Are you suffering from an oily complexion my friend? Do you have combination skin and want to ‘take some action’ to ‘dry out’ your skin? Not sure where to start, which skincare to turn to and just what the heck is skin loving and what might be a quick fix but leave your skin heat-broken in the long run? If so, this post is right up your street!..
Things to Know Before You Dry Out Skin
An oily or combination complexion is actually a BIG skin friend. So when we say ‘dry out skin’ the aim is to make your combination/oily skin type closer to normal but absolutely not push it to dry. See here is the thing to love about an oily and combination skin type, you have the absolute best skin type for slowing those signs of ageing! Oily skin is like a highly evolved ‘army like defence’ against water loss, that means your skin stays plump and hydrated, well most of the time, it definitely has the best opportunities to *winks*. Skin that is plump and hydrated is what fights wrinkles!
So we gotta give our skin a moment of thanks… and then maybe no thanks(?) well at least thank you and I will ‘work with you’ (oh yes, we have the best management talk here!) to bring a more controllable amount of skin protection to the table!
This is the secret to drying out your skin, stay clear of harsh astringent dryers that will give you dry skin.
Instead the aim of ‘drying out skin’ is to push your skins ‘oil (sebum) production’ back towards normal.[It’s kinda ironic we call it ‘drying out skin’ cus what we actually want to happen is to keep all that moisture in our skin (that’s the anti-aging stuff) and to reduce oiliness]
‘Water and skin hydration are 1 of the BIG keys to fighting the signs of aging’
So when we want to ‘dry out skin’ aka reduce oiliness it is all about edging skin towards a normal skin type and staying well clear of DRY. That means being super skincare savvy about which ‘dry out skin’ promise products we use (usually it’s none of the ones that promise to ‘dry out skin’) and which skincare staples form the foundations of a healthy routine for oily skin types.
Let’s get going with this y’all!
How to Dry Out Skin The Healthy Way
AKA how to reduce your skins oiliness – here we go. These are the 4 pillars to taking oily and combination skin to normal and healthy without taking a pit stop at dry skin station.
1. pH of your skin
Skin has a set of ‘vital statistics’ that keep it on the clean living, healthy choice path in life. If any of those vital stat’s get shifted, you got it, that means skin throws a tantrum and wonders from normal into dry or oily or combination or spot prone territories. We need a skin ‘naughty step’ ‘eh! Once of those healthy skin stats is your skins pH. Naturally it’ll be in the ball park of 4.2-5.5, that means its slightly acidic, which means skin can be normal and protected.
When skin is dry skin’s pH is pushed above 5.5. When skin is oily, skin has a lower pH that can be outside of the healthy range.[a lower skin pH means skin can be prone to breakouts as spot causing bacteria thrive in low pH places!]
This means to ‘dry skin out’ we need to keep skin pH in the healthy range and maybe push it up a bit higher than it normally would be. Ok, great, how do we do that?
‘STEP 1 to ‘dry out skin’ – rid your skincare routine of low pH products’
Avoid using too many ‘acid’ based moisturisers and exfoliators. Firstly check out your exfoliating choices, are they physical (stuff like jojoba wax beads, or rice powder?) or chemical (glycolic acid, aspen bark extract, fruit acids, salicylic acid). Those chemical ones will lower your skin’s pH because they are acids, some will be around pH 4, others can go down to pH 3! Try switching to a physical exfoliate OR increase the time between your chemical exfoliate treatments. You could even switch between chemical and physical exfoliates to keep the benefits of both in your skincare routine. Give it a play and see what works for you.
Secondly switch out any vitamin C skincare for other yummy skincare antioxidants like vitamin E and vitamin A. Vitamin C needs to be in a really acidic mixture to work. That means any vitamin C skincare will be low pH.
2. Exfoliate regularly
What makes oily skin look even more oily are tiny little sponges soaking up the oil and not being put in the bin so they turn into their very own shiny oil fountains! Oily skin looks way more oily if there is stuff keeping more oil on your face.
Those little sponges – they are your dead skin cells. Dry skin sheds skin easy-peasy-lemon-squeasy because it has less ‘skin glue’ holding it together. Oily skin types have a lot of skin glue, that means exfoliation is super important if you have an oily skin type.
‘Imagine using a blotting pad and then leaving it on your face – that’s exactly what your dead skin is doing’
Exfoliation is a life saver for oily skin types as it picks up the bits that oily skin can’t do. Oily skin might be a hoarder and afraid to say goodbye to its old best pals, but exfoliation isn’t #DreamTeam.
‘STEP 2 to ‘dry out skin’ – make sure you exfoliate regularly’
3. Choose the RIGHT moisturising oils
When you’re trying to ‘dry out skin’ you don’t actually want to dry it out of water right, we know that, you just want less oil about town. That is why choosing the right moisturising oil is crazy essential.
Some oils are awesome for dry skin because they are high in really moisturising fatty acids like Oleic acid and Lauric acid, those guys are found in oils like Sunflower and Coconut. A lot of the really well known oils are super awesome for dry skin types but mega oily-fying for oily skin types. owch!
They key? Making sure your chosen oils are high in Omega 3 and 6 and low in Oleic acid.
Grab a copy of my ‘oil choosing chart for oily skin types’, which will tell you all the oily skin saviour skincare oils out there!
Got a read of that? great. Now you know which oils are oily skin safe, let’s get a gander of why!
Omega 3 and 6 high oils are light-weight, thin, non-greasy and easily absorbed. That means they are super great for oily skin types. If your oily skin was looking for its perfect life partner, this would be it! Omega 3 and 6 oils are also known to be anti-inflammatory and skin reparative – double winner.
Make sure your moisturising skincare is high in these oils and LOW in the blacklisted oily skin oils in the ‘oil choosing chart for oily skin types’.
‘STEP 3 to ‘dry out skin’ – moisturise only with Omega 3 and 6 high oil based skincare’
4. Choose a matifying treatment product
… that doesn’t dry out skin like it wanted to be the Sahara desert! So that means stay well clear of Benzoyl peroxide and Alcohols like Ethanol, Methanol, Isopropyl alcohol, Alcohol Denat and SD alcohol. These guys cut through your oiliness like you were washing a chip pan with Mr.Muscle, it works, yes, but then your skin is left defenceless without a good ‘n normal amount of its oily protectiveness. This leads to dry skin which leads to using heavier moisturisers which then leads to triggering off the oily skin again. This is the vicious cycle you will want to avoid!
Now we know what to avoid, what do we use?
Ingredients like skin healing and matifying Zinc. Zinc has a whole family of helpers for oily skin types, you’ll find this guy called one of these things in your skincare – zinc oxide, zinc gluconate, zinc sulphate, zinc PCA.
Oil absorbing treatments that contain clays like Kaolin or super-absorbing charcoal are also perfect for treating oily skin types. These treatment products will ‘pull-out’ excess oil from your pores, meaning it can’t be released during the day – yay to that!
‘STEP 4 to ‘dry out skin’ – choose a matifying treatment product’
Follow these 4 key steps to dry out skin and not only will you get your skins oil production under control, you will also have super healthy radiant skin.
What do you use to control oily skin at the moment? Do you think there’s any key changes you could make to keep oiliness under your control?
Cheryl Woodman is a scientist & award winning skincare formulator who is more friend next door than bow tie wearing professor. As creator of Honesty For Your Skin her aim is to help you care for your skin in the best ways possible. She is founder of the natural & fragrance free skincare brand Honesty while also hosting 1 to 1 skincare coaching to help you get your best skin yet. Learn more here at www.HonestyForYourSkin.co.uk/Skin-Coach