5 Tricks for an Oily Face

Ever since I was in elementary school, I’ve struggled with an oily face. Oh, who am I kidding, my whole freaking body is oily af. Come to find out, most of it is attributed to some of my medical issues, like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and hypothyroidism. However, it’s genetic, too; my dad and a lot of his side of the family has oily skin problems.

After many long, suffering years (when they say middle school sucks for everyone, it was like living in hell for me) battling acne, including using a face/body wash that was almost 7% benzoyl peroxide and ending up with a tolerance for salicylic acid, a family friend of mine visited me while recovering from a minor surgery over break and mentioned that she had never seen my skin so clear and wanted to know how I got it that way. Of course, not only am I obliging her, but I figured I’d let everyone else in on my tricks as well.

Wash your face every day.

No, I mean it. I wash my face twice every day, once when I wake up and once right before I go to bed. Many beauty experts will tell you to be careful of overwashing, though, because doing so can actually make your pores produce more oil. For that reason, I only ever use soap twice a day. If I do anything physical or my face starts to feel really gross and dirty, I wipe at it with warm water and a washcloth/towel. Washing at night gets rid of all the grossness from the day, and washing in the morning removes all the dirt and sweat from sleep. Most people don’t realize this, but you actually sweat more in your sleep, so it’s important that all of that isn’t on your face when you leave your room for the day.

Don't use foundation if you choose to wear makeup.

I don’t wear makeup anymore. Not only am I allergic to titanium dioxide, which is in every makeup product known to man (except for this brand, which I haven’t tried because I don’t feel like spending $50 on a small amount of a product that I’m not sure actually works), but my face is clearer and my skin is fresher without it. And, when I used to wear makeup (@ high school me), I would only wear eyeshadow, eyeliner, and mascara so that my t-zone (which is the places on your face that are oiliest - forehead, nose, and chin) wasn’t covered with anything. Many makeup brands will advertise that their primers and foundations and concealers and BB cream are “oil reducing” but I’ve always found that to be contradicting. You’re still putting something on your face, touching your pores.

Use a daily face scrub.

I use two different face scrubs daily, one at school and one at home. The one from home is the Complexion Perfection scrub from Perfectly Posh, which is $19 (I bought it on sale for $14 a year ago, though). It has peppermint and tea tree oil in it, both of which are perfect for oily skin. The one I use at school is the Yes to Grapefruit Daily Face Scrub (I also use Daily Body Wash and it’s really helped my body acne), which I get from Target at $9. Not only does it smell great, but it makes my skin look great, too. It’s also a cheaper alternative because luxury vegan brands like Posh and Lush are so much more expensive (and I don’t have to pay for shipping). 

Use gentle soap every night.

NEVER, I repeat, NEVER use Bath & Body Works face soap products. Extra scented soaps, gels, and washes (especially the artifical ones) are bad for your skin. In fact, women actually aren’t supposed to even take bubble baths because the soap can mess with your pH, plus irritate everyone's skin in general. When I wash my face at night, I use Cetaphil. The bar is great for home, and the liquid is great for school since most of the shower stalls don’t have shelves for you to put the bar in. It’s just a mild soap, and it leaves my skin feeling super soft and clean after the harshness of the day.

Don't be afraid to try different things. 

One of the hardest - but most beneficial - things about my skincare journey was trying things out. I’m pretty sure I’ve tried everything known to man except for Proactiv because I think it’s stupid to pay monthly for something like that. It took a long time and a lot of different products to figure out what worked best for me. And, once you get the right combination of products that work for you, then it’s important to stick to that routine so that you continue to have the clearest skin of your life.