Oily skin is shiny, thick and dull colored. Often a chronically oily skin has coarse pores and pimples and other embarrassing blemishes. It is prone to blackheads. In this type of skin, the oil producing sebaceous glands are overactive and produce more oil than is needed. The oil oozes and gives the skin a greasy shine. The pores are enlarged and the skin has a coarse look.
Causes of Oily Skin
- Hormone levels
- Birth control pills
- Cosmetics you use
- Humidity and hot weather
Because of the hormonal shifts of adolescence, oily skin is common in teenagers, but it can occur at any age. In general, skin tends to become dryer with age. The flow of sebum or oil increases during adolescence and starts decreasing with age. During pregnancy and menopause, hormonal imbalances can also upset the oil balance and increase the activity of sebaceous glands.
Many people have skin that is oily only in certain areas and dry or normal in others, a condition known as combination skin.
Skin Care for Oily Skin
The great advantage of oily skin is that it ages at a slower rate than other skin types.
Oily skin needs special cleansing with plenty of hot water and soap to prevent the pores from being clogged. Avoid harsh products that strip your skin of oil and encourage flakiness. They can cause a reaction known as reactive seborrhoea, where the oil glands work overtime to compensate for the loss of natural oils.
Avoid skincare products that leave your skin feeling taut and dehydrated. They cause the upper layers of the skin to shrink. This restricts oil flow through the pores leading to blockages and breakouts.
To cleanse oily skin, use oil-based products as they dissolve sebum effectively. Opt for oil-free moisturizers to maintain a shine-free complexion.
Keep your skin very clean. Limit washing your face to two or three times a day. Too much washing will stimulate your skin to produce more oil.
Choose your cleanser with care. Avoid heavy cleansing creams. Avoid the use of harsh soaps or cleansers. Use a pure soap with no artificial additives. Try an antibacterial cleansing lotion or a lightly medicated soap, and use it in combination with a water rich in minerals, not tap water. Do not use cleansers or lotions that contain alcohol. After cleansing, apply a natural oil-free moisturizer to keep the skin supple.
Use hot water when washing your face. Hot water dissolves skin oil better than lukewarm or cold water.
If your skin is extremely oily, three or four daily cleansings may be in order and little or no moisturizing necessary before you are 30 years old. After that point, the skin around your eyes and mouth and on your throat may benefit from a nightly moisturizing, plus a mere touch of moisturizer in the morning.
When cleansing, massage your face well with your fingertips, using an upward and outward motion. Be careful not to rub soap into the skin; it can clog pores.
If your oily skin is scaly, you can often correct the problem by using a deep-cleaning exfoliant on alternate nights, and following the treatment with a light coating of moisturizer.
Try using a clay or mud mask. If you have sensitive skin, use white or rose-colored clays.
Use a light antiseptic night cream from time to time if you wish, and apply a clarifying mask one or two times a week.
Choose cosmetic and facial care products specifically designed for oily skin.
Before applying makeup, use an antiseptic day cream with active ingredients that diminish sebaceous secretions. Look for benzyl peroxide in the list of active ingredients.
Use a light antiseptic night cream from time to time if you wish, and apply a clarifying mask one or two times a week.
Half an hour before taking your bath apply on your face half teaspoon each of lime and cucumber juice mixed together.
If your skin is excessively oily, mix in a few drops of eau de cologne. This not only helps keep oiliness away but also helps in refining the pores of the skin by acting as astringent, thereby preventing acne.
To prevent the problem of your makeup becoming patchy either on the forehead, chin or nose due to excessive oiliness in these areas, apply a little cucumber juice on the excessively oily parts of your face, dry thoroughly and then apply your makeup.
If your whole face turns patchy after makeup is applied on it, then apply equal parts of lime juice and witch-hazel. Dry well before putting on your makeup.
Choose an astringent that contains acetone, which is known for dissolving oil. Strong astringents will do more harm than good, stimulating an overproduction of oil.
To clear away excess oil, use a clay or mud mask. Blend together well 1 teaspoon green clay powder and 1 teaspoon raw honey. Apply the mixture to your face, avoiding the eye area. Leave it on for fifteen minutes, then rinse well with lukewarm water. Do this at least three times a week–or more.
Once or twice daily, mix equal parts of lemon juice and water together. Pat mixture on your face and allow it to dry, then rinse with warm water. Follow with a cool-water rinse.
Diet for Oily Skin
Take a diet rich in proteins but restricted in sugar, fluids and salt.
Take plenty of leafy green vegetables and fresh fruits.
Have your blood brought up to par by the suitable administration of necessary vitamins, iron and similar substances.
Even a slight deficiency in vitamin B2 can cause oily skin. Nutritional yeast, wheat germ and organ meats provide both vitamin B5 and vitamin B2. Other good sources of vitamin B2 are whole grains, beans, nuts, and royal jelly. Buckwheat, black beans and whole rice are excellent to supply the body with iron and rejuvenate pate skin.
Drink plenty of quality water to keep the skin hydrated and flush out toxins.
Reduce the amount of fat in your diet. Avoid pork and fried and highly seasoned foods. Consume no animal fats, or heat-processed vegetable oils.
Do not cook with oil. Do not eat any oils that have been subjected to heat, whether in processing or cooking. If a little oil is necessary, such as in salad dressing, use cold-pressed canola or olive oil only.
Do not drink soft drinks or alcoholic beverages. Avoid sugar, chocolate, and junk food.
Essential Oils For Oily Skin
Herbs for Oily Skin
Aloe vera has excellent healing properties. Apply aloe vera gel topically, as needed.
Burdock root, chamomile, horsetail, oat straw, and thyme nourish the skin.
Lavender is very good for oily skin. Mist your skin with lavender water several times daily.
A facial sauna using lemongrass, licorice root, and rosebuds is good for oily skin. Two or three times a week, simmer a total of 2 to 4 tablespoons of dried or fresh herbs in 2 quarts of water. When the pot is steaming, place it on top of a trivet or thick potholder on a table, and sit with your face at a comfortable distance over the steam for fifteen minutes. You can use a towel to trap the steam if you wish. After fifteen minutes, splash your face with cold water and allow your skin to air dry or pat it dry with a towel. After the sauna, you can allow the herbal water to cool and save it for use as a toning lotion to be dabbed on your face with a cot- ton ball after cleansing.
Witch hazel applied to the skin is excellent for absorbing oil.
Homeopathy considers skin problems to be a general bodily imbalance. Hence treatment is constitutional. Consult an experienced homeopath if the condition does not improve.
Take one of the following in the 6c strength every twelve hours for up to one month.
Take Mercurius for an oily face that smells unpleasant, with trembling, sticky perspiration and overproduction of saliva. Oiliness is worse in cold and hot weather.
Natrum mur is useful for a person with an oily, shiny face that is worse on hairy parts, and who is constipated.
Common Sense Recommendations
Do not smoke. Smoking promotes enlargement of the pores and impairs the overall health of the skin.
Rub oily skin areas with apple cider vinegar for a neutralizing effect.
Regularly brushing and massage of the whole body stimulates circulation and rejuvenates the skin.
Evening primrose oil supplements are beneficial for skin. They contain gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid reputed to strengthen skin cells and boost their moisture content.
Get sufficient sleep as the skin’s cellular repair activity is at its optimum during this resting phase.
Exercise benefits skin as it boosts circulation and encourages blood flow. Regular exercise will nourish and cleanse your skin from within.
Although oily skin tends to develop wrinkles less readily than all other skin types, this may not compensate for the downside of a prone-to-shine complexion. Oily skin often looks greasy and feels dirty, no matter what you do, and sufferers sometimes find that make-up simply won’t stay put and disappears or slides off by the end of the day. Fortunately, thanks to modern beauty products and the latest scientific information, there is plenty you can do to help keep oily skin under control.
What is oily skin?
Sebum, which is produced by the sebaceous glands situated below the surface of the skin, is the skin’s natural oil. Sebum production varies from person to person. Oily skin is characterized by excessive sebum production, especially at puberty and during the premenstrual phase, which makes the skin shiny. The oiliest area, and the one often prone to acne and blackheads, is the central panel, which runs from the forehead down to the chin. This area has a high concentration of sebaceous glands and the complexion may have a coarsely grained texture and be open-pored and sallow. It can sometimes be sensitive and susceptible to allergies, too.
How you know if you have oily skin?
A simple test will show you if your skin type is oily: wash your face, wait an hour, then press a tissue to your forehead, nose, chin and cheeks. If an oily residue appears in all these areas, you have oily skin. Another giveaway: if you see large, visible pores on any area of your face, it’s oily. Oily skin will also seem to soak up make-up. However, oily skin is not necessarily prone to spots or acne.
What causes oily skin?
Your oily complexion may not be permanent. The hormonal changes that occur during puberty or pregnancy can result in temporarily oilier skin. As you get older, sebum production often decreases and you may find your skin starts to become dry. Climate can also be a factor – humidity makes the skin oilier, so the summer months or a holiday in the sun can exacerbate the problem. Prolonged stress and anger can also trigger oily skin. Both emotions cause an adrenaline rush that leads to a surge in androgen, the group of hormones that sends the oil glands into overdrive.
Balance skin from within
Eating a balanced diet and, if necessary, taking appropriate supplements, is a vital part of creating a healthy complexion. Bear in mind that it takes a good three weeks for newly formed cells to reach the skin’s surface, so it takes time for lasting results to show. Vitamins A, C and E, selenium and zinc are essential antioxidants that help to enhance collagen repair and generally promote skin healing. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) can also have a positive effect on skin as they form a barrier that prevents moisture loss that helps combat dryness, fine lines and wrinkles.
What to avoid if you have oily skin?
Contrary to what you might think, oily skin benefits from a light touch rather than aggressive treatment. Avoid:
Harsh scrubs These will stimulate the skin to produce even more oil.
Overwashing Twice a day is plenty. More frequent washing can leave you with dry skin.
Creamy cleansers Lightweight, wash-off formulations are more appropriate.
Astringent toners Any skincare product with alcohol can dry the surface of the skin, trapping impurities beneath the surface.
Heavy make-up Cream-based foundations and blushers are unsuitable for oily skin. Look for oil-free formulas instead.
The best skincare routine for oily skin
Follow a simple and gentle routine:
Maintain the skin’s natural balance with a gel cleanser that uses synthetic detergents to create a lather that breaks down surface oils, or a foaming cleanser that combines lathering detergents and conditioners.
If you like the temporary tightening of a toner, use a low-alcohol formula.
Although a teenager with oily skin may be better off without a moisturiser, most people need one by their mid-20s, whatever their skin type. Look for water-soluble, lightweight lotions – many have a mattifying effect as an added bonus.
Exfoliate once a week with a grainy scrub, or every day with gentle alpha or beta hydroxy acid (AHA or BHA) products (unless you’ve had breakouts – then avoid exfoliants until the skin has healed).
For larger pores, spend 10 minutes steaming your face and then follow with toner.
Use a pore-minimising mud or clay mask once a week to remove surface sebum.
Pore strips help remove superficial clogging and are especially good if you have large pores on your nose. Use products only as often as the manufacturer suggests as more frequent application may irritate your skin.
oily skin care
Oily skin is an offshoot of hormonal imbalances and increased activity of the sebaceous glands. Teenagers are often plagued with this sort of problem and heat and humidity can exacerbate it. As a consequence of excess oil being produced, the skin actually shines and the pores enlarge. Thus the skin appears rough and coarse. So the underlying factor is to remove this excess oil. Washing with soap and hot water at least 3 times a day is an absolute must. Try not to clog the pores with soap. Massage the face lightly using an upward and circular motion. Antibacterial cleansing lotions or medicated soaps are much better than harsh soaps. Non-greasy Cleansers and toners are meant to remove the excess oil, but sadly the oil glands refuse to be subdued, they trigger the oil glands to produce more oil. Oily skin care is a little more strenuous than care for normal skin.
Fruit acids are known to have positive effects. These acids attack the surface layers of dead skin and remove the dead cells and stale oil. The pores unfettered by this combination appear to shrink in size and the overall effect is one that is less oily and smoother. The advantage of fruit acids is that it helps the skin to retain its moisture. I, a mixture of lime and cucumber juice with a few drops of eau de cologne has known to work wonders. It keeps the oil at bay and also prevents acne. In fact a little cucumber juice only on the oily areas prevents make up from becoming patchy. Just ensure that the cucumber juice dries well before you apply make up. Aloe Vera, organic yogurt, crushed strawberries and a little borax acts as an efficient astringent for oily skin. Just massage the mixture well and wash with warm water. A mixture of Multani matti and honey works wonders for oily skins especially in tropical countries like India. Apply this mask at least a couple of times a week. Keep it on for about 15 minutes and rinse with warm water. The use of a light antiseptic day and night cream can keep the oil at bay.
There are certain essential oils and herbs, which are good for oily skin. Lavender, lemon, and sage oil and the popular aloe Vera herb nourish the skin. Lemon grass, liquorice roots and rosebuds are excellent face saunas and are inexpensive options for Oily skin care. In India, homeopathy prescribes Mercurius or Natrum Mur for oily faces. These however have to be prescribed by the physician. There are many things that we can do at home to combat an oily skin. Washing the face with besan flour has been something . A mixture of apple juice and limejuice applied for 15 minutes and washed with cold-water acts as a very good astringent. The everyday cucumber and tomato mashed and applied to the face is very good for the care of oily skin. One other simple thing that is often done in Indian homes is washing the face with buttermilk before exposure to the sun. Apply it allover the face and neck, wait for about 10 minutes and wash with warm water. Rose water mixed with ice water and mint juice with rose water is excellent for oily skin care. Always remember, any application should be left on for at least 10 minutes before being washed.
Of course these are just some of the things that we can do, but most important is the kind of food we eat. A rich protein diet and low in sugar and salt is highly recommended. Leafy vegetable, fresh fruits, lots of water, regular exercise and adequate sleep help promote an oily free skin. Avoid fatty foods, chocolates, junk food and soft drinks. Avoid oil in salad dressing. Use curd or limejuice instead. Ensure that there is no vitamin B2 or B5 deficiency. Brush and massage the whole body frequently. Use cosmetics wisely, do not clog facial pores .Do all this and you win the oily skin care battle.
Many of us tend to look at oily skin as a problem. Sebum is produced by the skin to protect and moisturize it. What is essential is the right type of oily skin care so as to have just enough oil on the skin. Most of the time, you can resort to simple home remedies for oily skin, be it simple face masks or fruit extracts. Learn the essentials of oily skin treatment so that you can enjoy your smooth skin for a long time, sans the problems of blemishes and breakouts. The advantage of having oily skin is that it shows age slower than other skin types.
Oily skin is characterized by shine and enlarged pores. On account of the high levels of sebum, the skin has a greasy shine and tendency to break out into acne. This is because oily skin tends to attract more dirt and dust. Oily skin can be a result of heredity or hormone levels. Generally teenagers are plagued with oily skin and acne breakouts. But sometimes-oily skin can continue way into adult years.
With age the flow of sebum decreases and the skin becomes less oily. Humidity levels can also be a cause for excess oiliness on the skin. Other causes can be cosmetics or birth control pills. Since there are more sebaceous glands around the nose, women with oily skin will notice that there is a tendency to develop blackheads around it. Some women experience oily skin only in some areas. This is a condition of combination skin.
Oily skin care
The first basic rule for oily skin care is to keep it clean so as to kill acne-causing bacteria. It is essential to unclog the pores with exfoliation to prevent breakouts. Washing your face with warm water and cleanser is preferable to using harsh soaps. Warm water helps in keeping the skin oil free. Antibacterial cleansing lotions can also be used to keep the skin acne-free. Mild acne medications have a drying effect on oily skin.
Choose cosmetics and facial care products with care. Oily skin make up items must be water-based since oil-based cosmetics can aggravate the oiliness and create blemishes. Clay masks and mud masks work well for oily skin. They remove the excess oil that is found in the skin. But do not excessively dry the upper layer of the skin with chemical products. Use of harsh products can leave the skin feeling taut and dehydrated. This may be counterproductive since the skin will produce more oil to compensate the loss. This is a reaction called ‘reactive seborrhea’, where the oil glands work at a frenetic pace to compensate for the loss of natural oils.
Treatment for oily skin
There is no magical cure for oily skin. Regular care and appropriate treatment of oily skin can go a long way in keeping it clean and blemish free. Massage your face with upward and outward motions when cleansing it. Using warm water to dissolve skin oil while washing it is a good treatment for oily skin. But do not use very hot water as it can strip the skin of essential oils. Do not expect results overnight. What is required is a holistic treatment of oily skin – internally and externally.
- White or pink clay masks gently cleanse oily skin of excess oil. The darker brown clay masks are stronger and more effective on very oily skins. Apply a clarifying face mask couple of times a week.
- Aromatherapy oils such as lemon, rosemary and cedarwood are said to be effective in treating oily skin. A few drops of any of these oils combined with lanolin can be massaged into the skin.
- Topical Vitamin derivatives with ingredients such as tretinoin and isotretinoin are prescribed by dermatologists to tackle sensitive oily skins.
- Products containing Benzoyl Peroxide also form part of the treatment for oily skin. They unplug pores and reduce bacteria.
- Antibiotic creams and lotions such as erythromycin and clindamycin are effective in treating blemished oily skin.
- Lotions containing AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) can help oily skin become softer and smoother.
Home remedy for oily skin
Fruit acids have shown a positive effect in oily skin treatment. They remove oil from the skin and yet retain the moisture. Home remedies such as cucumber juice, lime juice and yogurt are effective in keeping oily skin under control. A mask of Aloe Vera, crushed strawberries and yogurt is an astringent for oily skin. Keep it on for about 15 minutes and rinse off with warm water. Some simple home remedies for oily skin:
1. Puree 1 egg white, 1-tsp. Lemon juice, 1-tsp. Mint and ½ cucumber and apply it on the face for about 15 minutes.
2. A puree of fresh tomatoes works wonders on oily skin.
3. A facemask of tomato, lemon juice and oats must be applied on the cheeks, forehead and chin. Scrub your face with warm water. This home remedy for oily skin is ideal for blemishes.
4. A clay mask is yet another home remedy for oily skin since it draws out excess oil.
5. If your skin is excessively oily, mix in a few drops of eau de cologne. This not only helps keep oiliness away but also helps in refining the pores of the skin by acting as astringent, thereby preventing acne.
Take a diet that is rich in proteins, with plenty of leafy vegetables and fresh fruits. Restrict sugar and high-fat foods and junk food. Supplement your food with wheat germ, nutritional yeast and whole grains, beans and nuts. Drink plenty of water to keep the skin hydrated and flush out toxins.
Make up for oily skin
Choose cosmetic and facial care products specifically designed for oily skin. Use oil-free moisturizers for a shine-free complexion. You can use an antiseptic day cream before applying makeup to oily skin. This will keep sebaceous secretions under control. Makeup for oily skin hinges on creating a matte effect.
You must use foundations that block out shine and non-pore clogging formula. Use concealer to hide blemishes and spots. Loose powder can keep you looking fresh all day long and absorb the excess oil too. Most women with oily skin cant do without this makeup item. Powder blushes work well on oily skin than cream blushers
Oily Skin and Acne: Keeping In Control
When people complain of oily skin, they are most often referring to the skin on their face. Oily skin is also the largest contibuter towards acne. This page will give a little information on the causes and treatments of oily skin and acne.
The Cause of Oily Skin
The oil is produced by oil glands known as sebaceous glands. These glands are bigger and more active in the region of the nose than any other areas of the face. This is why the nose tends to be a trouble area for even those with normal skin. The pores in this area are also larger, in order to accomodate the large flow of oil produced. Other areas on the body where sebaceous glands are most heavily concentrated are the neck, chest, and back-areas where body acne can be common. The amount of oil that an individual makes is determined by genetics. It is affected by hormones and what is called an “end organ response”. The oil gland is considered the end organ because it is this gland that is acted upon by hormones. Many people have the same level of hormones, but make different amount of oil because their oil glands respond differently. During adolescence, a surge in the level of sex hormones, known as androgens, creates a problem of oily skin where sometimes there was none. The reason is that androgens enlarge and stimulate the sebaceous glands, causing them to produce more sebum. While this stimulation is not directly responsible for acne, the extra sebum for which they’re responsible produces more fatty acids when a comedo plug closes off a pore opening. The additional fatty acids increase the amount of inflammation, and more severe acne occurs. Despite all the trouble that sebum causes, it is very important to the maintenance of the skin. When the system is working properly, sebum performs the important job of helping to lubricate your skin. Sebum also carries with it dead skin cells shedding from your hair follicle walls. For someone with oily skin, the best thing to do is to take measures to keep pores from getting clogged and forming acne lesions.
Caring for Oily Skin
Remember, there is no way to completely prevent oily skin from occurring, but hopefully these tips will help keep the oil and acne under control:
- Although dirt and oil on the surface of the skin do not cause acne, excessive oil on your skin may exacerbate the clogging of pore openings, so proper washing is often a good way to keep the situation from becoming worse. Washing with very hot water, harsh soaps or cleansers will not improve existing acne or prevent future flare-ups. In fact, these methods can dry and irritate your skin so badly that you will not be able to use effective acne medications in cream or gel form. Most topical acne medications have a drying effect on oily skin.
- Try a mild cleanser that cleanses without drying.
- Do not use any oil-based cosmetics, which will only aggravate oily skin and create further blemishes.
- Use water-based, non-comedogenic cosmetics.
- Always remove your makeup before going to bed, but avoid cold creams and lotions, which may leave a greasy film on your skin.
- Watch your diet. However, it is not chocolate or sweets that you need to watch, some doctors believe that an increased consumption of iodine aggravates acne, and they suggest reduction or elimination of fish and iodized salt.
- Relax! Doctors have seen a connection between stress and acne for a long time. Studies have shown that the body produces more androgens when a person is under stress. The increase may trigger acne flare-ups by stimulating the sebaceous glands to pump out more sebum. Even physical stresses, such as colds, allergies, surgery, or menstration, can trigger break-outs.
Skin Care and Topical Treatments for Acne
First of all, there are the topical acne medications that most people with oily sin or acne have tried. Here is a brief descripton of those:
Benzoyl Peroxide This medication works in two ways. First, it goes after bacteria, which are crucial in the development of acne. Without bacteria, the sebum trapped under the skin would not become the fatty acids that cause all the swelling and inflammation in and around acne blemishes. Second, some studies show that benzoyl peroxide may also peel the dead skin cells from inside your hair follicles, to keep plugs from forming.
Sulfur, resorcinol, and salicylic acids These older medications tend to work mostly on the surface of your skin to help heal existing blemishes by unclogging pores. Salicylic acid is particularly effective on blackheads.
Topical antibiotics These medicines are used by doctors to treat certain kinds of acne, such as postules and papules, but they may not be strong enough to have an effect on larger cysts. Topical antibiotics work by attacking the bacteria that are strongly linked with acne problems. Like other topical treatments, these tend to dry and irritate the skin, so be sure to use proper cleansing and moisturizing.
Retinoic acid Also known as Retin-A, this is another topical medicine used by doctors to treat acne. Like benzoyl peroxide, retinoic acid works by peeling skin cells from the hair follicles so that plugs do not form. Be warned that at first it may aggravate your acne, and that it can take two to three months for any real improvement.