Coping with oily skin

If you have oily skin, you'll already know the downsides: shiny patches, spots and large, conspicuous pores. You have over-active, oil-producing sebaceous glands to thank for these problems, along with male hormones which send them into overdrive. And if you suffer from oily skin, you're not alone - it's the most common skin type of all, especially in men whose skin is oilier to begin with.

Oily skin: the bad news

Under normal circumstances, your sebaceous glands play an essential role in lubricating your skin, protecting it from environmental damage by producing a lubricating oil called sebum. But an excess of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) can cause them to produce an excessive amount of this natural oil. The result? Oily skin - and with it an increased susceptibility to spots, a problem that many men find worse during the summer when soaring temperatures stimulate sebaceous gland activity.

Oily skin: the good news!

It's not all bad news though. For one thing, oily skin tends to be less prone to premature ageing because the oil protects it and keeps it supple. What's more, the problems caused by oily skin tend to recede as we enter our mid-thirties when our skin's activity begins to slow.

Until then, though, you'll need a skincare routine that helps keep excess oil in check and reduces the blocked pores that lead to spots. You'll also need to keep products that are designed for oily skin in mind, like oil-free moisturisers and products that contain ingredients to soak up excess oil and leave skin shine-free. Crucial to dealing with the problem of oily skin is to ensure that the excess grease is removed without stripping away the important natural lipids that protect the skin against environmental assault and damage.

Oily skin might be a pain, and even those with dry skin can be susceptible to the occasional oily outbreak, but there's plenty you can do to keep the grease under control. For starters, consult to build a tailored skincare regime - one that not only treats oily skin, but also helps to prevent its re-occurrence.

12 tips for dealing with oily skin:

1. Keep skin extra clean. Use a mild facial wash at least once or twice a day, and make sure you rinse it off thoroughly with lots of cool running water. And if oily skin is leading to spots on a regular basis then try using a medicated, anti-bacterial face wash or one containing tea-tree oil like men-u Healthy Facial Wash, which has both antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties.

men-u Healthy Facial Wash

2. Try to avoid using very hot water on your face as this can sometimes make oily skin worse by stimulating further oil production. After cleansing use a toner like Ole Henriksen Grease Relief Face Tonic to close pores.

Ole Henriksen Grease Relief Face Tonic

3. Just because your skin is oily, that doesn't mean it isn't dehydrated, so use an oil-free moisturiser such as Baxter of California Oil Free Moisturiser to keep the surface hydrated and protected. Apply once a day after shaving. If the skin is oily on just the T-Zone (nose, forehead and chin), it is referred to as combination skin. For best results, products for oily skin should be used on this area and those for normal/dry skin on the rest of the face. It might seem a chore to use two sets of products but it does get results so is well worth it in the long run!

Baxter of California Oil Free Moisturiser

4. Shave with a gel rather than an oil or cream – try Clinique for Men Aloe Shave Gel. That's because gels tend to be slightly more drying and will help absorb some of the grease from oily skin.

Clinique for Men Aloe Shave Gel

5. To keep outbreaks of spots to a minimum try a clay face mask once a week. Clay-based ones like men-u D-TOX Deep Clean Clay Mask are best if you have oily skin as they're highly effective at absorbing excess grease and grime.

men-u D-TOX Deep Clean Clay Mask

6. Oily skin tends to be extra-susceptible to blemishes but if you do get a spot don't pick! If you do you'll just spread the bacteria. Use a topical spot gel such as Murad Blemish Spot Treatment on affected areas instead.

Murad Blemish Spot Treatment

7. Use a face scrub twice a week to prevent blocked pores. This is particularly important around the beard area where you often get a build-up of dead skin cells. Why not try out Aesop Tea Tree Leaf Facial Exfoliant.

Aesop Tea Tree Leaf Facial Exfoliant

8. To instantly reduce the embarrassing shine that accompanies oily skin, keep the skin matt with the help of a mattifying lotion like Clinique for Men Oil Control Mattifying Moisturiser.

Clinique for Men Oil Control Mattifying Moisturiser

9. You may want to try a toner or toner pads like Anthony Logistics for Men Astringent Oil Control Toner Pads on the oilier areas. These lotions are designed to cut through excess oil and refresh the skin helping to deep clean and close the pores.

Anthony Logistics for Men Astringent Oil Control Toner Pads

10. Carry some oil-busting pads with you, like Shiseido Pureness Oil Control Blotting Paper so you can combat oily skin 'on-the-go'. They're a great insurance policy allowing you to tackle any little 'oil slicks' as and when they appear.

Shiseido Pureness Oil Control Blotting Paper

11. Reduce your stress levels - when you're anxious your body releases hormones that speed up oil production.

12. Don't fiddle! If you're already prone to oily skin, touching it with your fingers can make it worse so try to avoid leaning on your hands and examining your skin with your fingers throughout the day

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