On The Slippery Road To Success
If you suffer from oily skin, you know that it can contribute to poor self-esteem and a negative body image when not well managed, and excess sebum left unbalanced can be a factor in acne prone skin. However, the body’s sebaceous glands do serve a beneficial purpose - count yourself lucky in the aging department! One benefit is that people with plenty of natural sebum don’t seem to wrinkle or show discoloration as much as your friends with dry or combination skin.
The sebaceous glands lubricate skin and scalp, helping to protect them from dehydration and maintaining skin health and hair luster, and all skin surfaces, except the soles and palms, contain sebaceous glands.
Under normal circumstances, natural sebum (skin oil) production isn’t a problem, but one area in particular contains more sebaceous glands and is therefore more prone to trouble: the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin).
Over-active sebaceous glands can produce too much sebum, causing surface oiliness which, when left unbalanced, blocks pores and nourishes bacteria that live on the skin, creating greasiness, shine, clogged pores, and contributing to acne outbreaks.
Time to balance the prevent oily skin from getting out of control!
Natural skincare recipes can help manage oily skin without aggravating it with chemical additives that can often do more harm than good.
Over-active oil glands need to be addressed internally and externally.
Internally, a well balanced diet is essential as an oily skin remedy. Stay away from processed foods, an excess of carbohydrates, or foods high in fat. Drink your 6-8 glasses of water a day.
Externally, don't neglect your skin or allow oils and dead skin cells to build up, creating an environment for the bacteria to feed from. However, it's important in oily skin care not to be so aggressive as to strip all oils, leaving the skin dry and irritated. Gentle cleansing and oil dissolving will calm the oil production, and leave your skin much more balanced.
Botanicals that work well to manage excess sebum:
- Tea Tree
A complete list and explanation of the properties of essential oils, as well as supplies of the finest oils at very reasonable prices can be found at:
Even though you may feel that your skin is greasy, shiny and thick, it’s still a delicate organ and must be treated gently. Using the wrong soap or cleanser, one that removes too much moisture, will make the sebaceous glands are produce more sebum in defense. Cleansing is important to remove excess oil, dead skin cells. dirt and other impurities that accumulate on the skin, but you want to avoid aggressive cleaning will leave your skin irritated and dry.
A good, purifying cleanse also improves circulation, stimulates skin cell renewal, helps avert wrinkling, heals blemishes, and protects against future break-outs. Your cleanser should leave your face feeling clean and smooth, but not tight. Always use very warm water to cleanse and cool water to rinse. Warm water helps break down oils and cool water rinsing will slow sebum production.
Gentle oil dissolving cleanser:
- 2 T liquid castile soap
- 1/4 C distilled water
- 1/4 C honey
- 5 drops peppermint essential oil
- 5 drops lavender essential oil
Since castile soap is made from olive oil, it will help dissolve oils in your skin without drying it out. The peppermint and lavender not only smell yummy together, they are purifying and anti-acnegenic. The honey is antiseptic, anti-bacterial, and contains alpha hydroxy acids. You MUST use a toner after any soap cleanse, as you need to balance the PH of your skin.
Honey is moisturizing without being oily, and citrus cuts oils and leaves skin fresh.
- 1 T honey
- 1/2 half fresh squeezed lemon or lime
Mix together and rub over face with fingertips, especially on the oily areas. Rinse with very warm water, and then again with cold water.
If you are having a tendency to break out, try Manuka Honey from New Zealand. This honey is made by bees that feed on the two bushes that are the New Zealand equivalent of the tea tree, infusing it with peroxide activity, and the highest levels of anti-microbials, keeping acne-causing bacteria to a minimum without sucking much needed moisture (not oils!) in your skin.
Baking Soda exfoliation for oily skin:
1) Dampen face and lightly rub baking soda over it. Rinse.
2) Add about 1/2 teaspoon to your facial cleanser and lightly rub over your face. Rinse.
3) Do an oil cleanse, adding baking soda to the oil. Rinse well with very warm water, twice.
Natural Chemical exfoliation for oily skin
Pineapple papaya exfoliating mask for oily skin:
- 1/2 C fresh pineapple
- 1/2 C fresh papaya
- 1 T honey
Blend all ingredients together in a blender or food processor. Apply to face and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water, followed by cool water.
After cleansing, always use a toner to rebalance your skin and take away any traces of cleanser. For oily skin, a great toner will contain apple cider vinegar or a citrus juice like lemon or lime. Try using a toner of 50/50 apple cider vinegar and purified water, or witch hazel with peppermint and lavender essential oils added.
If you are feeling really oily, wipe full strength apple cider vinegar or white vinegar all over your face. Follow by patting with a damp washcloth. The acetic acid will cut right through excess sebum and leave your face feeling soft and matte. Yes, it smells like vinegar, but that will go away fairly quickly, and it's a great way to cut through oils.
Hydrate, don’t lubricate! The best moisturizer is light and non-comedogenic. Avoid heavy creams and lotions with mineral oil content. In fact, avoid mineral oil at all. Pay attention to how your skin reacts to what you’re using: If your skin isn’t absorbing the moisturizer, scale back the amount you’re putting on.
A good natural moisturizer for oily skin is aloe vera gel. You can put this on and then lightly pat with a damp washcloth if it feels too sticky. You can use a drop or so of a natural oil under your eyes if you'd like. The undereye area is often forgotten by people with oily skin, and it needs attention!
A good facial steam will help open and cleanse your pores so that sebum can run free and evacuate - you don't want anything to remain in your pores to clog them up! Try to do this once a week before your mask.
You can used dried herbs or essential oils. For herbs, measure 2-4 tablespoons, and for essential oils, measure 10-20 drops.
First, bring 2 quarts of water to a simmer. When steam rises, remove from stove and on a table, on top of a heatproof trivet. Sit with your face over the steam at a comfortable distance for about 10-15 minutes. To trap the steam around your face, you can use a towel over your head. Splash your face with cold water and pat dry.
Masks for Oily Skin
To keep your skin oil-controlled and clear of blemishes, mask once or twice a week.
Clay mask to prevent oily skin
Clay is the old standby for excess oils, and there's good reason. Clay is a triple threat: 1) It helps neutralize skin, 2) It will draw out impurities and, 3) It will draw out excess sebum from the pores.
- 2 t French green or kaolin clay
- 1 t distilled water
- 1 t plain yogurt
- 1 t honey
- 4 drops lavender essential oil
Cream all ingredients together. Add more water if you'd like a thinner consistency. Add a couple of drops of your choice botanical essential oil from the above list for oily skin. Leave the mask on until dry, about 15 minutes. Remove by laying a hot washcloth over the mask to soften and then wipe off, removing all traces.
**If you have extemely oily skin, and need to dry up oils, make a mask with just French green clay and purified water, mix into a paste and smooth over skin. Leave on until dry and remove with warm water. Caution: Do not do this more than twice a week; it will also draw necessary moisture OUT of your skin!! However, it will definitely dry up excess sebum!
Oatmeal oily skin face mask
Oatmeal is a great skin softener and will help absorb oils!
- 1/2 C cooked oat meal
- 1/2 apple, cored, skinned & chopped
- 2 t freshly squeezed lemon juice
Whisk all ingredients up in the blender, apply to a freshly washed face and sit back for 10-15 minutes. The oatmeal will soften and absorb and the apple and lemon will exfoliate. Nice!
Gazpacho mask for oily skin
Tomato juice is a good natural astringent and is great for oily, acne prone skin.
- 1 half of a tomato
- 1 small cucumber
- 2 t fresh squeezed lemon juice
Blend all ingredients well in a blender. Apply to freshly cleansed face and leave on approximately 15 minutes. Rinse.
The tomato mask will leave your face mildly exfoliated, clear and smooth. So fresh!
Strawberry mask for oily skin
Strawberries are naturally astringent and work great for oily skin.
- 1/2 C strawberries
- 1 egg white
- 1 t honey
- 1/2 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Spread over your face, lie back for 15 minutes, and rinse it off. Voila!
Milk of Magnesia
For a quick oil blotting mask, apply milk of magnesia straight from the bottle and leave on 15 minutes. Rinse and tone.
The same oily skin that gives you problems now will help you later when your more dry-skinned friends are starting to wrinkle, so develop your skin care regimen now and you'll be ahead of the game!
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