What to do About Oily Skin and Acne..?

Okay, we have all been there. We leave the house with the absolute perfect and most flawless makeup imaginable. Around 2pm, right when we are getting back from a late lunch and a trip to Starbucks (to help get through the last 3 hours at the office), we glance in the mirror and see a small amount of perspiration above the brows. At a much closer review, we notice that the oils have also broken through and turned our cheeks into a textured mess, and the makeup has successfully traveled into our smile lines.

In this moment, we regret the decision to leave our touchup kits on the vanity counter and chide ourselves for skipping out on the setting powder to save on a little time in the morning. It’s a little silly, but doing our makeup is much like baking a cake. There are strategic ingredients, procedures, and protocol to be followed, and if we don’t follow it through all of the way… well it could be a real flop.

As someone that used to struggle with the absolute oiliest skin… I know how troubling the oiliness can be. After speaking with countless clients about trips to the dermatologist, and heading to a dermatologist myself, a common theme that I have encountered is the readiness to prescribe a prescription to counteract the acne or excessive oils. I’m not a physician, and I would NEVER disregard the advice you have received from a medical professional. However, when I ask these clients, “So in addition to the birth control, blood pressure meds, and topical steroid creams.. What does your dermatologist have you on for a skincare regimen?” The concerning part… Very seldom, if ever – do my clients know what I am referring to. I struggle with the knowledge that we have become a society that readily prescribes a drug to fix something that usually can be fixed with a lesson in skin care, amplified hygiene practices (yes, wash those pillowcases in fragrance-free detergent weekly), and a brief look at what our routines are.

I always suggest to my clients to look into an oil control, and acne skin care line. Clinique, Murad, Exuviance, and Beautycounter offer some of my favorite skin treatments for clients that struggle with the excess oils. In recent years, I have again turned from readily accessible brands (down the street) to Beautycounter, and generally speaking my clients have had wonderful results. Countercontrol (link here) does a phenomenal job mattifying oily skin, and the ingredients also help to keep acne at bay. I will go into specific information about Countercontrol in a later post, but as a general rule here’s what you should know about selecting skincare:

  1. Do not use anything with fragrance. Dry skin, oily skin, perfect skin… It’s all the same. Added fragrance has no place in your skincare regimen. It can cause intense irritation and over drying of the skin, resulting in hives or even worse break outs than you began with. Please just avoid added fragrance as it can create some crazy reactions for you.
  2. Avoid any acne regimen with added oils. Unless you are incorporating a balancing oil (such as a product that utilizes safely harvested charcoal, and is also safe to use for the face) any moisturizer that advertises as a creamy lotion or has additional oils may not be right for you. I much prefer the replenishing feeling of a gel moisturizer on the skin for my oily gals, and oil-free hydrators should not cause the pores to clog.
  3. Never use anything with fillers or excessive levels of benzyl peroxide, especially if you have sensitive skin. The benzyl peroxide (again, especially if you have a sensitivity to it) can create excessive drying out of the skin and result in hives, or painful cystic acne.
  4. Cleanse, treat, moisturize, and repeat. Getting into good habits is important and necessary to ensure the efficacy of your skincare system. You should be using your skincare twice daily, and seven days a week. No exceptions. Skipping steps can create other issues for your skin, and lack of cleansing can result in excess bacteria being trapped in the pores at the end of the day. And then pesky breakouts popping up.
  5. Alcohol-free is your friend. Added alcohol in your toners and cleansers may cause over stripping of your skin, and in turn your skin can/will create additional oils to compensate.
  6. Make a list of your allergies, review the ingredient list, and check it twice. Never use anything that you have a known allergy to. EVER. Enduring irritation and reactions just to counteract any acne is not wise. Please discontinue use of any products that are causing any problems with your skin, and if needed seek advice from a medical professional such as an allergen doctor.

Essentially, the key to dealing with oily skin is to care for it with products that will help enhance your skin’s quality, and be religious and CONSISTENT with usage. When starting a new system, be prepared for the “purging stage” a few days to a week of your skin getting rid of the subsurface issues and bacteria, but again, PLEASE DISCONTINUE USE IF YOU DEVELOP A REACTION. Please connect if you have questions about specific products, I’d love to get you into a safe regimen and enhance your skin’s natural beauty! The advice above is just a tip of the iceberg, but they are important items to consider when selecting skincare for you!

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