People usually think dry skin is the most susceptible to winter damage, but oily skin faces risks too. Oily skin doesn’t dry out as badly in the winter, but people with oily skin may use harsh cleansers to try to alleviate blemishes.
Your skin can be classified as oily if you have one or more of the following characteristics:
- Enlarged, visible pores
- Shininess, especially mid-day
- Frequent acne, including blackheads
Causes of Oily Skin
Oily skin is a result of genetics. If one or both of your parents have oily skin, you are much more likely to have oily skin.
The sebaceous glands in your skin control the amount of oil released. When there is an excess of the androgen hormone in your body, the sebaceous gland will release more oil. This typically occurs during puberty, but many people continue to have oily skin well into their thirties.
Oily skin can become exacerbated if you:
- Live in a hot, humid environment
- Use oil-based cleansers, lotions, or make-up
- Don’t remove make-up before bed
- “Pick” at blemishes
There are some benefits to having oily skin. While people with oily skin tend to be more susceptible to blemishes, they also show signs of aging later than those with dry skin. Oily skin slows the appearance of lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. Plus, people with oily skin naturally produce more melanin, meaning greater protection from sun damage.
Caring for Oily Skin
While oily skin does have benefits, many people find the acne and shininess associated with excess oil annoying. Oily skin is also more prone to rosacea, a disease which causes skin to become red and inflamed.
Some people with oily skin make the mistake of using harsh cleansers or washing their skin too frequently. While washing skin more than twice a day may seem like the solution to oily skin, it can actually cause more problems on top of acne and shininess by causing dryness and peeling as it strips your skin from natural oils.
To prevent more breakouts, make sure to stay hydrated (drink at least 8 glasses of water a day).
Also, do not pick at blemishes and avoid touching your face as much as possible. Your fingers can carry bacteria that will make your skin break out even more.
There are steps you can take to alleviate problems associated with oily skin without stripping your skin of all of its oils.
Start by using a nutritive cleanser with alpha lipoic acid, like Perricone MD Skin Clear Cleanser. Alpha lipoic acid, when used as a topical solution, can help reduce cellular inflammation. When combined with DMAE, which helps to firm and tone skin, alpha lipoic acid can reduce surface oil and is great for treating adult acne without causing redness or dryness.
Also, while lotions may seem like an awful idea for someone with oily skin, they can actually be extremely beneficial in the winter months. Make sure to use an oil-free lotion. Lotions that are water-based are best.
The lack of humidity in winter can negatively effect oily skin like it does dry skin, though not to the same degree.