While most of us have some amount of oiliness that naturally occurs in our skin, abnormally oily skin tends to appear shiny, thick and dull-colored with coarse pores, and is often accompanied by pimples and other blemishes or blackheads. Oily skin is the result of overactive sebaceous glands producing more sebum (oil) than is needed. The oil oozes and results in a greasy shine.
Oily skin tends to be most common in adolescents, resulting primarily from the hormonal shifts associated with teenage growth, and tends to become clearer with age. However, it can occur at any age, and has been associated with the hormonal shifts related to pregnancy and menopause. Fortunately, oily skin tends to show age more slowly than other skin types. Fortunately, natural treatment of oily skin is both effective and easy to accomplish.
To prevent blockages and clogging of pores, oily skin should be kept very clean, using gentle cleansers and hot water. I recommend avoiding harsher products, which can over-dry the skin and encourage flaking, which in turn can cause the sebaceous glands to work even harder and produce more oil to compensate – resulting in a vicious and potentially uncomfortable cycle of dryness and oiliness. Additionally, the use of products that make your skin dehydrated or leave it feeling tight will cause the skin to shrink, restricting oil flow through pores, leading to further blockage and breakouts.
Try not to wash too often, as this too can cause overstimulation. When you do wash, using hot water helps to break down oil. Using oil-based cleansers will also help to break down sebum without stripping the skin. After washing, rinse with cool water to refresh the skin. If you use a moisturizer, use one that is NOT oil-based – although, if you have extremely oily skin or are under 30 years of age, use of a moisturizer may not be necessary at all.
Cucumber juice and lime juice are great, natural ingredients for oily skin. Using a little cucumber juice on the excessively oily parts of your face, typically the forehead, nose and chin, prior to applying makeup, can help prevent your skin from appearing patchy. Simply apply a small amount and dry gently prior to putting on makeup. If your whole face tends to become patchy, try equal parts cucumber and lime juice as a pre-makeup rinse, again drying gently prior to applying makeup.
Using a mixture of one part lime juice to one part water is a great natural rinse that can help to balance your skin’s oiliness, and can be used once or twice a day.
Witch Hazel is a great natural astringent – it’s not too harsh for regular use, and will help to keep pores clear and skin feeling and looking naturally healthy by absorbing overabundant facial oil. Apple cider vinegar is another gentle neutralizing agent, although it may be less attractive due to its strong odor.
Healthy from the inside out
Of course, a healthy and balanced diet will go a long way in helping to curb oily skin. Deficiencies in vitamins such as B2 (Riboflavin) have been shown to contribute to oily skin, so be sure to include whole grains, beans and nuts in your diet. Iron is also a contributor to healthy skin, and can be found in foods such as spinach, buckwheat, whole rice and black beans.
Heat-processed vegetable oils and animal fats also tend to increase the likelihood of oily skin, and should be avoided. Canola oil and olive oil are healthful alternatives when used sparingly.
Exercise and proper amounts of sleep are definitely beneficial to clear, healthy skin, as they boost proper blood circulation and support proper cellular repair. Stay away from smoking as it enlarges pores, and impairs skin health significantly.
And, of course, keeping properly hydrated by drinking plenty of clean, quality water will bring balance to all of your body’s systems, especially your skin.
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