What is it: “Oily/acne-prone skin means that you have oily skin that usually affects your forehead, nose and chin,” Barnes says. “This excess oil can plug your pores and lead to acne and breakouts. Oily skin can also cause your pores to enlarge which can also increase risk of acne.” You skin might also appear oily, shiny, and greasy.
Some problems you might experience: You’ll have to deal with acne and breakouts, plus dark spots and scars related to acne.
How to care for normal skin: “Although, it may be tempting to use harsh, oil-stripping or drying products if you have oily skin, these can actually do more harm than good,” Chang says. “Harsh, drying products may actually trigger your skin to produce more oil to compensate and can worsen acne breakouts.” Additionally, you should avoid over-washing your face as this could cause your body to produce even more oil.
For oily skin, use a gentle or exfoliating cleanser that contains salicylic acid. After cleansing, apply a toner to prep and balance the skin. You can also use serums containing tea tree oil or niacinamide to calm the skin and prevent breakouts. Next, apply an oil-free or non-comedogenic moisturizer and don’t forget about sunscreen. You may also have to re-cleanse your skin, or use an oil-absorbing wipe throughout the day to prevent build-up. At night, you can add a retinoid to normalize skin cell turnover and prevent acne breakouts.
For acne-prone skin, Chang says prevention is key. Start the day with a benzoyl peroxide cleanser and applying a toner. Then, she recommends serums that contain salicylic acid, tea tree oil, or azelaic acid, which all work to prevent acne. Apply a lightweight moisturizer and a lightweight, non-comedogenic sunscreen, and you’re all set. At night, you can use a retinoid over your whole face to help prevent and treat acne. If your acne isn’t improving or severe, Chang says you may need to consult a board-certified dermatologist.
How to shop for skincare products: Choose products labeled as non-comedogenic, and use oil-free moisturizers. “Products that contain ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or retinoids are great for oily skin. Azelaic acid is also a great alternative to antibiotics as it has antimicrobial properties and is known to reduce the amount of Propionibacterium acnes (bacteria that causes acne) on the skin,” Barnes adds. “Harsh detergents, fragrances, and bead exfoliants should be avoided as they can cause irritation which can lead to more breakouts.” You’ll also want to avoid ingredients like mineral oil and petrolatum, which might also cause acne.
See some of Chang’s product recommendations below: