I know my forehead is shining like the flash of a camera, and my chin is slick with grease. I know my eyelids are glistening like they've been covered in petroleum jelly. If you didn't sense the sarcasm already, these are just some of the things most people with oily skin are likely quite tired of hearing.
As someone with a face full of oil, I have quite a bit of experience with folks commenting on and taking note of my slick, shiny pores. Back in the day, I cursed the moisture that would dissolve my makeup almost instantly and leave it rubbed off on my clothes. But eventually, I accepted it for what it was: just a bit of oil on an otherwise loved face. Of course, it took many years of striving towards acceptance and learning to tackle criticism for me to be able to do so.
In all the post-puberty years that I've had oily skin, I've heard some mean, critical, and downright weird things about my oily skin — if not oily skin in general. Sure, I have to use only oil-free products and, yes, I blot my nose every 30 minutes. But my skin is my skin, in all its greasy glory. And frankly, there's nothing anyone can tell me about my oily skin that I don't already know.
But to make matters a little easier for those who might not understand, here are 21 things most people with oily skin are very likely exhausted of hearing:
1. "Do you have oily skin?"
Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner! Except that the answer was literally written on my forehead.
2. "Do your parents have oily skin?"
What do my parents have to do with this? Why do you even care?
3. "You should blot your nose more often."
Because the 37 times I blot my nose on a daily basis just aren't enough.
4. "Do you use powder?"
Yes. It helps.
5. "Do you use primer?"
Yes, but it does not help.
6. "Do you use a facial spray?"
7. "Do you use (insert beauty product that's intended to help oily skin)?"
Listen: I've tried it all. Nothing can defeat this oil.
8. "Your eyeshadow creased."
Your personality creased. Congrats!
9. "Your foundation gathered around your nose."
It's one thing to point out some spinach in my teeth. It's another to state something that is blatantly obvious and totally out of my hands.
10. "What happened to your makeup?"
OK, I get it. My makeup is practically sliding off my face and disappearing into thin air. Can we move on?
11. "I could fry an egg on your forehead."
I can't even.
12. "I wish I had oily skin."
Even if it were the key to Ryan Gosling's heart, I can assure you that you don't want oil. The upkeep is very real.
13. "I had oily skin when I was going through puberty."
Good story. Why don't you tell it again?
14. "Sometimes I have an oily T-zone."
Sometimes you should keep things to yourself.
15. "What does your dermatologist say?"
While I have never met with a dermatologist specifically about my oily skin, I expect they would just tell me how to take care of it, and what products to use or avoid. Something I've already deduced. So unless you want to get into a seriously in-depth conversation about skin care, I would back off.
16. "Is that why you have acne?"
Oh, so you're the dermatologist now, are you?
17. "You're glowing!"
I appreciate the attempt at a compliment, but we both know that the reason my cheeks are glistening in the sunlight is not because of the latest, greatest highlighter.
18. "At least you'll always look young."
OK, so this one isn't a horrible comment to hear since oily skin is said to age slower than other skin types. But what does one even say back to that? "Thanks, we'll see?"
19. "Did you just get back from the gym?"
No, I didn't just get back from the gym. My oily skin just makes me look like I finished a triathlon in record time. Even if I am wearing heels and a suit.
20. "Does it go away?"
Unfortunately, oily skin doesn't just appear and disappear overnight. Believe it or not, some people even live their whole lives with it. The horror!
21. "I would be so insecure about my oily skin."
Whether you mean well or not, saying this to someone with oily skin is definitely the wrong course of action. Because oily skin is sensitive, difficult to deal with at times, and often tough to accept, pointing out your insecurities abut it isn't going to do me any good.
Ultimately, I can honestly say that all the comments and critiques have taught me to love and appreciate my skin in a completely new light. Sure, I can't really wear heavy makeup, I do have acne sometimes, and I'm pretty sure you could indeed fry an egg on my forehead. That being said, I wouldn't change it for anything. My skin, oily and slick, is my skin. And as my biggest organ, I'll love it no matter what.
Images: Melodi Erdogan