Does Oily Skin Need Moisturizer?
Many of us with oily skin may think twice before adding a moisturizer. If my face is already shiny and oily, should I add more moisture? It may seem counter-productive. If fact, some take this a step further and believe that scrubbing the moisture from their skin will help to get rid of the excess oil and shine. In order to understand why it’s not only safe to moisturize oily skin, it’s highly beneficial, you must first understand exactly what it means to moisturize.
What Does it Mean to Moisturize?
Moisturizing does not mean adding oil, it means you are adding water and way to retain it. To moisturize your skin means you are adding hydration or promoting the essential skin barrier in order to help your skin to retain its own water. A face is meant to produce oil as a way to lock in hydration. Your face may have too much oil, but that doesn’t mean it has too much water. In fact, it generally means the opposite.
When the skin is dehydrated, it may react by producing larger amounts of sebum to help retain what moisture there is. This most commonly occurs during hormonal changes, and those with oily skin as a teenager may not have it as a mature adult. Unfortunately, we often react to this excess of oil by more frequently scrubbing our faces. While that does temporarily remove excess oil, washing and scrubbing will only signal your skin to produce more oil in self-defense.
When you add a moisturizer you are adding both water to your skin and an ingredient to act as a barrier to lock the water in. The first ingredient listed on the labels of most moisturizers is water. Most moisturizers—especially the best moisturizers for oily skin—also contain humectants that actually can draw moisture from the air around you and lock it into your skin. Adding a moisturizer to help protect the skin barrier will signal to your skin that it no longer needs to produce such copious amounts of sebum.
In other words, not using a moisturizer on your oily skin may actually make oily skin worse.
What Types of Moisturizers are Best for Oily Skin?
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, people who struggle with oily skin should choose moisturizers that are lightweight and noncomedogenic, meaning they won’t clog pores.
There are many moisturizers made specifically for oily skin. In fact, the best moisturizers for oily skin are fast absorbing and lightweight. Often they are oil-free, but sometimes they contain skin-friendly oils like jojoba, buckthorn, aragan, and tea tree oils. These are much less likely to clog pores than many other oils included in moisturizers.
The best moisturizers for oily skin will not contain petroleum or mineral oils, as they tend to clog pores. Instead, look for moisturizers containing dimethicone, an ingredient that works has an excellent skin barrier for preventing moisture loss without clogging pores. Dimethicone is a type of silicone, which may sound frightening but is safe for all skin types. Dimethicone not only keeps hydration in your cells, it also keeps dirt and makeup out of your pores, which is critical for preventing acne breakouts.
Many of the best moisturizers for oily skin contain moisture-loving hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid adds moisture to the skin without adding oil. It can actually pull moisture out of the air and bring it to your skin.
When choosing a moisturizer for oily skin, you should avoid heavy creams and body butters, which contain a high amount of fats and oils. Instead, the best moisturizers for oily skin are lightweight lotions and moisturizers.
Moisturizing Oily Skin
According to dermatologists, women who have oily skin often also complain of tight-feeling, itchy skin. This is because—again—oil is not moisture. Water is what makes your skin soft, supple and smooth. If your skin is producing copious amounts of oil it’s because it is struggling to keep your skin hydrated. Adding one of the best moisturizers for oily skin to your skincare regimen will balance out your skin’s own sebum production.
It’s also important to consider the benefits of oily skin. Yes, it may be a negative during acne-prone years, but it means your skin will stay younger looking much longer than those with dry or even normal skin. Also, there are many products on the market today that are designed to give those with dry and normal skin the same dewy, youthful glow that your skin has naturally. It’s important to embrace the skin you’re in!