A facial scrub with exfoliating beads can be effective for reducing oil and eliminating blackheads.

Rinse off the cleanser completely, then follow with a few splashes of cold water to tighten and close the pores. Pat dry with a clean white cotton towel. This is known as "the white towel test." If the towel shows no signs of makeup residue, that's a sure sign that the skin is truly clean. If makeup remains on the towel, wash again until all of the makeup is off.

It is important to gently massage cleanser into the face with the fingertips or a wash cloth.
It is important to gently massage cleanser into the face with the fingertips or a wash cloth.

Apply an alcohol-free toner or astringent to keep excess oils away, then moisturize. Even oily skin needs moisture after washing. Choose a light moisturizer that is oil-free and as natural as possible, free of perfumes and alcohol. To keep oily skin looking its best, exfoliate once a week. This sloughs off the dead skin cells and brings a radiant, healthy glow.

Treating oily body skin starts with establishing a daily cleansing routine.
Treating oily body skin starts with establishing a daily cleansing routine.

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