If you have oily or combination skin, chances are good you struggle with the area on your face known as your t-zone. If you're unfamiliar with what exactly your t-zone is, imagine drawing a "T" on your face just like what you see in the photo here. Your t-zone consists of your forehead, nose, and chin. These areas of our face commonly have excess oil, acne, and blackheads, especially for people who have an oily or combination skin type.
Unfortunately, this problem area is one of the first areas people notice on your face when they meet you. But don't let your t-zone get you down. With proper care, you can whip your face into shape and diminish the acne, oiliness, and blackheads that are so bothersome. Keep in mind that some people can have an oily t-zone and dry cheeks; that's called combination skin. If that is the case with your skin then be sure to use separate products for your t-zone and your cheeks. You do not want to dry out your cheeks while clearing up the acne and blackheads in your t-zone. Keep scrolling to learn how to care for your t-zone banish excess oil for good.
How To Care For Your T-zone
Here's what you need to know to help take care of your oily t-zone effectively.
Use the right cleanser. If you're dealing with excess oil, you'll need to use a cleanser meant specifically for oily skin in that area. A gel or foaming cleanser works best to eliminate oil and clean out your pores. Try CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser ($11) or Simple's Refreshing Facial Wash Gel ($6). Or try a cleanser like La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser ($15) which has acid in the formula to help get rid of oil.
Keep A Toner On Hand. If your t-zone is very oily but your cheeks are dry use a toner to treat your t-zone. A toner can get rid of excess oil and soothe your skin, and you decide exactly where to apply it. If just your cheeks are oily, use a gentle cleanser all over your face, and then go over your t-zone with an anti-acne toner or toner formulated for oily skin. You can use a toner that has anti-acne ingredients like salicylic acid to clear up your acne. If your skin is very oily use a toner twice a day after cleansing your face or once a day if your skin is mildly oily. For some people using a toner twice a day or even once a day is too much; they may only need a toner a few times a week. Try Neutrogena's Oil-Free Acne Stress Control Triple-Action Toner ($7) or La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution Facial Toner ($15).
Use a targeted facial mask. Use a facial mask once a week that is formulated for acne or oily skin. Finding a mask with tea tree, clay, or activated charcoal in its ingredients is a good start. If your cheeks tend to be dry, oily apply the mask on your t-zone to ensure you don't dry out your cheeks. Using a facial mask is a great way to give your skin an acne-fighting boost of needed ingredients to keep your skin smooth and blemish-free. Try Aztec Secret's Indian Healing Clay ($10) or Freeman Facial's Charcoal and Black Sugar Polish Mask ($4).
Get some pore strips. Pore strips are a great way to clean out your pores, especially if you have blackheads. Make sure to use a toner after you remove the strip so do not leave any residue behind on your skin from the pore strip. But be sure to use pore strips with caution since they can tug and pull at your skin causing damage instead of helping get rid of blackheads. Keep in mind that pore strips are only a temporary fix for blackheads. Korean skincare brands make some fun pore strips like Seedless Strawberry Seeds 3-step Nose Pack ($19) or TONYMOLY Egg Pore Nose Pack ($7).
Oil blotting sheets are a must. These sheets are an easy way to instantly get rid of excess shine. These discreet tissues are perfect to stick in your handbag or backpack to refresh your face throughout the day. If you are in a pinch you can even use napkins or toilet paper to blot excess oil on your t-zone. Blotting papers are super affordable and portable. Try Boscia's Clear Complexion Blotting Linens ($10) or Palladio's Rice Paper Blotting Tissues Translucent with Rice Powder ($4).
A little shine is totally normal, and now you know how to tone your t-zone down if need be. FYI, don't skimp on finding the right moisturizer just because you're dry in some patches and oily in others.