If you've been blessed with oily skin, allow us to introduce you to aesthetician Jordana Mattioli, who practices out of the Upper East Side's Complete Skin MD. It's kind of her thing: "Treating oily and acne-prone skin has become my MO over the years. I've had oily skin ever since I could remember," she told ITG. "It was how I originally got into skincare, by researching and reading everything to help me figure out what to use on my skin, always wondering, 'Will this product make my skin break out?' I did ProActive in high school and went on Accutane in college, but we have so many better alternatives these days." Call her the patron saint of oily skin, and really, we suggest actually calling her, because she's the best. Anna Speckhart, Janice Alida, and tons of other matte faces recommend her. She was NYC's best-kept secret—until today, when we decided to broadcast her advice for curing oily skin all over the Internet. You'll forgive our indiscretion as soon as you read them.
A is for "Absolutely you should be using vitamin A."
"Vitamin A is researched and proven to improve almost any skin issue, and it works extremely well for oily skin," says Jordana. "There's one for every skin type, even sensitive—start out with a over-the-counter retinol, which is gentler then the RX versions and gradually build up to a higher strength if needed." If you've yet to dip your toe into the vitamin A pool, consider Jordana's workout plan: Use retinol twice a week at first, gradually working towards every other night, alternating with your chemical exfoliant. She loves Differin Gel, which is now available OTC, but we've got a host of other options over here.
Know your ingredients.
Know them intimately, and don't rely on marketing jargon to tell you if something will break you out. Because, quoth the Jord, those claims don't really matter: "Non-comedogenic is a term from the 1970's that unfortunately isn't a regulatory standard. What you can do is look to make sure any of these common irritants don't fall in the first few ingredients: SD Alcohol, denatured alcohol, witch hazel, menthols, peppermint, eucalyptus, or camphor."
The same is true with products labeled "oil-free," because according to Jordana, oil isn't the enemy. But it isn't always your friend, either. "Some people are really into the concept of 'oil dissolves oil, but in my 15 years of working on skin, I've never had a client benefit from this, nor have I." She recommends using lightweight non-oil serums and essences instead, "and you can always dab on a richer product where needed." Jojoba, rosehip, and grapeseed oils are the three Jordana recommends on oily skin. Coconut, olive, avocado, apricot kernel, and sweet almond oils are ones to potentially avoid.
Treat and exfoliate regularly.
It's a maximalist approach, but Jordana suggests regular clay masking paired with a gentle peel for maximum results. "Masks with clays can reduce oil for a few days, and leave your skin soft, smooth, and shine-free." As for peels, "glycolic and salicylic acid are my go-tos. These get into your pore lining to exfoliate so oil doesn't get backed up and cause bumps. You can use each separately or together." Her ideal suite includes: Clinique's Clay Mask, Paula's Choice Anti-Redness Solution with 2% salicylic, or Drunk Elephant's glycolic Night Serum.
Extract regularly, too.
"I do all the right things for my oily skin, and still need some extractions once in a while," Jordana admits. Good 'cuz us, too. "Find an experienced aesthetician for a facial a few times a year. We can also guide you with finding the right products, administer different types of peels, and utilize various technology to get your skin back on track."
Embrace the blotting paper.
It may seem trite, but it's true. "They soak up excess oil and don't strip your skin, so its almost impossible to overuse them." We hear Tatcha's are the superlative choice, but if you're in a pinch, toilet seat covers have a 4.6 rating on MakeupAlley. We'll just leave that there.
Jordana Mattioli photographed by Tom Newton.
More oily skin masks, this way, if you please.