Common Mistakes to Avoid If You Have Oily Skin

We all have our own skin concerns.
Dry skin, acne, lines, wrinkles and if you are like me and your nemesis is excess shine.
If you’ve noticed your skin exhibits quite a bit of shine and you easily break out, you likely have an oily skin or combination skin.
Oily skin is caused by excess skin oil produced within the pores, oil is funneled through the pores, which then sits on the surface of the skin, creating an oily sheen.
This excess oil becomes trapped in the pore and combined with dead skin cells and bacteria on the skin and inside the pore, pimples, blackheads, and other blemishes will form.
Puberty and other life events, fluctuating hormones can also result in increased oil levels causing oily skin and hair.

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when you have an oily complexion.


If you’ve reached that squeaky clean sensation on your skin, you’ve probably just over cleansed.
This might sound good for oily skin but the body is always seeking balance, when we remove the skin’s natural oil content, it responds by producing more oil to compensate for the loss.
Harsh cleansers can disrupt the balanced state of your skin and cause more oil production, it’s best to use a gentle foaming cleanser or a Facial Cleansing Spray.


One way to know you’ve over-exfoliated when your forehead can double as a mirror…
Light reflects easily off of over-exfoliated skin because you’ve smoothed out the natural texture to your skin too much.
When you do exfoliate correctly, it can help get rid of acne by clearing out dead skin cells that clog pores. But when you overdo it, you’re also getting rid of all those healthy skin cells, which protect your skin’s natural barrier.
Focus on the rough, dry patches of skin. Gently exfoliate in upward and in circular motions.
Exfolliants can come in scrub form or liquid form, one of my favorites is Aveda 'Botanical Kinetics' Exfoliant.
It’s a nonabrasive liquid that wipes away surface cells leaving skin soft, smooth, supple and glowing.
I’ve always been a fan of St. Ives Facial Oil Apricot Scrub, it’s made with 100% natural exfoliants, pure grapeseed oil and infused with apricot extract to leave skin feeling super soft, smooth and nourished.

Using Drying Toners

While toners are an important part of any skincare routine, they can make your skin appear shinier.
Look for alcohol-free toners meant to balance the skin.

Moisturizing is Key

It seems counter-intuitive to add more product to already oily skin but oily skin still needs some hydration to maintain the skin barrier’s health.
Avoid heavy moisturizers and choose oil-free creams or serums instead.
A light moisturizer will help you avoid that greasy feeling you get from too-rich creams and lotions.
You also don’t want to slather on the moisturizer, but gently pat a small amount onto the skin.
I like to use a quarter sized amount, rub it into my hands and gently pat onto the face.

Nivea Soft Moisturizing Crème is a refreshing light moisturizing cream with jojoba oil & vitamin E, it spreads easily and is quickly absorbed.

derma e® Soothing Oil-Free Moisturizer is a light moisturizing cream blended with Vitamin E, A and C and is fragrance free. It is excellent for sensitive skin and leaves skin silky and nourished.

Skipping Primer

A primer is a great way to keep your makeup from looking shiny throughout the day. It helps pores appear smaller and creates a matte, airbrushed finish.

Here are two primers I have tried that did not disappoint in the oil-free category:
bareMinerals Prime Time Brightening Foundation Primer is formulated specifically for oily skin to create a silky smooth canvas, it holds up to fight excess oil and absorb shine while hiding pores, fine lines, and wrinkles.

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer locks in makeup and absorbs oil to keep your face shine-free throughout the day and its sweat and humidity-resistant for up to eight hours.

Wrong Foundation

For oily skin you want to stay away from foundations with key words like luminous, dewy or radiant. These have light-reflecting particles that will intensify your shine.

Choose a matte foundation in a liquid or powder form.

Facial Oils

Again, it sounds counter-intuitive but applying oils to oily skin can actually improve the condition of your skin, many facial oils have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help keep excess oil from developing.
Use facial oil after cleansing at night time instead of a moisturizer, as this will give the skin time to heal, breathe and be able to absorb the ingredients.

Just like with moisturizer, you also don’t want to slather it on the face, rub a few drops of facial oil between your palms and apply it on the face.

Jojoba Oil has so many beauty uses but is excellent for skincare because it is a waxy substance that can act as a natural skin conditioner, it is fast absorbing and non-greasy.
It seals in moisture by creating a barrier on the skin.
Jojoba oil is easy to apply and suitable for all skin types.

Botanics 100% Organic Nourishing Facial Oil is infused with rosehip oil to hydrate and lock in moisture for hours, leaving skin looking radiant and smooth with a more even tone.

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