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Oily skin is commonly associated with teenagers and young adults in their 20s, but can be a problem for skin at any age. Women in their 30s and older, including menopausal or post-menopausal-aged women can also suffer from oily skin. Men of every age, too, can claim shiny, sweaty, oily skin. Large pores, acne breakouts and blackheads on the face and body and shiny forehead, nose and chin characterizes oily skin.
Oily skin may be caused by a number of factors: heredity, irritation, incorrect- or over-cleansing, environmental factors like weather changes, certain medications, stress and, probably most often, hormonal factors. Andogens are the hormone responsible for oil production. Sometimes andogens lead to an overproduction of sebum, that waxy oil the skin generates which keeps it lubricated.
It’s difficult to prevent oily skin, since it’s hard to always know its cause and multiple factors may be in play. Eating a diet high omega-3 fatty acids found in foods like walnuts, flax, salmon and sardines and staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water may help keep skin’s oil production levels more in check. Using products that are gentle and effective for your particular oily skin needs and not overusing them (which can irritate skin) is also a good idea.
Retinoids or retinols – vitamin A derivatives that hasten cell-turnover and reduce sebum, vitamin B5, vitamin B, and α-hydroxy acid (AHA) family-member glycolic acid can be beneficial to oily skin. Plant derivatives like clary, kukui nut oil, willow bark extract and antioxidants like those in white, red and green teas.
Following a smart oily-skin routine is essential: Cleanse morning and evening with a gentle cleanser, use an alcohol-free toner once or twice daily to balance skin and clear out pores, a morning antioxidant serum and a retinoid at night – especially for acne breakouts.” Layer a non-comedogenic moisturizer over the serum and be sure to use sunscreens daily, especially if using a drying retinoid or retinol product. And don’t forget to exfoliate once or twice weekly with a peel, scrub and/or mask. Exfoliation aids in cell turnover, key to keeping pores unclogged.