Your Real AF Guide To Beating Oily Skin This Spring

Kelly Rowland and Kim Kardashian's derm doesn't want you to look greasy.

Listen, nothing is better than when your melanin is literally popping! But sometimes that glow equates to oil—and that can be a total drag!

Whether your days consist of serving a full-face beat (or skipping makeup altogether), sometimes it if feels like we just can’t have an oil-free day!

We consulted two lauded experts whose products—and services—are used by celebrities (think Kim Kardashian and Kelly Rowland!), makeup artists and social media influencers, to give us the scoop on how we can have our best skin yet!

From how to structure your skin regimen to the best ways to achieve an oil-free beat, they offer tips to finding the perfect products to keep your shine-free. 

  1. We all get oily, no matter the shade

    “It is a myth that darker skinned women have oilier skin,” says NYC-based dermatologist Dr. Michelle Henry, who has worked on psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere, celebrity makeup artist Renny Vasquez and celebrity stylist Tyrone Hunter.

    "[The] differences in lipid content are inconclusive. The number and activity of oil glands are the same in women with darker skin as those with lighter skin; however, oiliness does seem more apparent in darker skin types.”  

  2. When it comes to oily or acne-prone skin, it's all about genetics

    (Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic0
    (Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic0

    "You can have oily skin and never develop a blemish—and you can have dry skin and be very blemish-prone from birth,” explains Dr. Harold Lancer, whose Lancer Skin Care line is used by stars such as Kelly Rowland, Kim Kardashian and Lionel and Sofia Richie.

    “You might have a genetic predisposition for one or the other, or both," he continues.


  3. Toners and essences are great—but use them sparingly

    (Photo: Getty Images)
    (Photo: Getty Images)

    Dr. Michelle Henry believes toners with ingredients like lactic acid, salicylic acid or glycolic acid can help. "Toners also clear away residue on the skin after you have cleansed it to reduce oil and the incidence of acne.”

    But Dr. Harold Lancer reminds us to be careful when it comes to toners or essences because when your skin gets too dry, it begins to over produce oil in order to compensate.

    Editor's Picks: For a lactic acid toner try, Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Toner($16); a salicylic acid toner, try Mario Badescu’s Aloe Vera Toner ($15); and a glycolic acid toner use Botanics All-Bright Cleansing Toner ($7).

  4. Exfoliation is key

    Exfoliation is very important. 

    "It should be a regular practice in your skin-care program and I recommend it daily and before cleansing. Exfoliating will help remove dead skin cells and surface debris that may result in dull, flaky skin; and it also allows for an improved cleansing step to follow,” says Dr. Lancer.

    Dr. Henry suggests using SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser ($47) to gently but thoroughly scrub away all that dead skin, while still improving your texture and tone.

  5. Foam and Gel Cleansers Are Your Best Friend

    Dr. Henry says she "loves foam and gel cleansers" for oily skin. They work best to remove all the dirt and debris without leaving your complexion feeling squeaky clean.

  6. Avoid Pore-Clogging Face Oils

    “Avoid ingredients like mineral oil or petroleum as they clog pores and give the skin an oily appearance,” Dr. Henry explains. “Ingredients like retinol, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and glycolic acid will help reduce and mange skin oiliness." She suggests using Differn Daily Deep Cleaner ($10.50) which contains 5% benzoyl peroxide.

    If you’re looking to minimize oil production, Dr. Lancer suggests looking for products with light, evaporating formulas that have some retinol, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C, D, E. We suggest trying SUNDAY RILEY's U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil ($80) for hydrating, acne-fighting power to add into your makeup routine.

  7. Yes, Oil-Free Products Really Exist

    “Oil-free moisturizers use ingredients called humectants like glycerin and hyaluronic acid to keep the skin hydrated without making it oily," explains Dr. Henry. "They also include ingredients like hydrogenated polyisobutene and dimethicone to help seal in moisture like an oil but feel lighter on the skin.”

    Her go-to is Skin Medica’s HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator ($178) because of the hyaluronic acid that will hydrate your skin without all those heavy oils.

  8. You Must Wear Sunscreen

    There are greasy sunscreens out there but these experts offer suggestions on products that won’t leave you looking shiny. Dr. Lancer suggests his Sheer Fluid Sun Shield ($55), which is lightweight and can be worn under your makeup.

    On the other hand, Dr. Henry says that using powder sunscreen like Colorescience's Sunforgettable Brush-On Sunscreen ($65) can help you avoid the greasy look that comes with traditional formulas. She also says that you can't go wrong with a sunscreen primer—try using Colorescience's Brightening Perfector Face Primer ($49).

  9. #Masking Is A Lifestyle

    Thankfully, there are plenty of masks on that market you can use in order to reduce the look of pores. Dr. Lancer recommends using his Caviar Lime Acid Peel ($90) to exfoliate and brighten skin. He also suggests alternating it with his Radiance Awakening Mask Intense ($140).
    Dr. Henry also says that the Boscia Green Tea Oil Control Mask ($38) is the best mask to deep clean pores, leaving your skin feeling refreshed with a matte finish!

  10. Make Your Beauty Rest Count

    Both doctors suggest using products with retinoids or retinols before bed in order to reduce oil production overnight. “Use a high-quality exfoliant and any active ingredients in the evening," Dr. Lancer says.

    "Along with the above-mentioned masks, incorporate a retinol, such as the Lancer Skin Care Younger: Pure Youth Serum ($275); Lancer Skin Care Younger Revealing Mask Intense  ($250)."

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