Oily skin: Solutions that work -- no matter what your age
Although most people associate oily skin with the teenage years, age is only
part of the story.
While problems don't usually begin until around puberty, for many people
oily skin persists long after the school leavers’ disco has faded into memory.
For some oily skin can last a lifetime.
“If you have oily skin, you have oily skin. It's just something that
happens to some people,” says Dr Joel Schlessinger, of the American Society of
Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery. While genes can play a role, if
your mother or father had oily skin you might too. Hormones also can affect
Oil production is stimulated by hormone production, so anything that causes
hormones to fluctuate can cause skin to become more oily, says dermatologist Dr
Doris J Day. For women hormone changes occur not only during puberty, but
at the start of each menstrual cycle and during pregnancy and perimenopause.
For both women and men oily skin can be stimulated by any physical or emotional
situation that puts hormones in a tailspin.
However there is good news: regardless of the cause(s) of your oily skin,
there are steps you can take to control it.
We talked to four top dermatologists to gather the facts on what works and
what doesn't to keep oily skin looking great. From proper cleansing techniques
and oil-targeted skin care, to treatments aimed at reducing oil production, you
can replace that oily shine with a healthy glow, in less time than you
Taking care of oily skin: where to start
Regardless of your age, oil (also known as sebum) is always produced by the
Located deep within the second layer, or dermis, of the skin, these glands
are most plentiful in the face, neck, chest, head and back, one reason that
these areas appear to be affected by oil production the most.
To get from the glands to your skin the oil flows into nearby follicular
pores, and eventually works its way to the surface. Here it plays a vital role
in the health of both skin and hair.
“It helps seal moisture in, which gives hair that healthy sheen and helps
keep skin plump and hydrated,” says Dr Charles E Crutchfield, Clinical
Associate Professor of Dermatology, at a US University.
In some people too much oil is produced. Skin and hair no longer look
healthy, but instead greasy, slick and even dirty.
One way to control that is with proper cleansing. If you think you
need harsh products to scrub away the extra oil, think again. Experts say
that's a big, and all too common, mistake.
Oily skin: solutions that work - no matter what your age
Oil production is nature's response to irritation, so the harsher the
cleansing, the more likely the body is to respond by producing more oil, says