It’s the rare person who hasn’t gotten so frustrated with their oily complexion that they go scorched earth on their skin, trying to wring every last ounce of sebum from their pores, in an effort to halt the breakouts. Friends, this is not the way. Not only that, over drying skin can lead it to manufacture even more oil, locking you in a vicious cycle. Stop the insanity! Here’s how.
What is oily skin?
Oily skin is skin that makes more oil (aka sebum) than it needs, resulting in surface excess. Your complexion can look shiny, feel greasy, and may be prone to breakouts (although oil alone isn’t to blame for those).
What causes oily skin?
Take your pick: genetics, weather, hormones, environment — the list goes on. Some of the factors that spur oil production you can control, others you can’t. That’s just a fact of life. Another fact of life? All skin needs oil. Let us repeat that: All skin needs oil. It doesn’t matter what type. Imagine a car engine without lubrication. It would grind to a halt. If your skin was completely devoid of oil, it would literally rip apart. Luckily, your body can make sebum to keep things running smoothly. But when you intentionally dehydrate your skin, your body overcompensates by producing more and more oil to replace what’s missing.
Blemishes and breakouts aren’t the result of oil, they’re the result of poor-quality oil. Sebum that’s sluggish and thick. Your oil chemistry can be off due to the factors listed above, and there’s not much you can do about that. What you can address is how you preempt the issues that derive from sluggish sebum. Because if oil isn’t flowing freely to the surface, that’s the start of your problem, but it’s not the only one. You need material to mix with the stagnant oil and clog a pore. That’s where dead skin cells come in. When they’re left hanging around instead of being properly exfoliated, they mix with the gunky oil to create a plug. Sprinkle in some P. acne bacteria, and it’s a party!
The best skincare routine for oily skin
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare was started by a dermatologist, so it stands to reason we know a thing or two about the most effective daily regimen for getting oily complexions under control. You’re welcome.
Step 1: Cleanse
You want to wash away surface oil (and dirt and grime and everything else that’s gross), but you want to do that without stripping skin of every bit of sebum. “Squeaky clean” is a bad thing, and cleansers that are too harsh can irritate skin and trigger more oil production. Our Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta AHA/BHA Daily Cleansing Gel thoroughly cleanses skin while leaving it supple.
Step 2: LEDs
Light-emitting diodes or LEDs are an effective, painless way to get your complexion back on track. LED devices use multiple energy wavelengths to work wonders on skin. Our Dr. Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro has 60 acne bacteria-killing blue LEDs and 100 collagen-boosting red LEDs for a three-minute total-face treatment.
Step 3: Exfoliate
Considering dead skin cells are the building blocks of breakouts, you obviously want to get rid of those right away. Our Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel is formulated with seven alpha and beta hydroxy acids for both surface exfoliation, as well as for flushing out the dead cells lurking deep inside pores.
Step 4: Treat
Vitamin C is more than just a powerful antioxidant. It’s also been shown to help decrease discoloration, which can be especially useful if your oily skin leads to acne, which turns into post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation once the pimple is gone. Our Dr. Dennis Gross Vitamin C Lactic 15% Vitamin C Firm & Bright Serum contains one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C on the market. Apply it in the morning to serve as a safety net under your sunscreen.
Retinol is another savior for oily skin. It helps increase cellular turnover and stabilize sebum production, keeping skin on a more even keel. However, you don’t want to apply a retinol product, like our Dr. Dennis Gross Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Texture Renewal Serum, at the same time you’re doing your chemical peel because it’s too much exfoliation at once. Therefore, peel in the am and apply your retinol in the pm.
Step 5: Moisturize
By this point in the story, you understand that trying to dry out oily skin by withholding moisture does it no favors. Daily topical hydration is as much a part of ensuring clear skin as is your daily Alpha Beta peel. Just ensure it’s an oil-free moisturizer, like our Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Moisturizer.
Step 6: Protect
In the morning, the last piece of your daily regimen always needs to be sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. It’s non-negotiable and oil-free formulas mean you have no excuses. Our oil-free Dr. Dennis Gross All-Physical Lightweight Wrinkle Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30 feels like nothing on your skin and is made without chemical sunscreen filters.
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