Do you suffer from a lack of confidence in your appearance? Oily skin can take its toll on your self-esteem, but you can transform your oily skin into glass skin in just 7 easy steps.
Whether it's caused by pollution, makeup, or hormones, oily skin can be tough to manage and can lead to persistent shine and grease, clogged pores, and, eventually, breakouts if left untreated.
Although oily skin can be more than just a nuisance, it doesn't have to mean an eternity of feeling uncomfortable in your skin.
Goodbye to the days of feeling that your skin is uncontrollable — with the right approach and a few tweaks to your skincare routine, you can go from greasy to glowing without worrying about cakey foundation or mid-day touch-ups; you'll be wondering what skincare routine you've been following.
What is oily skin?
Sebum is a naturally occurring oily and waxy substance made up of triglycerides, wax esters, and squalene produced by your skin to create a barrier against water loss and bacterial invasion, keeping your skin smooth, soft, and moisturized.
The sebaceous glands, which are connected to the hair follicles, secrete sebum that travels along excretory ducts to the surface of the skin.
Oily skin is the result of overactive sebaceous glands that produce excess sebum; this excess sebum clogs pores, resulting in bacteria thriving, leading to blackheads, whiteheads, and acne breakouts.
What causes oily skin?
The most common factor contributing to oily skin is an overactive sebaceous gland, which is often rooted in genetics.
Hormones also play a major role in oil production — during puberty, the body produces more androgens that stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more oil than necessary.
In addition, environmental factors like heat and humidity can increase oil production, as well as products that are stripping and too harsh for your skin.
How to treat oily skin? Transform Oily Skin into Glass Skin in 7 Easy Steps
Follow these 7 easy steps to transform your oily skin into glass skin:
Step 1: Cleanse twice a day with a mild cleanser.
The first step to transforming your oily skin is to start by cleansing twice a day — once in the morning and once at night — with a mild cleanser designed to remove excess sebum without stripping the skin of its natural oils.
Using a mild cleanser is key for controlling sebum because stripping, harsh, or drying cleansers can trigger the sebaceous glands to produce even more sebum in an attempt to replenish the lost moisture.
This cycle of over-production of sebum leads to an overall greasy complexion, clogged pores, and acne breakouts.
Look for cleansers with active ingredients specifically targeted for oily skin, the best of which include salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and benzoyl peroxide; these ingredients penetrate deep into your pores, helping dissolve sebum and keeping your pores clean.
When cleansing, start by wetting the skin with lukewarm water — to open up the pores and allow the ingredients to penetrate more effectively — then massage the cleanser into your skin using small circular motions for one minute before rinsing off thoroughly with lukewarm water and patting dry gently with a clean, soft towel.
To help get you started, we've made it easy for you to pick out the perfect cleanser for your oily skin with our list of the Best Cleansers For Oily Skin.
Step 2: Exfoliate 2 to 3 times per week.
Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin through physical (aka mechanical) or chemical exfoliation to remove excess dead skin cells and sebum and increase cell turnover rate to reveal a brighter, smoother, and healthier complexion.
Physical exfoliants use mechanical force to manually slough off dead skin cells and debris, while chemical exfoliants such as Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs) use acids to dissolve the 'glue' that binds dead skin cells together.
Oily skin tends to accumulate dead skin cells because the excess sebum acts as a kind of glue trapping them inside the pores, making it difficult for them to be shed off naturally, creating a thick layer on the surface of the skin, clogging pores and causing acne breakouts.
Exfoliation is key for removing this buildup of dead skin cells and any leftover dirt or makeup residue from the surface of your skin, effectively unclogging pores and reducing acne breakouts.
Exfoliating 2 to 3 times a week is the ideal amount for treating oily skin as any more than this can strip the skin of its natural oils and damage your skin barrier leading to an overproduction of sebum — which in turn leads to a greasy complexion, clogged pores, and acne breakouts.
If you're looking for physical exfoliants, look for scrubs with gentle cellulose beads that won't scratch the skin; avoid scrubs with almond shells or walnut husks, as these can easily tear and damage the skin.
On the other hand, if you're looking for chemical exfoliants, look for products with active ingredients like salicylic acid (BHA) and glycolic acid (AHA), as they are particularly effective in removing excess sebum and impurities from deep within the pores while speeding up cell renewal and reducing inflammation caused by acne.
Choosing the right exfoliant is part of the equation to achieve glass skin, so if you feel overwhelmed and intimidated by the amount of physical and chemical exfoliants available on the market, check out both of our lists for Best Physical Exfoliants and Best Chemical Exfoliants for Oily skin to get you started.
Step 3: Tone your skin.
Toners are a great addition to any skincare routine, but for those with oily skin types, they are essential.
Think of toners as the bridge between cleansing and moisturizing — it's there to remove any remaining residue from your cleanser, balance out skin's pH levels, control excess oil production, reduce acne breakouts and provide a deeper level of hydration, all of which contribute to achieving glass skin.
Look for toners that are specifically designed for oily skin — such as those containing witch hazel, which is an astringent that helps to reduce the size of pores and remove excess sebum, or those with salicylic acid or glycolic acid, which work to exfoliate and reduce excess sebum production while deeply cleansing the pores and reducing inflammation; our list of the Best Toners for Oily skin will help you find the right toner.
Apply your toner after cleansing and exfoliating, applying the product onto a cotton pad and sweeping over the face and neck in an outward motion — avoiding the delicate eye area — and allow it to dry for a few moments before continuing with your skincare routine.
Step 4: Spot-treat any areas that need more attention with a targeted treatment product.
Depending on your skin concerns and needs, you may need to spot-treat certain areas of your skin with a targeted treatment product. After all, glass skin is all about addressing any specific skin concerns and focusing on achieving a healthy complexion.
For instance, if you're suffering from breakouts and blemishes, look for a spot treatment product with active ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or sulfur to unclog pores, kill bacteria, and reduce inflammation while helping prevent future breakouts and speed up healing time.
Use targeted treatments on the affected areas and not all over your skin, as some ingredients can be too harsh when used all over your skin.
Step 5: Hydrate and moisturize daily.
Hydrating means improving the skin's ability to absorb moisture and nutrients by infusing cells with water, while moisturizing means building the skin's protective barrier by trapping and sealing in moisture, which will prevent water loss and keep the skin soft and smooth.
All skin types need hydration and moisture because it maintains the skin's protective barrier, keeping it healthy and protected from environmental aggressors.
A common misconception is that oily skin types don't need to hydrate or moisturize —, but when your skin is dehydrated, it will try to compensate by producing even more sebum — resulting in a greasy complexion and acne breakouts.
Since glass skin is all about balance, you need to hydrate your oily skin to help it retain moisture, making it harder for the sebaceous glands to overproduce sebum, and moisturize it so that it forms a protective barrier on the surface to lock in moisture and prevent dehydration.
Look for lightweight serums, gels, and creams containing hyaluronic acid or glycerin because they provide hydration and moisture without leaving an oily residue. You can start hydrating and moisturizing your skin today with the help of our lists of the Best Hydrating Serums for Oily Skin and the Best Moisturizers for Oily Skin.
Apply your hydrator followed by moisturizer every morning and evening after toning — when the skin is still damp for maximum absorption — and massage it in using gentle patting motions until fully absorbed to really lock in all that hydration and moisture.
Step 6: Use broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Sunscreen is the most important step in any skincare routine because it provides an extra layer of protection against the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can cause damage to your skin cells, dry out your skin and lead to premature aging.
Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, and look for formulas that are lightweight, non-comedogenic, and non-greasy; our list of the Best Sunscreens For Oily Skin will help you find the perfect sunscreen for your skin needs.
Apply sunscreen every morning — 30 minutes before leaving the house and going out — to all exposed areas of skin as the last step in your skincare routine.
Reapply every two hours if you're planning to spend long periods of time outdoors in direct sunlight to make sure that the SPF remains effective and provides adequate protection against ultraviolet radiation.
Avoid direct sunlight during peak hours — between 10 am and 4 pm — and stay in the shade as much as possible when outside because, although sunscreen can offer protection, it can't completely block out the UV rays.
Step 7: Use a face mask once or twice a week (optional but highly recommended).
Depending on your skin concerns, choose the right face mask according to what best works for you — whether it's more of a hydrating mask, an exfoliating one, or one with active ingredients that help deal with blemishes and breakouts.
We recommend using a clay mask to absorb excess oil and unclog pores and a hydrating mask to help replenish moisture levels and achieve the famous glass skin look.
After cleansing and toning your skin, read the instructions on each face mask carefully before applying — as some can be used multiple times a week while others are better just once a week — and use as directed.
Leave the mask on for the recommended amount of time before rinsing it off with lukewarm water and patting your skin dry with a soft, clean towel. Follow with your regular moisturizer to help seal in all the beneficial ingredients from your face mask.
With the 7 easy steps above, you can achieve glass skin regardless of your skin type or concerns; it's all about finding the right balance and consistency in your skincare routine.