Does your oily skin resemble a frying pan? You must know the struggle of having oily skin if you continually keep a tissue or blotting paper in hand.
So, if you are wondering if serums are great for oily skin, the answer is yes. Serums not only suit oily skin but also give a youthful, radiant glow.
Your skin health depends on the natural oils it produces. However, sebum overproduction can result when the sebaceous glands become overactive. (1)
You are missing out if you haven’t included serums in your routine yet. Serums are not just for dry skin; oily skin types should also use serums.
Continue reading to learn more.
Types of Serum for Oily Skin
Vitamin B3 (niacinamide), hyaluronic acid, lactic acid, vitamin C, and salicylic acid are some active ingredients of serums and they are suitable for oily skin.
Serums are powerful products in comparison to other products with similar ingredients. The molecular size of serums allows deep penetration into the skin to target problem areas.
1. Vitamin C serum for oily skin
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that boosts collagen production and shields the skin from free radical damage. (2)
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it also effectively treats rosacea and acne vulgaris (redness and pus-filled red small bumps). It also reduces hyperpigmentation. (3)
2. Hyaluronic acid serum for oily skin
A dehydrated skin produces excess oil. Hyaluronic acid gives ultra-lightweight, intense hydration to restore skin balance without causing greasiness. It also fights aging signs. (4)
According to research, hyaluronic acid reduces sebum production in oily skin by decreasing the size of the sebaceous glands. Hyaluronic acid also treats hyperseborrheic states (a scalp condition due to excess sebum production). (5)
3. Salicylic acid serum for oily skin
The anti-inflammatory property of salicylic acid exfoliates the skin, controls excessive oiliness, and evens skin tone. (6)
Salicylic acid is an oil-soluble beta-hydroxy acid that penetrates the skin deeply (along with its lipid layers) to dissolve dead skin cells that are responsible for clogging pores, thereby combating acne and enhancing the skin’s appearance. (7)
4. Lactic acid serum for oily skin
Lactic acid shrinks pores and treats age spots and hyperpigmentation. (8) It also treats papules.
Moreover, lactic acid penetrates the skin deeply, can decompose dead skin cells, and opens clogged pores to make way for product absorption. It is also a great hydrating agent. (7)
5. Niacinamide serum for oily skin
Niacinamide reduces sebum production by inhibiting sebocyte (sebum-producing cells) secretions, (9) thus reducing skin oiliness.
Its anti-inflammatory properties treat pustular acne (pus-filled, inflamed, small, blister-like sores) and papular acne (small, inflamed bumps due to oil and bacteria). (10)
A Japanese study also demonstrated the efficacy of 2% topical niacinamide in lowering facial sebum production. (11)
How to Apply Serums to an Oily Face?
Properly apply a serum to an oily face in the following ways:
- Apply 2-3 drops of serum to your face.
- Gently pat the product on your skin. Avoid rubbing as it strips away the product.
- Let the serum be absorbed into your skin.
Benefits of Face Serums for Oily Skin
Face serums provide the following perks for oily skin:
- Oily skin releases excessive sebum (the skin’s natural oil). Face serums penetrate the skin to balance it and keep it well conditioned.
- Regular serum application gives glow and radiance to the skin.
- Serums ensure proper skin hydration. (12)
How to Choose the Right Serum for Oily Skin?
Always go for serums specially formulated for acne-prone, oily skin. Consider the following when choosing a serum:
- Look for a noncomedogenic, oil-free serum that doesn’t clog pores or cause breakouts.
- Choose serums that contain alpha-hydroxy or salicylic acid to exfoliate the skin and unclog pores.
- Look for serums that contain antioxidants, such as green tea and vitamins C and E, to shield the skin from environmental damage.
- Go for a water-based lightweight serum, as it hardly leaves any greasy residue on the skin.
- Always do a patch test before serum application. Additionally, look for ingredients suited for oily skin, such as niacinamide, tea tree oil, and zinc.
- Always consult your dermatologist for personalized advice.
What Are Serums?
Serums are gel-like, lightweight moisturizers or lotions that penetrate deeply into the skin to transport active ingredients.
A good serum gives skin a smooth texture, makes it firm, reduces pore size, and increases moisture levels. (12)
What Causes Skin Oiliness?
Sebum is a fatty, oily substance (15) that protects, hydrates, and lubricates the skin. It also prevents dehydration and dryness. Every skin type produces sebum by the sebaceous glands, but the overproduction of sebum makes the skin oily. (1)
Excessive sebum makes the skin greasy or shiny; causes enlargement of pores, congestion, or breakouts; and traps dead skin cells and impurities. (16)
However, oily skin has one advantage: fewer wrinkles and lines.
Does Oily Skin Need a Moisturizer?
There’s a myth that oily skin doesn’t need moisturization. The truth is the skin needs the necessary hydration, which differs from oiliness.
A general moisturizer has an occlusive nature that prevents skin’s water loss. Its barrier restoration formula goes deep within the skin to repair and revive the natural skin barrier. (17)
Serums with active ingredients penetrate deep within skin layers to make the skin healthy. They can make your oily skin radiant, youthful, and glowing.
Therefore, get a serum suitable for your oily skin.
- Endly DC, Miller RA. Oily skin: A review of treatment options. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology. August 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5605215/.
- Pullar JM, Carr AC, Vissers MCM. The roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health. MDPI. August 12, 2017. https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/9/8/866/htm.
- Telang PS. Vitamin C in dermatology. Indian dermatology online journal. April 2013. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3673383/.
- Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging. Taylor & Francis. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.4161/derm.21923.
- Hyaluronic acid decreases lipid synthesis in sebaceous glands. https://www.jidonline.org/article/S0022-202X(17)30108-2/fulltext.
- Salicylic acid. National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Database. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Salicylic-acid.
- Salicylate. National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Database. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/salicylate.
- Tang S-C, Yang J-H. Dual effects of alpha-hydroxy acids on the skin. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). April 10, 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6017965/.
- Zhen AX, Piao MJ, Kang KA, et al. NIACINAMIDE protects skin cells from oxidative stress induced by particulate matter. Biomolecules & therapeutics. July 5, 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6824628/.
- Fox L, Csongradi C, Aucamp M, du Plessis J, Gerber M. Treatment modalities for acne. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). August 13, 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6273829/.
- The effect of 2% niacinamide on facial sebum production. Taylor & Francis. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14764170600717704?journalCode=ijcl20.
- Elias PM. Skin barrier function. Current allergy and asthma reports. July 2008. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2843412/.
- (PDF) formulation and evaluation of face serum … – researchgate. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/331158519/.
- McCall-Perez F, Stephens TJ, Herndon JH. Efficacy and tolerability of a facial serum for fine lines, wrinkles, and photodamaged skin. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology. July 2011. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3140905/.
- Bae HS, Choi SI, Ahn HS. Nutritional and antioxidant status by skin types among female adults. Nutrition research and practice. June 2010. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2895702/.
- Picardo M, Ottaviani M, Camera E, Mastrofrancesco A. Sebaceous gland lipids. Dermato-endocrinology. March 2009. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2835893/.
- Acne: Overview – informedhealth.org – NCBI bookshelf. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279211/.