Prevent and Reduce Oily Skin on Face

Edited by Jenni123, Mian Sheilette Ong, Lynn, Eng and 30 others

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Many people struggle with oily or greasy skin, especially on their faces. Oily skin can be frustrating, especially when it causes other skin problems like acne and spots.

Oily skin occurs when the sebaceous glands produce more oil than usual, leading to an imbalance in your system. Some excessive oil production is hereditary, but other factors that can lead to oily skin are stress, hormonal shifts, high humidity, travel, pollution, certain cosmetic products, birth control pills, poor diet, and improper skin care. There are things you can do to try and dry out your skin but it is very important to treat the underlying problem. This can range from altering your lifestyle or cleansing regimen to improving your overall diet.

If you suffer from excessively oily skin, there are some simple tips you can follow to help reduce or even resolve the issue, and improve the health of your skin:


Steps to prevent / reduce oily skin

  1. 1
    Stop washing your face so much
    Wash it only twice a day: in the morning and before you sleep. Washing your face too often prompts the sebaceous glands to produce even more oil. The oil in your face (technically known as sebum) is there because it lubricates and protects your skin. When you wash your face too often, your glands respond by producing more oil to protect it.
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  2. 2
    Use lukewarm water
    Every time you wash your face, try to use warm water because it relaxes your face and treats it gently. Cold or hot water dries out the skin.
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  3. 3
    Use facial care products
    Use cleansers that are specifically designed for oily or acne-prone skin. You can also use natural products you can find in your kitchen, like honey.
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  4. 4
    Use oil-free moisturizers and sunscreen
    Moisturizers can help protect your face from oil and from the sun, but make sure you are using oil-free products or the problem may be exacerbated.
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  5. 5
    Drink plenty of water
    Hydration is important for keeping your skin healthy. Drink 8 glasses of water, or about 2 liters of water, daily. Stay away from carbonated beverages or alcohol - they will make the problem worse.
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  6. 6
    Use a gentle facial scrub twice a week
    This will not only clear away dead skin cells but also help rejuvenate your face and allow the clean healthy skin to shine through.
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  7. 7
    Reduce your intake of sugar, salt, and fried food
    Your diet influences the health of your skin. The healthier you eat, the healthier you look!
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  8. 8
    Eat healthy foods
    Eat plenty of fresh fruits and green vegetables. Consume low fat products, protein rich foods, and whole grains. Fish contains oil that will help your skin look good as well. This does not mean that the oil you eat is the oil that is produced from your skin! Oily food does affect your skin and overall health in general though.
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  9. 9
    Apply lavender or witch hazel to reduce acne
    Applying lavender oil to pimples will kill bacteria and help the skin to heal. If you have delicate or sensitive skin, dilute the oil with some Aloe Vera gel. Witch hazel can be used as an all natural toner for your skin. If you already use a toner, try switching to witch hazel instead. You can apply it with cotton balls then let it dry.
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  10. 10
    Live healthier
    Generally improving your quality of life will improve the quality of your skin. Exercise more, reduce stress and sleep well. Take care of your physical and mental well-being!
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How to Stop Sebaceous Glands from Producing Excessive Oil


It's not always easy to prevent the sebaceous glands from producing too much oil. If you experience this problem, it can be a challenge to look your best throughout the day. Overproduction of sebum by your sebaceous glands is often aggravated by a fluctuation in hormones. If you have oily skin, you may be experiencing heightened acne breakouts, especially during your period if you are a woman. Properly caring for your skin is vital in reducing large pores, blackheads, and pimples. It doesn't have to cost you much time and money to do this. Check out the following techniques for controlling your sebaceous glands from producing too much oil:

  1. 1
    Cleanse frequently
    Make it a habit of washing your face twice a day with an oil-free cleansing product. First, lather the facial cleanser in your hands and gently massage it onto your face. Use the tips of your fingers to do this. Then, rinse off the soap with warm water. If you have fresh breakouts of acne, purchase a cleanser with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid that will help dry them up.
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  2. 2
    Use toner or an astringent
    Apply a toner or an astringent on your skin after washing and patting it dry with a clean towel. Prescription astringents have components that clear up acne breakouts. If you want an inexpensive and organic toner, you could try freshly squeezed lemon juice or witch hazel. You should use pre-moistened pads or apply the liquid astringent or toner using soft cotton balls. It's best to choose alcohol-free toner to avoid excessive dryness or irritation.
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  3. 3
    Moisturize regularly
    Coat your skin with an oil-control moisturizer or a mattifying gel. If you are a woman applying makeup, this should serve as your make-up base before you put on your foundation.
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  4. 4
    Exfoliate once or twice a week
    Regular exfoliation will also help get rid of the dead skin cells or the dirt that clogs up your pores. There are natural exfoliants that contain fruit kernels, microbeads, or ground up nut shells. You can also make your own exfoliating paste by mixing water and baking soda, or you could exfoliate your face with a clean washcloth. If you don't want to physically exfoliate, try an enzyme-containing facial mask or glycolic acid pads to remove dead skin cells.
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  5. 5
    Use facial masks
    Put on a clay facial mask once to twice every week. Let the mask stay on your skin until it is dry. Rinse it off with warm water. Dry your face gently with a soft, clean facial towel.
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  6. 6
    Consider homeopathy
    Homeopathy aims to treat skin problems by targeting imbalances in your body. Before you attempt homeopathy, consult with an experienced homeopathic doctor for the right treatments. One of the known treatments for oily skin is Mercurius, which is for people who have oily skin along with saliva overproduction, sticky sweat, and trembling. Natrum mur is given to people with constipation and with oily skin that is even worse in hairy areas.
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Additional Home Remedies for Oily Skin

The following are some common home remedies that you could try to relieve yourself of oily skin:

  1. 1
    Rub apple cider vinegar on oily skin to neutralize the oil
    The best kind of apple cider vinegar to use on your face is unfiltered and raw, which contains beneficial enzymes and nutrients not found in pasteurized, filtered apple cider vinegar. It can be a bit strong to use directly on your skin, so mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 1 to 2 parts water before applying it to your face with a cotton ball. Use it once a day after washing your face and before moisturizing.
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  • 2
    Avoid smoking, which can reduce blood flow to your skin and cause it to age faster
    Smoking constricts your blood vessels and decreases blood flow to the upper layers of your skin, which can lead to a paler tone, dullness, and premature wrinkles. Quit smoking for whole-body health and beauty benefits. For more information, please see: Stop Smoking
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  • 3
    Massage and brush your skin to promote better circulation and overall rejuvenation
    Massage your face with clean hands in small circles on your chin, cheeks, and forehead. Make gentle swiping movements under your eyes from the inner corners to the outer corners.
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  • 4
    Take evening primrose oil supplements
    These have GLA, or gamma-linolenic acid, that makes your skin cells stronger and more moisturized. Skin often produces excess oil if it's stripped of moisture from the outside. Evening primrose oil is also said to be good for PMS symptoms before a woman's menstrual cycle, so it may be worth a try if you get excessively oily and break out every month.
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  • 5
    Exercise regularly to improve circulation
    This will help nourish your skin from the inside. Exercise can also reduce inflammation in your body and help regulate your hormones, and this will show on your face. If you work up a major sweat, though, make sure to wash and moisturize your face post-workout.
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  • 6
    Do your best to get enough sleep
    This will ensure that your skin will have the opportunity to repair itself. Doctors recommend that we get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep every night. If you don't get enough sleep, the effects are cumulative and it can show on your face.
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  • Can Diet Reduce Oily Skin?

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    Your diet does not directly affect the amount of oil your skin secretes. Some people think that if they eat oily foods their skin will then secrete that same oil. That is not the case. The oil produced by the sebaceous glands in the skin is NOT sourced from oil ingested into your stomach. There is no correlation between oil in your diet and oily skin.

    However, eating foods high in fat and sugar can cause problems for your overall health, including your skin cells. This can trigger your sebaceous glands to secrete more oil to protect your damaged skin. Sugar is known to increase pimples, which are really tiny infections in your pores. The oil becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. Your body responds the same way it does when you have an infection in your nasal cavity (which causes a runny nose). Your body produces more oil to flush out the infection. Thus you end up with oily skin. So eating properly can help reduce oil production.

    Tips Tricks & Warnings

    • Always make it a point to consult with your doctor, especially when you are trying something new.
    • Every person's skin is different. Take care of yourself and your skin, and watch for adverse effects when trying anything new.

    Questions and Answers

    What is the healthiest face wash that removes makeup and prevents acne?

    Whatever the brand, the healthiest products will always be the ones that suit your skin type. Whether it's the oily or the acne-prone type, it is best to stay away from pore-clogging products, so as not to add more oil to what the skin already produces.

    It is also advisable to stick to hypoallergenic products, especially for sensitive skin, and ask for professional help before opting for medicated ones. If strong washes or medications are used wrongly, it could only make things worse for you. Instead of a rundown of the "best" products in stores that may not work for your particular case, focus your attention to the products' active ingredients. Listed below are what you should be looking for in your skin care products:

    • AHA (Alpha-hydroxy acid) will get rid of dead skin cells that could cause clogged pores and increase your chances of getting acne breakouts. AHA can improve your skin's condition by making it smoother and softer.
    • Benzoyl Peroxide kills bacteria and removes excess oil as well as dead skin cells. It probably is one of the best ingredients to look for if you're trying to fight off, and not just prevent, pimples and other acne types. Just make sure you're getting the right strength (ranging from 2.5 to 10 percent).
    • Beta-hydroxy acid not only exfoliates effectively, but it also has anti-inflammatory properties that make it better and more tolerated than its glycolic acid counterpart.
    • Tea tree oil is the same oil you see in lotions, shower gels, and other bath products with that energizing green tea scent. Tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help fight acne. Beware though: tea tree oil can be a bit harsh for people with very sensitive skin and those who are suffering from some types of dermatitis.

    You can also use olive oil to remove makeup. Olive oil won't clog your pores and it also contains a lot of antioxidants which will be able to fight infections on your face.

    For oily skin, how to reduce pimples?

    The problem with having oily skin on the face is the higher risk of getting acne or pimples. You may think that reducing pimples and oiliness in the face will take two separate treatments, but this is not true. The secret is finding the best facial care product. Some products may cause irritation, so it is recommended that you try them first by applying a small amount of a solution on your skin and then watching for any possible reaction.

    Wash your face in the morning and at night, using warm water. Instead of using soap, opt for gentle cleansers. Try a cleanser that contains glycolic acid, benzoyl acid, and salicylic acid. These are effective for acne reduction, but they are also found to work for people with oily skin.

    You can try making your own facial scrub. In a bowl, mix a few tablespoons of oatmeal and honey and apply the mixture to your face. Leave on for 10 to 15 minutes then rinse with water. Oatmeal acts as a sponge and scrub, absorbing the oil and removing dirt, while honey provides skin nourishment as well as antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

    See more questions like this: I am a young teenager and got a really oily skin on my face

    See more questions like this: About oily skin. after bathing it become again oily just in 10 to 15 minutes?

    Does cold or warm water prevent oily skin?

    Is it better to wash your face with hot or cold water?

    Lukewarm water helps in cleaning the skin thoroughly. Cold or hot water can dry out your skin, prompting the production of more oil.

    For washing your face, you will have to use moderately warm (lukewarm) water. This means that it should feel slightly warm to your skin and be a bit above your body temperature, which is 36.6? (98?). For example, 40? (105?) is perfect temperature for tepid water. I understand your preference and how it feels to get under a cold shower during a winter day (it gets to -40? (-40?) in winter in my area, and hot water sometimes is not getting into apartments), but, as a well-known proverb says, "No pain, no gain". Let your skin adapt to the new temperature, and it will show you gratitude with changes.

    See more questions like this: How to prevent oily skin when I'm fond of very warm water

    Can you give me a list of the three best products for reducing facial oil production?

    Here are the three best products for every skin type:

    • St. Ives Apricot Scrub
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    • Nivea
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    • Celeteque
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    Neutrogena, Noxzema, and Clearasil are good products that will help remove acne while keeping your face less oily in the process. These products can be found at your local convenience store.

    Every skin is different, so while these three are great products, you may need to look around to find what works the best for your type of skin.

    What pills are available to control facial oil?

    There are several types of pills that can be used to combat excessively oily skin:

    • Vitamin A is a cheap and easy way to significantly reduce facial oil as well as improve your overall complexion.
    • Cod liver oil capsules are an excellent and natural source of vitamin A. Cod liver oil also contains some vitamin D as well as two main omega 3 fish oil compounds, DHA and EPA. Take the capsules only as directed on the product label.
    • Even a slight deficiency in B-vitamins (B2, B5, B12) can cause oily skin. Try to load up with vitamin rich foods, or make use of vitamin B supplements which are sold over-the-counter.
    • Taking Vitamin D or better yet, a multivitamin (such as Centrum).

    Make sure that you have a healthy lifestyle and eat healthier too. Some oily skin is purely genetic and no matter what you do, the oiliness will still be the same. Some oily skin can be caused by stress, so reducing stress helps as well.

    Does sleeping with oil on face reduce oiliness the next day?

    Sleeping with oil on your face does not contribute to the amount of oil on your face the next day. Some people believe that continued production of oil overnight will cause it to slow down the next morning, but there is no scientific data to back this claim up. In fact, sleeping with oil on your face can clog your pores, contributing to breakouts and whiteheads/blackheads. It will also soak your pillowcases in oil, which can aggravate your skin the following nights.

    So wash your face before you go to bed!

    See more questions like this: My face is always full of oil and dust, most of the time I have pimples on my face

    Best makeup for covering acne?

    The specific product doesn't really matter, however here are some products that work well to cover acne:

    • Bath & Body Works Cream to Powder Foundation
    • Bobbi Brown Oil-Free Foundation
    • Body & Soul Powder Foundation
    • English Ideas Perfect Powder
    • L'Oreal Color Endure Light Stay-On Makeup Oil Free
    • Stila Illuminating Powder Foundation

    Proper use of combination from a concealer, face liners, foundation and press powder usually does the trick. It can be tricky, however. Whatever you do, steer away from pimple-irritating ingredients like lanolin, colors, artificial fragrances, formaldehyde, mineral oil, etc. Alternatively, use products with skin-healing properties such as salicylic acid, botanical oils as well as antioxidants.

    If you don't want any more acne popping up your face, best not use concealer as it aggravates the skin and causes more problems. It clogs the skin and gives room for bacteria to grow and spread over your skin. Besides, using concealer will cause your acne not to heal properly.

    Use products that are non-comedogenic, paraben-free, sulfate-free, and oil-free. Avoid using products that contain isopropyl isostearate, isopropyl myristate, myristyl myristate, lanolin oil, coconut butter, or lauric acid.

    Easy way to stop oily skin and to make my skin whiter?

    I am tan and I have problems with my face.. so oily. How can I stop this as soon as possible?

    One easy home-made way to manage oily skin and lighten skin is through the use of a yogurt, tomato, and oatmeal mask. Simply mix in a bowl 1 teaspoon each oatmeal, tomato juice, and yogurt. Apply the solution by gently rubbing it on your face and leave it for about 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.

    The yogurt has mild bleaching properties, nourishes the skin, and contains zinc which helps regulate oil production in the sebaceous glands. Tomato has strong bleaching properties which lighten the skin. Oatmeal exfoliates the skin from dead skin cells and dirt.

    My skin produces oil only around nose please help?

    When I get pimples on my cheeks they get brown or black like dead skin and they get a little bit out of the skin level what to do

    Your nose is part of the T-zone, which is surrounded by sebaceous glands. Here are some tips to effectively reduce the oiliness around your nose:

    • Keep your face clean. Washing your face twice a day with warm water and a mild soap can help reduce oiliness on your face, especially around the nose. Use an oil-free or mattifying moisturizer.
    • Honey. This is considered to be an effective and mild makeup remover or cleanser, especially after a long day. You can mix honey with ground almonds to make a homemade facial scrub which you can use every day to reduce oily skin.
    • Aloe vera gel. Look for 100% Aloe Vera gel without any alcohol added. You can also try "Aubrey Organics" which is a great base before applying makeup. This is known to effective lessen oiliness, inflammation, redness, and even reduce the appearance or visibility of acne scars.
    • Lemon. Mix equal parts water and lemon juice. Dab it on your nose or other oily areas of the face with a cotton ball. You can do this treatment twice a day, but watch for irritation.
    • Vinegar. Keep oily skin at bay with the use of this kitchen basic - vinegar. Prepare a solution with a combination of vinegar and water. Dab cotton into the vinegar solution and apply it on the oily regions of your face. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then wash it completely with cold water. This takes care of the grime and is also an effective remedy for acne and blackheads.

    My skin will be very sensitive and in the morning when I go will be nice..but in the will be very to control this?

    I'm working as doctor..and exposed to more dust here, I want to reduce my oiliness to my face and prevent acne scars.please help me.

    Here are some of the top remedies to control your oily skin and prevent acne formation:

    • Mild facial cleanser. Wash your face with a gentle facial cleanser and warm water in the morning and before retiring at night. You can use cleansers with salicylic acid, beta-hydroxy acid, benzoyl and peroxide to rid your face of excess grime and dirt.
    • Toners. This is recommended to be applied solely to the oily areas of the skin. Avoid using toners on dry skin because this can potentially cause skin irritation and inflammation.
    • Blotting paper. This is a huge favorite of individuals with oily skin because it is very handy, convenient, and effective for daily use even in public places. Most blotting papers also have powders which help absorb excess oil and minimize shiny skin.

    My pimples are itchy, how can I prevent it from breaking out?

    I stopped using the product that I used cause I think it affects my face

    Itchiness and breakouts are often caused by a product that is too strong for your skin or something that you're allergic to. You should test new products on a small area of your face overnight to see if they are the cause of your breakouts. Stick to hypoallergenic products and those for sensitive skin in the meantime. Use a gentle cleanser twice a day, followed by a plain, unscented moisturizer to get your skin under control. Aloe vera gel can help to soothe your skin. If you have acne breakouts, you can prevent it from breaking out by applying a thin layer of salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide-based acne treatment to the affected area once a day after washing and before moisturizing.

    My main problem is large pores on cheek due to excess oil?

    My face skin type is oily and sensitive, causing large pores and dullness. After washing my face, my skin looks clean, but it produces oils at night.

    It is natural to produce oil overnight while you sleep, but if it's excessive, you'll need to follow a skin care regimen every day to get it under control. Wash your face morning and night with a gentle, soap-free cleanser, and moisturize with an oil-free moisturizer afterward, preferably one that contains either salicylic acid or alpha hydroxy acid. These ingredients can exfoliate your skin and unclog your pores, which can make them appear smaller. If you wash your face too often or strip all of the oil from your skin with harsh products, it will overcompensate by producing more oil.

    I am 37 years old (male). My skin is very oily. I live in a place where the climate is extremely hot and humid. I struggle with whiteheads and breakouts, almost on a daily basis largely around my nose, chin, jaw and upper lip area. Please advise. Is it a good practice to use salicylic pads daily before sleeping?

    I am 37 years old (male). My skin is very oily. I live in a place where the climate is extremely hot and humid. I struggle with whiteheads and breakouts, almost on a daily basis largely around my nose, chin, jaw and upper lip area. Please advise. Is it a good practice to use salicylic pads daily before sleeping?

    Cleanser pads such as you are suggesting should be used twice daily. A cheaper option would be to exfoliate twice a week with baking soda and a bit of water. Rub in a circular motion all over your face. You could even use apple cider vinegar or green tea instead of water. Make some green tea and put it in a spray bottle. Several times a day mist your face with it. This will help control breakouts and oil on your face. Avoid using harsh facial cleansers which will produce more oil.

    See more questions like this: Is aloe vera gel and coconut oil mixture good for my skin? or any skin type, I'm a massage therapist and I want to give an overall treatment organic to my clients?

    I have been suffering from acne for the last 15 years, now I am 29, still the acne persists, even after complete control on diet, the acne breakouts continue, can you help me in this matter?

    I have been suffering from acne for the last 15 years, now I am 29, still, the acne persists, even after complete control on diet, the acne breakouts continue, can you help me in this matter

    This could be a hormonal issue for you, if you are female then often doctors will prescribe birth control to help combat this type of acne. Switch up your normal facial cleaners every three months. When you find one that works more effectively then use it for the next 6 months. Drink plenty of water. Do not use makeup for more than 90 days even if it is not finished yet.

    Hello I was just about to ask Google what is the purpose of a toner?

    I have tried a few things but none seems to work, my skin is easy to scar and very greasy. I have tried: Few things. I think it was caused by: I don't know, nothing really

    Toners are best used on combination skin. If you would like to test how toner works, use the green tea method mentioned on this page. It is cheap and all natural. If you use an over the counter toner, get one specifically for oily skin. Use it twice daily after you wash your face but before you put on moisturizers. Basically, a toner will remove even more oil and debris after you wash your face.

    What is Mercurius? Is it an effective treatment?

    I have lots of white and black heads on my face

    Mercurius is a form of mercury used on the skin to clog pores. Some underarm and body deodorants contain it to prevent perspiration. Personally, I would not advise using this on your face. It will clog the pores further causing additional white and black heads. Use instead some of the suggestions on this page.

    Would colon and liver detox be beneficial to the shift of my hormones?

    A shift of hormones has caused acne as well as poor diet and the implanted Mirena as contraception added bleeding and other health issues so I stopped taking all prescriptions of antibiotics and retinal creams I have been using in the two years. I am choosing to take the healthy organic ultimatum to get a result. I wash my face with salty water and I might need a detox to cleanse my body.

    Water with lemon and ginger is one of the healthiest detox methods. Washing your face with salty water could actually be drying it out making the acne produce more rather than reduce it. Use green tea as a toner for after you wash your face daily.

    Can you please kindly explain how to use astringent in detail?

    I have been using astringent but rather cause more oil onto my face. Immediately after a wash on face and using warm water in rinsing, I dry my face apply an astringent using a cotton ball but still, I do get oil on my face. I have tried: Nothing except what is been taught here. I wash my face twice only and scrub using a washcloth twice. I think it was caused by: I can't tell because I eat vegetables and fruits too

    Not all astringents are the same. Switch up brands and see if this makes a difference. After you use an astringent, you want to apply a face lotion that does not contain oils. Otherwise, you are just drying out your face.

    If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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