Shiny skin, oily to the touch, with black points: oily skin , for those who suffer from it, is an apparently invincible torment. And the situation becomes more complicated in the summer, when an excessive exposure to the sun , perhaps with wrong protections, can make the picture worse. But there is a solution and it goes through the right daily care and the right make up . We talked about it with Manuela Carrera , surgeon specialist in dermatology and venereology.
Do you want to understand if you have oily skin? Take a simple test . Finding out is very simple. With a clean makeup tissue press the face for a few seconds. If you find moist and greasy traces, you can claim to have oily skin. However, it is good to remember that oily skin affects the whole face of those who suffer from it. In fact, if it is only greased in some areas of the face (forehead, nose and chin) then it is correct to speak of mixed skin .
Oily skin: what it is and how to recognize it
Oily skin is defined by doctors as a thick and oily skin, on which clinically they observe dilated and evident follicular outlets, shiny skin surface, sometimes some blackhead (blackheads) open or closed and a ‘hyperplasia of the sebaceous glands, which manifests itself with yellowish-white papules on the skin “.
Oily skin, very common among teenagers but often present even in adulthood, can be a favorable condition for the appearance of certain skin diseases such as acne and seborrheic dermatitis . But what does it depend on?
The role of the sebaceous glands
Sebum is produced by these glands and are present on entire skin except palms and feet. They are very abundant in some areas of the body , such as the face and scalp, while they are scarce in others, such as the forearms and legs.
The sebum produced and poured on the skin surface becomes part of the hydrolipidic film, a sort of protective film of the skin that has many functions. For example, it maintains hydration of the stratum corneum and has antimicrobial properties “.
Sebum production begins during pregnancy. The fetus produces them in large quantities to form the so-called caseous varnish, a lipid layer that covers it to protect its skin from contact with amniotic fluid. Then, the production of sebum rapidly decreases and remains latent until puberty, when the activation of the sebaceous glands takes place under hormonal influence.
This production remains stable throughout the adulthood, and then decreases with aging.
How many types of oily skin exist
It is possible to distinguish oily skin into 5 groups.
- Oily : the sebum is oily to the eye and the skin appears shiny with enlarged pores
- Seborrheic : the activity of the sebaceous glands is very abundant and the sebum greatly expands the pores of the skin and creating the typical “orange peel skin” appearance
- Asphyxiated : the sebum is dense and waxy and therefore remains trapped in the follicles. This obstruction causes sebum, cellular debris and bacteria to remain trapped inside. From this occlusion comes the blackhead which can appear closed (white dot) or open (black dot). Since the sebum is retained in the follicles the skin does not appear greasy but dry and rough to the touch
- Acne-prone : unlike the previous ones, this type of skin is characterized by the formation of pustules caused by bacteria that induce important inflammatory reactions so as to generate lesions, even disfiguring
- Mixed : it differs from all the forms described because it is characterized by the simultaneous presence of very fat and acneic areas , and of other extremely arid and dry ones . In a mixed skin, therefore, stretches of dry skin and seborrheic skin coexist .
Oily skin: causes
At the origin of oily skin, there is a hyperfunctionality of the sebaceous glands, the activity of which is regulated by complex physiological mechanisms. Furthermore, intrinsic factors, such as genetic and hormonal ones, influence the sebum secretion.
In fact, there are external factors that can worsen the situation:
- taking medications
- use of wrong detergents and cosmetics
- unregulated feeding
With the appropriate treatments, even in the presence of a genetic predisposition or of hormonal factors that favor it, it is possible to control excess sebum.
Furthermore, those who take steroids, anabolic or cortisone drugs tend to have oily and acne-prone skin as well as women suffering from micropolicistic ovarian syndrome .
Even an unregulated diet can affect the formation of oily skin : in overweight and obese people it is in fact very easy to find this type of disorder.
Finally, using the wrong cosmetics can generate this type of problem by transforming, for example, sensitive skin into oily skin due to aggressive cleansing.
Oily skin: how to cure it
Bacteria. If the skin tends to acne, the right thing to do is to use detergents with bactericidal activity.
Pore dilation (and closure). Once a week it is recommended to cleanse the face. It will be necessary to dilate the pores using the action of steam and then apply an exfoliating product based on glycolic acid or salicylic acid. At the end it is possible to take advantage of the natural action of cold water to close the pores or a delicate tonic.
Natural remedies. It is possible to improve the appearance of oily skin with lotions based on essential oils . The most suitable for this purpose are those made with sage, lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus, bergamot, tea tree and mint essences . All these ingredients have in fact marked disinfectant and astringent properties.
The clay mask is always effective for its dermo-purifying and sebum-normalizing action
Nutrition : an unbalanced diet can aggravate oily skin disorder. The advice is to limit the consumption of animal fats, alcohol and refined sugars . Instead, increase the dishes based on fish and white meat, whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables.
Sun and oily skin : the sun, with its UV rays, is one of the worst enemies of oily skin. Prolonged and repeated exposure to the sun (or artificial lamps ) visibly worsens the appearance of this type of skin. Therefore it is extremely important to protect the skin from the sun by using non-occlusive, slightly oily sunscreen with a very high protection factor.
How to cleanse oily skin
“Oily scalp must be cleaned thoroughly but at the same time delicate to avoid the rebound effect. In fact, oily skin excessively attacked by incorrect cleaning reacts by further increasing the production of sebum.
It is important to choose specific detergents with pH 4.5-5.5 which contain alpha and beta hydroxy acids at low concentrations with sebum regulating and exfoliating activity as acid:
It is advisable to cleanse the skin 2 or 3 times a day “.
Sebum-regulating creams and gels
Sebum-regulating and exfoliating active ingredients are also the basis of creams or gels for daily care, to be applied preferably in the evening after proper cleaning.
So, during the day, opacifying products based on :
- titanium dioxide
- magnesium silicates
- zinc oxide or kaolin.
Once a week, it is advisable to make a scrub with products containing jojoba and silica microspheres.
DIY masks for radiant skin
To prepare a homemade mask suitable for combating oily skin. It is sufficient to blend a cucumber with a little white yogurt to obtain a completely natural, refreshing and purifying product . You can enhance the purifying effect of the mask by adding a spoonful of white clay to the mixture.
On the other hand, if you want to prepare an exfoliating product , as a substitute for clay, you can mix a spoonful of granola or oatmeal with a gently abrasive action as a substitute for cucumber and yogurt.
Also, the white wine vinegar , with its purifying, astringent and toning power, can be applied directly on the skin. If we add flour and honey to the vinegar we create a beauty mask indicated to reduce the imperfections of oily skin.
Among the skin friendly fruits, the apple is among the most suitable for the treatment of oily skin .
Here’s how to prepare a beauty mask : take half an apple, ¾ teaspoon of cooked oat grains and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Blend the ingredients and spread the mixture on the face making it act for 15 minutes. Rinse with cold water.
Just make-up against the shiny effect
After cleansing your face appropriately and applying a moisturizing opacifying action, you can apply foundation. “ Compact minerals are preferred because they have excellent opacifying power and oil-free fluid foundations specific for acne-prone seborrheic skin .
In addition to containing opacifying substances, some are enriched with sebum-regulating substances such as azelaic acid and exfoliators such as salicylic acid ”.
But, to complete the make up, it is advisable to use a clear loose powder , a valid ally to maintain the opacifying effect during the day and also useful for retouching. Completed the base, green light for blush, earth and illuminants.
Oily skin in the sun how to behave
“Sun exposure stimulates the thickening of the stratum corneum, which can favor the appearance of acne lesions when returning from vacation.
Furthermore, the use of unsuitable sunscreens can make the picture worse, as well as excessive dryness caused by incorrect exposure and inadequate hydration “.
So, the choice of solar is fundamental and on the market, there are specific formulations for seborrheic skin.
They are cream gels and non-comedogenic, opacifying fluids, with photostable antibacterial substances and containing filtering systems that shield the harmful rays by letting the beneficial ones pass through for acneic skin (Blue-Light).
Furthermore, it is recommended to avoid excessive sun exposure and to repeat the application of the sun every 2 hours. In combination with the right sunscreen, it is advisable to continue the use of exfoliating products.