Dermatologist Tips Oliy skin and make up

Dermatologist Tips: Oily Skin and Make-Up

In this new feature, which will be a monthly appointment on our blog, we will present advice and tips from Dr Francesco Antonaccio, a dermatologist specialising in aesthetics, who has been treating facial skin blemishes and imperfections for more than twenty years. Today we are going to take a closer look at the issues and problems related to oily skin.

How to recognise oily skin

Oily skin is a very common skin type characterised by increased sebum secretion, due to a higher sensitivity of male receptors located on the hair follicle.

This sensitivity varies from individual to individual so there are various degrees of oily skin.In all cases, this type of skin tends to form comedones (blackheads or whiteheads) and pimples.

Disadvantages of oily skin


Out of all the disadvantages of oily skin, certainly the most annoying and evident is the formation of comedones.

The formation of comedones, or comedogenesis, is caused by excessive secretion of sebum and ductal hyperkeratosis, i.e. the thickening of the stratum corneum in the immediate contour of the hair follicle outlets.

This excess of sebum, combined with the excessive presence of “dead” skin cells, leads to the occlusion of the pores and the subsequent formation of blackheads, whiteheads and pimples.

“For this reason we must never forget that oily skin is acne-prone skin”.

Benefits of oily skin.

Oily skin definitely has its downsides, but it also has one big advantage: generally speaking it does not need to be hydrated.

Thanks to the sebum present on the surface of the skin, in greater quantity than dry or combination skin, the dehydration that occurs through the epidermis is reduced , thus maintaining a high degree of skin hydration.

For this reason a careful assessment of the degree of hydration of oily skin is always recommended before applying moisturising cosmetic products.

The application of moisturising creams on oily skin could lead to a swelling of the stratum corneum cells, commonly called the dermis, with a high risk of worsening the situation.

In this way, it may even encourage pore occlusion, facilitating the appearance (even weeks later) of comedones and pimples.

The formation of comedones may also be caused or aggravated by cosmetics.

There are many comedogenic ingredients, but the individual substance is not as important as the cosmetic formulation as a whole.

For all these reasons it is important to choose cosmetics made specifically for oily skin , also and, above all, with regard to Make-Up.

In terms of make-up , oily skin also presents some physical problems. With the characteristic shiny look and the surface more or less oily to the touch, this can pose a certain difficulty in putting on make-up and the hold of the make-up itself, so it is really important to choose the right products.

The Cosmetics and Make-Up to be used on oily and acneic skin

The top tip is to avoid, if possible, moisturising creams and cream foundations not designed for oily skin.

After a gentle and non-aggressive cleansing, oily skin remains perfectly hydrated and ready for the application of make-up.

With regard to Make-up, especially those products for creating the base, it is preferable to use products that are mostly made of powders such as powders and compact foundations.

  • It is best to use these products for the following 4 reasons:
  • Skin hydration is not increased excessively;
  • They counter the shiny effect, since they have a matte effect;
  • They increase the hold of the make-up, “absorbing” the sebum on the surface;
  • They avoid the appearance of blackheabds and whiteheads, and pimples under the skin.

The False Myth of “Oil Free” products

There are no truly “oil free” products, for example in compact foundations there are natural oils and fatty substances necessary in the cosmetic formulation, in order to “bind” the powders (such as mica and silica) present in large quantities.
Whereas in face powders, oils and fatty substances are present in very low concentrations. This feature makes face powders ideal in case of very oily and acneic skin due to their strong absorbing power.

It is also possible to combine powders with compact foundation, in order to achieve a longer-lasting face make-up.

In the case of oily or slightly greasy skin, a specific fluid foundation can also be used, with a high powder content such as silica, so that the “absorbing” and matte effect exceeds that of hydration.

Tips for those with combination skin

Combination skin is skin that is oily in some areas but appears dry and rough in others. This is not due to lack of sebaceous secretion, but due to hyperkeratosis, i.e. thickening of the stratum corneum due to the build-up of dead cells.

In such cases, it is a common mistake to think you have dry skin and use lots of moisturisers.

It is much better to use a delicate facial scrub from time to time to reduce and even out the stratum corneum.

The application of a primer and compact foundation will also be more uniform, and the aesthetic benefitsof make-up will be enhanched further.

Finally, it is always worth remembering, especially if you have skin with pimples or other issues, that after applying make-up you should clean and sanitise the tools and accessories used.

You can simply wash the brush with a diluted shampoo or liquid soap and finish by steaming it with a hydroalcoholic solution.

Autohr: Dott. Francesco Antonaccio