If a regular routine of gentle cleansing, moisturizing and sun protection don't seem to be enough to combat your oily skin, there are several other options for daily use. One kind of treatment is the use of astringents or toners. These products usually include alcohol, witch hazel or acetone, which remove oil from skin. They can also kill bacteria on the skin, which may help prevent blemishes. However, not all dermatologists recommend using these products on oily skin, as they can cause dryness, redness and irritation [source: DERMADoctor].
Another temporary fix to absorb oil is to use blotting papers. These can be found in most drug stores near the acne and skin care products. If oily skin is a problem during the day, you might find that blotting excess oil from your face reduces shine. Mattifying gels and products marketed as anti-shine skin "primers" may also help soak up excess oil between cleansings and keep makeup from "sliding" off the face.
In really difficult cases of oily skin, it may be necessary to consult a dermatologist. He or she may prescribe topical or oral drugs to treat oily skin. There are also topical treatments containing synthetic retinoids, biochemical compounds that are derivatives of Vitamin A. Some types of retinoids include tretinoin, adapalene or tazoratene. The oral prescription drug isotretinoin is also occasionally used off-label to treat oily skin [source: Bouchez]. As with any prescription or over-the-counter drug used to treat any type of skin, it is best to talk with your doctor or dermatologist before beginning treatment. An expert can advise you on the best way to take care of your skin if you need something in addition to your daily skin care routine.
Now that you know the basics of using a gentle cleanser, a light moisturizer and a sunscreen for oily skin, check out the links below to find more information about creating a daily skin care regimen that works best for you.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Facts About Sunscreens." (Aug. 3, 2009) http://www.aad.org/media/background/factsheets/fact_sunscreen.htm
- Baumann, Leslie. "The Truth About Water and Your Skin." Yahoo! Health. Nov. 24, 2008. (Aug. 3, 2009) http://health.yahoo.com/experts/skintype/12896/the-truth-about-water-and-your-skin/
- Bouchez, Colette. "Oily Skin: Solutions That Work -- No Matter What Your Age." (Aug. 3, 2009) http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/features/oily-skin-solutions-that-work
- DermaDoctor. "Oily Skin: The Good, The Bad & The Oily." (Aug. 3, 2009) http://www.dermadoctor.com/article_Oily-Skin_99.html
- DermNet NZ. "Alpha hydroxyacid facial treatments." June 15, 2009. (Aug. 3, 2009) http://dermnetnz.org/treatments/fruit-acids.html
- Medline Plus. "Oily Skin." Oct. 10, 2008. (Aug. 3, 2009)http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002043.htm
- P&G Beauty Science. "Treating Oily Skin." (Aug. 3, 2009) http://www.pgbeautyscience.com/index.php?id=664
- Rhodes, Monica. "Topical retinoid medications for acne." MSN Health & Fitness. March 1, 2007. (Aug. 3, 2009) http://health.msn.com/health-topics/skin-and-hair/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100067184
- SkinCancer.org. "Understanding UVA and UVB." (Aug. 3, 2009) http://www.skincancer.org/understanding-uva-and-uvb.html