How to Stop Your Face from Getting Shiny

Shine is a beautiful thing on your hair, lips, and nails — that's for certain. Shine on your face, however, can get tricky. There's a difference between having a gleaming, strategically placed highlight accentuating your cheekbones and having a greasy slickness coating every inch of your T-zone.

That overabundance of oil in all the wrong places is created by the sebaceous glands in your skin. "The activity of these glands can change depending on hormones, externally applied ingredients, and underlying conditions like acne or rosacea," says New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Kavita Mariwalla. Environmental conditions — whether it's the summer sun, a dry winter wind, or the humidity on your tropical getaway — also play a huge role in how slick your skin is.

Luckily, there are a few things — more than a few things — you can do to alleviate greasy skin when shininess isn't on your wish list. Keep reading to discover how to get rid of oily skin not just for the day, but for good, with tips from top dermatologists and makeup artists, as well as a few products to help you along the way.

Use a Cleanser With Salicylic Acid

If you tend to break out, switch to a cleanser that fights pimples in addition to keeping your skin matte. Dermatologist Lisa Chipps recommends choosing one with salicylic acid, which helps break down oil in the pores but isn't over- drying. Clinique's Acne Solutions line features a fan-favorite Cleansing Foam with salicylic acid that won't dry out skin as it gently exfoliates to rid skin of complexion-clogging dead cells.

Scale Back on Makeup (If You Want)

Foundation can feel heavy, especially in hot weather — it melts into your pores and clogs them, and they produce even more oil. Try switching to a tinted moisturizer, like Erborian BB Crème au Ginseng, which forms a shield over the skin, keeping makeup where it belongs.

Exfoliate Once a Week

Just because your face is on the oily side doesn't mean you have to punish it with a sandpapery scrub. Bioré Acne Clearing Scrub gently exfoliates with tiny buffing beads while fighting breakouts with salicylic acid — all without leaving skin feeling tight or parched. To amp up your exfoliating game, New York City- based dermatologist Doris Day recommends incorporating an electronic brush like the Clarisonic True Glow Facial Brush into your routine, which uses sonic frequency to loosen dirt and oil in the pores. Just be gentle and don't over do it (doing so may cause microtears, which can ultimately cause infection)

Don't Skimp on Sunscreen

"Sunscreen is important every day for all skin types," says Chipps, so don't avoid it out of fear it will up your oiliness. "Look for a sunscreen with a color, scent, and consistency that you love, and wear it every day." Try a noncomedogenic formula with oil-absorbing micronized zinc, like EltaMD UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40. "Studies that have investigated zinc alone or zinc in combination with another medication have found that zinc can help reduce acne," dermatologist Sejal Shah has told ishonest.

Stick to Oil-Free Primers

An oil-free primer (or two!) is a must for shiny skin when attempting a more matte look. Makeup artist Joseph Carrillo loves using Benefit Cosmetics The Porefessional Face Primer on the lower part of the face — it has the added bonus of blurring the appearance of large pores — and Smashbox Photo Finish Oil & Shine Control on the especially shine-prone T-zone before applying makeup to see gloriously shine-free finish that lasts all day.

Use a Moisturizer

Using a moisturizer is key to keeping oil production under control. Don't skip it. "People confuse oil with hydration, so they don't properly hydrate the skin. We now have really great ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, which balances oil and water in the skin," says Day. "By balancing the water in the skin, you'll have a better barrier, which can help to control oil production." We love Caudalie Vinopure Natural Oil Control Moisturizer. The lightweight fluid contains silica to sop up oil but doesn't skimp on hydrating ingredients like glycerin.

Don't Skip Toner

Consider introducing a toner into your routine to help regulate your skin's oil production. "A toner with ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids help dry oily skin, setting the skin for the layers you put over it," says Mariwalla. We like Dermadoctor's Ain't Misbehavin Healthy Toner with Glycolic and Lactic Acid.

Lighten Up on Night Cream

What where you put your heavier moisturizers, like night creams. "You never have to moisturize your nose — there are enough oil glands there as is," says Day. And, whatever the formula, be sure the product contains pore-minimizing caffeine, anti-inflammatory niacinamide, oil-zapping salicylic acid, or exfoliating alpha hydroxy acids, like in Origins High-Potency Night-a-Mins Oil- Free Resurfacing Cream with Fruit-Derived AHAs.

Give Yourself a Facial

"Those who don't have big blemishes can give themselves a basic facial," says Christine Chin, aesthetician and owner of the Christine Chin Spa in New York City. After exfoliating, apply a mask with clay or salicylic acid, both of which temporarily decrease oil production in the skin. One of our favorites: the L'Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Mask, which, in addition to kaolin and Moroccan lava clays, helps draw out ickiness with charcoal.

Try Theatre Skin-Prepping Tonics

For extra-oily skin, makeup artist Alana Maria Schmidt uses Mehron Skin Prep Pro before applying makeup. "Pat the self-proclaimed 'no sweat' liquid onto your skin — especially in areas where you tend to get shiny, like your T-zone — with a cotton ball and let dry before applying makeup," says Schmidt. "This product is made for stage and theatrical makeup, so it does an amazing job of keeping your face looking matte all day and night."

Mist Throughout the Day

Schmidt also recommends prepping your skin with a priming water. "MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ will give skin a hydra-boost when used in addition to your usual primer," she says. "Mist on your face throughout the day and blot with a tissue for a quick matte fix."

Set Your Foundation

Marc Jacobs Beauty Finish-Line Perfecting Coconut Setting Powder looks pale in the jar, but there's nothing to be afraid of: It's colorless on the skin — and we mean all skin tones — and not ashy in the least. It completely vanishes on contact, whisking away any surface oil along with it. But resist the urge to cover your entire face: "You just want to slap it in the hot spots," makeup artist Nam Vo has told ishonest, noting that she targets are the middle of the forehead, tip of the nose, and the middle of the chin and avoids the cheekbones and the bridge of your nose. "Even if they’re shiny and a little bit oily, they still look good."

Blot Your Heart Out

If you do start getting oily, reach for more than a powder puff (it'll just lead to a makeup mess). Instead, try blotting papers, like the Tatcha Aburatorigami Blotting Papers. Mariwalla says they're perfect to tuck into a clutch for a big event.

Fight Oily Skin All Over Your Body

If oily skin were limited to the face, the word "bacne" wouldn't exist. The Body Shop Tea Tree Body Wash is a soap-free cleanser that fights body blemishes with tea tree oil, which is a natural astringent that, Chipps says, is touted for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. That means soft, smoother skin is just a shower away.

Cut Back on Spicy Food and Alcohol

Cocktails and spicy foods may hit the spot on a hot night, but they're not part of a regimen for how to get rid of oily skin. Instead, they dilate blood vessels and make you perspire, explains Leslie Baumann, professor of dermatology and director of the University of Miami Cosmetic Medicine and Research Institute. She suggests limiting yourself to one drink a night and eating spicy foods no more than once a week. Baumann also says to consider loading up instead on carrots, cantaloupe, and spinach, which are high in vitamin A and can actually slow oil production.

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