We have a long list of how we’d like to describe our skin—clear, luminous and youthful to name a few. But there is one word that we never want to be on our list: shiny. Our skin looks shiny when excess oil on the skin’s surface reflects light, says San Antonio dermatologist Vivian Bucay, MD. To shine-proof your skin, all you have to do is follow these rules:
1. Just say no to spicy foods and alcohol.
“Both alcohol and spicy foods cause the blood vessels near the skin’s surface to dilate, or enlarge,” says Beverly Hills, CA, Stuart H. Kaplan. These raise your skin’s temperature and the body reacts by perspiring leaving you with shine. But you don’t have to completely cut these foods out of your diet; you just have to practice moderation. “Limit yourself to one drink a night and eat spicy foods no more than once per week.”
2. Blot your skin instead of powdering it.
“Blotting excess oil is better than putting on powder, which can look flaky and caked on,” says Dr. Bucay.
3. Use a moisturizer.
“A popular misconception is that you don’t need to use moisturizer when it is humid outside,” says Dr. Kaplan. “You should always use moisturizer, regardless of the weather. A good moisturizer will actually balance the natural oils on the skin’s surface, which minimizes shine.”
4. Switch to mineral makeup.
Both doctors agree that mineral-based makeup is the most effective at controlling shine. The minerals essentially act like a sponge and soak up any excess oils you may have. Just be sure to apply it over your sunscreen. If mineral makeup isn’t your thing, oil-free foundations and tinted moisturizers are also recommended.
5. Befriend salicylic acid.
Use products that contain 0.5 to two percent salicylic acid. “Salicylic acid is lipid soluble, allowing it to get into the pores and keep them free of oily buildup,” says Dr. Bucay. In-office salicylic acid peels can also help control shine, but they’re really only effective for a few days. That’s why at-home maintenance is crucial.