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Know Your Skin Type! Oily Skin

Aug 26, 2008
These natural oils help keep skin moist and supple. But for some, the sebaceous glands produce too much oil, leading to the most dreaded of the skin types, oily skin.

How do I know I have oily skin?

Most teen-agers have oily skin because this is the time when hormone production is in full swing. But if you've passed your teen years, there are other ways of determining whether or not you have oily skin. It's fairly easy to detect, so start by looking in the mirror. Do you notice a sheen on your skin, especially in your 'T-Zone?' The T-Zone starts at the point between your eyes and extends vertically down along your nose all the way to your chin. The zone also runs horizontally across the bridge of your nose, starting and ending at the center point below each eye.

You may or may not notice the sheen during the day, so check again first thing after waking. If there's a sheen, chances are good you have oily skin. While you're standing at the mirror, take a look at your hair. If it's oily, it's another indication you likely have oily skin. If you wear make-up, specifically foundation, and you find it fades or wears off after a couple of hours, that's yet another indication of oily skin. If you're constantly patting your face with powder or even a handkerchief it's probably because of oily skin.

The presence of blemishes is another good indication although stress, hormones and other factors can all cause outbreaks. And remember that oily skin isn't found only on the face. The back, neck, chest, shoulders and arms can all be oily.

How to care for oily skin?

If you do have oily skin, you probably feel that the best way to combat it is to strip away those pore-clogging, sheen-producing oils. Don't! Although they cause trouble for your complexion, oils produced by the sebaceous glands are important because they act as the skin's natural moisturizer. And oily skin is sometimes sensitive. Rather than completely remove oil, you need to keep it under control.

Another reason not to use harsh soaps that strip away oil is that doing so may cause the sebaceous glands to increase their oil production. They'll instinctively want to replenish the lost oils and you may end up with a bigger problem.

You've got to keep oily skin clean so that pores openings remain clear. Otherwise, dead cells, dirt and other bacteria will clog pores and cause pimples. Skin is delicate so always use a gentle cleanser and warm, not hot water. Exfoliate weekly with a non-abrasive product to help remove any pore-clogging material or use a toner that does not list alcohol as an ingredient.

Use products that moisturize in moderation and according to directions. Make sure the cosmetics and sun protection you use are oil-free. Look for skin care products with the words 'non-comedogenic' or 'non-acnegenic' on the labels.

Always remember to protect your skin from the sun UV radiation. Use sunscreens on visible skin, and wear sun protection clothing and UV swimsuits with sun protection hats where and when possible.
About the Author
J Edmond have been working in the sun protection clothing industry for several years. The main aim is to raise awareness of the sun' UV radiation and it's effect on human skin. Find out more about sun protection swimwear and how you can enjoy your outdoor activities.
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