Shiny texture, flaky patches, acne prone and sometimes reddish spots are all indicators that you may have an oily skin type.
I have been dealing with the downsides of having oily skin since I was a teenager and I know it might seem daunting at times. I mean, who really wants their forehead to shine like a lighthouse in the dark?
If you’ve been struggling with the consequences of having oily skin, please know that there are more brothers in arms out there than you imagine.
In fact, did you know that men are actually more susceptible to having oily skin than most women? That’s right! So, this leads me to the next question:
What Causes Men’s Oily Skin?
Initially, I thought that the sebaceous glands are the culprit for my utterly shiny face and enlarged pores. Well, I was only partially correct on this one.
It’s actually the testosterone (the male characteristic hormone) which over-stimulates the sebaceous glands to produce higher levels of the sebum that covers the skin.
» Read More: Tiege Hanley Review: My Level 3 Skincare Experience.
Apart from hormonal levels, which should be checked with an endocrinologist, other factors that cause oily skin are:
Just like with any other body part, the skin makes no exception as genetics are rarely beaten. If one of your parents has oily skin or even the tendency for it, you are more likely to follow their footsteps.
Sun Exposure and Higher Temperatures
Because the UV rays are invasive and dangerous for the skin, the sebaceous glands trigger a protective response. As a consequence, the production of sebum is increased in order to act as a shield and moisturize the skin.
Wrongly Calibrated Skincare Routine
Excess washing or using products with a harsh action against the skin’s barrier can lead to overstimulated sebaceous glands and a greasy surface.
Benefits of Oily Skin?
To be honest, at times I feel the need to get rid of the sensation of slippery skin and its waxy texture. However, I have to accept that getting completely rid of my body’s natural sebum is a big no-no!
There are plenty of benefits to having oily skin — from acting as a natural barrier against bacteria, to ensuring the necessary hydration so that elasticity doesn’t get lost, the oily skin is actually crucial in standing a chance in front of premature aging and wrinkles.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not advisable to cut to zero the sebum production. Dermatologists suggest that we should in fact strive to maintain a balance between a healthy skin and a beautiful looking one, rather than simply getting rid of oily skin forever.
After spending a lot of time understanding the mechanisms behind my oily skin, I updated my skincare routine and adjusted my habits as well. I found out what works for my skin and how to finally keep it healthy and radiant, without increasing the shiny texture.
10 USEFUL TIPS TO KEEP MEN’S OILY SKIN UNDER CONTROL
Here is GW’s complete take on how to manage your oily skin:
1. Cleanse in Moderation
First things first, wash out your fears, we got this! Before I had finally stuck to a routine, I was so eager to get rid of my oily skin as fast as I could, no matter what.
I used to wash my face too frequently, with products and soaps that were too harsh on my skin. Whether it was a rushed morning, at the office (multiple times per day) or when I came back home, I was constantly washing my face. As if the sebum would magically disappear, never to return again, yeah, right!
Of course, I was only adding pressure on the sebaceous glands. Basically, because I was washing my face too often, it was like I was inviting the glands to get to work faster and even more intensely than they did before.
The key is to use a mild oil free face wash or soap, but only in the morning and evening (and also after you work out). It’s important to wash off all of the dirt and oil buildup that accumulated during the day.
Then you want to make sure that your pores are clean and can actually ‘breathe’. And finally, gently rinse off with cool water and let your skin rest a bit.
» Read More: The Top 14 Grooming Tips for Men.
Take Note: When buying a cleanser (a cleansing gel without soap works wonders also), look for ingredients like activated charcoal, benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid or others that prevent breakouts and are hypoallergenic, especially if your skin tends to get inflamed or red.
Bonus Tip: After I am done with the cleanser, I also use a toner for oily skin to avoid the excessive sebum production. This also helps out with the skin’s dryness, if somehow you washed your face for too long.
2. Exfoliate Dead Skin Cells
When dealing with oily skin, the process of desquamation of the dead cells is slower and not so efficient. This only leads to accumulation in the already enlarged pores and, eventually, to pimples (which in dermatology are called ‘comedones’).
Thus, exfoliating the outer layer of buildup skin cells will make a path for other key ingredients to work their magic in your oily skincare routine.
I usually exfoliate once a week and my skin is always smoother and cleaner. However, I make sure to only use peel-off type of solutions and avoid those strident and abrasive scrubs that eventually harm my skin. Although scrubs are usually fine for most men.
Take Note: Apply it on your skin, let it dry out, then gently peel it off and enjoy a clean skin and clogged-free pores.
3. You Must Moisturize
To debunk the myth of moisturizing oily skin, let me tell you that dehydration is a cruel reality even for us, the oily skinned lords.
Moisturizing your skin twice a day is one of the most important steps in balancing your sebum levels! Let me say it again for those in the back — it’s crucial to moisturize.
This being said, be wary of the ingredients listed on the products. I always stay away from heavy formulated moisturizers and choose the water-based ones.
4 Tips: Buying Moisturizer for Oily Skin
Here are 4 important tips to follow when buying a moisturizer for oily skin:
1. Oil-free formula
An oily or too richly formulated moisturizer will only clog your pores and increase the accumulation of flakey skin cells. Instead, I use a water-based, gel moisturizer which is also a top choice for daytime application. Avoid moisturizers that contain petroleum jelly, shea or cocoa butter.
2. Non-comedogenic moisturizer
On the label it should be specified if a product is non-comedogenic or not. This is especially important for acne prone skin or clogged pores. A non-comedogenic moisturizer for oily skin will avoid (or at least try to avoid) pore blockages that lead to comedones (pimples).
» You might like this in-depth Grooming Lounge Review.
These lipids ensure a barrier against bacteria and irritants. They also help the skin to retain water and moisture, preventing uncomfortable sensations like dry and itchy skin, redness or inflammation.
4. SPF Moisturizer
Did you ever wonder ‘Why is my skin so oily all of a sudden?’. I found myself looking so sweaty, greasy and oily during the day so many times and I finally put two and two together: it was the sun! A moisturizer with SPF for oily skin will protect you from an imbalanced oil production, caused when the skin is exposed to UV radiation.
4. The Right Shaving Cream for Oily Skin
I went through a bunch of brands and formulas for shaving creams before finding the right one for my skin texture. It’s quite tough identifying the perfect product — some are too heavy or oily, while some don’t wash off completely, leaving the pores clogged.
The secret is in foaming! Choose a shaving cream which isn’t listed as buttery and that doesn’t foam too much. This will decrease the oil buildup and also ensure the necessary skin lubrication. If it’s too foamy, it means that the number of ingredients is disproportionate and the water volume isn’t enough.
5. Blot that Oil Out
One of my main struggles has always been stopping my face from getting oily during daytime. Washing my face every time it lit up like a disco ball wasn’t a solution anymore, since it only made everything worse.
Instead, I use blotting sheets and this is how you get rid of oily skin fast! I keep a stack in my car, at home, at the office and it saved me on multiple occasions. This is a better alternative for the usual powder (and let’s face it — maybe you aren’t particularly big on using powder puffs).
Take Note: I simply pat a blotting tissue on my face, especially on the T-zone, I leave it in place for a few seconds and it acts like a sponge, soaking up with the oil surplus.
Bonus Tip: Don’t drag the paper all over your face, as it will harm your skin and transfer the sebum. For a recommendation, I like to use oil absorbing sheets from Clean & Clear.
Quick note: If you’re enjoying this guide on how to treat oily skin, then you’ll probably find my other writing on all things style, self-development & grooming useful. Each week, I share updates, style tips and other things not shared on the blog through my free email newsletter.
To join now, just enter your email address below and click “Get Updates!”
6. Apply a Mud Mask
Deep cleaning is a great path towards healthy and clear skin. I have become a massive fan of mud masks because I find them helpful for removing the accumulation of dirt and stacked-up sebum layers.
I’ve also tried sulfur masks and discovered their anti-inflammatory properties, as well as calming the skin and the beard hair follicles.
Take Note: Once or twice a week, I submerge my face in a detox clay mask. It purifies the skin from within and absorbs excess oil. Afterwards, I gently rinse it off and apply a moisturizer if I feel my face is a bit dehydrated, to avoid any unnecessary oil production.
7. Hands OFF Your Face
I can’t stress this enough! I used to touch my face, chin, forehead… you name it. Whether I was focused, bored or thinking about life changing answers to philosophical questions (mostly about what I should eat for dinner), my fingers somehow found their way to my face.
Surely enough, it was still me who was the one shocked that none of the solutions I applied to avoid oily skin during the day had persistent results, even though there was nothing wrong with them.
By touching my face, I was only transferring the oil from the fingers and back of the hand to my face. This contributes to the pores getting clogged and even to possible acne, especially if the hands aren’t properly cleaned.
8. Humidify The Air
I use a portable humidifier in my house, as an extra step in my oily skin preventive methods. It helps to keep my skin hydrated, avoids dryness and the useless production of sebum. This is also an efficient solution for chapped lips, dry cough and nose congestion.
However, please be wary of humidity levels which can worsen asthma or preexisting allergies. I make sure to keep my humidifier at 30% – 50%, I sit back and enjoy the results.
9. Reduce Stress Levels
During exams’ period, my face was drenched with oil. It was as if during nighttime somebody had poured a bucket of oil on my face. Needless to say, it wasn’t a fancy look on me.
This was actually due to the imbalanced stress levels! I later found out that during stressful times and events, we have a built-in alarm system.
The suprarenal glands produce an adrenaline hormone which is called cortisol. Then, the cortisol manages to trigger the excessive oil production and the rest is not history, but…greasy!
So, take a stroll, enjoy a hobby and keep those stress levels in check.
10. Make an Appointment with a Dermatologist
Our bodies are different and so are the skin and its particularities. If you think the solutions you apply aren’t satisfactory or even worsen the skin texture, acne or overall oil production, you should consult a certified dermatologist.
They might suggest testing the hormonal levels and/or prescribe specific topical treatments, such as retinoids, to reduce the size of the sebaceous glands and greasiness.
Navigating through life is about finding balance. Whether that concerns your career, love life or health, it’s important to remember that our different traits, qualities and spheres that need improvements are what makes us who we are. Embrace yourself, your looks, your skin and you’ll eventually find out what best works for you in the long run.
Wrapping Things Up
Even though completely getting rid of oily skin is neither attainable, nor recommended, there are some useful tips and tricks to help you manage your oily skin.
Cleanse in moderation, exfoliate with a gentle product, don’t be afraid to moisturize your skin and remember that your fingers aren’t meant to stay on your face.
Also, choosing the right shaving cream formula will definitely work its magic. Finally, make sure to read the ingredients list, check the humidity levels and worry less in your day-to-day life.
By implementing these steps, you’ll take care of your skin and protect your natural barrier from harmful factors, leading up to embracing yourself and living in harmony.
And as a kind reminder: asking a dermatologist is always the right idea!
Which of these tips are you looking to implement into your routine?
Let’s continue the discussion over in the Gentlemen Within Private Facebook Community.
Looking forward to seeing you in there.
LIKE WHAT YOU READ?
Get more posts like this plus style tips & advice delivered straight to your inbox.