Do you have oily skin, feel the constant need to wash your face and wish you could find a way to make those pores look smaller?
You and millions of other people with oily skin are in the same boat. Mind you, oily skin doesn’t get wrinkles and fine lines as quickly or as deeply as people with dry skin… So that has to be a bonus – although it probably doesn’t make you feel any better about your oily skin issue.
Oily skin is often associated with acne, but here we’ll focus on the classic oily skin type and look at the causes and solutions for oily skin.
Oily skin can have several causes:
- hormone levels; age (puberty/adolescence, menopause/life changes etc.); Birth control pills; Other medications
- Cosmetics and/or skin care products you are currently using
Oily skin may well be in your genes. People from Mediterranean, some Asian and Middle Eastern countries can inherit oily skin from their parents. This is a genetic mechanism that helps protect your skin from the sun’s high rays. However, if you inherited this skin type but don’t live in the climate it was designed for, this can be a problem and needs to be addressed.
Diet can be both the cause and the solution to oily skin. Eating greasy, oily foods eventually leads to oily skin. It’s the fat content of food (and the sugars that convert to fat) that ends up on the skin’s surface and is a relatively easy cause to fix. Correct your diet and you will fix your oily skin.
Hormonal changes, particularly during the teenage years and menopause, can lead to oily skin, which often accompanies acne. Likewise, pregnancy, when your hormones change dramatically, can lead to oily skin. Usually this resolves soon after childbirth, after menopause, or once a teenager’s body has matured.
However, often the products you use are the reason for your oily skin. This can be cosmetic products or skin and body care products.
Personal care products such as soaps are particularly “dangerous”. The reason soap is taboo on oily skin is that the soap you use to wash your face will initially remove the oil but will also dry out your skin causing your skin to overreact and produce excess oil then secreted to the skin’s surface and whoops, you’ve got oily skin again. This is a condition known as reactive seborrhea.
Another factor that can lead to oily skin is the climate in which you live. A humid, hot climate can cause your skin to become oily.
Many people have oily areas on one area of their face, but other areas may well be normal or dry. This is known as combination skin. Often the oily area is in the
T zone. This is the area covered by the forehead, nose and chin. However, you may have oily skin in just one of these areas or other parts of your face. Regardless of where the oily skin is located, you need to address the cause in order to fix it.
How to fix your oily skin
Okay, there’s not much you can do about the genes you’ve inherited or the fact that you’re pregnant or going through a hormonal shift. But you can still help your skin function at a more “normal” level. You can influence the oiliness of your skin and take measures to normalize your skin’s oil secretion.
Let’s take a step-by-step look at how to normalize your skin.
Basic steps that apply to all causes of oily skin type:
- Wash your face no more than 2x a day. If you do this, you will likely overstimulate your skin and this will cause it to produce more oil – not the desired result.
- Use hot water to wash your face. Hot water is best for dissolving oil. Cold and warm water just doesn’t work that well.
- DO NOT use commercial soaps to wash your face. These types of soaps dry out your skin, which in turn causes your skin to produce more oil to protect against the drying effect caused by the soap.
- Eat healthy. What is a healthy diet? Simple, use unprocessed, fresh fruits and vegetables; do not use ready-made and/or canned foods; Don’t eat unhealthy food. Stay away from rich, greasy meals.
- Drink plenty of clean, fresh water (at least 2 liters per day).
The next step is choosing the right skin care products. Yes, it’s a little harder than just buying a cleanser and moisturizer that smells nice and hoping they’ll help your oily skin.
- Buy only natural and organic skin and body care products. There are many reasons for this, but suffice it to say – why put more junk in your body than necessary?
- Look closely at the ingredients. You need to look for ingredients that will benefit your oily skin type. So look for the following essential oils:
- lemon-scented tea tree,
- orange blossom,
- witch hazel,
- juniper berry,
- Niaouli and
- sweet orange
Many of these essential oils specifically help normalize sebum production.
One of the biggest problems with oily skin is that the excess oil produced tends to clog pores and cause bacterial growth (acne) and/or oxidation of the oil (blackheads).
So think of this as a 3-step process:
1. Follow a daily skin care routine:
- Cleanse your facial skin with hot water and/or a natural cleanser (alcohol-free) containing essential oils and herbs to remove oxidized natural oils and makeup residue. This leaves your skin feeling fresh and clean.
- Use a natural toner to remove any remaining cleansers and close open pores. This prevents further moisture loss and by closing the pores prevents bacteria and other microbes from entering the open pores.
- Even if your skin is oily, you should still use a light moisturizer that has oils like jojoba or avocado as the main ingredient.
- There is one more thing you need to do – use a face clay mask twice a week. Use green clay as it is the most attractive of the clays and will help oily skin the most. Then continue with the above cleansing, toning and moisturizing.
2. Eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water.
- This step is an important step as regular exercise increases blood circulation and helps nourish your skin while improving blood supply to the skin’s surface. Sweating (and consuming extra water) helps flush toxins from your skin’s pores — but remember to increase water consumption by at least 1 gallon on exercise days.
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