You may be tempted to start over washing or exfoliating away the oil—but as we’ve mentioned time and again, this will only make the problem worse. When our skin is irritated and we strip away our natural oils, it triggers the skin to enter sebum overdrive mode. 

“With the overproduction of sebum, that sebum is a little bit different in composition,” celebrity esthetician Alicia Yoon, founder of Peach & Lily, tells mbg about dealing with oily skin. “There are more wax esters, it’s a little bit glassier, and the oil can look more yellow versus clear.” That thick, yellowish oil is the substance you might associate with “oily skin,” but the actual amount isn’t necessarily the problem. See, when you hydrate your skin, it actually produces different kinds of oils, says Yoon—the lipids that make your skin look supple and dewy, never greasy. What’s more, supplying your skin with some much-needed hydration can even reduce some of that excess sebum.

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