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Oily skin mistake: your oil blotting sheets.

Oily skin can be caused by a whole host of unexpected factors like stress, your medication, overusing certain skin care products, or even  getting a tan ! In this post we're going to break down another surprising cause of oily skin: oil blotting sheets.

Using any unnecessary skin tool can lead to excess oil. Skin tools can encompass a variety of things, including oil blotting paper,  blemish extractors , washcloths, rotating cleanser brushes, hand mitts, buff puffs, pore strips, and more. While many of these so called 'oil control' products claim to be the best oily skin treatment, they simply don't work.

But, are oil blotting sheets bad for your skin? The answer is yes. Oil blotting sheets, along with the other unnecessary skin tools mentioned above, can strip the skin of necessary oils, which actually prompts the skin to  increase  oil production to compensate.

While you think you're doing your skin a favor when you use these tools, you're actually making it worse. Oil blotting papers are one of the most commonly used skin tools that hamper your efforts to rid your skin of excess oil. The truth is that your skin needs a little oil, so when you strip your skin using an oil blotting sheet or other tool, your skin goes into protection mode.

Every day, your skin is bombarded with oil, makeup, dust, and pollution. Pressing a blotting paper into your skin to absorb oil does remove some shine…at a cost.

While some of the oil is absorbed into the paper, you're pushing the rest of the dirt, grime, makeup and the excess oil it didn't absorb back down into your pores. That creates an oxygen-free environment deep down in your pores that P. acnes bacteria thrive in, creating breakouts, blackheads, bumps and overall skin congestion. So not only will you end up with oilier skin than you began with, but you'll have new breakouts too!

Many brands claim to have the best blotting sheets and the best oily skin treatment, but they aren't actually addressing the causes of oily skin.

Looking for oil blotting sheet alternatives? Thankfully, Bioelements  Oil Control Mattifier  works from the inside out, eliminating that problem. It soaks up excess shine on the surface of your skin while targeting oily sebum deep in your follicles. The most important thing to do when you're struggling with oily skin is to  identify the cause  and try to eliminate it. This will lessen oil production, making your  oily skin products  more effective.

Still struggling with oily skin? Make sure you're using the  right products  and following the  right oily skin routine .


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Does Blotting Paper Work for Oily Skin?

Does Blotting Paper Work for Oily Skin?

Super shiny skin got you down? Wondering if you should try blotting paper to soak up the excess oil in your T-zone? In this article, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of blotting paper, so you can decide for yourself if it’s worth adding to your skincare arsenal.

What Does Blotting Paper Do?

What Does Blotting Paper Do?

First of all, why do people use blotting paper? What does blotting paper do?

Basically, blotting paper soaks up excess oil on your skin, without messing up your makeup.

Blotting papers might be a good choice for you if you’ve ever found yourself wondering:

Why is my skin so oily?

Now, we’d also recommend addressing your oily skin issues at the root. Check out our article about overwashing your face - it may shed some light on how to better regulate your skin’s oil production .

Some of us have naturally oily skin, though, and that’s perfectly ok! For those of us who get a little too glowy for comfort as the day goes on, blotting papers can be a real godsend.

At this point, you might find yourself wondering what materials blotting papers are made of.

Blotting papers are super-absorbent thin sheets of paper, and they can be made from many different materials. The blotting papers you find in the drugstore are typically made from rice paper, wood pulp, and perhaps even cotton.

How to Use Blotting Paper?

Thankfully, blotting paper is pretty easy to use:

Grab a sheet of it, pat it on the area of skin that’s a little too shiny for your taste, and voila! Matte skin, instantly. Almost like magic.

But if you’re a savvy skincare consumer (and we know you are!)…you’re probably wondering if there are drawbacks to using blotting paper.

Drawbacks to Using Blotting Papers

Drawbacks to Using Blotting Papers

So the big question:

Is oil blotting paper bad?

As much as we love the idea of being able to soak up that excess oil for a fresher midday look, it’s worth noting that there can be some drawbacks to using blotting paper.

Depending on the material the blotting paper is created from, you might end up removing too much oil from your skin. And because we do need some oil to remain on our skin to keep our skin barrier healthy and intact, removing all of it can signal to your epidermis to start producing more.

Not exactly the effect we’re going for.

It’s worth pointing out, too, that the blotting paper commonly found at drugstores can sometimes have an astringent effect, which can irritate your skin. This can also lead to your skin producing more oil as a response to inflammation.

That being said, there are lots of options for blotting papers which should be safe enough and gentle for your skin. We’ll take a look at that below.

What Should I Look For in a Blotting Paper?

What Should I Look For in a Blotting Paper?

Have you ever asked yourself: Should I use blotting paper?

If so, and your answer to that question is yes, we’d recommend looking for brands that include the following:

Ingredients That Attack Oil

The blotting papers you grew up using were basically nothing more than thin, absorbent paper. Luckily, blotting papers have evolved to include ingredients like willow bark, charcoal, and abaca tree fiber - ingredients that can help gently rmove oil from the skin. Dermatologist often prefer blotting papers made with rice, cotton, willow bark, and flaxseed. These may be good options for you if you have very oily or acne-prone skin.

Powder-Coated Paper

In addition to soaking up excess oil, blotting papers that have been coated in powder can create an instant mattifying effect - your complexion (and makeup!) will thank you.

Blotting Paper Alternatives

Blotting Paper Alternatives

If you find yourself in a pinch without your blotting papers, don’t fret! While we would recommend purchasing a blotting paper that contains oil-fighting ingredients and paper coated with mattifying powder, these alternatives below are good substitutes if you find yourself with an oil-slick situation and no blotting papers in sight.

  • Coffee paper filters
  • Toilet seat covers
  • Toilet paper
  • Tissue paper

If you’ve made it this far, you may be wondering if there’s a better solution to your excess oil situation than soaking it up with thin papers. Blotting papers are good in a pinch and require less work up-front, but it may be worth trying to find the root cause of your oily skin issues.

First of all, you might just have naturally oily skin. And there’s nothing wrong with that! In fact, those of you with oily skin may have a leg up on your dry skin counterparts when it comes to your anti-aging routine.

But sometimes, our skin can overproduce oil as a result of an out-of-whack skincare routine. For example, you may be using cleansers that are too harsh for you skin, which can strip them of oil and lead to a damaged and weakened skin barrier. This can cause inflammation, increased oil production, and acne.

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does blotting paper help oily skin

Does facial oil blotting paper dry out the skin?

This is an automatically translated article.

1. What is oil blotting paper?

2. does facial oil blotting paper dry the skin, 3. some tips when taking care of oily skin.

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does blotting paper help oily skin

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Nước Micellar là một sản phẩm chăm sóc da đa năng. Nó đã trở thành sản phẩm được các chuyên gia làm đẹp và bác sĩ da liễu yêu thích. Nước Micellar được tạo ra bằng cách sử dụng nước ...

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Dr.TWL Dermaceuticals - Singapore Dermatologist Cosmeceutical Skincare

Are Oil Blotting Sheets Good or Bad for My Skin?

does blotting paper help oily skin

Are oil blotting papers helpful for oil control, or is it a temporary measure that makes you generate even more oil? In this article, hear what a dermatologist has to say about oil blotting sheets for oily skin, including oil control tips for acne-prone oily skin.  

Table of Contents

What are oil blotting sheets? 

Blotting sheets are highly absorbent papers that help to absorb oil from the skin, leaving a more matte complexion. The oil absorbing sheets you find in the drugstore are usually made from rice paper, wood pulp, and even cotton. 

How does oil-absorbing paper work? 

Essentially, they absorb the sebum produced on your face. Wicking away sweat, grime and oil when applied to the surface of your skin. 

Are oil blotting sheets effective? Are they good or bad for your skin?  

Many find that their skin gets greasier as we near the end of the day. In particular, living in Singapore’s humid climate may make you feel like your skin is oilier than it should be. While blotting papers do work in removing the oil from your face, many drugstore oil blotting papers have an astringent effect that can irritate the skin. Removing all the oil on your skin by absorption can lead to a paradoxical condition known as reactive seborrhea. 

Reactive seborrhea is when removing oil on your skin can lead to increased production of oil. Therefore, using oil blotting sheets for the sole purpose of reducing excessive oil production may not be effective. This is because it doesn’t treat the underlying causes of excess oil production. 

Dermatologist-designed best oil blotting sheets

Best oil blotting sheets

For individuals with acne prone skin, a tip I have is that it’s okay to remove the excess oil on your skin in the middle of the day. We have traditionally heard that blotting is bad for your skin. However, certain blotting linens infused with plant oils such as the Anti-Inflammatory Oil Blotting Linen can be helpful. Made from the hemp plant, or Cannabis Sativa this blotting paper can help to counteract reactive seborrhea. It does this by helping to stabilise the micro environment of the skin. By physically removing the oil and the grime that’s produced and accumulated on your skin. It also leaves a plant oil residue that’s an antioxidant, which can help to moisturise your skin as well. In short, this breaks the vicious cycle by moisturizing and hydrating your complexion,” Dr. Teo Wan Lin , accredited dermatologist.

Dermatologist tips for oily skin

Tip #1 – use the right oily skin face wash.

The key to an oily skin cleanser is that it should have an effective lathering action to remove oil dirt and grime. But at the same time, it should respect the skin barrier by not stripping the skin completely dry. Chemical sulfates tend to damage the skin barrier after repeated use. Interestingly, it is a total myth to treat oily skin with ‘deep cleansers’. Oily skin often reacts by producing even more oil when it is stripped of its natural moisture barrier. This iis a condition known as reactive seborrhea. In addition, such deep cleansers often contain small concentrations of salicylic acid or lactic acid, which when used daily, often cause facial dermatitis and eczema.

does blotting paper help oily skin

The Miel Honey™ Cleanser has natural antibacterial properties. The oil control is achieved by the gentle foaming action of honey as an emulsifier, substituting the bulk of chemical lathering agents such as laureth sulfates.

Tip #2 – Don’t forget to moisturize 

After removing the excess oil from your skin, touch up with a moisturizing facial mist that contains hydrating ingredients to prevent your skin from reactive seborrhea. The Mineral Booster contains deep sea water, and is formulated with polyglutamic acid. Hydrating sprays like this one are more acceptable to use over your makeup rather than a cream moisturiser.  This is also relevant for acne-prone oily skin. In summary, moisturizing is a key step in your mid-day skincare routine, and a spray can help with touch-ups without messing up your makeup. 

does blotting paper help oily skin

The Mineral Booster is a dual function refreshing mist to increase absorption of skincare at night. And, for a perfect look with make-up & during touch-ups in the day. It also contains skin-calming & repairing active ingredients.  

If you have oily or acne-prone skin, use an emulsion-base moisturizer. This is most suitable for the hot and humid climate here in Singapore. For convenient management, my patients often opt for the Radiancé Fluide™ Hydrating Emulsion , which is a lightweight moisturiser formulated as an emulsion (or oil-in-water) that is also packed with ceramide-type lipids and humectants like hyaluronic acid in a comfortable non-greasy texture suitable for the face.

does blotting paper help oily skin

Our  Radiancé Fluide TM   Hydrating Emulsion  is a light-weight moisturizer that helps you to achieve a natural dewy glow for your skin. Oily or combination skin types can look out for this moisturizer as it will not feel heavy on the skin, and is perfect as make-up base.

To regulate the moisture barrier of naturally oily skin, use a pharmaceutically compounded 1% hyaluronic acid serum. This is to regulate skin moisture without the oil you would find in a moisturising cream and is perfectly comfortable in our humid climate. To illustrate, the HA at a potent 1% intensively hydrates the skin without shine and occlusive effects. Therefore, over time eases the skin’s propensity towards oil production.

does blotting paper help oily skin

Tip #3 – Finish off with a loose powder for oil control

Additionally, you can use a loose powder formulated with Zinc Oxide, which is researched to help control the oil production and increase comfort levels on the skin. It is also more cosmetically appealing as it gives you a matte complexion. 

Alternative to best oil blotting sheets  - zinc oxide loose powder

The Anti-Acne Zinc Oxide Loose Powder has anti-sebum, oil control effects for comfortable application on sensitive skin.

Tip #4 – Avoid using makeup removal wipes

Makeup remover wipes are usually formulated with harsh makeup base dissolvers that can be irritating to skin. It is extremely hard to impregnate a fabric or sheet with a gentle cleansing solution and ensure that it is stable, hence, most makeup wipes contain harsh chemical ingredients. Makeup is oil soluble. Hence, use micellar formulations or oil emulsions to gently remove your makeup. 

does blotting paper help oily skin

The Le Lait Milk Cleanser is a gentle makeup remover including LARECEA™ Extract to accelerates collagen formation and for skin regeneration. Provides gentle & effective cleansing for sensitive skin, post-laser treatment & mature skin types.

Tip #5: Effective acne control creams

Certain topical medicines or ingredients may also be helpful to improve the condition of oily, acne-prone skin. Ingredients to look out for in your pimple creams are chlorella vulgaris extracts, and Berberine. Chlorella Vulgaris is a botanical anti-inflammatory that helps to prevent breakouts.

Blemish Spot Pimple Cream Dermatologist Formulated

The Blemish Spot Cream is a pimple cream that uses bioactive plant extracts to quickly reduce and inhibit spot inflammation. It contains chlorella vulgaris for anti-inflammation, argania spinosa for anti-pigmentation, and methionine for wound healing.

Berberine is a traditional Chinese herb that has proven to target mechanisms in acne formatoin in 4 main ways. Firstly, it blocks angroden and sebum production, helping to control oil. Secondly, it is anti-inflammtory, bactericidal and helps to treat hyperpigmentation and scarring through inhibiting melanin formation.

does blotting paper help oily skin

We use Berberine as Prescriptive Acne Treatment as it is a botanical ideal for maskne treatment under a face mask. With zero irritation formula and safe on fabrics.

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does blotting paper help oily skin

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Are Blotting Papers A Scam?

Blotting papers are the biggest scam of the summer, more from skin care, r29 original series.

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Dr.TWL Pharmacy - Singapore Skincare Pharmacy

Are Oil Blotting Papers Effective? Dermatologist Explains

does blotting paper help oily skin

To blot or not to blot? It can be tempting to rely on oil blotting papers to remove excess oil on the face, especially in a humid, tropical climate like Singapore. In this episode, Dr. Teo Wan Lin explains the science behind oil blotting papers and whether or not they are really effective for oily skin.

Ep 3: The Art & Science of Facial Blotters

Do you use oil blotting papers? The science of face blotters are mixed. Or is it? Welcome to Hot and Sweaty Beauty, a dermatologist’s guide to Singapore beauty. 

Where we endeavour to unravel the deepest, darkest, secrets… of how Singapore weather. Well, is too hot. Too sweaty for girls to stay beautiful.

That’s not true by the way. I’m Dr. TWL, and I’m here to help. On a more serious note. Do you use oil blotters? Traditionally, dermatologists may say, “oil blotters don’t work. Plus they make your skin ever oilier.”

“My skin, even oilier? Impossible.” 

I understand. While only my nose gets oily. I know many of you are oily everywhere, on your face I mean. 

So the purpose of today’s episode is to clarify the science of how blotting linens work. What you should be looking out for when choosing a blotting best friend. And oh. Why Hermes blotting papers cost $68. It’s blotting paper en plein air. Silly me.

It’s definitely affordable.

How do oil blotting papers work?

does blotting paper help oily skin

Anti-Inflammatory Oil Blotting Linen  is made from the hemp plant, or  Cannabis Sativa . This blotting paper can help to counteract reactive seborrhea by helping to stabilise the micro environment of the skin.

On a serious note. Blotting papers do not simply remove excess oil from one’s skin. They quite literally can remove most of the oil. That isn’t necessarily evil. Because a mattified complexion does feel more comfortable in humid weather. Trouble is, what skin looks like on the surface only tells part of the story of what’s actually going on under. Healthy skin is actually supposed to produce sebum, why that’s what sebaceous glands are for. Also known as oil glands which become active after the onset of puberty. This sebum contains lipids, which lubricate the surface of skin, enhancing the skin barrier. Besides, it also in a way, your skin’s natural “serum”, which also happens to be well. Free. Since us Singaporeans love all things free right? 

There is in fact a study which shows that those with oilier skin types , i.e. acne-prone as well, tend to display less signs of skin aging than their counterparts. Meaning, they have less wrinkles and their skin looks more plump, fuller, when they grow older. 

So blotting is an act which rather indiscriminately removes all the oil. Depending of course on how much one blots, and how oily is oily. I do remember having some friends back in Junior College who seemed to relish being able to exhaust an entire packet of the blue J & J blotting paper (popular then)  in a single day. But the key here is understanding how skin reacts when the surface oil is removed. 

Are oil blotting sheets effective?

Essentially, hyperseborrhea is a medical condition whereby the oil glands are dysregulated and produce more oil than it should. Why that happens boils down to one’s genetics. And while we know individual genetics differ, when one has a family history of a condition, it is far more likely to develop as well, in that individual. Blotting papers physically absorb the oil. Leaving skin feeling abnormally dry. In this setting. You see, skin is an organ, like all other organs in our body, which has a certain intelligence. It responds to the circadian rhythm for example and all physiological processes, take time. So removing all the oil suddenly, isn’t quite normal for skin that is used to producing quite a lot of oil.

What happens then is that it can begin to overcompensate, that means that it starts to produce oil to replace the oil that has been removed. I think this is a problem only when one blots excessively. But nevertheless is one that deserves our attention. 

does blotting paper help oily skin

The Blemish Spot Mask Peel is an at-home facial peel that consists of potent pharmacologically active plant extracts formulated to treat acne-prone oily skin

Should we blot or not?

I think the answer should be that one ought to blot discriminately.  And this is where the art comes in handy. The decision of when to blot and how often should be one that we think through. 

The science doesn’t really support blotters. Because well, oil glands simply don’t work this way. If you truly suffer from excessively oily skin, one that is debilitating. Your dermatologist may prescribe oral isotretinoin in low doses which reduces sebaceous gland activity significantly. My personal preference is to use topical methods, such as balancing cleansers and toners and also, the right type of moisturiser. Balancing isn’t a medical or scientific term but is one that I’ll readily use because it best explains the concept I am getting at. We essentially don’t want to remove oil. We want to balance the skin. Reach an equilibrium of sorts, one that enables your natural sebum to perform its intended protective function on the skin barrier, while not appearing on skin like a layer of shine. 

The art of using blotters is essentially utilising it as a cosmetic intervention. That is how I would view it. Nobody likes having an oily shiny complexion. Especially uncomfortable in a tropical climate like Singapore’ s. So when we touch up our makeup in the middle of the day for example, it is definitely more appropriate to remove the excess oil first before applying more foundation, concealer or powder. I am now going to share how I do this. 

How to reduce oily skin? Oily skin makeup tips

First, I am going to talk about major touch-ups. I would use the micellar pad from the pharmacy, which is a material that attracts makeup particles and dirt with water alone and hence functions as an efficient makeup remover on the go. I would use that to clean off areas of my skin that look like it requires touch up. Then, I would apply concealer if necessary followed by face powder. For those with oily skin, you can use a loose powder formulation with zinc oxide , that helps to regulate oil production. 

does blotting paper help oily skin

The Anti Acne Zinc Oxide Loose Powder comes with a microfibrillar velour puff for comfortable application on sensitive, irritated skin with a natural effect.

As for minor touch-ups, I use blotters on oily areas which are usually where I need to fix my makeup anyway. For me, that would be my nose and sometimes my chin because I have combination skin. I will only use a single sheet, and blot not more than 3 times over the same area. I will then apply the concealer/foundation/CC cream . Then set it with the facial mist . Usually, the facial mist ought to contain hydrating ingredients and also antioxidants that can encourage healthy skin functions, including sebum regulation. 

does blotting paper help oily skin

The Mineral Booster is a dual function refreshing mist to increase absorption of skincare at night, for a perfect look with make-up & during touch-ups in the day.

Well, that’s it for today’s episode on the art and science of blotting papers. Do check out our podcast at m where you can get the full transcripts and also find out more about what we offer. Till the next episode and here’s wishing you a fantastic 2023.

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does blotting paper help oily skin


Beauty research | is blotting paper good for oily skin.

If you have oily skin like me then you have possibly already tried it… blotting paper. But does it work? Some call it the biggest scam and some might refer to it as the biggest beauty mistake you can make, but do you think it actually works? I’ve heard tons of rumors, but it’s time to find out myself whether blotting paper works or not.

How does blotting paper work? People with oily skin will probably know, but let me explain for those who don’t. Blotting paper, blotting sheets or just mattifying wipes are small sheets of paper which usually come in a compact package that can easily fit into your handbag. The idea of the paper is that you can dab them on your face where your skin shines too much. The paper is made to absorb the excess oil in your skin, making your face look matte again.

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Is blotting paper actually bad for your skin? Does it cause breakouts? No, you don’t have to worry about getting breakouts when using blotting paper or it being bad for your face, but blotting paper does give you a sense of false hope. Most people use it in attempt to make their face look ”less oily” , but truth be told, when using these skin tools your skin will only produce more oil. Here is a little tip: perhaps try combating your oily skin with the right facial oils or the right moisturizers. Another thing that’ll help? Exfoliate once a week.

Thank you for reading! Until next time!!

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