Scouring the internet for oily skin remedies? It’s understandable. Battling shine can be an uphill battle – one that lasts far beyond those acne-laden teenage years. Perhaps you’ve tried all kinds of oily skin remedies, like putting lemons and baking soda on your face? (For the record, you should skip those remedies.)
Why do some people seem to struggle for years with oily skin? Turns out, the amount of oil you produce is partially determined by your genetics.1 But there’s good news. There are lots of foolproof ways you can curb oil and get more balanced skin, without constantly layering on loose powder and keeping blotting tissues at the ready 24/7.
So, if you’re looking to bid adieu to shine for good, here are six ways to help you get there.
1. Balance Your Cleansing and Exfoliating
One of the biggest temptations that come with oily skin is to wash your face … over and over. But if your first instinct with oil is to reach for some cleanser, hit the pause button. That clean slate you get with a freshly-washed face is only temporary. In fact, over-cleansing can actually make oiliness worse.
Washing your face too often can upset your skin’s acid mantle – the thin layer of acid on the top of your skin that protects it from pathogens and other foreign invaders.
When the pH of your acid mantle is disturbed, irritation and breakouts can result.
And here’s the thing – water is much more alkaline than skin, so introducing it to your face too often can actually throw your skin’s pH off balance, leading to a frustrating, oily cycle.2
How can you keep this from happening? Simply wash with a gentle cleanser twice a day.
And while it’s important not to over-cleanse, it is important to exfoliate. Regularly.
Oily skin is prone to clogged pores, so it’s essential to slough away dead layers of skin to help prevent blackheads and whiteheads.
You can use a physical exfoliant once or twice a week to keep skin fresh and renewed.
Another great option is to use a chemical exfoliant, like retinol. Retinol encourages skin cell turnover, resulting in smoother, refreshed skin. Studies have even shown that using retinoids in your skincare regimen can help shrink pores – and pore size is directly linked to oil production.3 Another great benefit of retinol? It helps improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.4
2. Moisturize With Facial Oil
Putting oil on an oily face? Yep, it sounds pretty counterintuitive. But remember – like attracts like. In other words, a good facial oil can actually attract your own oil, and work to break it up.
For oily skin, try using jojoba oil. It’s a great moisturizer, and it also contains powerful oil-fighting properties. A study done in 2012 found that a topical application of jojoba oil over time results in a significant improvement in oily, acne-prone skin.5
Alternatively, you can experiment with facial serums. Serums are lightweight, and they may provide enough moisture if you don’t struggle with dryness. Plus, they contain potent ingredients that help combat the visible signs of aging.
Remember, it is important to use a moisturizer – even if you have oily skin. Regular hydration helps improve the quality of your skin and makes it less susceptible to irritation.6 It also reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles!7
3. Use a Clay Mask
A clay mask is one of the best — and most classic — oily skin remedies.
A mask that contains kaolin clay can work wonders for oily skin. It’s no wonder it’s been used for ages as a beauty booster. You see, kaolin contains minerals called “kaolinites.” These kaolinites are extremely small, and they can sink deeply into your skin. There, they act as “magnets’ for oils, toxins, and impurities. Kaolin essentially draws out these impurities from deep within your pores, lifting them away from your skin. It’s like a deep cleaning session for your face. Another great thing about kaolin? It’s been shown to actually improve the appearance of skin blemishes.8
For brighter, purer, skin, you can use a kaolin mask 2 to 3 times a week. All it takes is 15-20 minutes for deep cleansing results!
4. Dial Down Your Stress
Your brain and your body are intricately interconnected – perhaps even more than you realize. When your mind gets overloaded with stress, it often shows up in your skin. In fact, stress is responsible for triggering all sorts of irritating skin problems.9
And yes, stress may make oily skin worse. Chronic stress can trigger the release of certain stress hormones called “adrenal androgens.” This increase in stress hormones is linked with an increase in oil production and clogged pores.10
Of course, getting a handle on stress is no easy task. The key is perseverance. By gradually finding ways to manage stress, you can slowly, but surely, achieve peace of mind … and peaceful skin.
5. Switch Up Your Diet
For years there’s been controversy as to whether or not diet plays a role in skin quality. The current scientific consensus? It does.
One of the biggest culprits in problem skin may be due to dairy. And yes, giving up cheese sounds like a real drag. But scientific studies do demonstrate that dairy products are linked to oilier skin and acne breakouts.11 So, if you have problem skin, you may want to experiment with a dairy-free diet.
Another thing to avoid is refined carbohydrates, like white bread, white rice, and sugar. These high-glycemic foods have been shown to have a profound effect on oil production. Studies have shown that cutting out refined carbohydrates significantly reduces oil secretion and even decreases skin irritation.12
6. Put Food on Your Face
Yes, this tip sounds just as suspicious as putting oil on your face. But there is evidence it can help.
Massaging a little honey on your face is actually a great occasional addition to your skincare routine. Not only is it moisturizing, it also helps regulate skin pH. (Remember how important pH balance is to skin?) Honey also contains bacteria-fighting properties, which are especially helpful if you’re prone to breakouts.13
To reap the bee’s knees benefits of honey, simply massage a thin layer onto your face and let your skin absorb for 10 minutes. Then, rinse off.
Yogurt and oatmeal:
Yes, avoiding dairy in your diet might help, but putting a little yogurt on your face has its benefits. Yogurt contains lactic acid, which is a natural chemical exfoliant.14 This exfoliation can keep skin fresh, smooth, and free of clogged pores. And oatmeal is incredibly nourishing for the skin. It’s known to soothe irritation and provide protection for the top layer of skin.15
For an oatmeal and lactic acid mask, combine ½ cup ground oats with warm water. Stir in 1 tablespoon of plain, Greek yogurt. Apply to your face, and leave on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse off, and pat dry.
See Ya Later, Oil!
Everyone wants luminous skin. But there’s a fine line between “glowing” and “shiny.” And while you can’t change your genetics, you can make some simple changes to your skincare routine. These six easy oily skin remedies can help you curb oil, so you can feel confident about your skin, and confident about you.