Living with skin that produces more oil than it needs takes a bit of patience and
understanding. Taking care of oily skin is made easier if you get to know what
works best for you and your skin's particular needs.
The bright side of oily skin is that it is not deficient in
protective natural skin oils, which can actually be a good
thing in many ways, as your skin will most likely not age prematurely
or become overly dry in harsh conditions. Being on "the flip side" of dry skin, which
requires plenty of hydration and moisturizers, oily skin requires more frequent face masks
and astringents or skin toners to help maintain the balance.
Washing with a gentle cleanser a couple of times a day can
help minimize excess oil and reduce build-up of bacteria.
Skin toners or astringents help with the pH of the skin by making it
more acidic, so they are important to
use directly after washing, as soap is typically alkaline and
skin thrives better when acidic. And, bacterial growth is
kept at a minimum in an acidic environment.
There are many good reasons for using cleansers that are gentle
on the skin, one is that the skin can maintain a healthier balance
when it's not stripped of any and all oil, which helps protect
the skin. And, removing too much oil may actually make the oil production
cycle worse. There is a term called "reactive seborrhoea" ...
this is a phenomenon that occurs when the skin is cleansed too harshly.
To compensate for the loss, the skin produces more oil.
So, in light of this, it could be that gentle cleansing is
much less likely to trigger such a response. And, it's a
more sound method of cleansing the skin, as it isn't so
"drying" as many of the stronger, detergent-type
solutions, which may cause a "sebaceous response."
However, even with this type of information coming to light
in regard to how to treat oily skin, there continues to be
recommendations that drastic measures are called for in the
cleansing of oily skin to "dissolve the oils."
Some of the advice says to use acetone on your skin.
Ingredients such as acetone, a solvent, are extremely strong
treatments that may actually cause harm to the skin
by ridding it of all its natural oil. If you have
chosen to use this ingredient, please think this over,
as there are much better, and gentler, ways to treat your skin.
All we are looking to do is remove some excess oil, so
the overall care and condition of our skin should not be overlooked
in the process. Perhaps these harsh ingredients are
advised because they are strong enough to remove or dissolve
oil almost immediately. Although this may be the
case, it does not address the needs of the skin as a
whole, which requires some natural protective oils to
remain for even tone, healthy balance, and luster.
Where too much oil causes shine, too little oil causes
dullness, so balance is really what we are trying to
A little patience can go a long way. Our skin
gradually produces oil throughout the course of the day and
night. A gentle cleansing in the morning and the evening
should help to control the existence of excess oil.
Combined with the use of an astringent during the day, which
can help refreshen and cleanse the skin without literally washing it,
and facial masques every few days, a balance you can work with
should be within reach. Mild ingredients allow you to
keep your skin clean and use them as frequently as you wish,
without causing any harm to your skin.
Although this process may not be an immediate one,
such as with harsh chemicals, it is an effective one that
works in harmony with the oil production level of the skin.
Methods that quickly dissolve oil may create a feeling
of "instant clean," but it could come with a price to pay.
Since our skin is gradually producing oil, then the most
natural way to effectively combat it is to gradually attend to it.
There is no such thing as ridding the skin of oils before they exist;
yet, when we strip our skin of all oils, that is what we are
in essense attempting to do, and, we are actually drying
out our skin which leaves it with no protective barrier or layer of
defense. Working with your skin's natural oil producing cycle in a
gentle way leads skin into balance, rather than forcing
it to be something it's not ... dry skin, which is not
our aim in the first place.
Techniques such as the use of natural clays can be used
to draw out impurities and excess oil from the skin, leaving
it feeling smooth and soft. This serves as a thorough
cleanser that aids in the removal of dead skin cells, while
nutrifying the skin. The use of mild facial scrubs are
also beneficial, although they are not as gentle as facial
masks and some of the more abrasive types could be irritating
to sensitive skin.
As for moisturizers, they may still be needed, but in a much
different way than with balanced or dry skin. You may only
need to apply on certain areas, such as with combination skin,
or, just a very light-textured lotion may be needed.
It's important to not clog the pores or smother the skin.
Natural oils that penetrate the skin quickly are best.
Some oils are heavier than others and can clog pores ...
they are referred to as being "comedogenic,"
from the word comedo, which can be debris, thick oils,
or a blemish that clogs a pore. Others are easily absorbed
and do not clog pores, making them non-comedogenic. When selecting
products, it's best to investigate if a product or
ingredient has the "propensity of comedogenicity."
In simpler terms, make sure it isn't known to clog pores.
For instance, cocoa butter and soybean oil may be
comedogenic, whereas oils such as castor, jojoba, olive,
safflower, sunflower, avocado, are not.
The use of oil-based cleansers or lotions, which are
not made of synthetic ingredients, such as mineral oil,
but instead are natural oils derived from plants,
such as olive, castor, and jojoba can help your skin
retain its natural moisture while unclogging pores,
leaving your skin clean, but nourished.
Also, soaps or cleansers made with oils can sometimes
serve as a "built-in" moisturizers, reducing
the need for a moisturizer.
Some skin care tips for oily skin ...
Wash your face with a gentle cleanser at least a couple
of times a day ... soap made with oils can help to draw the
oil from your skin and wash it away, as oil attracts oil.
However, heavier oils, such as cold creams, may clog
pores, so are not advised.
Refrain from using vegetable shortening for make-up removal,
as it can clog pores. Choose natural lubricating oils or
ointments that can safely remove make-up while nourishing the skin
without clogging pores.
Use a face masque about at least twice a week or more ... natural clays
are best, as they pull toxins from the skin and remove oils.
Gently exfolliate with a mild scrub a few times a week.
Astringents should be handy so you may use them as
frequently as you wish ... for instance, witch hazel hydrosol
will help balance your skin. It's best to stay away from toners
that include isoprophyl alcohol, as it can be overly drying
and possibly damaging to the skin over time.
Some essential oils help to balance oil content of the
skin, such as Petitgrain (bitter orange) and Rose-Geranium ... products
that include small amounts of these oils can be beneficial
to the skin's oil balance. (Sunlight should be avoided
for several hours after the use of any product with wonderful
Petitgrain, however, as it is a photosensitizer.)
If using foundation make-up, make sure it's intended for
use with oily skin (non-comedogenic) ... mineral make-up,
such as face powder, may be a good alternative.
If you have oily hair, try to wear a style that keeps
it away from your face.
Some ingredients to avoid are products containing oil from
petroleum, including mineral oil (clogs pores); products that contain isopropyl alcohol (too harsh);
ingredients such as bismuth oxychloride and dimethicone,
which are found in some foundations or face powders (clogs pores);
detergents found in some skin care products, such as sodium laurel sulfate (strips skin of natural oils,
which can prompt skin to produce too much oil.)
Be kind and gentle to your oily skin!
Information regarding other skin types ...
Our skin maintains a delicate moisture balance.
We may lose this balance for a variety of reasons.
Read more ...
Skin conditions are often very uncomfortable,
or even painful and beyond simply troublesome.
Read more ...
Ideally, caring for combination skin requires a bit
of knowledge about how to care for balanced,
dry, and oily skin.
Read more ...