Oily & Peeling Skin

Close-up of young woman with hand on cheek
Use a combination-skin mask weekly to help balance your skin's pH level. (Image: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images)

If your face has more shine than a healthy sheen, it's time to wipe out the oil that's causing the mess. But when you have oily skin combined with dryness and peeling, things get a little complicated -- the same ingredients that sop up the oil could actually encourage your epidermis to peel more. The trick to combating this combination skin problem is to find the right skincare products with dual functions. The result is smoother skin and a brighter complexion.

Understand the Combination

Oily skin is caused by excess oil called sebum. Oily skin typically happens in puberty and decreases into adulthood, but many people suffer from shine no matter their age. Usually the oil resides in the T-zone -- forehead, nose and chin -- and can make clearing acne and makeup application difficult. The presence of dry skin with an oily complexion is usually on the cheeks. When not cared for properly, dry, dead skin can flake and start to peel. This can happen simply because your complexion is dry, or you may have a condition such as eczema. Severe dryness can also be a result of acne-fighting products.

Treat the Oil

Treat the parts of your face that are oily without stripping away the necessary moisture needed for the dry areas. Wash twice daily with a gentle, noncomedogenic facial cleanser for combination skin that is alcohol- and fragrance-free. Choose one with 2-percent salicylic acid, which helps control the oil in the pores without over-drying the peeling areas. In addition, use blotting tissues to periodically sop up facial oil; this eliminates the need to wash your face more times during the day, which can dry out peeling skin even more.

Put a Stop to Peeling

Find a moisturizer featuring dimethicone, which keeps the skin hydrated but won't clog pores or add to oil production. If your oily skin lends itself to acne, use the minimum strength benzoyl peroxide at 2.5 percent as to not over-dry your face. Only apply this -- or other prescription medications -- to the areas that have acne since it's extremely drying to the skin. It's also a good idea to use a facial scrub twice a week. Choose a soothing cream scrub strong enough to slough off the dead, peeling skin cells, but gentle enough to lock in moisture. Look for scrubs with non-greasy ingredients such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid.

Know the Influences

Watch what you eat to control the shine. Alcohol and spicy foods make your blood vessels dilate, which leads to perspiration. In addition, try to eat a healthy diet rich in antioxidants and vitamins, such as carrots, cantaloupe and spinach. These super foods are not only full of vitamin A, but they can also help decrease your skin's oil production. In addition, steer clear of the sun, which can dry out your skin and cause it to burn and peel even more. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and an oil-free, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30. Also, keep hydrated during the day with water, tea and fruit juices.

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