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Cleaning oily skin requires particular care

Oily skin is frequent, mainly on the face and scalp. It occurs when the skin’s sebaceous glands work overtime and produce too much sebum. This type of skin requires special precautions to be taken when cleansing and applying make-up. A dermatologist’s advice on the subject.

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What do you observe in your patients who complain about oily skin?

The patients may have shiny skin on the central areas of the face, particularly the forehead and nose.

The skin’s pores are dilated and the skin is thicker. In the most severe cases, an oily coating is perceptible when touching the skin. Seborrhea on the scalp makes their hair greasy and sticky. They often tell me they have problems with their make-up.

What cleansing advice do you give them?

Cleansing oily skin requires particular care.

I explain to my patients that skin always reacts in the opposite way to the way we want it to: the more vigorously they attempt to remove the sebum, the more skin will produce to replace it. It is therefore important to use products formulated for this skin type to avoid using anything too detersive. I often prescribe micellar water or cleansing milks that are rinsed off with water. The skin should be cleansed gently, in the evening.

What do you recommend to hydrate this seborrheic skin?

The paradox is that the role of sebum is to protect the skin from drying out.

However, oily skin often becomes flaky on the surface, sometimes causing seborrheic dermatitis in the centre of the face. Patients must use products specially formulated for this type of skin. I prescribe water-based cosmetics, so as not to add oil to oil. I choose moisturising creams that mattify the skin to make it less shiny.

This article is intended as general information only. You should seek advice from a professional before starting any new regime or course of conduct.

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