Medically reviewed by Minimalist Health Specialist -  Written by Shreya Singh (Pharmacist)  on 19th Sep 2020

How To Choose The Best Face Wash For Oily Skin With Oil-control & Oil-Balancing Ingredients 

How To Choose Best Face Wash

Dealing with oily skin requires high-maintenance, demanding constant care and treatments. The perpetually shiny or greasy appearance precedes most of the skin woes, making it nothing less than a nightmare! The ever-constant shine can make your skin glow, but unfortunately, it can also cause random breakouts, enlarged pores, stubborn blackheads and sensitivity, which are some well-known challenges that oily skinned people regularly contend with.

If you find yourself always reaching out for blotting papers and powdering up your face to keep that extra oil on your skin under control, then it is high-time you struck a balance between having excess oil content and maintaining the moisture levels of your skin.

And here's the good news: There is a surplus of oil-controlling and oil-balancing ingredients out there, and you need to start incorporating these ingredients in your daily skincare arsenal from the very beginning, which is cleansing.  

What causes oily skin?

If you have oily skin, it typically implies that your skin's sebaceous glands are hyperactive, overly producing higher amounts of oil than required.

An adequate sebum quantity is helpful for the skin in providing moisturization and lubrication in the hair follicles. Although too much oil can lead to a greasy and not-so-appealing appearance, which when left unchecked, can result in enlarged and clogged pores and make your skin prone to pimples, blackheads, and other types of acne.

There is no one definite cause of oily skin. Some of the multiple factors that can play a role in the overproduction of sebum are hormonal imbalances, genetics, climatic changes, diet, stress, or wrong skincare products and ingredients.

And not to mention the times when your skin is dehydrated and stripped off its natural oil content, and to compensate for this loss, it over-activates your sebaceous glands to produce an extra layer of oil that shows up on the surface of your skin. 

An oily skin type often exhibits the following characteristics: 

  • Visible shine due to excess sebum production
  • Oiliness on the surface, while dryness persists deep within the skin 
  • Irregular texture with noticeably enlarged pores
  • Skin is prone to having breakouts, pimples, and blackheads if exposed to the wrong type of products
  • Makeup may slide off your skin quickly

Although you cannot get rid of your oily skin type, there are ways through which you can undoubtedly manage your skin from getting excessively oily.

How To Choose Face Wash

Cleanse up

Using face washes with effective formulas can instantly wipe out that extra layer of oil and can limit the oil that could ooze out from the skin later, leaving your skin feeling refreshed, non-greasy and mattified all day long.

If you're struggling with having too much oil on the face that looks dull and greasy, even after several rounds of cleansing, you need to replace your facewash with another one that is formulated specifically for oily skin.

This article will guide you in choosing the right face wash to eliminate the unwanted sebum and balance your complexion to prevent your skin from turning into an oily tarmac! 

Why is cleansing essential for oily skin?

Cleansing with a suitable facewash lays the primary foundation in any skincare regimen. It is the first step to get rid of unwanted sebum and dead skin debris that could've been built up in your pores overnight.

It also helps minimize the chances of breakouts by clearing up your pores, allowing the sebum to reach the surface of the skin unimpeded and enhancing the absorption of other products into your skin.

Cleansers are primarily made up of cleansing particles called surfactants (surface-active substances), which consist of a hydrophilic (water-loving) head and hydrophobic (oil-loving) tail. These are the agents that are mainly responsible for the cleansing action by attaching to the oil molecules through their hydrophobic tail and rinsing them off along with water. 

How to choose the right facewash for your oily skin?

While choosing the right facewash, you need to emphasize controlling the oil levels rather than getting your skin completely rid of the oil content. As this will only strip off your skin of the natural oils, which in turn trigger your sebaceous glands to produce excess oil. 

The basic requirements that you need to focus on in your face wash are: 

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) free: Although the feeling of squeaky-clean skin might be tempting but foaming cleansers wear out the skin's acid mantle, making it overly dry, which is a big no-no in case of oily skin. 
  • Non-comedogenic and oil-free: As these cleansers will not clog up your pores and will keep acne and pimples at bay. 
  • Lightweight and Gentle: Always choose a mild cleanser that works gently and doesn't dry out your skin.
  • Fragrance-free: Fragrances are added to make your facewash smell appealing, but they can be harmful to your skin when used in the long run.

Good to know.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), always wash your face twice a day in the morning and evening as well as post-workout sesh in which you sweat profusely.

What ingredients to look out for in facewash for oily skin? 

When you have oily skin, it's highly crucial to pay attention to the ingredients list while choosing the right product for yourself. Some of the ingredients that can help manage excess oiliness are: 

1). Salicylic Acid

Follow these step by step process One of the most common ingredients used in treating excess sebum production is salicylic acid. It is said to be the holy grail ingredient for people having oily skin.
It is a type of beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that sinks in deeper by truly penetrating into your pore lining and unplugging it. It has a lipophilic (oil-loving) part that acts as a magnet by attaching to the oil molecules embedded in your pores and sucks it out and other dead skin and debris.

It also acts as a potent exfoliator, which helps ward off blackheads and whiteheads deeply rooted within your skin. It is known to keep your oil production in check and eradicate acne from the root cause.
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2). Benzoyl Peroxide

It is the one ingredient that dermatologists swear by for its effectiveness in managing skin oiliness and breakouts. It has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which limit the growth of acne-causing bacteria on the skin. It remarkably clears up all the oil on your skin and prevents the development of acne. It also acts as an exfoliating agent.

However, a higher concentration of benzoyl peroxide can be too drying and irritating to the skin. Therefore, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends using a product that contains not more than 2.5% of benzoyl peroxide and gradually increasing your way up as tolerated. 

3). Niacinamide

Niacinamide is a type of vitamin B3 which promises to be the one-stop solution to all your oily skin woes. Regular use of niacinamide can dramatically regulate and balance the sebum production and make your skin less oily.

It is highly effective in repairing the skin's compromised lipid barrier and thus controlling the skin's natural oil flow. It is also conducive to minimizing acne and breakouts altogether and thus ensuring healthy and blemish-free skin. 

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc

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A nourishing, daily serum packed with pure Vitamin B3 and antibacterial mineral zinc that boosts dermal immunity, keeping your skin resilient and healthy.
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4). Clay

Facewashes containing Bentonite and Kaolin clay can act as a powerful oil-controlling ally. It helps in banishing and soaking up excess oil and dirt from deep down the pores. It provides a thorough cleansing to get rid of the oil slick and acne-causing gunk from the skin. 

5). Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid is a type of alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that is used in various cleansers, toners, and moisturizers. It is derived from sugar cane and is most extensively researched among all other AHAs. Due to its smaller molecular size, it seeps deeper into the skin and draws out all the unwanted sebum, and this further prevents breakouts.

It is a potent exfoliator that helps unclog pores and sheds the superficial dead skin layer.

Key Takeaways

The diligent practice of the right skincare arsenal can help manage your oily skin up to a great extent.

The market is flooded with a plethora of facewashes and cleansers, so choose your products wisely.

Since oily skin is more prone to acne, always pick facewash that contains the right ingredients to combat oiliness and keep your skin shine-free throughout the day.