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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

When I was in middle school, I started to notice that my skin was oily. I don’t mean just a little oily either, where it could be mistaken as “dewy.” No, I’m talking about full-on oily skin — greasy, shiny, or whatever else you want to call it. This quickly became a big insecurity for me, especially through late middle school and early high school. Now I’m a lot more secure in my skin, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t days when it feels totally out of my control. A major part of accepting my oily complexion came from within, but I’ve also learned how to manage my skin and use the right products that work for me.

The first skincare lesson I’ve learned as someone with oily skin is that you can’t be afraid of moisturizers and serums! When I was younger and just starting to figure out what to do about my skin, I stayed away from moisturizers as much as possible. I felt like any product that could potentially add “shine” to my face was a no-go. Of course, all skin needs moisturizer, so this tactic didn’t work out too well. I’ve since ventured into the world of serums and moisturizers, and some of my favorites are the CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion, the CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion, and The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Hydrating Serum. I’ve been using these products for well over a year — simplicity and consistency are key.

It’s just as important to cleanse your skin as it is to hydrate it, but when I was younger I was definitely over-cleansing. I thought that I had to keep cleaning my skin in order to stop oil production, but I was so wrong! Over-cleansing just dried my skin out and made it even oilier than before. I’ve found that the best way to reduce excess oil production is to keep my skin as healthy and balanced as possible, so I’ve found cleansers that are made for oily skin, but aren’t abrasive. My favorite cleansers are the SheaMoisture African Black Soap Bar (which I’ve been loving for four years now) and the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser for Normal to Oily Skin. I also love the SheaMoisture African Black Soap Clarifying Mud Mask for when my skin is feeling extra congested. These products help my face feel fresh and clean without feeling stripped!

If you’re someone with oily skin who wears makeup, you’ll know that the products you use can have a big impact on how you’ll look and feel for the day. I’ve found that the most important makeup product for controlling my oily skin is setting powder. When I was younger, I would put it all over my face. Now, I know to only pack the powder where my skin is oily and be a little more conservative with the rest of my face — letting my natural skin peek through in some areas makes me feel fresher and less dusty. My favorite translucent powder to use when I’m not wearing other makeup but still want some oil control is the e.l.f. Cosmetics Perfect Finish HD Pressed Powder, and I like the Revlon ColorStay Pressed Powder for a little more coverage. I also like to keep some oil-blotting sheets on me for when I’m out and need a boost — these Oil Absorbing Sheets from Target are great!

The most important advice that I can give you is to find what works best for you. It may take some trial and error, and you might not get the results you want right away, but the perfect products that’ll make you feel your best are out there. Don’t forget that going to see a dermatologist can be a great way to start this process too! At the end of the day though, the skin you have is your skin for life. If it’s oily, so what — skin isn’t meant to be perfectly smooth and matte anyway. Embrace what you have, walk away from the mirror, and go live your life!

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Emily Day

U Mass Amherst '24

Emily is a senior at UMass Amherst majoring in Business Management and Communication and pursuing a minor in Spanish. In her free time, she can be found hanging out with friends, dancing on the UMass Tap Team, or reading a new book.