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Oil Control 101: How to Keep Skin From Looking Greasy

If you’ve been wondering “Can oily skin be controlled?” or “How can I stop oily skin from looking greasy?”, then you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know about caring for naturally oily skin, and what you can do to prevent a greasy or shiny appearance. 

Let’s take a closer look.

10 Ways to Keep Oily Skin from Looking Greasy

Oily skin happens when the skin’s sebaceous glands produce too much sebum. Don’t get us wrong – sebum is actually a good thing. It keeps skin cells moisturized and protected from outside elements. But too much oil can do more harm than good, clogging pores and serving as breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria. And on top of that, too much sebum is what can make skin look greasy instead of glowy.

So what can you do to ensure your skin is moisturized and protected, but not greasy and unhealthy?

1. Wash Your Face Regularly

Washing your face regularly with warm water and a gentle cleanser will help control the amount of oil that’s on the skin. But be wary of cleansers that have fragrances or harsh chemicals in them – they can dry out your skin and trigger more oil production (which is the total opposite of what we want). 

2. Add a Toner To Your Routine

After you’ve cleaned your face thoroughly, try adding a toner into your routine. You want to opt for a natural toner such as witch hazel as opposed to an astringent, which can dry your skin out. Natural toners can get deeper into pores to clear out any debris and help minimize the appearance of pores. They are also anti-inflammatory, which is a huge bonus for anyone who struggles with sensitive skin, acne, or excess oil.

3. Pat Your Face Dry

You want to avoid using a washcloth or loofah: the added friction can also cause an uptick in oil production. Just let your fingertips do the work. When you are done cleansing and toning, be sure to pat your face dry as opposed to rubbing. Pulling on the skin can also cause friction, again triggering higher oil production and potentially doing more harm than good.

4. Incorporate Salicylic Acid 

Gently exfoliating your skin with salicylic acid can help remove extra oil and debris from your pores as well. This is better for oily skin than a physical exfoliant because it uses less friction and is less likely to stimulate sebum production.

Salicylic acid actually breaks down fatty compounds on the surface of your skin, eliminating that greasy shine we all try to avoid. Try a gentle treatment pad that has aloe vera. The anti-inflammatory properties will reduce inflammation and soothe the skin. 

5. Use a Face Mask

Certain face mask ingredients have proved very effective in reducing oil production and keeping the skin healthy. Clay, parsley, and oatmeal are three major excess sebum-fighting powerhouses. Clay works to draw out excess oil and debris from pores, while parsley contains vitamins and minerals that help control sebum production. Oatmeal contains cleansing saponins and antioxidants that soothe the skin. Try a quick parsley oat facemask to safely reduce oil production:

Oat Parsley Face Mask

Handful of fresh parsley leaves

3-4 tablespoon milk

2 tablespoon oat flour

Place the ingredients in a blender and make a paste. Apply the paste to your face and neck, massaging gently. Let the mask sit for 12-15 minutes and wash it off with cold water. 

(Do not use if you are allergic to any of these ingredients!)

6. Try Blotting Papers

Blotting papers can also be an effective tool in combating the appearance of greasy skin. They work by simply absorbing excess oil on the skin’s surface. While not a long term treatment, they can be helpful in certain situations. Just gently press the paper against your skin for a few seconds and discard the wipe when it’s saturated.

7. Control Oil from the Inside Out

Simple changes in diet can have a huge effect on your skin’s health. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, studies suggest that high glycemic foods stimulate sebum productions when they quickly raise blood sugar. Try cutting out the sugary foods and adding more fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your diet. The sugars in cow’s milk may also contribute to higher sebum production, so see if limiting your dairy intake helps your skin. 

Excessive alcohol consumption can also severely harm your skin cells. It can damage your blood vessels, causing your oil glands to enlarge and other potential skin challenges. 

8. Take a Daily Supplement

Adding in a skin-friendly supplement to your daily routine is an easy and effective way to help regulate oil production. A balanced mix of prebiotics, probiotics, vitamins, and minerals can help stabilize your microbiome and reduce sebum production (as well as bringing down inflation throughout your body). Remember: skin health starts from the inside.

9. Moisturize

It may seem counterintuitive to add moisturizer into your routine, since moisturizers can often feel oily to the touch. But adding in the right moisturizer is super important for regulating your sebum production. If your skin signals that it’s dry, it will cause the sebaceous glands to kick it into high gear, flooding your face with excess oil and causing breakouts. 

Look for a moisturizer that is free of added perfumes and irritating chemicals. You want one that is lightweight, absorbs quickly, and is designed specifically for sensitive, acne-prone skin. Our OAT So Sweet Moisturizer fits the bill perfectly and is ideal for everyday use.

10. Reduce Stress

Is there anything that stress doesn’t affect? The skin is no exception. Stress triggers hormonal responses, and some of these hormones trigger excess sebum production. Try reducing stress (we know – so much easier said than done!) and see if your skin can reap the rewards of a lower stress lifestyle. Incorporating yoga, meditation, a daily stress-reducing supplement, and regular exercise are just a few of our favorite ways to cut back on anxiety.

We hope these tips make your oily skin feel more manageable.

Getting into a good skincare routine is super important for everyone, but it’s even more important when your skin tends to be oily. We all want to shine, but we don’t want our skin to!





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