Oily skin has a few stereotypes, like the appearance of larger pores, shiny skin, and often being prone to acne and blackheads. Another common belief is that this skin type will age better and develop fewer wrinkles than other skin types, particularly dry skin. I can’t even begin to tell you the number of times I’ve heard this from clients in the facial room.
So, is there any truth to this?
The short answer is: Oily skin ages differently than other skin types but doesn’t necessarily mean fewer wrinkles. It just means different types of wrinkles. Let’s talk about how skin ages in the first place.
There are many signs of aging and the formation of wrinkles is just one — though it’s often considered to be one of the biggest.
Other signs of aging include:
- broken blood vessels
- thinning of the skin
- enlarged pores
- loss of firmness and tone
The reason wrinkles form is not from oil production. It’s because of the breakdown and loss of collagen and elastin fibers which are responsible for providing support and structure to the skin. This is due to intrinsic aging but also lifestyle, repetitive facial expressions, the ever-present force of gravity tugging on these fibers, and the biggest contributor: sun damage. These factors affect all skin types.
Oil provides moisture and a plump look to the skin. With dry skin, you may appear to have more wrinkles. Normal and combination skin types fall somewhere between the two.
Genetically, dry skin tends to be thinner, pores are smaller, and skin appears to be smoother. But fine lines and wrinkles do appear more exaggerated. Oily skin, on the other hand, has much larger pores and is thicker. This provides extra padding or cushion to the skin.
Because of this, oily skin will have less of those “crinkly” apparent fine lines often found in forehead areas of the face. Oily skin tends to be thicker where there are more oil glands, which means forehead lines may be less apparent. However, oily skin may end up with deeper lines in the lower half of the face with more loss of tone.
As for the eye area, it really doesn’t matter your skin type. In a 2015 study of skin wrinkles, results showed that the presence of oil glands didn’t correlate with crow’s feet in the eye area. These lines appear regardless of skin type.
The best things you can do for any skin type is to wear sunscreen daily, don’t smoke, eat a healthy diet, and get enough sleep. Skin care products that contain hyaluronic acid are a great option for plumping fine lines.
For deep wrinkles that form in the lower half of the face, topical skin care won’t make a huge difference since the cause is primarily muscular. But if you’re looking to tackle that area, fillers, laser, or facial acupuncture could help.
While there are perks to each skin type, one doesn’t necessarily age better than another. We all age differently — and require different protocols.
Dana Murray is a licensed aesthetician from Southern California with a passion for skin care science. She’s worked in skin education, from helping others with their skin to developing products for beauty brands. Her experience extends over 15 years and an estimated 10,000 facials. She’s been using her knowledge to blog about skin and bust skin myths on her Instagram since 2016.