With summer now here, oily skin is a problem for many people. Heat increases sebum production, and with it comes acne, blackheads and enlarged pores. Makeup also tends to stay for shorter periods on oily skin. Even if these problems don’t occur, who wants greasy faces? Sebum control is essential in achieving enviable skin for summer. Let’s begin with proper cleansing!
Cleanse your face twice daily with a mild foaming cleanser. Look for sebum-absorbing ingredients like charcoal, clay or green tea. Use clay masks one to two times a week to deep-clean pores. However, don’t over-cleanse to prevent stripping too much moisture or oil away. Overly dry skin will only cause your sebaceous glands to secrete even more sebum. It will also destroy your skin’s natural barrier (which is formed by natural oils), which may lead to irritations, premature aging and further moisture loss.
Also, use different products on different days and different areas of your skin for targeted treatment. I always have breakouts on the chin and especially around period days. Obviously, I need to use acne control cleansers, toners and moisturizers on that area. During breakouts, I often use Innisfree’s Jeju Volcanic Pore Toner on acne-prone areas to reduce oil and soothe skin. It’s quite drying but as it helps ease my breakouts, I see it as my holy grail for summer.
Despite feeling greasy, your skin still needs moisture. After cleansing your face, use a moisturizing toner or lightweight moisturizer which can also condition and refresh your skin. Do not use alcohol-based toners since they may strip away your natural oils. Look for an oil-free toner with humectants like hyaluronic acid or urea. Use a light sunscreen for the day, and a soothing gel or lotion at night. You can also keep a bottle of moisturizing mist in the office or your handbag.
Wash your hair daily with a foaming shampoo. If you need to use a conditioner, avoid the hair roots to prevent clogging. Avoid hair waxes, mousses, gels and other hair products that make your hair shiny as these can also clog your follicles. For quick fixes, use a dry shampoo or oil-control hair products which are available in tissue, powder, stick and spray forms.
Use a mattifying makeup base or primer to prevent sebum build-up, improve texture and help your makeup stay put. Avoid heavy foundations and finish with loose powder. Over the course of the day, blot excess oil with sebum -control powder or blotting papers by gently dabbing (instead of rubbing) the puff or paper onto your skin.
It’s hard to find a non-greasy, long-lasting waterproof sunscreen for sports (preferably SPF 50 or above) that’s also moisturizing enough and leaves no residue, but Biore’s UV Super UV Milk SPF 48 PA+++ seems to have earned this reputation. For daily use (preferably SPF 15 or above), Missha’s Perfect Cover BB Cream will do the job without breaking the bank. I also enjoy using a tinted lip balm with SPF on sunny days.