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Acne and Oily Skin

5 Tips to Help You Treat Acne and Oily Skin

By

Updated June 02, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

With oily skin and acne, you're probably not always in love with your skin. But oily skin isn't all bad. One bonus: Your skin will be less prone to wrinkling.

Still, oily skin and acne can be frustrating. With the right care, you can treat oily skin and acne, and learn to embrace your skin type.

1. Cleanse Your Face at Least Twice a Day

5 treatments for oily skin
Gary John Norman Collection/Photodisc/Getty Images

The best way to keep oil from building up is to cleanse your face regularly. Always wash your face twice a day, both morning and night. No exceptions! You should also cleanse your face immediately after you sweat (like after gym class or working out).

Beware of over-cleansing, though. Too much cleansing can irritate your skin.

Another hint: Choose a foaming cleanser over a cream-based one. Foaming cleansers generally do a much better job cleansing away oil and leave your skin feeling fresh and clean.

2. Use an Astringent

An astringent is another good way to control oil. Astringents are toners that are made especially for oily skin types.

Using a cotton ball or pad, apply your astringent over the entire face and neck area after cleansing. You may also use it between cleansings to clean away excess oil.

Some astringents contain ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids or salicylic acid that can help clear breakouts, too. But you don't need a fancy brand. Even simple witch hazel works to remove excess oil, and it's super cheap (about a dollar for 16 ounces).

3. Think Oil-Free and Water-Based

Obviously, you don't want to put more oil onto your skin. All products you apply to your face should be oil-free, including moisturizers, sunscreen, and makeup.

You might also prefer water-based acne treatments rather than creams or ointments. Acne treatment gels and solutions feel lighter on the skin.

4. Don't Scrub

Oily-skinned folks especially seem conditioned to scrubbing away at the skin, and it can be a hard habit to break. After all, won't scrubbing at the skin help deep-clean the pores, clear acne and reduce oiliness?

Surprisingly, no. Rubbing the skin with abrasive scrubs, pads, or washcloths won't make your skin less oily and won't improve acne. It will irritate the skin, though.

Oily or not, be kind to your skin and treat it gently.

5. Know Your Pores

Large pores and oily skin seem to go hand in hand. Often, enlarged pores are just as frustrating and upsetting as acne itself.

Instead of spending big bucks on salon products promising to shrink large pores, focus on using your acne treatments. Many of these medications, like topical retinoids for example, make large pores appear smaller while clearing acne. So you're improving the look of your pores while treating acne.

Be patient, though. Just like all good things, improvement takes time. And don't hesitate to call your dermatologist if you need help.

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  5. Treatment Tips for Oily Skin and Acne

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