How to get rid of oily skin

Oily skin is an issue many women face in the course of a lifetime and it holds on for most of them. This can make skin look damp, dull and oil-laden. It also produces acne, irritation and allergies that may last a lifetime. This causes the face to look lifeless and dirty for a long period of time and also blocks pores. This oil makes impurities and dust stick to one’s face causing many hygiene issues. Oily skin often causes breakouts and dullness, which lowers self-esteem. It makes your skin look shiny and greasy and does not help retaining makeup products. This forces people with oily skin to keep washing their face, which can cause inconvenience. In this article, I’m going to highlight a few causes and remedies for oily skin.

Common Causes of Oily Skin in Women

  • Oily skin, in medical terms, is known as seborrhea and is mainly caused due to hormones acting on the sebaceous glands of the body. Excess production of a type of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) causes excess excretion of sebum, which causes oily skin. 
  • Oily skin can also be a result of an unhygienic lifestyle. If the skin is not cleaned well and regularly, oily skin can be a by-product of the lifestyle. Pores of the skin must be kept clean and free of excess oil. 
  • Oily skin can also be caused due to an improper diet and less water consumption. Water is essential for flushing out toxins and keeping our body and skin hydrated and healthy. Diets high in fats and oils can cause a high amount of oil on the skin. Oily skin around the mouth is usually caused due to consuming foods high in oils and foods.
  • Hot weather and oil particles in the environment also contribute to oily skin. Another reason can be heredity. If earlier family members have had a history of oily skin, it can be passed on. Another reason can be hormonal activity, pregnancy and birth control pills. 
  • Oily skin can also be caused due to improper make-up products that contain oil-producing elements. These make-up products can affect your skin even if applied very rarely. 
  • Face sanitation products like creams, soaps and face washes can also contain and retain extra sebum resulting in oily skin for a long period of time. Also, hair products like oils and serums can flow onto the skin producing more oil. Haircuts like fringes can also cause hair products to permeate.
  • Another cause can be excessively dry skin. If your skin is dry beyond average limits, the pores will try to produce extra natural oils to compensate for the dryness. This results in making your skin oily.

20 Easy Home Remedies

Oily skin can be easily treated at home using the following 20 methods:

  1. Hydrate- Drinking a lot of water can help soothe and get rid of oily skin. The average amount of water intake of a person during the day must be at least 2-3 litres. This helps flush out toxins and excess sebum along with keeping skin hydrated.
  2. Choose the correct skincare- Use the correct kind of face washes, soaps, body washes and creams. Use products with salicylic acid, glycolic acid and beta-hydroxy acid and less alcohol, which are created especially for oily skin. 
  3. Use right make up- Use make-up products manufactured by tested and reliable brands that do not pose a risk of skin defects. Do not use products containing excessive amounts of oils and grease. 
  4. Use hot water- Use hot or warm water to cleanse your face as it clears your pores, reducing oil formation and acne build-up. Hot water also clears out impurities from the skin.
  5. Mud Face Pack- Mix bentonite clay or Multani mitti with rose water and a few drops of glycerin. Apply this paste to your face and rinse after about 15-20 minutes. Use this twice a week to get rid of oily skin.
  6. Lime and Honey Pack- Mix juice from half a lemon with 2 tablespoons of honey and apply evenly on the skin. Rinse off after dry and repeat every day.
  7. Cucumber Juice- Apply cucumber juice and extracts over the oily area and let it rest for 30 minutes before washing off. The coolness of the cucumber keeps your skin cool and removes all the oil.
  8. Aloe vera- The gel in the aloe vera leaves, when applied to the skin, absorbs oil and keeps the skin cool. It is one of the oldest remedies known to man and is still used in many products worldwide. It works best when applied directly and used frequently.
  9. Diet- Consume plenty of green leafy vegetables and foods rich in vitamins and minerals. Avoid and reduce the intake of fried, oily and fatty foods.
  10. Moisturize-Use good quality creams and moisturisers for your skin. It will prevent drying and excess oil secretion.

11. Liquids- Consume a lot of water no matter what the weather. Cut down on consumption of aerated drinks, alcohol and lactic acid.

  1. Healing oils-Jojoba oil, tea tree oil, lavender oil, juniper berry oil, geranium oil and olive oil are some of the oils that help reduce oily secretions on the skin. They must be diluted with other ingredients like honey and applied to the skin.
  2. Plant produce- Plants like Chamomile, horsetail, oat straw, and thyme, rosebuds and witch hazel help directly in curing oily skin. Parts of these can be crushed and mixed with essential oils and applied to the skin.
  3. Egg whites- The whites of eggs can be combined with honey or yogurt to create a face pack for oily skin. It absorbs the oil from the skin and keeps skin from ageing. This pack must be applied to the skin once a week, kept for 30 minutes and then rinsed off.
  4. Oats- Ground and powdered oats can be combined with liquids like honey, lime or yoghurt to create an exfoliating face pack. This pack helps exfoliate pores and keep them clean. It must be applied twice a week for 20 minutes each time.
  5. On the go hygiene- Carry wet wipes, blotting cloth or tissues when you step out of the house. This helps keep your skin free of oil and dirt throughout the day without the need for washing it.
  6. Exfoliate- Use appropriate scrubs and granulated soaps and gels to strip off excess amounts of oil on the skin. This also helps in preventing blackheads, whiteheads and body hair ingrowth.
  7. Banana-Blend one whole banana, 1 tablespoon honey and the juice of one lemon together and apply to the skin. Wash off after 20 minutes and use twice a week. 
  8. Turmeric and cinnamon-Turmeric is very commonly used in home remedies because of its medicinal qualities. It is known to absorb extra oil while giving a natural glow. Cinnamon is also known to absorb oil very effectively. But, one must use turmeric very sparsely as it stains skin yellow.
  9. Sea salt- Sea salt when combined with water creates a strong paste that absorbs large amounts of oil. Thus, this can dehydrate your skin excessively and should be used only once a week.

You can also mix and combine different combinations for more effectiveness.

Myths and facts about oily skin you should know

  • Moisturising creams and sunblocks must not be used on oily skin:

This is a complete myth. The fact is that sunblock and moisturisers are very important to keep your skin hydrated and safe from the UV rays of the Sun.

  1. Acne can be stopped by dehydrating skin completely:

      This is a myth. The fact is that the skin produces extra oil when the skin is dehydrated to make up for the lack of natural oils. This results in an increase of acne and blemishes.

  • Oily skin does not age as fast as dry skin:

This is only a myth. The fact is that when the time comes, every type of skin will age at the same rate.

Precautions you can take to avoid oily skin

  1. We must drink a lot of water and fluids to keep ourselves hydrated throughout the day. This prevents oil formation and build up along with cleansing pores.
  2. Cover your face with a scarf or thin cloth and wear a cap or hat while venturing out in the sun and heat. This protects the skin of your face from harmful impurities and dust and oil particles in the atmosphere.
  3. Moisturize well. Use creams, moisturizers and gels to keep your skin hydrated. This prevents drying out of skin and breakouts and acne.
  4. Use make-up that does not produce excess oil and does not block pores of the skin. Makeup products that are mild and have ‘non-comedogenic are made especially for use by people with oily skin. This does not produce excess oil or acne and allergies.
  5. Cut down on dairy and foods with excess sugars. Dairy has been known to produce extra oil on skin surfaces. Cutting down on dairy and sugar prevents extra oil build-up and promotes healthier skin.
  6. Cut down on fatty foods and include more vitamin-rich foods in your diet. Foods with high amounts of unsaturated fat particles produce extra oil on the skin. Vitamins and minerals help soothe and revitalize skin and keep it healthy.
  7. Avoid contact of your fingers and hands with the face. Due to daily activities, your hands hold more oil and bacteria than you may have thought. Constant contact with the face helps transfer this oil and bacterium onto your face. 
  8. Clean your mobile phone screen regularly. The screen of your cellular phone is highly contaminated with oil, bacteria, dust and germs. When it comes in contact with your face, these impurities can permeate onto the skin, making it greasy and dirty.
  9. Ice soothes the skin and cleanses pores. Every morning, you should rub an ice cube over your face to keep your pores clean and your face fresh and healthy.
  10.  Reduce your consumption of alcohol and aerated drinks and cut down on smoking. Unknowingly, these things can be factors for the increase of sebum production in your skin. Cutting down on these activities can decrease oily secretions.

Are these remedies safe if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

All these remedies are physical, thus they are safe for pregnant women and breastfeeding women. There is no consumption of products, thus these are techniques and remedies friendly and healthy for everyone. Nevertheless, one’s diet must be consulted first with their practitioner or a medical practitioner. Makeup products must also be used only after recommendation by doctors.

Can these remedies be used on children?

These remedies are safe for children as well but should not be used as often. If the child is below 10 years of age, avoid using any of the face packs as their skin is still developing and these products can hamper development. Only in case of extremely oily skin must organic face packs be used. They should be used on very seldom occasions as the skin of children is much more sensitive than that of adults. Some of the precautions like drinking water and moisturizing must be followed by younger children too. This in itself keeps skin healthy and oil-free. You must wait till your child hits puberty for the skin to be fully developed before you can use any of these remedies. Sometimes, the skin undergoes major changes even after the age of 16 and you must wait till a child reaches that age to decide. If rules like applying sunblock and face hygiene are followed from infantry, the skin remains healthy and devoid of allergies and defects till adulthood. The brink of puberty brings along many changes to the skin but most of these are just temporary and harsh actions must be taken only after long consideration.

Over the counter medicines available & known side effects

Medicated pads and blotting sheets- These sheets absorb excess oil keeping your face clean and healthy. Side effects include-

  • Excessive drying out of the skin
  • Allergies for extra sensitive skin
  • Sometimes producing a foul smell
  1. Lotus Herbals Alphamoist Alpha Hydroxy Skin Renewal Oil-free moisturizer- This moisturizer is one of the best treatments for oily skin. It absorbs oil and keeps skin clean. It has no adverse effects on the skin and does not leave any residue.
  2. Neutrogena Oil-free Moisturizer SPF15- It is a moisturizer that keeps the skin oil and grease-free while also provided sun protection. In some cases, it may induce side effects like itching, burning, flaking, rashes and allergies if the skin is very sensitive.
  3. Cetaphil cleansing lotion- This product is recommended by several dermatologists and make-up specialists. It is very effective in reducing oil and grease and makes skin look glowing. It may not work on very tough skin types, but in very few cases does it cause side effects like redness and mild itching.
  4. Himalaya Purifying Neem Face Wash- This face wash is by far the most popular and effective product to reduce oily skin. It does not produce side effects for most people, but in some cases may increase dryness.

Makeup products-

  • Lakme Perfect Radiance Intense Whitening Compact.
  • Sheercover Mineral Make-up.
  • Revlon Colorstay Mineral Blush.
  • Mac Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation.
  • Revlon Colorstay Foundation for Oily Skin.

These products do not increase oil and grease on the skin and provide a glowing look. All of these may not suit many people depending on their skin and may cause breakouts and dryness.

Frequently asked questions

  • Should creams and moisturizers be used by people with oily skin?

Answer- Yes, these products are just as crucial as face washes and soaps. They keep skin hydrated and healthy and do not increase oil production.

  • Is oily skin the reason for acne and breakouts?

Answer- Oily skin is only one of the reasons for problems like acne and breakouts. There are other causes too, like unhygienic lifestyle, genetics, improper diet and clogging of pores.

  • Can people with oily skin use make-up products like foundation?

Answer- Yes! People with oily skin must use products with the tag ‘non-comedogenic to prevent them from making skin oily and greasy.

  • Does exposure to steam help in preventing oily skin?

Answer- Steam helps in opening up and cleaning pores well, thus preventing oil build up. Although it is not guaranteed, this does help.

  • Are oil-controlling face packs effective?

Answer- These face packs are effective and show considerable difference in a few weeks to months. They work gradually over a period of time and you cannot expect results immediately. However, if used in incorrect quantities and too frequently, these can dry out skin even more.

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