I used to have oily skin. Really. Really. Oily. Skin.
I had to wipe the excess oil off of my face at least every 30 minutes or the glare could quite possibly blind you.
And my glasses would repeatedly slide right off my face.
It was a problem. An irritating, frustrating problem.
I had heard there were benefits to having oily skin, like making your skin look dewy and youthful, and having fewer wrinkles, but I mostly felt like my face was melting off.
So what was an oily girl to do? Well, this girl went on a hunt for a solution to end the daily greasiness. And if you’re also tired of being slick and greasy, here’s a little primer on how to get rid of oily skin for good.
What causes oily skin
Oily skin isn’t just a result of genetics. Virtually anyone can experience excess oil at some time in their life. So what causes the oil to overproduce? Here are a few culprits:
- Your skin type – some say oily skin can be genetic, so if grandma Lucy and your mother both had oily skin, chances are you will too. But you’ll learn further down in the post that there may be another major culprit…
- Medications – some medicines cause dehydration which then causes the skin to over-produce oil to compensate for what’s missing.
- Changes in weather – As we enter into spring and summer, the rise in heat and humidity causes the skin’s oil production to increase. And when the weather turns colder and the air dryer in the winter, the skin gets dehydrated and compensates by over-producing oil.
- Stress – When stressed, the body produces more androgen hormones which lead to the skin producing more oil.
- Hormonal changes – during puberty or menopause and when taking birth control pills, the body’s hormone levels fluctuate and can cause over-production of oil.
- Using the wrong products – each skin care product is designed for certain skin types and conditions. So it’s important to choose the products meant for your skin. If you use a product that’s too drying for your skin, like many types of soaps, it dries it out causing the skin to over-produce oil to compensate. Also, overusing products produces the same effects. Over-cleansing or over-exfoliating your skin irritates the skin, triggering the production of excess oil.
How diet affects oily skin
“Your skin is your bodies largest organ and it requires essential nutrients to maintain a healthy balance,” says skincare expert Dr. Arleen Lamba. “Your skin reflects your overall health and wellness.”
The food you eat is the food you wear.
That’s not what your average dermatologist would tell you. While Dr. Lamba is an exception, most doctors preach that oily skin and acne have nothing to do with the foods we eat.
But the fact is: oily skin and acne are the consequences of eating vegetable oils, processed foods, and animal fats.
Many studies have been done of people living on their traditional, native diets–almost all of which are low-fat diets, based on starches, vegetables, and fruits. The results were these people have little or no acne or oily skin. However, when they switch to eating the Western diet, acne becomes an epidemic among their population.
The one way to get rid of oily skin for good
The Western diet has been shown to be the cause of oily skin and acne, which affects 85% of teenagers living in industrialized countries.
So, what’s the cure?
The most effective way to get rid of oily skin for good is to replace meat, dairy, vegetable oils, and other junk foods with very low-fat, starch-based foods.
Not only is this good for your face, but it’s great for your body as well. A plant-based diet has been proven to reverse or prevent many common illnesses. We want to not only look good but feel good as well. By feeding our body the natural, wholesome food it needs, along with plenty of water and exercise, we gain more energy, restore health, and reclaim our youth.
If you want an informative guide to help you make the change, I recommend The Starch Solution. It even includes some meal plans and recipes to get you started.
7 ways to manage oily skin
But what if you’re not ready to switch your diet? Are there any other natural remedies for cutting the shine?
Yes! Here are seven pretty effective ways to combat oily skin and reduce the appearance of oil on your face:
- Lemon juice – don’t lemons just smell so clean? Well, it’s because they’re packed with natural cleansing agents. Citrus fruits, like lemons, are packed with acids that have mild astringent qualities. These astringents work by causing the body tissues to constrict pushing the oil out of the skin. How can you get these oil-fighting benefits? Squeeze the juice from one whole lemon into a cup or bowl. Add an equal amount of water and mix. Now apply this mixture to your skin using a cotton ball and let it sit a few minutes until dry. Rinse the treatment off with warm water then follow with applying an ice cube over the face. This will close the pores and give your skin a smooth appearance. Repeat this process 2 – 3 times a week for effective results.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – is a good way to exfoliate the skin and keep it healthy. It’s also very effective in controlling excess oil production, reducing the shine from the face. Apply vinegar to a cotton ball before bed and let it sit for 8-10 minutes. Wash it off with cool water and then pat your face dry. Repeat nightly for about four weeks for best results.
- Clay mask – clay is great for absorbing excess oil and giving the skin a smooth, shine-free look. Clay masks deep clean the pores, leaving them tightened and refined. To use this remedy, start with four tablespoons of your favorite clay (i.e., Rhassoul, french green clay, fuller’s earth, etc.) and add enough rose water to make a smooth paste. Apply this mixture to your face and let it sit for 20 – 30 minutes. Rinse with cool water and pat dry. Repeat this process 1 – 2 times a week for best results.
- Yogurt – yogurt is an effective natural remedy for the skin. It contains lactic acid which gently exfoliates while absorbing excess oil from the face. Just apply one tablespoon of plain yogurt to your face and leave it on for 15 minutes. Rinse with cool water and then pat your face dry. You can repeat this process daily for the best results.
- Green tea – this powerful tea is very beneficial to the body–both inside and out. Full of health-boosting antioxidants and wrinkle-fighting nutrients, green tea is a great choice for promoting healthy skin. Not only will this tea lock moisture into your skin cells, removing excess oils, it’s also an anti-aging remedy. Green tea is packed with polyphenols, which destroy free radicals that cause fine lines and wrinkles. To create your own toner, steep one green tea bag in a cup of boiling water. After it cools, pour it into a clean spray bottle and use it daily to spritz your face after cleansing.
- Egg whites – egg whites are a natural solution for oily skin and acne. Applied to the face, it dries out blemishes and removes extra oil from the skin. Extract the white from one egg and whip it thoroughly. Apply it to the face and allow it to dry. Once dried, rinse with warm water to remove.
- Tomatoes – applying the juice from tomatoes to your skin helps to tighten pores and remove excess oil. There are several masks and cleaners you can make with tomatoes, but here is one of my favorite: