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Dr. Eva Simmons O’Brien received her MD from Yale University and is a board-certified dermatologist. With over 30 years of experience, she has worked for hospitals, established her own private practice, and consulted for organizations such as the FDA. Today, Dr. Eva runs her own practice in addition to serving as our Chief Science Officer.

5 Skincare Tips for Men with Oily Skin

5 Skincare Tips for Men with Oily Skin

5 Skincare Tips for Men with Oily Skin



A good suit and tie may have been the standard way to make an impression, but times have changed. Hour-long boardroom meetings have transitioned to 10-minute “anywhere” remote video calls – welcome to the new normal. Great news for you: Putting your best face forward with the right dermatologist-recommended skincare routine is now more important than wearing pants. 

Putting your best face forward has been stated to the point of cliche, so why not actually have your best possible face? Take the worry out of gleaming like a shiny penny when you get that  “Let’s hop on a quick Zoom call” group message. 

With these five simple steps and proper skin care products, you can start combating oily skin for men; while inner confidence comes from within, it always helps to feel great when you look in the mirror, too. 

Don’t Over Cleanse.

Oily skin is a sign that the body is doing what it’s supposed to be doing; expelling toxins. It’s natural, so don’t get neurotic about wiping oil off your face  every chance you get.

It’s also a sign that you will wrinkle slower than your friends with a less oily skin type, so that’s a plus! It is important to remove the daily grime with an oil-free facial cleanser and detox properly as sebum build-up + dirt create havoc for the skin (i.e. breakouts, clogged pores, blemishes, and other impurities.) But over-washing strips your skin completely of its natural oils, leaving you naked and dry; which is never a good combination.

The best strategy for face washing for men varies. There isn’t a “one size fits all” for how many times to wash your face; but you can trust your body to tell you when it’s too much. Make sure you are meticulous and cover all areas to cover breakouts around your nose, prevent acne around your mouth, and even the forehead.

After a workout, or a long day walking in the city it’s generally a good idea to wash your face to clean off the grime and sweat residue, but what about those other occasions when you’re feeling unsure if you should just pay attention to your skin?

If you think that your skin is feeling especially dry, it may be best to skip your exfoliant that day, and don’t slack on putting on your moisturizer

If you over-exfoliate, or even over-cleanse and forget to moisturize and hydrate this could create redness and possible irritation, resulting in breakouts all over the place, and often times on the nose which can get oily.

Use Skin Care Products with Natural Ingredients.

If you’re just getting into skincare, prioritize finding an oil-based cleanser composed of things from nature. 

Ingredients like eucalyptus, tea tree oil, and salicylic acid have known bacteria-fighting properties that are simultaneously gentle on the skin. As well as containing purifying properties for the skin, using naturally occurring ingredients will be least likely to irritate your face. According to the linked sources above, these ingredients have all been found to lower the production of excess oil and limit breakouts for acne-prone skin.                      

Avoid Refined Sugars and Dairy. 

If you were Batman, sugar would be equivalent to “The Joker.” We all know sugar is the sworn enemy of the human body, and yet somehow it just keeps creeping upon us. 

There are so many names for sugar that it can be kind of confusing when reading packaging, here are just a few to watch out for and avoid when purchasing items from the grocery shelves: 

  • Glucose
  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Galactose
  • Glucose
  • Maltose 
  • Sucrose
  • Lactose (The form of sugar found in dairy.) 

Sugar can create extreme irritation internally in multiple ways, leading to a bodily response of producing more oil to expel the annoyances and toxins. 

Another insidious thing to avoid:  LACTOSE. Lactose is found in most dairy products. According to a study done by the EADV (European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology) those who consume dairy and sugar daily had a higher rate of acne due to an increase in oil production. You can still eat cake at your friend’s birthday, just eat responsibly...and yes, cheese and milk are loved by many; but with such tasty non-dairy milk and cheese alternatives, it’s easy to switch it up.

Stay Hydrated.

Oily skin can be the body’s response to dehydration and harmful ph levels. If you’re dehydrated but also have oily skin, that is often referred to as “combination skin.” Drinking enough water sounds simple but it plays such a large role in the look and feel of your skin, that it can’t be understated. 

Hydration on the outside is just as important; a water or gel based moisturizer will absorb best into oily skin. Try a moisturizer that also works to balance your skin’s ph (Potential of Hydrogen)

As awareness and interest in overall health rises, ph continues to be a topic of discussion, but what is it? Ph measures the acidity or alkalinity of something, on a scale of 1-10. The optimal range for your skin’s ph is slightly on the acidic to neutral side, around 4-7.

Start with a Simple Routine.

Skincare can seem a bit overwhelming if you are just diving in, and a great easy place to start is a simple routine. Get a feeling for how your skin is gradually changing, and slowly add to it as necessary.  

Skincare is a lifelong process, and it only makes sense to learn about your skin on an intimate level and know what works best for you, and what doesn’t. 

Start with the holy grail: face cleanser, exfoliating face scrub, and non-comedogenic moisturizer. If you feel like you have graduated from one step, start adding new things to your routine slowly, such as a face mask, hydrating toner, or SPF sunscreen

Final Thoughts

The idea that skincare for men comes with some sort of stigma is nonsense– look good, feel good. It’s simple. 

Whether your skin is dry or oily, you can balance your appearance with minor tweaks and healthy additions to your daily care routine. 

The above five tips are an excellent way to get started on building that critical skin health awareness that will not only help manage any oily skin days, but help promote an overall healthier appearance.


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