Living with oily skin can be quite a task. It may often feel tiring dealing with the bouts of acne and struggling for clear skin. Yes, oily skin is notorious for bringing in a lot of concerns. As if its shiny, unattractive appearance isn’t enough!
Skin becomes oily due to the overproduction of sebum, the natural oil in the skin. If you have oily skin, it is because you have overactive sebaceous glands (where sebum is produced). How do you prevent this from happening? Are there natural ways to do this instead of slathering your skin with a load of chemicals? Read on to find out.
An effective daily skin care routine
A proper skin care routine for oily skin can help you go a long way with oil control and keep breakouts away.
Start with cleansing your face twice a day with a mild foam cleanser. Avoid the harsh chemicals as they have a tendency to overcompensate leaving the face too dry. While this might seem like a good thing for oily skin, it actually triggers the skin and causes irritation.
Always follow your cleansing routine with toning. Use a mild astringent to further de-clog the pores and also calm the skin to prevent inflammation. Next, moisturize. Always moisturize even if it seems counter-intuitive for oily skin. Regardless of your skin type, hydration is necessary for the proper functioning of the skin cells and for maintaining the skin barrier. Use a light moisturizer with quick absorption to avoid the greasy after effects.
If you’re stepping out in the sun, make sure you protect your skin well with a sunscreen or sunblock of minimum 30-SPF. UV radiation causes oxidative stress that triggers the skin and makes acne worse.
For makeup, use only non-comedogenic products as they don’t clog the pores. Also, make sure to take off your makeup before going to bed.
Weekly skin exfoliation
Our skin constantly sheds dead cells which tend to mix with the excess oil and clog the pores. Exfoliating your skin regularly cleanses the pores deeply and gets rid of dirt and impurities to prevent bacterial attack.
Exfoliate your skin once every week with an effective but mild exfoliator. For oily skin, a charcoal soap is a great idea as activated charcoal absorbs all the impurities. It is not only gentle but also has anti-inflammatory properties that calm the skin. You could also use a konjac sponge which has fibers that effectively exfoliate the skin to leave it smooth and clean.
Don’t be surprised if this is what your grandma suggested too! Using oatmeal on the skin as a mask has been done for generations. Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe the skin and calm irritations. It also absorbs the excess oil on the skin while gently exfoliating it without the risk of leaving it dry.
Honey, on the other hand, comes with its rich anti-bacterial, antiseptic and moisturizing properties. Oily skin doesn’t cause acne by itself. It creates the grounds for harmful acne-causing bacteria. These bacteria irritate the skin and cause inflammation that sometimes results in pus-filled pimples and painful lesions.
Honey fights these bacteria and inhibits their attack. It also hydrates the skin to prevent further irritation. What’s more? Honey has antioxidant properties which help healing wounds and blemishes to give the skin an even tone.
How to apply:
Simply grind a cup of oatmeal and mix 3tbsp of honey in it to make a smooth paste. Apply this on the skin and rub gently in circles. Leave the mask on for about 20 minutes and wash off with warm water.
Clay-jojoba oil mask
Clay when applied makes the skin feel tight as it dries up. But what it also does is that it draws out all the excess sebum, dirt and dead cells in the pores leaving them clean.
While it may seem ironic to include an oil in the mix, jojoba oil is excellent for oily skin. To start, it is a botanical oil which means it’s completely natural and doesn’t have any side effects. But more importantly, it’s natural composition and molecular structure is very similar to that of the oil our skin produces! Using jojoba oil ‘tricks’ the skin into believing that it is already producing excess oil so it produces less.
How to apply:
Take 1 tbsp of clay like Bentonite or kaolin clay and add in 2 tbsp of a liquid like water, buttermilk or honey. Add 8-10 drops of jojoba oil and mix well to make a smooth paste. Paint this mix on the face and leave it on for about 15 minutes till the clay dries up. Wash off with warm water, pat your skin dry and moisturize.
Aloe vera gel
Aloe vera gel is known for its versatility in treating a number of skin conditions but it is particularly useful for oily skin. It not only soaks up the excess sebum but also has anti-inflammatory properties that calm any potential breakouts.
Aloe gel also has antioxidant properties that neutralize oxidative stress caused by acne which is a common problem with oily skin. It encourages wound healing and fades scars and blemishes.
How to apply:
You can either use store-bought aloe gel or simply extract it at home. Cut an aloe stalk and scoop out the clear gel from the center of the cross section. Apply this as a thin mask before going to bed and let it stay until morning. Aloe gel can also be mixed with a number of other face masks and botanical oils to improve their effectiveness.
Apple cider vinegar
ACV is excellent for oil control and pore cleansing. It contains AHAs or alpha hydroxy acids that slough off dead skin cells. The organic acids in it like acetic acid inhibit the growth of acne-causing bacteria thereby fighting breakouts. ACV addresses all the concerns of oily skin making it an ideal home remedy.
How to use:
Never use ACV as it is on the skin as it is harsh and can trigger irritation. Dilute it in a 1:2 ratio with water or rose water. Add a few drops of a dry oil like tea-tree oil or eucalyptus oil for added bacterial protection.
Apply this mix on the face with a cotton ball and leave it on for 20 minutes before washing off with warm water. Follow this routine twice a week for desired results.