Should you use a moisturizer even if you have oily skin and are prone to acne? The answer is yes, moisturizing can actually improve your skin type and your shave.
If your skin is prone to acne and already shiny, the thought of applying a slick layer of moisturizer feels weird.
But although it seems counter-intuitive, moisturizing is one of the best things you can do for an oily skin. In fact not using one could be making your oily skin much worse.
The right moisturizer can actually improve your skin, making it less oily, with fewer breakouts and a much better skin texture.
Let me explain.
What makes your skin oily
Sebum is the natural oily substance produced by the skin’s sebaceous glands. It’s what keeps our skin and hair soft and healthy.
Oily skin occurs when the sebaceous glands become over-active and produce too much sebum. This overproduction causes the classic signs of an oily skin – enlarged pores and shine!
If you have this skin type you’re not alone, it’s the most common type amongst men, as male hormones tend to send the sebaceous glands into overdrive.
The excess sebum can then combine with any dead skin cells on the surface, clogging your pores and leading to breakouts and acne.
Shaving with an oily skin
This susceptibility to acne can make shaving a painful experience alone, but in addition, oily skin can be more prone to ingrown hairs. The excess oil combines with dead skin cells to create a blockage in the hair follicle, preventing the hair from getting to the surface and causing those painful, unsightly bumps.
Gently does it
Taking care of oily skin is a delicate balance though.
There is a temptation to use harsh cleansing products, and skip the moisturizer, in an attempt to get rid of the oil. But this will actually stimulate sebum production as the sebaceous glands become more active in order to compensate, making the situation even worse.
Cleansing is great for removing excess oil and grime from your face, but over-vigorous cleaning will strip the skin of its natural oils, prompting a cycle of producing more sebum to compensate.
External factors, such as pollution and UV rays, also damage skin’s moisture barrier, causing loss of moisture and an increase in oil production – and even shinier skin!
This is further exacerbated if you are using an acne treatment. Typically they can contain Retin-A or Benzoyl Peroxide which dry out the skin, causing tightness, excessive flakiness and inflammation – resulting in the skin compensating with even more oil. A vicious cycle!
The best way out of this cycle is to gently clean your skin and use a lightweight moisturizer every day to increase the hydration level in your skin.
Why your skin needs hydration
The hydration level is the water-content of the skin, not the oil-content. So when skin looks excessively oily, it’s not the same as it being hydrated.
Keeping your skin well hydrated not only improves elasticity and helps slow down the aging process, but in oily skin it can help to reduce excess sebum by stopping the cycle of overproduction.
A good moisturizer improves the hydration level and prevents further moisture loss when combined with natural humectants. These will attract moisture from the air keeping skin moist and supple throughout the day.
Moisturizers also aid with skin cell turnover and form a protective barrier on the skin’s surface.
So even the oiliest skin will benefit from a moisturizer in order to deliver hydration and protect against the elements.
The best ones to use
Hopefully I’ve convinced you as to why you need to use a moisturizer on oily skin. But how do you choose the best one? Because not just any one will do.
It’s important to choose one with an easily-absorbed, light consistency (like the one Otis Skincare developed) which will help replenish vital moisture, but without adding any extra shine.
Try to steer clear of moisturizers based on heavy emollients. Avoid those which include mineral oil, cocoa butter, lanolin and petrolatum, as they can clog your pores, and leave a shiny film.
Instead focus on lightweight formulas with skincare ingredients such as:
Hyaluronic acid – Hyaluronic acid is extremely effective at improving tissue hydration. It increases skin’s moisture content as well as helping to prevent water loss, and leave skin smooth and supple, but with no greasy feeling.
It also reduces any fine lines and improves skin texture.
Glycerin – Glycerin is a naturally occurring ingredient that balances the water levels in the skin to facilitate moisture and restore the skin to normal hydration.
Jojoba oil – A protective anti-oxydant that helps prevent the breakdown of elastin, whilst also nourishing and increasing the suppleness of skin.
Jojoba Oil also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and an oil-regulating action, so it is excellent for an oily, acne-prone skin.
If you focus on these criteria it is possible to find a moisturizer that will leave your skin feeling fresh and hydrated – and with a matte finish.
So, don’t be afraid to moisturize your oily skin! The right moisturizer can help to restore calm and balance to your skin and improve your shave – without adding any extra shine.
About the author
Sandra Scott-Allen is the founder of OTIS SKINCARE For Men, based in Paris and shipping worldwide.
OTIS SKINCARE was born with 3 essential products for a daily male skincare routine: a Daily Face Wash, a Protective Shave Cream and a Hydrating Daily Moisturizer.