Oily skin can cause breakouts, leave your complexion looking shiny, and make you feel self-conscious, or even bad, about your appearance. It can foster as a result of numerous factors. These are the five most common causes of oily skin:

  • Hormones that wax and wane during your menstrual cycle
  • Stress
  • Weather
  • Pore-blocking cosmetics
  • Genetics

While there’s not a lot you can do about your genetics, there are simple steps you can take to regain control of your complexion and achieve young-looking, healthy skin. This article covers the seven best ways to treat oily skin.

1. Use The Right Cleanser

While we do want to get rid of the bulk of the oil on our skin, we don’t want to get rid of it completely. Stripping away all the oils can leave your skin looking dry and unhealthy. Products with ingredients such as sodium and ammonium lauryl sulfate, mineral oil, petrolatum, and isopropyl palmitate have a tendency to treat your skin harshly and should be avoided or used sparingly.

Instead, use a mild cleanser like Cetaphil for the face or SiO Beauty’s Décolleté Cleansing Discs for the neck and chest. For very oily skin on other parts of the body, you may need something stronger. In that case, turn to something with salicylic acid like Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash .

2. Use A Toner

After removing excess oil with an appropriate cleanser, try incorporating a toner into your daily routine. Toners provide further oil-absorbing effects that can be beneficial for those with very oily skin. In addition, many contain antibacterial agents that can remove surface impurities and prevent breakouts.

Toners that contain lactic or glycolic acid can help tighten skin, exfoliate dead skin cells, and keep your pores clear. Be sure to use both a cleanser and a toner at night before you sleep to remove makeup and other impurities that can build up during the day.

3. Moisturize

It may seem counterintuitive, but you still need to moisturize even though you have oily skin. Remember, oil and water (moisture) are two different things and have drastically different effects on your skin. Skipping the moisturizer for fear it will exacerbate your condition can result in dryness and irritation as well as the negatives brought on by oil production.

When choosing a moisturizer for your face, look for an oil-free product rather than a heavy cream. For the neck and chest, SiO Beauty’s Décolleté Serum is an excellent way to hydrate without adding extra oil to your skin.

Products that contain hyaluronic acid can also be of benefit as they exhibit astringent and antibacterial properties. In addition, be sure to use a product with a non-comedogenic formula so you don’t clog your pores further with your moisturizer.

4. Avoid Touching Your Face

Chances are you probably don’t even know you’re doing it, but touching your face can be a real catalyst for oil production. We’ve all rested our chin or our forehead in our hand at one time or another. And we’ve all rubbed our face during a particularly arduous meeting. It’s these kinds of involuntary actions that can introduce bacteria and hand oil onto an already oily face.

Pay attention to what your hands are doing when you’re sitting at your desk or watching TV. If you notice them moving toward your face, make a concerted effort to keep them occupied elsewhere. Try holding a pencil or a pen or grab a glass of water with both hands to keep them away from your face.

5. Eat Right

A common belief about oily skin is that it’s caused by oily foods . This is completely false. Remember, oily skin is mostly caused by your genes and hormones. Oily foods have nothing to do with it...unless you’re rubbing them directly on your face. In fact, some oils (e.g., fish oil) and healthy fats (e.g., nuts) can help to reduce and prevent breakouts brought on by oily skin because of their anti-inflammatory properties.

Foods that can have a negative effect on your oily skin include dairy products, sugars, and processed carbohydrates like chips and muffins. Try to avoid these foods as much as possible and focus instead on lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables for your daily intake.

6. Use Blotting Papers

Using a gentle cleanser in the morning and before bed is a great way to get rid of excess oil. But what can you do between cleansings to prevent the shiny skin caused by oils? Some may recommend dusting with powder but this can be messy and accelerate the problems associated with oily skin.

Instead, carry a pack of blotting papers (sometimes called rice paper). These small sheets resemble tissue paper but don’t let their appearance fool you. Blotting papers can absorb the oil and sweat that cause shininess in the middle of the day.

7. Use The Right Sunscreen

Those with oily skin may avoid sunscreen because, like moisturizers, they think it will add oil to their skin. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Sunscreen can actually help control the shine brought on by oil production if used correctly.

Look for a mineral-based formula that includes micronized zinc or titanium dioxide. As an alternative, you can also choose a formula that includes denatured alcohol to make the skin matte. In addition, be sure to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen (protects against UVA and UVB) with an SPF of 30 or greater. And remember to apply even on cloudy days!

Starting A Healthy Routine To Prevent Oily Skin

Taken together, these seven suggestions combine to form an effective daily routine that fights oily skin. Cleanse, tone, and moisturize in the morning. Have a healthy, vegetable and healthy fat-heavy breakfast. Apply sunscreen before leaving the house. Refrain from touching your face during the day. Make use of blotting papers when necessary. And, finally, cleanse and tone again before bed. With this oil-fighting regimen, you can regain control of your complexion and find the smooth, glowing skin you want.