When makeup is done right, it can look great and give the wearer a tremendous boost in self-confidence. Unfortunately, it is also possible to overdo or misuse makeup in a way that disrupts the skin’s delicate oil balance.
Your skin’s sebaceous glands produce a natural oil called sebum, which is secreted through pores to help keep the skin moisturized. A lack of facial oil can result in wrinkles, whereas too much oil creates a shiny, glossy look and promotes the possibility of unwanted acne.
Once the skin’s delicate oil balance has been thrown off, attempting to use more makeup to cover it up may only make the problem worse.
If you’ve been having trouble with oily skin after applying makeup, consider the information below to learn how to prevent this problem from continuing:
How Can Wearing Makeup Cause Oily Skin?
The key to makeup’s efficacy is its ability to cover up spots and blemishes. Unfortunately, makeup also covers your pores, and if packed too densely can easily clog them, thereby stopping the flow of sebum.
The result is either excessively dry skin due to clogged pores, or excessively oily skin that occurs after too much sebum builds up beneath the makeup.
Thus, over-applying makeup in an attempt to conceal oily skin might only make your skin more oily in the long-term. So, what can you do?
Tips for Preventing Oily Skin After Applying Makeup
Now that we’ve explained the basic mechanisms that cause your skin to become oily after wearing cosmetic products, here are some tips you can use to prevent oily skin after applying makeup:
1. Go Easy on the Powder for a While
While it is true that powder dries the skin, oftentimes that drying effect will cause your pores to produce more oil in response.
Try cutting back on the powder and you’ll probably see a reduction in sebum production within a week or two.
If you accidentally apply too much powder, you can blot with a dampened makeup sponge to remove some.
If you absolutely have to use powder to cover up particularly oily skin, be sure to only apply it to the shiny spots, and use a “matte translucent” variety for the best shine cover up.
2. Reduce the Number of Layers You’re Using
Too many layers of makeup can completely block your pores, causing your skin to respond by upping the production of oil, while also trapping the excess oil under the layers of makeup, creating a greasy/shiny look.
While it might seem counter-intuitive, the way to prevent this is to use a thinner layer of makeup, and be sure to give your skin enough time without makeup to keep the natural balance healthy.
If you’re going to the beach or need sunscreen in addition to makeup, it might be a good idea to use makeup that contains SPF 15 to avoid having to layer makeup on over sunscreen.
Preferably, look for a brand that contains moisturizing components as well.
3. Use a Purifying Mist and Oil-Free Products
Using a purifying mist is a good way to hydrate the skin and assist in the unclogging of pores.
These products also make excellent toners, so be sure to apply some to the oily areas before applying your makeup.
You’ll immediately notice that the the oily areas treated with purifying mist look and feel refreshed and hydrated, rather than clogged and oily.
While this is a great component to have in your anti-oily skin arsenal, as with anything, be sure to use purifying mists with moderation, as over hydrating the skin can reduce elasticity and promote acne and excessive sweating.
In addition to using purifying mists, try to use oil-free makeup products as an extra measure.
Also, look for toners and cleansers that contain glycolic acid - according to a number of leading dermatologists, this ingredient can help reduce the skin’s oil production.
4. Stay Hydrated
When your body is low on water, the consistency and production of sebum is negatively affected, as the oil becomes thicker and is secreted at a higher rate to counteract the anti-moisturizing effects of dehydration.
Staying hydrated enough to keep the color of your urine “clear to light yellow” will ensure that your skin is optimally moisturized and free of oily pores.
A good rule of thumb is to drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water per day.
Properly hydrated skin always has a more vibrant look than dehydrated skin, and with adequate moisture your pores will be able to cycle out oil, dirt, and other impurities that lead to shiny skin and acne.
5. The Hot Water, Cold Water Technique
Finally, one of the most useful tips that an experienced beautician might give you would be to wash your face with hot water (as hot as you can tolerate) for one minute while gently rubbing your face and massaging your pores, followed by cold water (as cold as you can tolerate) for one minute.
Do this at least three times a day, or whenever you notice your skin is oily.
This works because the hot water opens and relaxes your pores, allowing the oil to flow out, while the cold water contracts and closes the pores to keep them clean and healthy.
Note: It is very important to shock the pores shut with cold water after washing with hot water, as leaving the pores open can result in acne.
What are Some Other Causes of Oily Skin?
Applying too much makeup isn’t the only cause of oily skin.
You might be noticing that your skin is extra oily after applying makeup, but there could be underlying factors that are causing your pores to respond to makeup by producing more sebum.
With that said, here are several other common causes of oily skin:
- Overactive sebaceous glands - Some people deal with overactive sebaceous glands (sometimes caused by excessive testosterone levels), which can present a constant battle against an oily and shiny look that many see as unappealing.
- A greasy diet - If your diet contains a lot of grease/fat/oil, try cutting back a bit. Many people have seen excellent results in getting rid of acne and preventing oily skin simply by making healthy changes to their diet. Thus, this approach is certainly worth consideration if you’ve been unable to prevent oily skin after wearing makeup despite trying all other methods.
- Stressful lifestyle - Stress and anxiety can cause our skin to produce more sweat, which affects the functioning of the pores, thereby increasing the production of oil. Eliminating or reducing stress has been shown to decrease the occurrence of acne caused by excess sebum.
- Humid environment - Hot and humid conditions can cause your skin to sweat more and become oily. Focus on keeping yourself cool and dry. Carrying a small spray bottle of ice water and occasionally applying a very light mist can help keep your skin cool and hydrated on hot and humid days.
While there may be other causes of oily skin, if you confront the four listed above by addressing lifestyle, diet, environment, and the possibility of overactive sebaceous glands, and you follow the other 5 tips above, you should be on the right path to stopping your skin from producing unsightly oil slicks every time you wear makeup.