A few years ago my skin was going from bad to worse. Regularly I would break out in a myriad of volcano looking mountains of grease in the corners of my nose and on my chin (sorry for being so graphic).I still remember how completely embarrassed I felt when having a conversation with someone and seeing their eyes moving across my face from spot to spot studying the horrible state of my skin. Oh yeah…still sensitive about that.
Fast forward a few years and I have managed to banish oily skin and completely eliminate nasty breakouts while using natural cosmetics, plant oils and extracts. Nothing worked better than banning the products with irritating chemicals and letting nature balance and nourish my skin. And now I would like to share a few useful tips that can help you win the battle with oily skin or at least keep it under control.
- Stop washing your skin too often and using too many skincare products with dubious ingredients.
Washing our skin too often, especially with hot water, dries out the skin and makes our sebaceous glands go into overdrive trying to produce extra sebum (skin’s own oil) to replace the lost one. When you do this on a regular basis, the skin acquires a habit of overproducing which results in oily skin and breakouts. Also, excessive use of exfoliates, scrubs, wash cloths, cleansing brushes, buffs, products with harsh chemicals that strip oils from the skin can do more harm than good, so try and limit those in your daily skin care if not get rid of them altogether. Your skin will thank you and your bank account will also.
- Use oils for cleansing and moisturising.
Putting oil on skin does sound very strange and counterintuitive to a person who’s skin is already very oily, but despite the perceptions it does work. Oil will trick your skin into thinking that the sebum has already been produced and so will stop your skin from producing its own. Also, when cleansing with oil, according to the principle “like dissolves like”, oil will mix with the sebum on your skin and in your pores and will dissolve it, getting rid of blocked pores and blackheads. Many water-based products that are sold to us claiming that they will cleanse our skin, simply do not work or work temporarily by stripping the oils with chemicals and making the skin worse in the long run.
- Choose the right oil for you.
Not all oils are beneficial for spot-prone skin, so don’t lather yourself with the oil from your kitchen cupboard just yet. The key to figuring out the right oil for your skin is the content of oleic and lineoleic acids in the oil. Those are fatty acids, the building blocks of oils. Oleic acids make oils heavier and richer, which are most effective on dry and dehydrated skin. ( e.g. Olive oil, Avocado Oil, Almond Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, etc). Lineoleic acids makes the oil consistency lighter and thinner ( Sesame seed oil, seabuckthorn oil, castor oil, grape seed oil, etc).The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology reported that acne sufferers have low levels of lineoleic acid in their skin surface lipids (Downing DT, et al. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1986 ). Skin deficiency in lineoleic acid makes the sebum become thick and heavy which clogs the pores and creates break outs. So if you have oily skin, make sure that the oils you use have high content of Lineoleic acid. Oil cleansing and moisturising can be extremely beneficial to the skin, but it is essential to choose the right oils.
It’s important to remember that your lifestyle, weather and your hormone levels can contribute to the skin problems you are experiencing, so it might be worth consulting a dermatologist if your problems persist. On a good note, people with oily skin generally have fewer wrinkles and better looking skin when they age, so it’s not all that bad, my friend.