Oily skin can be a pain to deal with. Medically termed as seborrhea, oily skin is a result of the overproduction of sebum by the sebaceous glands in the skin. Those who have this condition usually have shiny, oily skin and large pores.
Oily skin tends to age better and develop fewer wrinkles than dry or normal skin, which is good news. Nevertheless, the excess oil may get trapped in the pores and blend with the dead skin cells, dirt, and bacteria to form blemishes, pimples, or blackheads.
What Causes Oily Skin?
Oily skin can be caused by the following:
- Genetic predisposition
- Dietary choices
- Too much stress
- Hormonal changes in the body during the onset of puberty
- During menstrual cycles, pregnancy, or menopause and while taking birth control pills
Signs and Symptoms of Oily Skin
Oily skin happens when your body produces more natural oils than needed. This is prominently visible around the T zone of your face encompassing your forehead and nose. This extra oil may accumulate and develop into acne.
Oily skin will have a:
- Shiny or greasy appearance
- Texture heavier than regular
Medical Treatment for Oily Skin
Mild seborrhea can be treated by taking diligent steps to remove the secreted oils on the skin surface. Following a daily facial washing ritual twice a day with mild soap and water can help manage your oily skin.
A severe case of seborrhea that causes discomfort to the affected individual must be checked in with a dermatologist. Your doctor is likely to prescribe you the following medications:
- Retinoids, including topical and oral vitamin A-derived medications, can treat oily skin. The most potential retinoid is tretinoin.
- Severe cases may be treated with a low dose of oral isotretinoin.
- In a study published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, hormonal therapy was suggested as a method to treat oily skin. Oral contraceptives that check the surge of hormones can help limit the secretion of sebum.
Tips and Remedies to Manage Oily Skin at Home
Oily skin can be difficult to manage, but there are many things you can do to solve this common problem. There is no need to use expensive, chemical-based skin care products. Many people have found simple home remedies to be equally effective.
1. Keep Tabs on What You Eat
The food that you eat is your source of nutrition and directly affects the production of various secretions of the body, including sebum or oil. You can help control the secretion of oil on your skin surface by avoiding foods that enhance sebum production and eating foods that control it.
Bulk up your diet with the following foods:
- Carbohydrates that are low in the glycemic index such as oats, beans, fruits, and whole-wheat pasta and bread to decrease the production of oil
- Foods rich in vitamin C such as limes and oranges to help in cleansing the skin of toxins and oil
- Foods abundant in omega-3 fatty acids such as fatty fishes, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and flaxseeds to remove excess oil
Avoid eating the following foods:
- Foods high in trans fat and unhealthy saturated fat including processed and fried food items
- Dairy products including milk, cheese, and yogurt, which can induce oil production over the skin surface
2. Wash Your Face Frequently
Washing your face at least twice a day can help remove the oil deposition in the skin. Removing the excess oil eliminates the chances of developing pimples and acne that result from oily skin.
Keep blotting papers with you to wipe your face. Although these do not have a role in sebum production, they can help remove the excess oil. Wiping off the oil that may accumulate on your skin can help keep the pores clean and oil-free.
Also, you can regularly apply toner on your skin, which aids in deep cleansing. However, avoid using products that contain harsh chemicals such as menthol. These products can cause dryness, prompting the skin to produce more oil to make up for the loss.
3. Natural Face Masks for Oily Skin
a) Fuller’s Earth and Lemon Face Mask
Fuller’s earth, commonly known as bentonite, is accredited with excellent cleansing and exfoliating properties. Regular use of fuller’s earth mask can help wipe off the excess oil from the skin.
- Mix a teaspoon of bentonite, a few drops of lemon juice, and rose water.
- Add enough water to make a paste.
- Apply this mask on your face evenly.
- Let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
- Use this mask two to four times a week.
b) Turmeric, Sandalwood, and Orange Juice Face Mask
To keep your skin clean, oil-free, and hydrated, combine the goodness of turmeric powder, orange juice, and sandalwood powder.
- Combine 2 tablespoons of sandalwood powder, ¼ tablespoon of turmeric powder, and 2-3 tablespoons of orange juice and mix them well to achieve a smooth consistency.
- Apply this paste evenly on your face.
- Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Rinse it off with lukewarm water.
- Apply this mask at least twice a week if your skin is oily.
4. Try Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is a good source of citric acid, which works like an astringent. It also has antiseptic properties that can lighten skin discolorations and restore the skin’s pH balance.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice with a ½ teaspoon of distilled water. Apply the mixture on your skin using a cotton ball. Leave it on for 10 minutes and then wash your face with warm water. Lemon juice can dry out your skin, so apply some oil-free moisturizer afterward. Do this once daily.
5. Apply a DIY Oatmeal and Yogurt Scrub
Ground oatmeal has been used immensely for its soothing properties to reduce inflammation and itching.
It can also be used to relieve oily skin owing to its moisturizing properties. Its anti-inflammatory properties help curtail the associated irritation and redness and also lessen the chances of an acne breakout.
Yogurt contains acidic lactic acid and can help soak up the oil from the skin tissues.
Oatmeal and yogurt make for a gentle exfoliating combination for your oily skin.
- Mix 2 tablespoons each of organic yogurt and finely ground oatmeal.
- Stir in 1 teaspoon of warm honey.
- Apply the mixture on your face.
- Leave it on for 10-15 minutes and then rinse your face with warm water.
Use this treatment every other day for 1 month and you will see effective results
6. Exfoliate with Sea Salt
Sea salt is a natural antibacterial agent that can help fight the bacteria that live on your oily skin and give rise to acne and pimples. Aside from this, sea salt is also known for restoring the pH of the skin.
Combining sea salt with honey or lemon can positively help the skin.
Lemon juice provides citric acid, which acts as an astringent and helps reduce the blemishes.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of sea salt and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
- Use this mixture to massage your face twice a week.
The anti-inflammatory properties of honey can help fight acne and provide hydration deep down the skin layers.
- Mix 2 teaspoons of sea salt and 4 tablespoons of raw organic honey to make a paste.
- Spread this paste evenly on your face, avoiding the eye region.
- Let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
- Then, soak a washcloth in warm water, and wring out the excess water.
- Spread this washcloth on your face and let it be for about 30 seconds.
- Rinse it off, slowly exfoliating your skin by moving your fingers in circular motions.
7. Scrub with a Blend of Coffee Grounds and Honey
Coffee contains plenty of antioxidants and can help increase the collagen and elastin content of your skin and add firmness to it. Not only roasted coffee beans but also coffee extracts such as silverskin have antioxidant and antimicrobial activities.
Coffee has been reported to have effects similar to hyaluronic acid, a biochemical compound that is a part of several anti-aging products.
Honey can help reduce excess oil on the skin surface, clear pores, and prevent wrinkles. Honey has moisturizing properties that nourish the skin and keep it sufficiently moisturized without making it oily. Also, the natural antiseptic property of honey is highly beneficial for acne-prone oily skin.
- Apply a thin layer of honey all over your face and leave it on for 15 minutes. Wash your face thereafter. Do this twice daily.
- Mix used coffee grounds, honey, and lemon juice in equal quantities to form a thick paste.
- Use this paste as a scrub. Apply it gently on your face in circular motions for a few minutes. Do not scrub hard.
- Rinse your face with warm water.
- Use organic witch hazel as a toner for your skin to cleanse the pores while they are open.
- Do this three times a week for best results.
8. Try Egg Whites
Egg whites contain scads of vitamin A and can hence be used to dry out oily skin. It can also help clean the pores by penetrating deep into the skin.
- Whip 1 egg white until stiff and spread it on your skin. Allow it to dry and then wash it off with warm water. Do this twice a week.
- Whip 1 egg white, add the juice from half a lemon and mix them well. Apply the mixture on your face, leave it on for 15 minutes, and then rinse it off with warm water. This will tighten the skin and soak up the excess oil.
9. Soak Your Skin in Tomato Juice
Tomatoes are great for oily skin due to their cooling, clarifying, and astringent properties. The high vitamin C content of tomatoes is very helpful for acne-prone skin. Plus, the natural oil-absorbing acids in tomatoes help get rid of excess oil.
- Cut a tomato in half and rub it on your skin.
- Allow the juice to soak into your skin for at least 15 minutes.
- Rinse your skin with cold water, pat it dry, and apply a light oil-free moisturizer.
10. Rub Cucumbers on Your Skin
Cucumbers are also very beneficial for oily skin due to their cooling, astringent, and soothing properties. Also, their high vitamin and mineral content, including vitamin A and E, magnesium, and potassium, are good for oily skin.
- Cut a fresh organic cucumber into thick slices, and rub them thoroughly on your face. Do this daily before going to bed. Leave it on overnight and rinse your face with warm water in the morning.
- Alternatively, mix a ½ teaspoon each of cucumber juice and lime juice. Apply this mixture to your skin, let it dry, and then wash it off with warm water. Do this daily. This remedy can also be used to lighten freckles and reduce sunburn.
11. Apply Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera has antimicrobial properties that make it ideal for treating acne-prone oily skin. Also, aloe vera can absorb excess oil from your skin’s surface. It also moisturizes the skin, which is also important to control oily skin.
- Cut an aloe vera leaf in half and extract the fresh gel. Apply the gel on your face. Let it dry and then wash your face with clean water. Do these two or three times a day.
- Alternatively, boil an aloe vera leaf in water for a few minutes. Grind the leaf along with some honey to make a paste. Apply it thoroughly all over your oily skin. Leave it on for 20 minutes and then rinse it off with cold water. Do this once a week.
12. Massage with a Mix of Milk and Essential Oils
Milk is a great oil-free cleanser that can make oily skin soft and supple. Milk has alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) that gently exfoliate the skin and also help maintain the skin’s natural pH balance.
- Mix 2-3 drops of sandalwood or lavender oil with 2 tablespoons of milk.
- Apply the mixture on your face using a cotton ball.
- Gently massage your skin for a few minutes to improve blood circulation and then go to sleep.
- In the morning, wash your face with cold water.
- Do this daily.
13. Use Apple Cider Vinegar as a Toner
Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties that are good for acne caused by a combination of oily skin and bacteria. Also, it is a rich source of AHAs that help tone and moisturize oily skin.
- You can make a homemade toner by diluting ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar with ¾ cup of distilled water. Apply this toner on your skin using a cotton ball. Leave it on for 5 to 10 minutes. Then, rinse it off with cool water. Do this several times a week to see positive results.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink it every night before going to bed. This will help balance your hormones, which in turn will control the production of excess oil in the skin.
Control and Prevention
The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends the following to steer clear of oily skin:
- Wash your face every morning, after an exercise session, and in the evening. Do not scrub your skin during washing.
- Choose skin care products that are oil-free and noncomedogenic. These will not cause acne or pimples.
- Use a face wash that is gentle and foaming. Avoid using facial products that contain harsh chemicals or oil that can irritate your skin or worsen its condition.
- Avoid using toners and cleansers containing alcohol.
- Moisturize your skin daily. Doing so helps protect your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun. Use water-based light moisturizers.
- Always wear sunscreen when going out to prevent skin damage from sun exposure.
- Remove your makeup before sleeping.
- Avoid touching your face to avoid the spread of dirt, bacteria, and oil.
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