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Best ingredients for oily skin

Elaina is a Phoenix-based freelance writer, blogger and co-founder of the Kidlee baby book app. Check out her blog, Fun Finds For Mom, for product reviews, recipes and fun activities for moms and kids.

Sayonara, shiny skin

Oily skin is caused by excess sebum production, which can lead to clogged pores, trapped bacteria and ultimately acne. Yuck! When evaluating skincare products, pay close attention to the active ingredients. Here are five super ingredients that will help kill bacteria, promote cell turnover and keep your skin looking radiant– not shiny.

Woman reading lotion label

1Salicylic Acid

Salicylic Acid is a type of Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) that treats oily skin by opening up clogged pores and neutralizing bacteria. This ingredient comes from bark of a willow tree, and is known for helping to break down blackheads and whiteheads by stripping off the outer layer of skin.

Products containing Salicylic Acid:

  • Doctor's Dermatologic Formula Salicylic Wash
  • Clinique Acne Solutions Cleansing Foam
Dermatologist Doris Day, MD, advises applying products with salicylic acid to the oily T-zone only, skipping facial dry zones.

2Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil is a natural antiseptic, made from the leaves of a tree native to Australia. This essential oil is helpful in the treatment of oily skin because it dissolves skin oils and kills bacteria that can cause acne.

Products containing Tea Tree Oil:

  • The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Exfoliating Pads
  • urlique Purifying Foaming Cleanser
"Don't use tea tree oil if you have acne rosacea," says Mayo Clinic dermatologist Lawrence E. Gibson, MD, "because it can worsen symptoms."

3Glycolic Acid

Glycolic Acid is an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) that is used in many products for oily skin– in particular, peels that help improve the skin's texture and overall appearance. Glycolic Acid is derived from sugar cane.

Products containing Glycolic Acid:

  • Perricone MD Cleansing Treatment Bar
  • Doctor's Dermatologic Formula Glycolic Exfoliating Wash 5%

Best products for oily skin >>

4Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl Peroxide is a popular ingredient used in both over the counter and prescription skincare and acne treatment products. Benzoyl Peroxide works by destroying bacteria and promoting skin cell turnover, helping to treat existing acne and prevent breakouts in the future.

Products including Benzoyl Peroxide:

  • Clinique Acne Solutions Emergency Gel Lotion
  • Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Trifix Acne Clearing Lotion

Best products to treat acne >>

5Hyaluronic Acid

When treating oily skin, it's important to make sure you're not over-drying it, which can cause your glands to react by producing even more sebum. A natural way to boost your skin's moisture is with hyaluronic acid. This acid, which occurs naturally in our bodies, is actually the main ingredient in Restylane, a gel injected into the skin to reduce facial wrinkles and lines.

"By the time we reach 50 years of age, our bodies are producing about 50 percent less hyaluronic acid than they did in youth," says Nicholas Perricone, MD, a clinical dermatologist and author of The Perricone Promise: Look Younger, Live Longer in Three Easy Steps. "This decline is a major contributing factor to... wrinkled, sagging skin."

Products containing Hyaluronic Acid:

  • Lancome High Resolution Refill -3X SPF 15
  • Philosophy When Hope Is Not Enough Replenishing Hyaluronic Acid/Peptide Capsules

DIY face mask recipes for oily skin >>

More help for oily skin

Get healthy looking skin for every skin type
Don't let oily skin get you down
How to deal with adult acne

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