How to get rid of oily skin safely without drying it out or causing acne

Geinz Angelina/Shutterstock
  • Dermatologists recommend washing your face twice a day to remove excess oil and dirt and prevent acne.
  • When removing excess oil on the skin, use a soft, gentle moisturizer like foaming cleaners.
  • Avoid dairy and sugary, processed foods because it can increase oil production in your skin.
  • This article was medically reviewed by Kathleen Cook Suozzi, MD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Dermatology, Yale School of Medicine.

Oily skin occurs when your skin glands produce too much sebum – the oily material that hydrates and protects the skin. This excess oil can clog pores, give an unwanted shiny appearance, and lead to acne. Here are four ways you can clear up oily skin.

1. Wash your face

Washing your face often is important because it cleans out any dirt or oil that has built up in your pores. When too much dirt and oil build up in your skin, it can lead to acne.

Experts recommend that you wash your face twice a day, once in the morning and again before going to bed. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) also recommends washing your face after exercising.Advertisement

If you have oily skin, you may be tempted to use an extra-strong face wash, but using a product that strips too much sebum can actually trigger your skin to produce excess oil. The AAD recommends avoiding any skin cleansers containing alcohol.

Instead, you should use a product labeled as "gentle" and preferably use a foaming cleanser like Cetaphil. Foaming cleansers work well because they get deeper into pores to remove oil than creamy products.
Advertisement

2. Use moisturizer

If you have oily skin, you may not think you need moisturizer, but it is always important to keep your skin hydrated.

Therefore, moisturizing every day with the proper type of product will help to keep oily skin in balance. Choose a product that's non-comedogenic, meaning that there are no oils, waxes, or petrolatum that can clog pores and can make oily skin worse.Advertisement

3. Eat a balanced diet

Skin health is influenced by many factors, including the type of foods you eat.

"Having a poor diet, eating too many sweets and sugary drinks can exacerbate oily skin," Jaliman says.

Eating sugary foods raises your blood sugar levels, which then causes your body to release the hormone insulin. A side effect of this is an increase in oil production on your skin.Advertisement

For a more skin-friendly diet, experts recommend swapping out white bread for whole-grain and cutting out processed foods like boxed cereal and baked goods.

Studies have also shown that eating dairy can increase your chances of developing acne. Researchers think this is because milk naturally contains growth hormones that are similar to insulin.

In particular, research suggests that avoiding skim milk may be a helpful step toward better skin health, as skim milk contains higher levels of growth hormones than more fatty milk products.Advertisement

4. Try birth control

Birth control pills generally contain estrogen and progestin, hormones that regulate your menstrual cycle and also decrease your body's levels of androgens.

Since androgens contribute to the development of oily skin and acne, doctors will often prescribe birth control to women to help control these conditions.Advertisement

A 2018 review of several studies on birth control and acne found that around half of all patients who start taking birth control will see an improvement in their acne.

The bottom line

To help control it, you should understand the underlying causes, which may require you to do some trial and error with different methods. Advertisement

If you are having a hard time taking care of your skin, meet with a dermatologist to create an individualized plan that works for you.

Read the original article on Insider
{{}}