Monthly Archives: April 2016
If you have oily skin, you are prone to acne, blackheads and spots. Your skin probably looks shiny and thick. Just as with any skin type, taking certain precautions and special care can help reduce skin problems.
The following are 10 tips for taking care of oily skin.
- Wash your face twice a day – once in the morning and once before bed. Washing more often can strip your skin of all the natural moisturizers and increase oil production. The only time you should wash your face more than twice a day is if you have been perspiring.
- Use a gentle cleanser. If you need something stronger, look for ingredients specifically made for oily skin and acne, such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or beta-hydroxy acid. Although usually marketed for acne, these products work well for oily skin too.
- If you are experimenting with different cleansers to find one that works for you, keep a notebook and write down the date, what cleanser you are using and keep track of how your skin looks after a few weeks. If you notice irritation, write that down so you know not to try that cleanser again.
- Don’t scrub your face as this can stimulate oil production.
- If you use a toner, use it only on areas that are oily, such as your forehead or around your nose. If you have areas that aren’t oily, toners can create dry patches.
- If you have oil build up in between facial washings, use a medicated pad or blotting paper to remove excess oil. These products have the added benefit of being portable, allowing you to freshen up your face no matter where you are.
- Oily skin still needs to be moisturized, but be careful to choose the right moisturizer. Look for water based or oil-free moisturizers and stay away from creams and heavy moisturizers.
- When choosing foundation and other make-up, pick those with gel, liquid or powder bases. If using a liquid make-up make sure it is water based, not oil based. Makeup labeled “noncomedongenic” contain ingredients that won’t clog your pores.
- Exfoliate once a week to help loosen and remove dirt and oil in your pores.
- No matter how tempted, don’t pick, pop or squeeze pimples as it can cause scarring and leave red spots on your face.
The first meal of the day for New York City derm Doris Day, MD, includes almonds. “They contain essential fatty acids, which help put the brakes on inflammation that accelerates fine lines, sagging, and blotchiness.” Not feeling like a nut? Salmon, tuna, and halibut are good lunch/dinner sources.
To keep her skin supple, LA-based derm Jessica Wu, MD, sprays it several times daily with La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water. (She often spritzes her face when stuck in traffic!) Bonus: The water is packed with minerals like selenium that protect against UV damage.
If anyone has stress, it’s doctors. High levels of tension can spike hormone production that leads to breakouts or aggravates conditions like psoriasis. “Controlling stress keeps your skin calm—but that’s easier said than done,” says Annie Chiu, MD, a derm in LA. Taking a 10-minute time-out to apply a face mask and relax on her bed works for Chiu. Another trick: Ban the ‘Berry. “I turn off my cell phone after 8 at night. Every little bit helps!” she says.
Sunscreen stops working in less than 3 hours, so reapplication is key, says Washington, DC-based derm Elizabeth Tanzi, MD. For easy touch-ups, she uses powder sunscreen. “It’s light, so skincare stays intact.” Her fave:Colorescience Pro Sunforgettable Powder SPF 50
“A ‘cross-training’ regimen is the key to rapid rejuvenation. Some ingredients—like sunscreen and antioxidants in the morning and retinoids and peptides at night—work better as a team,” says New Orleans derm Mary Lupo, MD.
To ensure she layers on enough sunscreen (“the best way to keep skin youthful”), Garland, TX-based dermatologist Lisa Garner, MD, president of the Women’s Dermatologic Society, fills the hollow of her palm (about ½ teaspoon) with a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to coat her face, neck, and ears. “I usually have to apply two coats to finish what I’ve squeezed out, but that’s how I make sure I’m covered.”
“A little tint takes years off your face by evening out your skin tone,” which a recent study found is a key marker of youthfulness, says Ranella Hirsch, MD, a dermatologist in Cambridge, MA. Her favorite for a natural look: Olay Complete Touch of Sun Daily UV Moisturizer + A Touch of Sunless Tanner
“I often find it difficult to stick to my anti-aging regimen at bedtime,” says Francesca Fusco, MD, an NYC derm. To avoid missing her evening routine, she stores these products in a pretty skincare case she keeps on her nightstand. “So if I’ve forgotten—or was just too tired to apply products at the sink—I can do it easily while in bed.” Her must-haves: Renova (an Rx retinoid), EpiCeram (an ultrahydrating Rx moisturizer), SCO lip balm, Earth to Skin Care Cracked Heel Renewal, Creative Nail Design Solar oil (to soften cuticles), and Listerine White Strips.
Frozen peas help soothe itchy, irritated eyes for Jeanine Downie, MD, a derm in Montclair, NJ. “Once I get home from work, I remove my skincare and put a bag of frozen peas on my lids for about 5 minutes.” The cold helps reduce swelling and pigmentation, a side effect of repeated irritation from her eczema. Unlike inflexible ice packs, a bag of peas easily conforms to the shape of the eyes for a faster effect.
“The repeated jarring of high-impact cardio like running can weaken collagen and lead to sagging,” says Oakland, CA, dermatologist Katie Rodan, MD. “So until a ‘face bra’ is invented, I’ll stick to cycling and the elliptical machine.”
Most derms will bend over back-ward for great skin. Hema Sundaram, MD, a Washington, DC-area dermatologist, bends forward. Yoga moves “like Child’s Pose, Downward-Facing Dog, and Sun Salutations improve circulation—the boost of oxygen is what gives skin that lovely yoga glow.” Another reason to take to the mat: New research finds regular yoga practice may reduce the inflammation and stress that speed skin aging.
Diet soda is a vice that Audrey Kunin, MD, a Kansas City, MO, dermatologist, just can’t quit—she downs up to six cans a day. When she realized that all the sodium in soda (anywhere from 25 to 50 mg per can) made her eyes and jawline puffy, she switched to a brand that doesn’t punish her skin: sodium-free Diet Rite soda. “It satisfies my cravings and my skin looks much better.”
The breakdown of sugars, called glycation, damages the collagen that keeps skin smooth and firm. To prevent this natural process from careening out of control, Naila Malik, MD, a derm in Southlake, TX, sticks to low-glycemic carbs like whole grains; they’re naturally low in sugar, and the body processes them slowly to limit the loss of collagen.
Mild cleansers are one of my best secrets,” says Chicago derm Jonith Breadon, MD. She’s partial to CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser , which contains ceramides—fatty materials that help retain moisture.
“I am religious about strength-training, and I always tell patients to do it more as they get older,” says Patricia Farris, MD, a dermatologist in Metairie, LA. The payoff: firmer skin from the neck down, the result of having better, more supportive muscle tone. “It’s like adding volume to the face with fillers, except on your body,” says Farris.
In her teens, Amy Wechsler, MD, an NYC derm, started drinking green and black tea for the taste. Now she drinks three to five cups a day to safeguard her skin. Research suggests that both types of tea contain protective compounds—like EGCG and theaflavins—that help prevent skin cancers and the breakdown of collagen, the cause of wrinkles.