Caring for Oily Skin

First, the good news for those of you (like me) with oily skin: our skin ages at a slower rate than other skin types. Which is good, I suppose, because the chronic break-outs make my skin look like a teenager’s!

I’ve read several articles that suggest washing your face with hot water if you have oily skin, with the idea that the hot water will dissolve oil. I’m not keen on hot water applied to the delicate skin of my face, especially the skin around my eyes, so I use warm water instead.

Overcleansing, or using harsh products, in attempts to eliminate oil can actually make the problem worse if it stimulates the skin to produce more oil. Even though oily skin deserves a spanking more often than not, remember to be gentle with it.

For several tips on care of oily skin, be sure to read this article from One of the tips is to use witch hazel as an astringent. I switched from Oxy, Clearasil and other teenager-geared astringents to witch hazel, fearing that the alcohol in the other products was doing more damage than good.

You can buy plain witch hazel for really cheap (maybe $1-$2 for a large bottle) or spring for witch hazel with fragrance or lavender added for a more luxurious scent and feel. Witch hazel also works great for easing the sting or itch of insect bites! Check out for more uses for witch hazel.


Oil Blotting Papers

Oily skin, humidity, heat, sweat…blech! It can be an unsavory combination. The fact that oily skin is resistant to wrinkles is not much consolation when my face is lit up like a Christmas tree, and the oily glare could blind you if you’re not careful.

Mixing face powder on this soppy mess, is, well…messy. And orange-y streaks of wet powder? Yes, very pretty.

Instead of globbing powder onto your oily face, a better tactic is oil blotting papers, or if the manufacturer prefers to talk fancy, matte blotting film or blotting linens. Essentially they are very thin squares of paper that you use to literally blot up the oil on your face, and you can see the results in all the gross wet spots on the paper.

They’re not as cute as a glitzy powder compact, but they take up less space in your purse and certainly work better than powdering over oil slicks. Some product descriptions claim they will leave your face shine-free and matte; not likely, but certainly with far less shine than before blotting.

Sephora carries different types, some scented, some lightly powdered, in various price ranges. One to try on the cheap is Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets. Instead of paper, these are soft, blue sheets that absorb oil. I prefer them over paper types, and these cost about $4 to $5. Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, and other drugstores generally carry them. And the generic brand often propped up beside them? Just as good!

Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion

Maybe you have to endure crazy-oily skin too, to fully appreciate this product: Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion. I resisted trying this product because (a) it costs $16, and (b) so many other products claimed to keep eye shadow from creasing on oily skin but failed miserably. After reading almost universal rave reviews about this particular product, though, I decided to test drive it.

I’m on my 3rd bottle of this stuff. I am extremely impressed with it. If you have oily skin, then you know the ugly, greasy streaks your eyeshadow ends up glopping into after just a few hours, especially in the crease of the eyelid. It is impossible for me to wear eye shadow because of this; I know someday I will be grateful for my oily skin, as it’s very resistant to wrinkles, but for now, “thankful” is not exactly the word I would choose!

I ordered my first bottle of this eye shadow primer from Sephora almost 2 years ago and have been a die-hard fan ever since. A little goes a long way, so although one bottle is $16, I can make one bottle last about 6 months. A very thin layer is all you need, and be sure to apply it evenly and gently pat out any streaks or lines, because once it dries, this stuff is set for the rest of the day.

Be forewarned, also, that the eye shadow color will be intensified with the primer underneath, so start lighter than usual with eye shadow until you get used to it.

I make sure I apply the primer to the crease of my eyelids, since that’s where my shadow likes to gunk up. I’ve fallen asleep without washing my make-up off (I know, a big no-no) and have woken up with my eye shadow still intact if I used this primer. It’s not fail-proof, naturally, and if I wear dark eye shadows, I still see some creasing by the end of the day, but not nearly as much as without the primer.

And hey…the bottle is cool!