Acne/Excessive face oil treatment

7:09 pm - 05/03/2007
As long as I can remember I've had the oiliest face ever.  I also have acne, but it's not terribly worrisome.  My main concern is the fact that I look like I haven't washed my face in days, when in reality I wash it every day and use several oil-absorbing sheets throughout the day.

I've tried all kinds of treatments.  I've tried literally every over-the-counter treatment I can think of, I tried Proactiv (made the acne part worse), oil cleansing treatment (ditto), I've gotten prescriptions for acne antibiotics, I use topical BenzaClin, I use Bare Minerals foundation, and I was on birth control for a year and a half.  I've used Nizoral anti-dandruff shampoo to wash my face for the last several years, as per dermatologist recommendation.  Apparently it helps a particular skin rash that I'm prone to (called seborrheic dermatitis - occurs in newborns, geriatric patients, and h0rsegurrrl ).  Ironically enough,  the rest of my body isn't excessively oily in the least, and I don't have an over-sweating problem or anything.  My scalp is actually a tad on the dry side.  My mom insists that I'll appreciate it so much when I'm older because I won't have wrinkles or flaky skin, but for the time being, it's maddening.

I wanted to know everyone's recommendations for excessive oil production treatments.  I'm open to over-the-counter treatments (cruelty-free, if at all possible) and/or prescription treatments.  Are there any prescriptions that specifically treat oil overproduction?  I know Accutane is notorious for drying out skin; does anyone have any experience with it, and is it worth it?

Thanks for any help; it's kind of taking a toll on my self-esteem.  I've always had this problem, but the other day when I was hanging out with people, and I glanced in the mirror and looked so greasy like I hadn't bathed in weeks, it was pretty embarrassing.
unsubtle 4th-May-2007 12:35 am (UTC)
Over drying your skin can make it all backfire: your skin compensates by hyper-producing oil. This is a logical reaction for your body - if you ended up in the middle of the desert where your skin was constantly dried out, you would be thankful that your body began giving you more oil. Obviously that's not what you're going for in this situation. What kind of moisturizer do you use, and how often?
h0rsegurrrl 4th-May-2007 12:45 am (UTC)
I use a Bath & Body Works sunscreen called Pretty In Zinc. Using anything else makes my acne worse, and it certainly doesn't help the excessive oil situation. I use it once a day.
unsubtle 4th-May-2007 01:34 am (UTC)
Sunscreen really doesn't do the same thing as a moisturizer. Super-sensitive skin will unfortunately make "fixing" the problem a whole lot more difficult.

In any case, there's conflicting information about how to deal with oily skin. Some people say to take care not to over-dry your skin, while others say you should cut out moisturizers all together. If you want to go the latter route, I've heard/read that smoothing a thin layer of Milk of Magnesia over your oily spots before putting on your makeup can really help soak up the excess. I think someone also posted on here about using aloe, but you'll have to check back on that.

For me, I found that when I started moisturizing daily with a gentle moisturizer, and stopped using the super-drying Clean & Clear wash I had always used, my skin stopped being super oily.
h0rsegurrrl 4th-May-2007 04:11 am (UTC)
Yeah, I think I read about the aloe thing too, and I intend to get some aloe gel. I'll also look into the milk of magnesia. Thanks.
pcdarkrose 4th-May-2007 01:27 am (UTC)
Have you seen a dermatologist? Because it seems like youve used products that should have worked.
h0rsegurrrl 4th-May-2007 04:10 am (UTC)
I have seen a dermatologist, but not to address the oil problem, just the acne problem which isn't bad anymore. I do intend to go back though, to see if there is anything that can be done for the oiliness.
kizzy 4th-May-2007 08:53 am (UTC)
I'm with you. I have EXACTLY the same problem (and I'm 27). So far I haven't found my solution yet...

if you find anything that works, let me know!
And vice versa, of course :-)
accident_scene 4th-May-2007 08:01 pm (UTC)
i've found that avoiding any products that can cause over-drying to be very helpful, since my skin doesn't want to produce excess oil...however most acne products strip the oil out, so the best thing i've found is Philosophy's Purity Made Simple Wash.

also, you probably wouldn't be able to get Accutane just for oily skin...it's more for acne. i'm not positive about this though.
wendye 5th-May-2007 12:01 am (UTC)
I used to have superduper oily skin. My derm tried everything before putting me on Accutane. My skin is still pretty oily, but now I can sweep on some powder and it's okay again. Accutane is pretty drastic though. Retin-A cleared up my sister's oily skin problem by making her skin peel in giant chunks, but it had no effect on me.

And your mom is right. I'm 35 and look a heck of a lot better than most people my age, because I'm wrinkle-free thanks for oily skin. At the time it sucked though.
xoirishxo 5th-May-2007 10:55 am (UTC)
I have been using Dr Hashukas (sp) normalizing day oil. Its meant for oily skin to keep the oil down and it really has been working.
didifoolyou 6th-May-2007 05:50 am (UTC)
I have the same problems, with dermatitis as well. I've found it extremely helpful to moisturize during the day with an oil absorbing gel after using a blotting sheet. Also, adding DHC's balancing lotion (it's really a toner) to my routine made a huge difference. Here's what I use:

Clique Dramatically Different gel
or if you're lucky enough to find (I think it's been discontinued) Phisoderm clarifying gel.
Clinique T-Zone Shine Control mattifyer</a>
DHC balancing lotion

Bath and Body Works also sells an oil-absorbing gel from C.O. Bigelow but I've never tried it.

I also put a thin layer of benzoyl peroxide cream on maybe twice a week, more if I'm really breaking out. That helps with my oil problems too.
h0rsegurrrl 6th-May-2007 04:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks, this was really helpful. My mom swears by DHC so I know it's good stuff. So, you moisturize during the day with an oil-absorbing gel after you use a blotting sheet; is this on top of your makeup? Do you have to reapply your makeup afterwards, or does it stay in place?
didifoolyou 6th-May-2007 04:59 pm (UTC)
I love DHC, the Soft Touch Cleansing Oil is amazing as well.

I use the moisturizer if I'm at home but otherwise just the blotting sheet and the shine control mattifyer all over my makeup. Sometimes I reapply powder.
paintedpolkadot 7th-May-2007 09:30 am (UTC)
01. stop washing our face with anything for a few days. see what happens.
02. go to a natural doctor. it's probably something in your diet. eat healthier!
03. do NOT go on accutane. that stuff should get pulled off the shelves.
h0rsegurrrl 7th-May-2007 05:32 pm (UTC)
As far as I know there isn't anything wrong with my diet. I'm not allowed to make any drastic changes to my diet because I'm a recovered anorexic (it will be construed as a relapse and I'd have to be treated again). What's wrong with Accutane? My dermatologist says that it has a way worse reputation than it should, because it's a really helpful drug for a lot of people.
was33m 18th-Sep-2012 11:27 am (UTC)
I have exactly the same problem. I'm 27 and a male. This started 11 years back and still no cure whatsoever, tried every single available product in the market. Antibiotics, Medicated soaps, face washes, tried a hell of herbal remedies as well no cure whatsoever. I think the problem is the oil glands which produce excessive oil and as far as my research suggests, the oil glands go weaker by the time. And yeah the diet has a great roll in pulling the oil glands to produce much oil. I have a very balanced diet now with less oily and less fatty n saturated food. The food which are processed on high temperature in oil causes the oil glands to produce more oil.

I have another research in my list. The fatty acids, since my body does not accept them at all whenever i eat food containing fats like fried rice, potato chips, pizzas, burgers and broiler chicken etc my acne gets worse and worse. So i avoid eating this stuff to control the acne and to some very decent extent, it controls the oil too.

So the bottom line is you have to control the inner part of the acne not the topical one, i believe that some topical products absorb oil and freshen up your skin to some extent but it is not permanent solution and you cannot take them all products with you every time. You have to be selective in your diet.

I eat fresh green boiled veggies with some black pepper poured, i avoid red pepper, i drink lots of water a day, i avoid black tea and drink green tea twice a day with lemon. I avoid red meat, grilled and bbqs and last but not the least, i wash my face thrice a day with a cleansing benzoyl peroxide soap.

P.S please avoid all cosmetics and medical products which will worsen the condition.
Tiffany Yim 17th-Apr-2014 09:25 am (UTC)
I have had extremely extremely oily skin. My entire face would be dripping in oil no less than 2 hours after I wash my face. I've tried every remedy out there, oral and topical. The 2 terms I took with Accurate provided me with beautiful, oil and acne free skin and even in my hair, but it had temporary effects on me to the point that my dermatologist stopped wanting to see me and fed me Accutane to "get rid" of me. Prior to that, I was on antibiotics for 12 months and tried other herbal medicine, but no change. I tried different topical prescriptions all across the board, but it didn't help me at all despite disciplined and consistent use. Needless to say, acne and oily skin has taken control of my life.

How I try to control my oil is through trial and error. I found Garnier long lasting shine control to be helpful as a primer. For an extremely oily skin person like me, it only helped to reduce my oil production, not "stop" it. I also use blotting sheets regularly. Powder helps only to the extent of delaying the appearance of oil skin.
The one product that I found best in reducing visible oil and shine on my face is a makeup product called hourglass foundation. It works wonders in controlling my oil slick skin for hours on end, and while it does not "treat" oily skin, it definitely remedies the appearance of oily skin. It also has other benefits which have been claimed to be effective in improving the appearance and texture of skin. It is pricey but it definitely gives you the security you need to go out without having to go to the bathroom every hour or so to blot and powder.
Milk of magnesia is also helpful. However it may be stiffening to the skin and leave a white cast.

Skin's health is an indicator of your diet. Skin is as much of an organ as your stomach or heart is. So watch what you eat - try to eat natural foods rather than greasy processed foods.
Another tip is that, over-drying your skin does not help at all. Keep your skin moisturized with gel-based moisturizers that are preferably oil free as to prevent additional buildup of oil on your skin. Avoid using over-drying or over creamy face wash. Just find the one that works for you through trial and error.

Clay and/or charcoal masks done 3 times a week can help with pores and oil control.
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