Is oily skin ruining your selfie shot?
Are you tired of looking like you’re in a constant but moderate sweat when it’s only 50 degrees outside?
Is your makeup smearing off before it even reaches midday?
Is your face as shiny as a sweating, bald man’s head?
Perhaps, being mistaken for a teenager when you’re in your 30s was the last straw; thanks to the pimples and zits that were supposed to be a thing of your past.
Okay, so maybe I went a little overboard describing your daily torment, but you get the idea of how that dreaded, shiny T-zone can affect your everyday life.
This article is going to help you change that in 2021.
Oily skin is one of those issues that you’re sometimes not sure if you should take it seriously or not. Since it doesn’t hurt you physically, you rationalize that you should just have to deal with it; and, that can be quite difficult when oily skin seems to never go away for good.
If you can answer “yes” to any of the above questions, then I’ve got some great news for you. If you want to find out the best way to get rid of oily skin permanently, then you’ve come to the right place.
Learn what daily skin care routines actually work and which ones deserve to never be done again, recognize when you need to make that appointment with a dermatologist, and assess whether or not you need to make some lifestyle changes.
Your quality of life and self-esteem should not be negatively affected because a couple of sebaceous glands decided to go rogue and work the overtime shift – when it wasn’t even called for.
Despite how long you’ve had it or how much you’ve tried to get rid of it, you’re not doomed to suffer the rest of your life dealing with it. So, read on, apply, and never shy away from a camera flash again!
Causes of Oily Skin
If you’ve been suffering with oily skin, chances are that you’ve heard of sebaceous glands. They’re the tiny little oil glands beneath the surface of the skin that are responsible for producing oil or sebum to protect your gorgeous complexion.
Sebum helps to protect the skin from the effects of dehydration, can ward off wrinkles, and slow down the skin’s pace of aging. But, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, as you evidently know. You’re more likely to suffer from acne breakouts, skin blemishes, and the appearance of larger pores.
Unfortunately, you don’t have just one culprit to blame when it comes to why you’re here surfing the net about how to get clean skin naturally; that would be too easy. But, going home with gold medals for being the reason you want to tear at your face whenever you look into the mirror are:
It’s hereditary… Enter here: sad face. There’s not much to say about this except for, make a note to self: thank Mom and Dad later – not.
Hormone levels are directly responsible for overactive sebaceous glands. When androgen levels change or increase, you’re more likely to see an outbreak of pimples, white heads, blackheads, or full-blown acne because of the excess oil production. Stress, pregnancy, peri-menopause, and pre-menopause can trigger hormone androgens.
This includes overuse and unnecessary use. Sometimes the glands get the signal to produce more oil because you’re inadvertently stoking the fire and telling them to. The good news is you’ll learn right here how to utilize products correctly and which ones need to go straight into the trash bin.
When you’re under stress and pressure, all sorts of hormone levels are affected, but in particular, androgen. When these levels are on the rise, in both men and women, it causes more oil production. But, we will take a look at lifestyle changes later in this guide to help reduce androgen levels by reducing stress and triggers.
If I had a comic strip for this, it would be something like this…
You: Oh, I look like I’ve been kissed by the sun…
Skin: I’m melting, I’m drying out, I’m shriveling up inside…
Sebaceous Glands: Attention! Injury has been sustained. You’re all working overtime for the next decade until this surface is as shiny and smooth as a baby’s bottom!
Bottom line: tanning in the sun – bad. But, you don’t have to give up that gorgeous, sun-kissed look. Instead, use a quality tanning lotion that uses olive tones as a base, not orange, and you’ll get that youthful vibrancy you’re after without harming your sensitive skin cells.
Sometimes it’s not just an oily T-zone because you got the wrong gene. Lack of or frequently interrupted sleep, a sedentary lifestyle, and poor diet void of nutrition can be a big reason your skin is suffering. At this point, the excess oil is just a symptom and a signal that some healthy changes need to be made.
That’s right, even the sun gets to have a say in how shiny your T-zone is going to be for the day – or the next three months! Your oily face may be more obnoxious during humid and warmer weather, not necessarily because there’s been an increase in sebum production, but because the excess oil may be more bothersome than usual. It may not get any better in the colder months either. Your skin may dry up causing the glands to overcompensate, work harder, and ultimately, produce an excess of oil in order to protect it.
The skin is an extremely porous and sensitive organ that needs to be taken care of the right way. When your glands have taken it upon themselves to work harder than normal, let me help you calm the forces down. Now that we know the causes of oily skin, let’s get to the good stuff so you can start living your life full of confidence and shine – the inner kind of shine that is.
Daily Skin Care Routine to Help Oily Skin
Wash Your Face
This is a no-brainer right? Well, half the problem is that people haven’t been taught how or when to wash. It can be super tempting to wash several times a day to calm down the shine, but this can be one of the worst things to do. Over-washing can strip too much oil, causing glands to overcompensate what it’s been stripped of. Instead, wash only twice a day – once in the morning and once at night.
But, what about what you should use? The brand name foamer, the latest apricot infused exfoliator, or the $20 rotating cleansing brush?
Here’s some classic advice: “Keep it simple, stupid”.
Less really is more in proper skin care. Over-exfoliating, too much pressure, and excess product use combined with unnecessary tools like hand mitts, cleansing brushes, and flannels will all cause dry and irritated skin. I think you can guess the inevitable result. Studies confirm that you want to avoid harsh and heavy products, astringents, and cleansers with dyes and perfumes.
Instead, look for these things in a daily cleansing product:
- soap – pure, lightly medicated, no artificial additives (more on soaps later)
- alcohol-free products
- oil-based products
- antibacterial cleansing lotion
Once you’ve chosen a face wash for oily skin, let me instruct you on how to properly wash your face. Be warned: it does require more than a splash here and a splash there.
Wash your hands. After all, your hands are tools, and there’s no point cleaning your face if the tools you’re about to use are covered in germs.
You’ll want to wet your face completely with warm water. Why warm and not hot or cold? There’s more on this later. But for now, warm water combined with proper massage will stimulate pores enough for cleaning and exfoliation.
Lather up your cleanser of choice onto your fingertips – think dime size. Now start massaging it in starting from the top of the forehead down along the nose, now out to the cheeks and down around the chin. Massage with the fingertips in small, circular, outward motions that are gentle.
Remember that although you’re not applying a ton of pressure, the cleanser is doing its job through the massage while also boosting oxygen and blood circulation levels.
At this point, you may use a muslin cloth to gently help rinse off, otherwise, just rinse off at this point with some splashes of cool water to close off your pores.
Now, use one hand to hold one side of the towel to pat dry areas of your face. No aggressive rubbing here. The skin around the eyes are very fragile and delicate, and although you may not think you’re doing a lot of damage right now, you’ll pay for it down the road.
If you have very oily skin, use a deep-cleaning exfoliant every other day using the same daily washing technique and massage.
If you have to use alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) skin care products, you want to be very careful that you don’t do more damage than harm.
If all your skin care products are AHAs, choose just one of them to include in your daily wash. For example, if you’re using an AHA cleanser, choose a non-AHA serum and non-AHA moisturizer to avoid skin sensitization, irritation, and over-stimulation.
Start off very slowly by only using it every other day for several weeks.
Choosing the Right Soap for Oily Skin
Think of your skin like a big sponge, it’s going to absorb everything it’s exposed to, including the type of soap you use. When you’re trying to combat oily skin, it’s about treating the problem, not just the symptom, and a quality facial soap can help.
Choosing the right kind of soap means reading labels to know what kind of effects different ingredients have on your skin. It may be the difference between an oily face or a well-balanced one.
First off, why do you need to use soap? Soaps are cleansing agents, and when they’re chosen wisely, they do not strip your skin of its oils.
Instead, a quality soap bar should do quite a few things:
- clean your oily skin of daily dirt, dust, and grime
- moisturize your skin
- refresh your skin
- prevent build-up of acne-causing bacteria
- prevent pore-clogging
- balance your natural skin oils without drying you out
Many commercial soaps on the shelves at the store today contain so many chemicals that actually disqualify them from being called “soap” – that’s because they’re not.
You’ll see that many facial “soaps” are actually labelled as beauty, deodorizing, or cleansing bars with the word “soap” nowhere to be found. They’re actually detergents which are great for stripping oils – but on your skin?
All those chemicals may be great for household chores, but they’re harsh on your facial skin and they take all the oil you have, causing glands to overcompensate for what’s been taken.
Quality facial cleansers and soaps for oily skin should pull in moisture from the air and keep your skin hydrated. Since this process naturally moisturizes at the same time, it might be the only form of treatment you need.
Let’s explore what types of soaps there are in our mission to get rid of oily skin for good.
These are typically sold as cleansers and are aimed towards those with really bad cases of hormonal acne. AHA cleansers claim the same benefits as soap, although they’re usually soap-free, while also minimizing the active effects of acne with astringents.
If you’re suffering from just oily skin, it’s best to try other soaps since this is an extreme solution for your case.
These soaps usually have infused herbs and oils to help gently cleanse off acne-causing bacteria and to help restore the natural balance of oils without stripping you completely. They can contain essential oils, herbs like neem and rosemary, and ingredients like oatmeal or raw honey.
They’re also going to be void of perfumes, dyes, and chemicals that can worsen your oily skin.
They also have high levels of glycerin that pulls moisture from the air and draws it in, keeping your skin refreshed and hydrated, which keeps sebum production at bay.
These soaps are usually a mix between natural and AHA soaps in the fact that they are made to be gentle and sensitive as possible, but they still contain some ingredients that are made to medically treat the effects of oily skin.
These soaps may contain Triclosan, Sulfur, Biosulfur, Salicylic Acid, and others that are known to have anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties to help clean and sanitize skin.
Whether you want to go au natural or try your hand at something stronger, here are a few tips to remember:
- Avoid dyes, perfumes, and chemicals in your soaps/cleansers
- AHA products should be reserved for those who suffer from severe effects of oily skin
- Avoid comedogenic products since they block pores. This can be mineral oil or petroleum based products.
- Avoid alcohol-based products because they’ll contribute to your skin drying out
- If you use a glycerin-free soap, you’ll need to compensate with a glycerin moisturizer
- Avoid products with astringents in them since they’ll dry out your skin
Getting the Right Water Temperature
In your search of how to treat oily skin on face, you’ll come across a lot of conflicting advice: “hot water”, “cold water”, “lukewarm”… it all leaves you wondering which is it? To understand better which temperature of water is best for getting rid of oily skin, let’s review the effects of hot, cold, and warm.
Hot water sure does feel good, especially in the shower, but it doesn’t mean that it’s a good thing for treating oily skin. Hot water and steam may be great for opening up pores, but it’s an extreme and can come as a shock to the skin. It could possibly cause damage to the capillaries that are very close to the surface like around the nose and cheeks, worsening red and sensitive skin.
Even though it gets the pores wide and open for a cleanse, hot water and steam actually strips away all natural sebum and dries out the skin. This is a no-go if you want to get rid of oily skin for good.
Like hot water, it’s an extreme and can cause the same damage to your skin. Cold water isn’t very effective in washing away dirt and grime, and it sure does keep your pores tight and closed.
If you’re wanting to get rid of oily skin, this is the temperature you want to start with in your daily wash. It’s comfortable to the skin and gentle to all the sensitive nerve endings in the face.
Combine the warm water, good cleanser or soap, and proper facial washing technique and you’ll get a good, deep clean without compromising your oil balance. The glands won’t be signaled to make more sebum and you can keep your shine under control.
Using the right temperature water every wash every day, can help normalize your oil imbalance to where your glands aren’t producing an excess with each day that passes. You want to avoid extremes on either end, so stick with warm water to wash.
Exfoliating for Oily Skin
Exfoliating, like any other part of your skin care regime, requires less pressure and less scrub than you may think. Remember, a reason why you may not have overcome oily skin is because of incorrect use, overuse, and unnecessary use of skin care products.
Learn right here what type of exfoliating products you should use, when to use it, and especially, how.
As you know and probably feel, oily skin tends to make your face feel somewhat slick and thick. This is all the build-up and layers of dead skin cells, excess oil, and an inflamed pore lining which is just the right kind of yummy environment acne-causing bacteria love. Using an exfoliant to gently remove all this build-up allows the pores to open up and breathe.
These are commercially-made exfoliants that have various amounts of different chemicals to help dry out your skin, and boy do they work. They’re effective because they’re very strong, and if you don’t use them right, they can be too harsh for the skin causing you to accidentally do more damage than good.
But, if you want to give it a try, run it by your doctor or dermatologist first to ensure correct use. They also don’t contain any particles or grains to help slough off the dead cells. These kinds of exfoliants will probably be AHA products.
These types will have grains and particles in them to help clean the surface of the skin, also marketed as scubs. The grainy scrub can be made from crystals, oatmeal, beans, beads, sugar, and even baking soda. You can even make your own scrub at home using ground flaxseeds, ground calendula flowers, or even coffee grounds. You should remember that as the grain or the scrubbing particles get larger, the more irritating it can be to the skin.
Some exfoliants and scrubs can include additional additives to help get rid of oily skin and boost skin health in general. These ingredients can range from green tea to jojoba oil and linoleic acid.
You also might want to look for a quality exfoliant for oily skin that contains salicylic acid (BHA) which has many benefits for your skin. It can:
- reduce irritation because it has anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe the pace of sebum production.
- cleanses the pore lining
- breaks up hardened and dead skin cells
- prevents the back-up and build-up of oil
- helps to prevent the onset of acne, whiteheads, and blackheads
- allows pores to breathe
- allows for sebum to flow to the surface without being clogged
- improves pore function
Once you have an exfoliant in mind to include in your skin care regime, you should know when and how often to exfoliate. Knowing how often can be a bit of a puzzler. Take into account the severity of your oily skin, where you work or the environment you’re exposed to on a daily basis, and how abrasive is your exfoliant?
If you’re here reading this, then you’ve probably got a bad case of oil-face, and you should exfoliate only once either every second day or everyday. You don’t want to over-exfoliate and inadvertently cause skin damage and make your oily skin worse over time.
As to “how” should you exfoliate, use the same method as the daily face wash step-by-step guide outlined above in the article. When you’ve got oily skin, exfoliation can’t be skipped. Go ahead, it’s good for you.
Facial Toners for Oily Skin
If you have oily skin, it’s highly likely that you have a bottle of toner sitting on your vanity counter right now. You’ve probably heard of it being a help for some people and it making oily skin worse for others. But, what exactly are facial toners? In one sentence…
Toners clean the skin to reduce excess sebum while also helping to shrink the appearance of pores.
Sounds exactly like what you need right? Well, yes and no. There are different types of facial toners and they’re not all equally made.
It’s said that soaps can change the pH level of your skin, hence the need for a toner to return it to healthy levels. But, when you choose a gentle soap for oily skin, the pH doesn’t change much, sort of reducing the need for toners.
Toners also help prep the skin for any antibacterial washes or moisturizes to be absorbed into the skin. But, a quality cleanser or soap can do this too. Poorly-made tonic formulas, even the really expensive kind, have given toners a bad rep over time. But, there is always the exception to the rule.
Choosing the right toner, if you need one at all, could be the just the thing you need.
If you have oily skin and you’re using one of these, like rosewater, throw it out, it’s no use to you. Although they usually have some form of humectant to keep moisture in the top layer of your skin, this type of toner is intended for people with dry to normal skin. The fragrances in these toners are usually too strong for the skin to handle.
These products can be alcohol-based to about 20 percent, and are stronger than a freshener or bracer tonic. They’re also for combination or oily skin. Common ingredients can include orange flower water, natural witch hazel, boric acid, and tincture of benzoin.
These contain more alcohol and are stronger than the rest. Because of this, they’re supposed to be extremely helpful for people with oily skin.
These toners use many beneficial, natural ingredients that are supposed to boost antioxidant activity and support other skin-repairing cells to help make pores more efficient at handling excess oil, clean out pores, and reduce the appearance of pores.
You really should avoid tonic lotions or washes that have astringents and/or alcohol in them because they can cause the skin to dry out. You will know this feeling as your skin feeling taut and/or itchy after using the toner. Your skin may also become inflamed and red.
A more natural, water-based, and perfume-free tonic can be helpful in reducing the effects of oily skin over time. With that said, they’re not absolutely necessary, but choosing a quality toner for oily skin – or even making your own – may be a positive change you could make to your daily routine.
Methods for Applying Toner
Facial toners are a debated topic in the dermatology world, because more often than not, the very toners that tout being able to get rid of your oily skin, end up making it worse. But, if you’ve found a quality, water-based, mineral-infused toner that you want to try and make a part of your daily regimen, here’s the proper way to do it.
- Only apply to areas of the face that are oily. Example: forehead, nose, and chin.
- Don’t apply to areas of the face that are typically normal or dry, like the cheeks.
Now that you know the general dos and don’ts of using toner, this is the only method that you should use to ensure proper application. Use after your facial washing routine in the morning and before bed.
With your hands clean, wet your face with warm water. Dampen two cotton pads with the toner and gently wipe the oily areas of your face. You can also buy toner wipes which may be a convenient option, but again check the label for any deceiving ingredients.
You may have used a spray bottle in the past or even used a tonic facial gauze. Although these can seem to be more efficient and time-saving techniques, they’re more damaging in the process.
You only want to apply to the areas where you need the toner. These other methods typically cover the entire face which can exaggerate the effects of oily skin and irritate it, producing more oil at the base of the pore. It can also produce patchy and scaly skin where it’s normally dry.
Moisturizing Oily Skin
Do I moisturize, do I not, do I moisturize, do I not? Each and every day may seem like you’re plucking petals from a daisy to decide whether or not you should slather on some moisturizer!
It’s as unproductive as trying to decipher your lover’s affections for you from a flower you’re literally ripping apart and killing. Kind of sounds like insanity right? Just like it is leaving your oily skin to Fate’s turn for the day! Let’s get one thing straight right now…
Oily skin needs hydration and moisturization everyday too! It’s not a hit and miss routine. The key to success lays in with what and when you do it.
Do I Really Need Moisturizer?
You might be plagued down by rebel oil so badly that you might wonder if you need to moisturize at all. And, the answer is always going to be a resounding “Yes!”.
Oily skin is in much need of hydration – no matter how much excess oil you have! Why? Because oily skin is a symptom – a reaction to the lack of moisture and hydration that your body is trying to tell you it so desperately needs!
Moisturizers are not only famous for making your skin smooth and soft, they also help to encourage healthy skin cell turnover.
They will seal and lock in the moisture and hydration you’ve already put into your skin. But, even better moisturizers will slow down and prevent moisture loss which will in turn calm and shut down oil producing glands. The less hyper gland activity there is, the less sebum – a food source for bacteria – there is.
Good moisturizers will also protect your skin from absorbing all the nasty microorganisms floating around in the air, and it will provide some, although very little, SPF protection too!
What are the Best Moisturizers for Oily Skin?
You’re going to want to look for moisturizers that are…
The last thing you need is to clog your pores in the process of trying to clear them out!
Synthetic additives for sweet-smelling creams and lotions can turn out to be counterproductive because they will most likely prove to be irritating to your skin. And, we all know where irritation leads to… more oil.
Look for moisturizers that are specifically for oily or acne-prone skin. Using a moisturizer for dry skin is unproductive, but using a harsh non-acnegenic one on a mild case of oily skin may prove to be too drying and damaging.
Heavy emollients will feel like you’re smearing a thick layer of grease that are likely to be comedogenic. Instead, look for moisturizers that don’t contain petroleum derived substances, dimethicone, mineral oil, paraffin, and lanolin.
These are the good kinds that have been extracted through cold-press methods. These ingredients can be coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, and avocado oil.
For the most effective line up of the best moisturizers for acne prone skin or the best non comedogenic moisturizers, we’ve got it all for you right here!
So, if you’re going to wear a moisturizer, exactly how should you go about applying it for the best prevention of a breakout?
How to Moisturize Oily Skin
During your skin care routine, hopefully you’ve properly cleansed your face with acne-safe products that have natural humectants to draw in moisture for ultimate hydration. Now, it’s the moisturizers job to seal and lock in that moisture and allow for more hydration throughout the day.
Remember these simple rules:
- Stop over-doing all your facial routines. No more over-washing, over-scrubbing, and over-slathering. Less is more. A pump or two, chickpea size, or even fingernail size is enough.
- For medicated moisturizers – use a pea size amount.
- Dot all areas of your face: forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin.
- Gently rub in outward circular motions until it’s all absorbed.
- Repeat this process every time you do your cleansing routine… about twice daily.
Choosing Makeup for Oily Skin
If you’ve got oily skin and you’re a woman, you’re probably very familiar with the midday smudge and sludge of your makeup smearing off.
If you’re a man with oily skin, you’ve probably considered wearing makeup just to tone down the shine!
Well, just because your glands are working overtime, it doesn’t mean you have to forgo the luscious touch of a powder brush or the made-up look makeup gives. It just means you need to be picky about what you put on your face and in what order you apply.
Here are some tips; on how to manage oily skin and still enjoy wearing make-up that lasts longer than your midday lunch break.
Use a primer on oily areas of the face, like the T-zone. Use an oil-free product before applying anything else to your skin. This sets the stage for makeup to stay put.
Invest in a primer that’s designed specifically for eyelids. This will reduce makeup from creasing due to the release of natural oils throughout the day.
Go easy on applying the powder. Using a matte translucent formula can cut down the shine.
Go au natural or oil-free when it comes to foundations and blushes. You can decrease the tendency for pores to clog with non-comedogenic makeup products to still allow for pores to breathe.
If you want to keep your makeup on, make sure you have the right kind of makeup to get the job done. Invest in long-wearing makeup like waterproof products.
Since the sun and deliberate sun-tanning can damage skin and cause an increase in sebum production, you should always apply sun-screen daily before applying any makeup products to protect your skin.
Avoid oil-based sunscreens, including those with plant oils and the like. Instead, opt for a water-based sunscreen with upwards of SPF 25. Even better, find a light-weight formula that has added antioxidants and anti-skin irritants and is a specially formulated sunscreen for oily skin.
Blotting Paper: Good or Bad?
Here we are again, with another controversial topic in the oily skin matter. Are blotting papers beneficial in getting rid of oily skin or not? If you were to google search this, you’d come across many conflicting articles that are bound to leave you confused. The truth is actually very simple…
Use them on the go, but don’t become dependent on them.
Maybe easier said than done?
Blotting papers, powdered blotting sheets, and medicated pads are so effective for being able to visually see the oil that was just on your face – and so are mirrors. But, there’s nothing like a quick swipe of that shiny spot to suddenly see all that gunk absorbed on a tiny, small square of a blotting sheet. It’s easy to get hooked for good. But, can too much of a good thing be a bad thing? You betcha.
Just like any skin care product, overusing them can cause more harm than good. Becoming dependent on blotting papers and using them in excess can cause you to remove more oil than necessary. And by now, you should know what’s bound to happen next. Dealing with oily skin is more about balance than it is about complete removal. Also, you don’t want to rub or scrub with a blotting sheet. Just simply and lightly press onto the skin for about 15 seconds.
As a temporary control measurement, it’s fine to carry these dainty things around with you when it’s inconvenient to break out your skin care regime in the public bathroom on your lunch break.
There are benefits to using blotting papers such as:
- doesn’t ruin makeup
- absorbs excess sebum
- tones down the shine
- removes dirt and grime from the very surface of the skin
Masks and Clays for Oily Skin
This wouldn’t be a complete guide if it didn’t include a section covering facial masks and clays. Despite the many different types out there, they’re all trying to achieve the same goal, to draw out natural oils and give a deep cleansing to the pores.
All clays and masks should be applied after a cleansing regime so that your pores are more absorbent and open to the deep cleaning and hydration a mask can provide.
Let’s take a look at just some of the types of facials you can treat yourself to.
These water-based, mineral-infused sheet masks are typically used to hydrate the skin versus drawing out oil. They’re usually soaked in some sort of formula that has hydrating ingredients, such as cucumbers or even snail extract… Yes, go ahead and re-read that last sentence again, you read it right.
The bottom line about sheet masks: when your skin is hydrated, it’s protected, so there’s no need for your glands to produce more oil. Besides, it can feel soothing and refreshing to use these on a weekly basis. Way to go for a DIY facial at home!
These cool, oil-free gel masks are also appropriate for oily skin. Like sheet masks, they’re excellent at promoting maximum hydration for the skin. If you have oily skin with redness as well, gel masks may be able to help to reduce redness.
During the colder weather when skin can get taut and dry, these masks can help you ward off excess oil production by keeping the skin well hydrated and protected.
These kinds of masks are basically moisturizers that aren’t removed after it’s applied. They’re not typically recommended for those with oily skin since they’re used to add more moisture and oil back to the skin after it’s been removed from a cleansing regime.
Those with dry or normal skin are more likely to benefit from these cream masks.
You can buy these masks commercially on the shelves of a store or you can even make your own with homemade ingredients (more on this later). They’re recommended for those with oily skin because the clay mask is supposed to draw out and absorb all the natural oils, shrinking your pores in the process.
The only concern lies in the tightening effects that occur as the clay mask dries. It can be overly drying and inadvertently make your oily skin worse than before if you continue this process.
A way to test if it’s too strong or too drying? Try smiling after your face is caked in clay. Did your mirror crack or was it your face? If it was your face, you may want to use a skin serum first before applying the mask. Even better, only use a clay mask every once in a while, say, when there’s a big event coming up.
It might be tempting to want to apply a mask everyday to manage the shine, but don’t; you could be stimulating the vicious “dry skin-more oil” cycle over and over again. Like all the other daily skin care products to help you manage oily skin, use masks and clays in moderation.
Treatments for Oily Skin
Home Remedies for Oily Skin & Acne
There’s no question that you could spend more than you do on your rent every month when you’re trying to get rid of or manage oily skin. It’s not only emotionally exhausting, but it can be financially exhausting as well.
So, here’s how we can save you a few bucks, and possibly save your skin as well by seeing what you can put together from your very own kitchen.
Word of warning: Don’t have too high expectations for acne & oily skin home remedies. Because every individual’s skin is different, even your T-zone, it can be a hit and miss remedy. You should always make a very small batch first, test a small area on your skin, then wait 24 hours to see how it reacts.
Easy Homemade Tonics
If you’re going to use a tonic at all, and it’s not going to be a water-based, mineral-infused one, then here’s a few simple recipes for you to make your own. Remember to only apply to the oily areas.
That’s it. Just saturate some cotton pads with the stuff and lightly dab at oily spots.
Either one of these herbs will work since they’re all natural astringents. Steep one tablespoon in cup of boiling water for 30 minutes. Strain and dab. Store the rest in the fridge for up to five days.
One tablespoon to one cup of water. Boil this mixture for 10 minutes then strain. After it’s cooled down, use a cotton ball to apply.
I know what you’re thinking. Tell me that you just had a visual of a woman with a pale, green cream mask and cucumbers on her eyes didn’t just pop into your head. It’s a classic, that’s why.
Cucumbers are high in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins A and E, potassium, and magnesium which are all great for the skin.
For oily skin, cut the cucumbers into very thick slices then proceed to gently rub all over your face. Allow the residue to dry on your face overnight and rinse it off in the morning. You’ll notice it has natural astringent effects. This could be classified as a tonic since you’re leaving it on overnight.
To help unclog pores, draw out oils, and tone your skin, mash up a mango to soft pulp then apply. You only need to leave it on for a couple minutes and then you can rinse it off.
DIY Scrubs for Oily Skin
From oatmeal to acids, you can easily put together a daily scrub that’s safe for your face and full of nutrients to naturally cleanse away excess sebum, hydrate the skin, and freshen skin cell structure.
Either grind, ninja, or vita-mix two teaspoons of oats till you have a fine powder. If you want, you can make the grains a little bigger, remembering that the larger they are, the more course it will be on the skin. If you only want to apply to oily areas, add either some witch hazel, water, or aloe vera gel until it forms a paste.
You could double up on effectiveness by adding in one tablespoon of plain yogurt and one teaspoon of raw honey – make sure it’s warm and gooey. Then apply, leave on for 10 to 15 minutes and then wash off.
Grate half an apple and apply only to the oily areas of your face. Leave the grated apple on there for about 15 minutes and then rinse off. Apples are slightly astringent and have mild-antiseptic properties. The malic acid in them also acts as the exfoliant agent in this remedy.
An excellent all-purpose ingredient. This will help to balance out natural oils while gently exfoliating. Just mix one tablespoon of rosewater or water to two tablespoons of baking soda to form a paste. Apply, let it sit for five minutes and then rinse off.
As you can guess, this is another great exfoliant since really any slightly course powder could work. Mix in a little raw honey with it and you have your homemade scrub to gently cleanse out pores. Leave it on for no longer than five to ten minutes.
Homemade Masks for Oily Skin
Here are a few recipes that are designed specifically for oily skin that might be the answer that you’re looking for to better and naturally manage oily skin on your face. Remember, it’s best to save masks for special occasions, and not for everyday use.
There are many variations of this home remedy. Whether they work or not can depend on consistency or try taking out an ingredient or two. They’re supposed to help firm up your skin while drawing out excess oils.
You can whip one egg white until it’s stiff enough to apply to your face, then let dry and rinse off. You could also mix well one egg white with one teaspoon of raw honey. Then add just enough flour (any flour) to make a paste. Apply everywhere, let it sit for 10 minutes, then wash off.
Everyone has heard of lemon juice because it’s the perfect, all-purpose fruit that does wonders for so many ailments. It’s antiseptic, antibacterial, and astringent-like properties make it a no-brainer in helping to treat oily skin.
Some popular recipes are…
» Use one tablespoon of lemon juice and mix it with half a teaspoon of water – it must always be diluted before applying to the skin. Apply it to oily areas with a cotton ball. Don’t leave it on longer than 10 minutes, then rinse off.
» You could also mix one tablespoon of lemon juice with one tablespoon of milk and half a tablespoon of raw honey. Once applied, leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes and then make sure you rinse off well.
» If you wanted to get super creative and don’t mind a bit of prep time, chop an apple and boil it till soft. Mash it up, throw in one teaspoon of either dried lavender, sage, or peppermint, and then finally one teaspoon of lemon juice. Leave this mixture on your skin for five minutes and then rinse off.
Cleopatra was onto something when she would luxuriously bathe in baths of milk. But, that doesn’t mean that you should. Avoiding extremes and treating the oily areas only, you should always use caution when using lactic acid-based products. Use plain yogurt to apply to oily areas and leave on for 15 minutes before rinsing off. For another simple recipe, refer to DIY Scrubs/Oatmeal.
Try this about one to two times a week to tone down those oily spots. Take an orange peel and grind or blend to a paste. Apply, leave it on till it dries completely and then just rinse if off.
That’s it. It’s great for replenishing the skin with antioxidants and nutrients while pulling out impurities. Just smear some of this stuff on, let it dry, then rinse off.
After using this, your pores should be clean, soothed, and brighter. Peel and blend one banana and one tablespoon of honey. You can also add a couple drops of either orange or lemon juice. Leave this on to dry for 15 minutes and then wash off.
These can get expensive if you’re buying them often. But, you can make them at home with facial clay. Yes, facial clay is different from pottery clay, so don’t buy the wrong kind.
You’ll want to look for bentonite clay that draws out all the gunk and purifies the pores. Natural health food stores should carry it, but you can also buy it online if it’s more convenient.
Mix one tablespoon of witch hazel with one teaspoon of bentonite clay, and there’s your mixture. If you really want to treat yourself to a facial at the same time, add in a couple drops of lemon oil and a couple drops of cypress for fragrance. Voila! You’re now at the spa.
Coconut oil makes a great base for your homemade face washes, scrubs and masks – even for oily skin! The benefits of coconut oil are so great that we have compiled some recipes based on coconut oil. Check them out here:
Supplements for Oily Skin
If you think that oily skin is just a beauty problem alone, then you’d be wrong. Getting rid of oily skin permanently goes far beyond just what’s on the outside. As made evident with the causes of acne & oily skin, it makes sense to give your body some much-needed nutrition to help balance out oil levels, normalize androgen hormone levels, and repair skin cell structure.
Since you, like probably everybody else, is lacking in vital nutrients, and if you’re not getting this through your diet, you really should be taking supplements. Besides, it’s not going to hurt and it’s all worth a try.
This is a must-have if you want to get your oily skin under control. It’s responsible for aiding skin cell structure by protecting it, strengthening it, and providing repair and maintenance. It also plays a role in hormonal balances by reducing inflammation caused by the immune system when excess sebum causes acne lesions.
It’s mostly known for its metabolizing effects on what you eat, but it also has two surprising benefits that affect your face. Vitamin B5 helps to reduce the appearance of large pores by shrinking them in size because pantothenic levels are increased. This is where the second benefit comes in. The Coenzyme A is increased when pantothenic acid rises which helps to reduce excess sebum production. So, you’re knocking out two birds with one stone: reduced oil production and smaller pores.
It might seem a little contradictory to treat oil with oil, but when it comes to diet and supplements, it actually helps. Omega 3 fatty acids help to reduce the release of androgen hormones from causing the increase of sebum production. It also helps to regulate the skin’s surface by preventing the onset of acne and blackheads.
You probably know that if you have zinc deficiency, that you’re more prone to suffering from breakouts. That’s because zinc helps is a natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory that helps out sebaceous glands. Your body can’t produce zinc, so it’s important that you get this either through your diet or by supplementing.
Vitamin C has very beneficial antiseptic and antimicrobial properties that help repair and protect the skin. This means, less collagen breakdown, less free radical damage to facial skin, and more of a boost to the immune system. If these things are in working order, your skin can be protected from environmental pollutants that can clog pores and be a cause of your oily skin.
When to See a Dermatologist About Your Oily Skin
If you’re in need of immediate help and you want to find out why the skin is so oily on your face, you may want to consult with a dermatologist and get treated with medications to get your oily skin and its effects under control. You may have tried all the home remedies there are, bought all the latest commercial products, and used every natural soap there is.
If this sounds like you, then you should definitely make an appointment to get some help.
A dermatologist can offer, both men and women, treatment options that can include isotretinoin. It’s typically an oral medication that studies show can significantly shrink your oil-producing glands to reduce the amount of sebum produced, even up to about 80 percent.
If you’re a woman and you suffer from the effects of oily skin, such as acne, then there a couple other hormonal options available to you. This can include oral contraceptives which studies have shown it can be effective. You could also be prescribed Spironolactone; which suppresses androgen activity to reduce excess sebum production. Cyproterone Acetate blocks androgen receptors, therefore your glands won’t overproduce oil.
If you’re thinking of taking these medications to treat oily skin and its effects, you should be monitored closely by your dermatologist while taking them. They’re serious medications that can help you get rid of oily skin permanently, but since they significantly affect hormone levels, you should be under consult with your doctor.
Diet & Lifestyle Considerations for Oily Skin
Get Plenty of H2O
If there was just one thing you would change, it should be this. As well as you know your ABCs, you should know that drinking plenty of water does wonders for the body, and hydrating to treat oily skin is no exception.
How? Drinking lots of water keeps your skin well hydrated. If your skin is hydrated, your glands won’t overproduce oil to protect it from the effects of dehydration.
In general, you should drink about half an ounce to an ounce for each pound you weigh. For example, if you weigh 200 lbs, you should try to take in at least 100 ounces of water a day for healthy skin.
Okay, so maybe I won’t tell you to make an extreme diet change void of all the bad foods that we all love, but I will say, make better choices more often.
Instead of going on a drastic diet that you’ll probably end up feeling burned out and bombing by the end of the week, just make small changes that can not only improve your overall health, but improve your oily skin and reduce the effects too.
Diet has a lot to do with hormones, and if you’re eating poorly and are deficient in vitamins and minerals, chances are that your skin is going to suffer.
Here are some tips on what foods to eat, what foods to avoid, and what else you can do to help out the skin on your face.
- These foods can be fortified dairy products, tuna, salmon, lean meats, and whole grains.
- It can also include colorful veges and fruits like spinach, bell peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes, and winter squashes like butternut.
- Go for high protein foods.
- This means more omega 3 fatty acids and less trans and saturated fats.
- Gulp down one tablespoon of flaxseed oil everyday. Great source of omega 3s.
- If you use oil for cooking, use only olive oil and coconut oil.
- It provides a breeding ground of acne-loving bacteria and it’s greedy.
- It takes up all the stomach room that good, clean, and healthy foods could occupy.
- Reduce consumption of refined grains like white bread and instant rice.
If you want an effective way to banish your daily oil spots, then exercise is the way to go. Working out for a good 30 minutes five times a week should do the trick. When you exercise, your body has a natural way to get rid of all the nasty toxins and oils that need to be expunged, and this is done through sweating.
Sweating should be a welcome sight when you’re hitting the pavement, because it’s naturally pushing out all the excess sebum and acne-causing bacteria and flushing it out of your system to be washed away. The best part about this is that you’re doing so much more for your body than just helping to clear your skin.
Get Some Shut Eye
What’s the most obvious feature of a person who’s sleep deprived? Their face.
That’s because sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on your hormones, metabolism, and immune system, which can all lead to skin issues. Yes, it can even contribute to your oily skin nightmares.
Here are some things that should be going on beneath the surface when you’re getting some decent seven to eight hour zzz’s a night.
- Good sleep should reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines. If these levels are decreased, you’re less likely to have inflammation, thus avoiding setting the stage for a breakout.
- Getting proper sleep can prevent insulin resistance which affects the absorption of glucose and affects the metabolism. If these are in working order, your skin will be less likely to be a feeding ground for bacteria.
- Hormone levels will stabilize with enough sleep, helping to keep androgen hormones at bay while reducing stress levels.
- Stress and fatigue can be relieved through quality sleep which will reduce the need for stress hormones to trigger androgen hormones. It’s all one vicious cycle.
Not only is getting enough shut-eye important, it should also be uninterrupted. So, turn off the phone, put the kids down, close the curtains, and lock the door. You are now officially unavailable – for the sake of your skin.
Maintain Other Good Hygiene Habits
Think about it… You’ve just done your night-time facial routine and you’re about to lay that clean, bacteria-free face onto an expanse of dirt, oil, and sweat. That’s right. Your pillowcase is also your very large makeup and hair product removal pad.
Whatever products you had in your hair, sweat and dirt that was on your face, and saliva from drooling in your sleep can get transferred right back onto your face exacerbating the effects of oily skin and even making it worse.
If you just suffer with oily skin on your face, then you could get away with only skipping the load with the pillowcases. If you suffer with oily skin on various parts of your body, say your back and chest as well, you may want to leave the fabric softener where you got it from – the store. They can leave behind a waxy residue that can actually end up clogging your pores in the process.
Some hairsprays, gels, shampoos, and pomades may be inducing inflammation on the skin as well as clogging up some pores. Some products contain panthenol which actually shows to be irritating to those suffering with the effects of oily skin.
Some shampoo “detergents” also contain sodium lauryl sulfate and ammonium lauryl sulfate which lather up really nice, but it leaves behind a reside that could be causing a breakout.
But, this doesn’t mean you have to go looking like a cave-man for the rest of your life. Instead, do your hair first before anything else, then cleanse your face of any possible residue or over-spray before applying makeup or lotions.
You could also skip the shampoo and use a conditioner if you wash your hair daily or better yet, only wash your hair a couple to a few times a week and choose a high quality sulfate free shampoo.
If this is your option, make sure your hair gets tied back and when going to bed. You could also buy acne-safe hair products too such as a specially formulated scalp acne shampoo.
Say Goodbye to Oily Skin
Getting rid of oily skin is more than just a wash or two away. It’s about daily maintenance and the long term care and love for your skin and body. With many different options to try, there’s bound to be a few that will help you manage it and get it under control.
Gone are the days of feeling so self-conscious and now are the days to make up for it.
Don’t let oily skin control your life. Instead, take it back by pulling in the reins and letting it know it’s eviction time.
More Oily Skin Care Resources:
- 6 Sunscreens for Oily, Acne Prone Skin
- Ultra Cleansing Soaps for Acne & Oily Skin
- Fantastic Toners for Oily, Acne Prone Skin
- 6 Face Washes for Acne Prone, Oily Skin