Should I be Using Serums on Oily Skin?

If you have oily skin and are struggling with the DOs and DONTs of your skincare routine, keep reading! It is a common misconception that serums are not great for oily skin, since they may clash with the oils already present on your skin’s surface. Fact check: serums contain water-based actives that are actually more beneficial than moisturizers which contain water, oil, and other ingredients.

Serums carry different qualities from moisturizers that make them perfect for oily skin. To start, serums are lightweight and easily absorbed. They can penetrate much more deeply than moisturizers, and by nature, a serum’s formula is focused on hydration!

Interestingly enough, serums can help rebalance oily skin. They are much lighter and thinner than traditional moisturizing creams that tend to clog your pores and feel too heavy on your skin (a trigger point for acne breakouts!). They are lightweight since they are water-based, rather than oil-based. Serums will keep the skin hydrated while simultaneously encouraging lower sebum production levels – the substance responsible for causing shiny, oily skin. Serums are loaded with higher concentrations of ingredients that repair skin-damage, and carry skin-healing properties that other creams just don’t offer.

By now you may be wondering which type of serum will work best for your oily skin, so here’s the tea: a light, water-based version is best. You will want to avoid plant oils that can leave your skin feeling even more greasy and clogged. Hydrators like hyaluronic acid, as well as vitamins A, C, and E, can help regulate the production of sebum – your natural oil – deep down under the skin’s surface while also retaining its moisture. These serums are made of concentrated molecules that are much smaller which means they can penetrate your skin more effectively than a moisturizer.

Specifically, applying mattifying serums during the daytime can help fight the oily shine on your face by absorbing excess oil throughout the day, and by decreasing oil glands’ sebum production. When searching for a serum in stores, look for clay extract as an ingredient since it is notorious for being an age-old remedy for treating oily skin as its minerals soak up excess oil. Botanical extracts also work well for decreasing the activity of oil glands.

As a word of caution, look out for salicyclic acid or lactic acid which are prevalent in serums intended for oily skin. These can have negative effects on people who have both oily AND sensitive skin since they are exfoliating acids that may lead to severe redness or irritation.

Overall, serums are a great remedy for treating oily skin, and can be considered an investment worth its return!

Written by: Adi Tzadok

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