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Should you use oils on oily skin? Find the answer to that age-old question here

Updated on:6 December 2019, 18:44pm IST
Here’s some news: greasy skin needs moisturisation too! And guess what? Oils best suited for oily skin can get the job done. Here’s how
Dr Kiran Sethi
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Yes, you can apply certain oils, like rosehip, on oily skin. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Oily skin can be a bane: it can cause breakouts, unwanted shine, and make it hard for your makeup to last all day. Developing a routine to treat oily skin is essential, but with skincare oils becoming the new ‘it-girl’ of beauty shelves, the question arises–should you really treat oil with oil? 

But first let’s understand what makes the skin so oily? 

Before we dive in, we need to understand that skin turns oily only when the sebaceous glands are working overtime and producing too much sebum. This can be triggered by a number of factors like a poor diet, wrong skincare habits, hormones, and even genetics. The grease on the skin can then block pores and attract pollution to it, only to end in a vicious cycle of acne and over cleansing, which is bad for oily skin. 

When dealing with excess sebum, it is quite common to steer clear from oil or oil-based products. However, this is extremely inaccurate in most cases.

Oily skin usually compensates for the oil (moisture) we wash away while cleansing and produces more oil. 

When we use oil-based products, the sebum in our skin attracts the oil from the product and dissolves it–without stripping skin of its natural oils. Which means the skin remains hydrated and less oily. 

So, how should you use oils for greasy skin?

Not all oils are created equal. When it comes to oily skin, you simply cannot use the coconut oil, cocoa butter, avocado or castor oil lying in your pantry. These oils are far too heavy in texture and can clog your pores. 

oils for oily skin
Almond oil is perfect for oily skin. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

The key here is to find skincare products with non-comedogenic oils, i.e. oils that don’t clog pores. Argan, carrot seed, sunflower, rosehip, bergamot, and almond oils are great options if you have oily skin.

They provide key vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to the deep layers of the skin, and simultaneously regulate sebum production. 

You can use an oil-based cleanser twice a day, in the morning and evening, to help balance the skin. Alternatively, you can stick to a thick facial oil as the last step to your night-time routine. Remember, facial oils are by nature more dense than other skincare products and tend to block lighter water-based serums from absorbing.

In the end…

We can’t deny the fact that skincare is an individual concern. While oils may suit some people with oily skin, they may not be the best option for others and aggravate their breakouts and rosacea. Always speak to your dermat or an expert before you incorporate an oil or a new product into your routine. 

Also read: This quick guide to winter skincare for oily skin will make you soft and supple

Dr Kiran Sethi Dr Kiran Sethi

A widely renowned skin and cosmetic specialist in Delhi, she is a Columbia University graduate with an MD from the USA. She further studied in the UK and has a Masters in Dermatology Skills and Treatments and a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Dermatology and is also a Diplomate in Cosmetic Science She is additionally American Board Certified with further certificates in Aesthetic Medicine, Cosmetic Lasers and Laser Surgery, and a member of the American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, American Society of Dermatology, American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery, European Society of Cosmetic and Aesthetic Dermatology, International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology and IADVL among others.