Every summer, my T-zone goes through puberty. Read: it gets crazy oily. And lest you think I exaggerate, let me tell you, it’s hereditary: My 70+ year-old mother also suffers from a super oily T-zone, even though she has dry skin overall, as does my dry-skinned brother.
Needless to say, I’m always on the lookout for products to help stop the shine and control the oil. I’ve tried many a “mattifier” to poor effect — they’re just loaded with dimethicone and other silicones that may mattify for a New York minute, but make me feel more like it’s just covering up the oil rather than truly getting to the problem. (It’s like applying powder on top of an oily T-zone to mattify, with the oil still slip-sliding away underneath — ew.)
So I’m pleased to say that these products actually regulate oil glands, sop up oil, and keep me as balanced as possible. I mean, there is no miracle product, and nothing is going to convert my oily T-zone into a normal one, but this is as close as I’m going to get.
Murad Time Release Acne Cleanser, $32: If you have excess sebum, you probably have clogged pores. This cleanser’s time-released salicylic acid works all day to penetrate clogs. Massage it in for at least 30 seconds to reap full benefits.
Ren Clarimatte Clarifying Toner, $28: I believe in layering products to help fight oiliness. Start with an antimicrobial hydrating toner with AHAs and willow bark extract, like this one, to decongest pores and decrease oiliness.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen, $19.99: Silica and perlite, a volcanic glass that absorbs up to 2.5 times its weight in water and oil, suck up excess sebum without drying out skin. This sunscreen is vital to my T-zone skin care regimen during the summer (and you honestly can’t beat the price).
Cosmedicine Medi-Matte Perfected Oil Control Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20, $63: This moisturizer doesn’t just mattify and reduce the appearance of pores instantly (apply it quick — it almost dries to an almost-tacky finish on contact, its high-tech ingredients regulate sebum for up to eight hours. It’s not a miracle cure for my T-zone, but it is my go-to moisturizer during summer.
Paula’s Choice Shine Stopper Instant Matte Finish, $23: Dab on this treatment with a powder-like finish as the last step in your skin care routine for six hours of oil control. It’s better than most silicone-based mattifiers I’ve tried.
Shiseido Synchro Skin Lasting Liquid Foundation, $45: In this “intelligent” foundation, a micro-fit polymer repels sebum and sweat, while an oil-absorbing powder helps the finish last for hours. As oil increases, the “time match” powder becomes semi- transparent to diffuse shine. Genius!
Patchology SmartMud No Mess Mud Masque, $8: All the purifying, oil-sopping benefits of mineral-rich volcanic mud from Korea’s Jeju Island with none of the mess. This sheet mask is different from others in that it’s not dripping with serum, but rather sticky with mud. It’s an easier way to get some mud masking in with less mess, which is great for travel, but I do prefer the more typical mud and clay mask for oil regulation.
Originally published in Composure Magazine.