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Oily Skin? Add More Oil!

Jun 14, 2018 12:00AM

By Caley Breese

Summer is here! And while it’s exciting to have warmer weather again, it also means we have to deal with the dreaded humidity that comes along with it (let’s face it, we live in Maryland—humidity is inevitable). Frizzy hair, clothes sticking to us, and, of course, oily skin—which can be frustrating when your skin is already oil-prone.

So what’s the trick? Add more oil to your daily skincare schedule. We know—it sounds pretty farfetched. However, adding an oil to your daily routine will help your already oily skin. How? We reached out to local experts to get more information on this counterintuitive idea.

Benefits of Oil

Like many aspects of self-care, a good skincare regimen is essential. While it may seem surface-level, taking care of our skin goes much deeper than just the products we apply, such as eating healthy and drinking the appropriate amount of water every day. If you have oily skin, adding an oil into your product rotation sounds like a turnoff; however, it may be more beneficial than you think.

“This may sound contradicting but adding oil to oily skin benefits oil-prone skin because like attracts like,” Amy Fleming, a certified physician assistant with ProMD Health explains. “Oil attracts oil, and will dissolve sebum, grease, and makeup.”

Kim Hart, a licensed medical esthetician with Skin Wellness MD, agrees by adding that since oil attracts oil, it will dissolve the sebum, but the skin’s natural moisture will remain, leaving the skin looking and feeling less greasy. Adding oil will help retexture and resurface the skin, leaving it nourished, healthy, and vibrant. Fleming claims oils will keep skin supple and pliable. 

“Oils are packed with natural healing, antibacterial, hydrating, and anti-inflammatory properties to treat a broad range of skin concerns/types,” says Tori Harris, a licensed esthetician with MD Dermatology and Laser Center. “Oils can also be layered overtop of sunscreen to add a protective barrier and prevent moisture loss.”

What to Avoid

When it comes to including a new product in your skincare routine, be aware and do your research because a product that is appropriate for someone else may not be suited for you. It is also important to not overuse oil because it can potentially clog your pores and lead to more sebum buildup, which can cause breakouts.

“A natural overproduction of oil can lead to breakouts, and is often found in acne-prone skin,” Harris describes. “When using oils in a skincare regimen, you want to be mindful of how much you’re using and how often you’re applying them.”

To avoid an excess amount of sebum buildup, it may be helpful to include exfoliation as well. 

“Excess oil does not allow the dead skin cells to exfoliate, which is essential to keeping the pores open and free of oxidized sebum,” says Kathleen Staffini, a licensed esthetician with Chesapeake Plastic Surgery, says. You should exfoliate anywhere between one to three times per week, depending on your skin type.

When you’re trying to find an oil that is fit for you, keep in mind to steer clear of mineral oil, petroleum, and coconut oil on the face—it can clog pores. Be wary about essential oils too, as they can cause skin irritation. 

“If the oil you’re using doesn’t rub in or absorb into the skin after a few minutes, you may be overusing or not using the correct oil for your skin type,” Harris warns.


Finding the right oil for your skin can be difficult, but some have more advantages than others. When you’re on the hunt for a good oil, make sure it’s lightweight and non-comedogenic so it won’t clog your pores. According to Hart, if you have oily skin, find an oil that is plant-based because they have antioxidants and amino acids, which will hydrate the skin without adding excess oil.

“The key is choosing a light oil that will absorb quickly and not sit on the surface of the skin,” Hart explains. Some oils that work best for oily-prone skin are: rose oil, tea tree oil, argan oil, grape seed oil, jojoba oil, hemp seed oil, and magnesium oil. Rose and magnesium oil can help decrease inflammation from aggravated skin. Rose oil can also help calm redness associated with Rosacea, according to Fleming. If your skin is on the drier side, Fleming recommends trying grape seed oil, which can even, tone, and prevent signs of aging. If you have acneic skin, tea tree oil may be right for you. When you do find that perfect oil, apply one or two drops and massage into your skin one to two times daily. 

Before jumping into something that could dramatically change your skin, Harris recommends consulting your dermatologist or healthcare professional to make sure you’re using the best products for your skin type and history. Adding the right oil into your daily skincare routine will help keep your skin glowing and healthy all summer long.