Oily skin is a common complaint, especially in young women. Oily skin is usually most prominent in the teenage years and the twenties and is frequently due to hormonal changes. Many women with oily struggle to find solutions and they are always battling that “middle of the day shine”. One simple solution for oily skin is benzoyl peroxide. It also one of my favorite treatments for acne, which often accompanies oily skin. A benzoyl peroxide wash daily can combat shine. Topical benzoyl peroxide gels can also be used. With both benzoyl peroxide cleansers and gels, concentrations as high as 10% are often required to get results. If that does not work I often add a retinoid like Retin A or Tazarac which can help with oily skin. There are also some products on the market that can be used throughout the day to absorb surface oil on the skin. OC Eight is a topical oil control gel that stops the shine and can be applied on top of makeup. Another age-old solution is the oil absorbing blotting paper that can be used to blot and absorb excess oil on the face. There are even procedures that can help with oil production. Chemical peels with salicylic acid can be useful. In addition, light therapies such as the blue light have also been studied and can shrink the oil glands to reduce oil production. Often times, a combination of a few of these therapies is required to manage oily skin. But the good news is that you don’t have to suffer with oily skin. Shine free skin can be achieved once you find the right combination for your skin type.
One of the most common misconceptions in skin care is that acne is a condition that only teenagers get. In my practice, the vast majority of my patients with acne are adults. Women are often so frustrated and often say “I am too old to get acne!!!” . Well the truth is that approximately 50% of adult women have acne. I tell this statistic to all of my patients and they are always surprised to hear it. I also explain that I don’t know when the acne will go away. I have patients in their 50’s and 60’s who still have acne! But don’t lose hope…adult acne is absolutely controllable once a good treatment regimen is established.
The best approach is to get on a regimen. I usually start most people on a benzoyl peroxide wash. I love this treatment because it is easy to use…you have to wash your face anyway, right? Benzoyl peroxide is one of my favorite treatments for acne because it really works. I personally use it every day. The only catch is that some people are allergic to benzoyl peroxide and in those patients I use a salicylic acid wash. For people with more significant acne, other therapies are required. Topical antibiotics and benzoyl peroxide gel can be used in the morning and a retinoid (like Retin A, Differin, or Tazorac) can be used at night. Birth control pills can also be used to improve hormonal acne. Sometimes I also add an antibiotic by mouth for a few months for very inflamed acne. Finally, I really like to do monthly salicylic acid chemical peels to treat acne. For many women, this simple solution can quickly get acne under control.
If you have acne, see a dermatologist. There really are effective treatments available that can get your acne under control. As I said before, with adult acne, a good regimen is the key.