Oily Skin Myths

Are you wondering if oily skin is what’s causing your acne? You’re not too far off since excess oil created by your sebaceous glands is one of the contributing factors that can lead to acne. In fact, acne forms when the oil on your skin, known as sebum, mixes with dead skin cells, thereby clogging your pores and resulting in blackheads and whiteheads.

But there are many myths about oily skin and what causes oily skin circulating, so it’s helpful to understand the science behind it to help you keep it under control.

Because oily skin tends to experience more frequent acne, you can find plenty of unhelpful advice online based on skincare myths.

Let’s take a closer look at a few of the more popular myths to help spread an understanding of proper skincare for oily skin.

Myth: You should wash oily skin more than twice per day.

An abundance of acne and oily skin might have you washing your face more than twice per day, trying to scrub every drop of oil away. Unfortunately, doing this can have the opposite of the desired effect. Your skin produces oil as a natural reaction to hydrate your skin. If you aggressively strip away that hydrating oil, your skin will get dry, and it will actually produce even more oil to maintain its protective moisture barrier.

Rather than over-washing to control oily skin, you should make the most of your two daily washes. We recommend trying the ProactivMD® 3-Piece System which comes with an Ultra-Gentle Cleanser to help wash away dirt, oil and debris while keeping your skin feeling refreshed and hydrated. Figuring out how to control oily skin can seem complicated, but the best path is to remove only the right amount of oil, and do it gently. The only exception for a third wash in a day is right after sweating in hot weather or an intense workout.

Myth: Oily skin doesn’t need moisturizer.

Not true – that’s why it’s a myth! Not moisturizing can not only dry out your skin, especially after using acne treatments, but also lead to increased oil production, just like over-washing can. (Hint: Try the ProactivMD® 3-Piece System’s Ultra-Hydrating Moisturizer to balance the moisture levels in your skin and absorb excess oil on the skin.

Myth: An oily face is "your" fault.

Want something to blame your parents for? If your mom or dad had oily skin, those genetics are actually passed onto you making it more likely that you will have oily skin. Plus, the t-zone of your face (forehead, nose and chin) is one of the oiliest areas on your body, so you’re not the only one with oily skin. Don’t fall for any skincare myths that say it’s the result of failing to control your oily skin. And don’t assume that someone else with oily skin has bad hygiene habits either.

Is an oily face good or bad? It’s neither. It’s just your body’s natural reaction to having more sebaceous glands in that area.

Myth: Eating certain foods causes oily skin.

Another classic skincare myth is that high-fat diets directly lead to oily skin. In reality, your skin’s oil comes from sebaceous glands, and is made specifically for your skin. Sugary and dairy-filled diets may increase your body’s inflammatory response, increasing the prevalence of breakouts, but oily skin itself is not caused directly by the oils you eat. Remember to stick to your daily skincare regime, oily foods or not.

Myth: Wearing sunscreen makes oily skin worse.

Sunscreen is one of the most basic building blocks of a skincare routine. Failing to wear it could lead to more than just the textbook sunburns — it could also dry out your skin, leading to more acne. So make sure wear sunscreen any time you’re outside during the day and choose one that’s oil-free.

The bottom line

You can find all sorts of information about skincare online, but skincare myths can be as common as skincare facts. So, always check the credibility of the source your information is coming from. At proactiv, we’re here to help simplify all of the info surrounding your skin and skincare routine. Make building the best skincare routine for your unique skin easy with the acne treatment system that’s right for you — or by taking this simple skincare quiz.