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Stop Oily Skin This Summer

The only thing that should be shining this season is the sun — not your complexion! Check out these quick and easy strategies for stopping oil and keeping makeup fresh and clean, no matter how steamy things get.

Summer and warm weather bring countless seasonal delights: sundresses, ice-cream trucks and picnics, to name a few. Unfortunately, a few bummers usually tag along, including oily skin and melting makeup.

Even if you usually have normal or dry skin, hot weather can mean shiny, oily complexions and makeup that slip-slides away. During summer, “there’s more humidity in the air, so even though skin doesn’t actually produce more oil, the oil sits on the surface longer and may mix with sweat so your face feels greasier,” explains Heidi Waldorf, a dermatologist and the director of laser and cosmetic dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

Fortunately, you don’t need to set up camp in front of the AC to stay looking fresh. Follow these easy tips to keep shine and makeup under control:

1. Lighten up your skin care.
With more moisture in the air, you don’t need as much on your skin. Switch to lighter lotions or skip moisturizer altogether and just use a light sunblock, says Waldorf. At night, only apply moisturizer where skin seems dry. “You may need it on your cheeks and neck, but not on your nose or forehead, where you have more oil glands,” she adds.

To prevent excess oil from clogging pores, use a salicylic acid or exfoliating cleanser every other day, suggests Waldorf. Just don’t overdo it. If your skin feels dry or tight, you may have stripped away all the natural oils, and your body could start compensating by producing more oil.

2. Adjust your makeup routine.
As with skin care, a few simple tweaks can fight oily skin and deliver stay-put makeup:

  • Try primer. Primers are translucent, lightweight gels or lotions that deliver a smooth, matte canvas that makeup adheres to better than it does to bare skin. Find an oil-free product that contains silicone or dimethicone, plus oil-absorbing particles. (Look for the term “mattifying.”) To apply, spread a thin layer over your skin, making sure to cover your T-zone, says Coleen Campbell-Olwell, a makeup artist in Los Angeles who’s worked with Patricia Clarkson, Kate Mara and Betty White.
  • Forget foundation. When the mercury rises, take a less-is-more approach. Since primer helps even out your skin tone, finish the job with a highly pigmented concealer versus an all-over, heavy foundation. Tap and blend it only in spots you need coverage — usually under the eyes, around your nose and on your chin.
  • Bronze and blush. Bronzer and blush give skin a natural glow, and powder formulas will thwart excess oil, says Campbell-Olwell. Just avoid shimmery formulas: The iridescent particles can make skin look extra shiny.

3. Touch up throughout the day.
In spite of your best efforts, skin may become a bit oily by midday. Pick up excess shine by pressing a tissue or blotting paper on oily spots, then follow with a light dusting of translucent mineral powder, says Campbell-Olwell. If you don’t remove the oil first, the powder may look cakey or darker in the oiliest areas. For an easy-to-use, portable powder, choose a one-step package that holds the powder in the handle of the brush and dispenses it through the bristles.

If your concealer has migrated into fine lines, redistribute it with your fingers. Always wash and dry your hands first to avoid adding more oil or dirt to your face. Then, carefully glide and tap your finger under and around your eyes. Reset the makeup with mineral powder, and you’ll be good to go!

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