At the studio, there are all different skin types; combination, oily, dry — you name it, someone here has it! And with the weather starting to warm up, we are all becoming a little more aware of the changes we might have to make with our beauty routine.
One of the biggest concerns some of us voiced during one of our creative team meetings was managing oily skin during the summer months. Living and working in the city means a lot of walking around outside, riding subways (it gets very hot down there), bike riding, and picnicking. In an effort to start our beauty routine on the right foot, we reached out to Dr. Shirley for some advice on our most pressing questions, and as you will see we learned it’s not just about the products we use, but focusing on what’s happening inside the body.
What is the best way to keep oiliness under control during the day, especially with make-up on?
Skin condition is highly dependent on one’s health. What you see on the outside gives a clue as to what’s happening on the inside. In general, for oily skin, there are a number of ways to help reduce facial oiliness:
• Avoid over-washing: ironically, skin that is too dry will produce excess oil to help rebalance its moisture level;
• Use skin care products that are appropriate for your skin type.
• Avoid over-stripping the skin with products or DIY techniques that aren’t suitable for you. One woman’s beauty elixir may be another woman’s poison
• Stay hydrated: drink at least 1.5-2 litters of pure water daily.
• Exercise: helps to improve blood circulation and pores “breathing.”
• Eat cleanly: avoid (or significantly reduce) foods that do not agree with your constitution.
• Practice healthy skin hygiene: wash face, no skin picking, remove makeup, etc.
What ingredients should we look for in our products that help stop oil production?
Some commercially available products specifically marketed to stop oil production may, in fact, be too harsh on the skin. It is important to first discuss any skin conditions you have with a dermatologist, aesthetician, or other skin care specialist. Nevertheless, depending on your skin type, some active ingredients that may help manage facial oil include clay, alpha hydroxy acids (such as glycolic acid), hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, retinol, and salicylic acid.
Some DIY home remedies may be applied onto the facial skin (and washed off) and include: tomatoes (have an astringent property), lemon (vitamin C helps remove dead skin cells but also removes excess moisture), and yogurt (acts as a mild exfoliant).
Is there anything specific we should be eating or drinking that can control oil production from the inside?
Feed your face by eating well and eating as cleanly as your circumstances allow. If you’ve been tested for food allergies, this is very helpful as the information will help guide you how to eat to reduce total body inflammation and thus, premature aging, acne, and other skin conditions. Otherwise, do your best to eat a whole foods, non-processed, plant-based diet (even if you’re a meat eater). Also, use alcohol and caffeine in moderation, if at all; listen to your body’s satiety signals; and drink 1.5-2 litters of water daily (to help rid toxins and waste from the body).
Probiotics are very beneficial in helping to re-establish the natural balance of micro-organisms in our digestive system to reduce inflammation and to improve skin health. A nutritionist or holistic health coach may help you to find the best nutrition plan for you.
What is the underlying cause of oily skin?
There are a number of reasons why the skin is triggered to respond by making excess oil. Some of these factors are: genetics, stress, poor diet, improper skin hygiene, hormonal imbalance, environmental factors, lack of sleep, use of products inappropriate for skin type, medications, seasonal changes, over-stripping skin, and too frequent use of oily products.
What is most effective for stoping oil but not completely drying me out, mattifying moisturizers or powders?
This depends on your skin type and many other factors. However, in general, a mattifying cream will at least provide some “moisturizing” and may protect hydration by preventing excess water loss through skin from evaporation.
Should we change our face wash when it get’s hot out to help control oil?
I generally recommend that skin care products should change according to the seasons: lighter textures and formulations for spring/summer, and creamier, more emollient-based products for fall/winter.
For people with bangs, how do we balance the oil our foreheads?
Use the appropriate hair products that are not oily. If you sweat, blot often and carry moisturizing face wipes to gently wipe away excess oil, dirt, and sweat.
Is it true that it’s better to have more oily skin because it doesn’t age as quickly?
It isn’t a matter of skin type per se; rather, it’s better to have healthy skin. Honor your temple, and it will serve you well by giving you good face. “Becky with the good hair” may be getting all the attention these days, but great face is a good thing and is always de rigeur.