Dealing with oily skin can often leave you feeling overwhelmed and confused. To moisture or not to moisturise? How much does your skin need? Will you ever be able to leave the house without an army of blot paper or more baby wipes than a new mum?
According to Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research at Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami, Joshua Zeichner (MD), it all boils down to choosing the right products for your skin type and applying the appropriate amounts.
“The choice in moisturiser really depends on skin type and personal preference,” explains Dr. Zeichner. “The overwhelming majority of people with acne have oily skin, so using a traditional moisturiser may feel heavy.”
The cosmetician says what you need to look out for is mattifying ingredients, which typically isn’t found in regular oil-based lotions and lubricants. “For that reason, an oil-free product that uses an ingredient called dimethicone rather than petrolatum (which is the oil in traditional moisturisers) would be preferred. Plus, the dimethicone and other mattifying ingredients contained in certain oil-free moisturisers can help absorb oil and make your face appear less shiny.”
It is possible to use a product that has oil, though; you only need to opt for the right kind. “Cosmetic grade petrolatum should be non-comedogenic, meaning that it shouldn’t cause pimples. Many traditional moisturisers will be labeled as non-comedogenic or non-acnegenic if they’ve been tested.”
Last but not least, Dr. Zeichner says when moisturing oily skin, remember that less is more. “Acne patients have a tendency to over-wash, over-scrub, and over-eoliate. They also often over-treat with acne medications, both over-the-counter and prescription. Start with about two pumps from the average pump dispensed bottle of facial moisturiser or about a chick pea sized amount. As for medications, use a little less—a green pea amount. Dot the moisturiser on the face, on the forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin. Then, rub in or connect-the-dots. By applying this way, you can spread the moisturiser further while using less.”