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Oily Skin: Causes & Self Care Remedies

Excessively oily skin can dull your skin's appearance and often cause pimples, blemishes and blackheads. 

People who have oily skin have overactive oil glands that produce more oil in the epidermis layer than is needed or wanted. This is what leads to the greasy shine and enlarged pores which can lead to various skin problems.

Your skin should have a certain amount of natural healthy oil.  However, skin that is consistently too oily is generally a sign that there are changes needed to your diet, your lifestyle and skin care routine.

Luckily, there are natural ways to remedy oily skin at home so that you can experience beautiful, glowing skin. And NO, you don’t need expensive products, 12-step routines or fancy cosmetic cleansers! 

Keep reading to find out the causes and simple self care remedies for oily skin so that you can restore and revive your skin back to it's natural best.

1. Causes of Oily Skin

Oily skin can be caused by a variety of factors that you can and can’t control. Cosmetics, diet, birth control pills, over the counter and prescription medicines can all lead to oily skin, but all of these things can often be modified. 

Then there is the issue of diet.

Oily skin is usually a sign that your skin is undernourished from consuming too many processed and refined foods and sugary, coloured drinks.

A lack of moderate exercise is also a cause because your skin naturally expels toxins through perspiration.  Without this channel of elimination working optimally, it will have a big impact on your skin's overall health and appearance.

Other factors are pregnancy, menopause and overly humid climates, which can all upset the normal oil balance within your skin and increase the activity of sebaceous glands. 

Another common cause of oily skin is the daily use of chemical soaps and cleansers which strip your skin's natural healthy oils content, causing it to counter by over producing oil.  The use of commercial soaps over a long period of time can be a major factor that leads to a life time of oily skin, so it's best to avoid these and find organic soaps prepared from natural ingredients, which are readily available in good health food stores these days.

Oily skin is also quite common in teenagers due to their hormonal changes, but it can also occur at any age. Luckily, skin tends to become dryer as we age since the flow of oil decreases with age. 

It’s also quite normal to have skin that’s oily in certain areas but dry or normal in other areas; this is called combination skin and you should treat the areas individually. 

Learn more in Spring Clean: Why Clearing Internal Plaque Detoxifies the Skin. 

2. Exfoliating with Sea Salt and Essential Oils

Every skin type needs regular exfoliation to maintain healthy composition and balance. 

When practiced with all natural ingredients, frequent exfoliation is the secret to renewing the cells of your skin, boosting circulation and unclogging your pores and maintaining a healthy glow.

Exfoliation can be done both for your face and body using a gentle circular motion straight from the palms of your hands, or use a loofah sponge to reach those hard to reach places on your body.

If your skin is super oily, you may want to start by exfoliating every second morning or night to begin with, to first gauge how your skin reacts before incorporating this practice daily.

We recommend preparing your own DIY exfoliate at home by combining Fine Celtic or Himalayan Salt with Almond Oil, Aloe Vera and your favourite essential oil e.g. Lemon or Lavender Essential Oil.  Alternatively, try our handcrafted Renew Body Salt Scrub and Glow Facial Polish Exfoliate available in our store.

2. Cleansing with the "right" Soap

Cleansing is incredibly important when it comes to caring for oily skin, but if you use the wrong products, you'll only worsen the problem.

Most people assume oily skin needs strong chemicals to remove the oil, but these products actually cause flakiness and your oil glands to work harder than ever to compensate for the loss of oil that these chemical products cause. 

Avoid the temptation to use products that leave your skin feeling taut and dehydrated. These products actually restrict the flow of oil through your pores, which can actually cause blockages and breakouts.

Choose a cleanser or soap specifically designed for oily skin that is made from chemical-free, completely natural or organic ingredients e.g. that uses vegetable glycerin and plant extracts as a base.

Another option is to use six drops of Tea Tree Oil in an eight-ounce glass of water, splash and rinse the face after gentle exfoliation, and then pat dry. 

Clean your skin well, but don't over do it because over cleansing can strip the healthy natural oils, a certain amount of which you need to maintain nourishment, complexion and glow.  

Opt for hot water rather than lukewarm or cold water and wash your skin in an upward and outward massaging motion. Avoid rubbing too hard while washing, because rubbing soap deep into the skin can clog pores. 

Castille Soap is also a great gentle facial cleanser. You only need a few drops - a little goes a long way!

4. Moisturiser

Oily skin typically doesn't need too much additional help in the way of moisturiser, however there are great benefits in gently applying a small amount of skin food like plant-based Divine Face & Body Butter to bring nourishment back into your skin.

Keep the skin hydrated (while also flushing out toxins) by drinking plenty of pure water - at least 6-8 glasses or 2 litres per day. It’s also a great idea to mist the skin with water and Lavender several times a day because lavender is excellent for oily skin.  Lavender is one of mother nature's true skin health miracle remedies.

5. Toner

If you did nothing more than focus on steps 2-4 above, you'll be well on your way to re-setting your skin and making overly oily skin a thing of the past.

To take things one step further, you can also apply a natural toner which can be helpful as it helps to gently close your pores to protect your clean skin from the elements.

The nice thing is you don't need to go out and buy an expensive cosmetic brand toner. You can tone your face using ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.

Mix a half teaspoon each of lime and cucumber juice together with one teaspoon of witch hazel and apply it to your clean face. It will help to prevent acne and blemishes by keeping oiliness away and naturally protecting the pores of the skin.

Apple Cider Vinegar is also a wonderful toner that can be substituted for witch hazel if you'd prefer or have access to this.

6. Clay Masks & Baths

Natural clays like Bentonite Clay and Diatomaceous Earth are chelators which means they help strip impurities from beneath the surface of the skin, including excess oil.

Add a cup of Bentonite Clay to a hot running bath with 10-12 drops of Lavender Essential Oil and soak for 30 minutes 2-3 times per week.

To use as a face mask, blend together one teaspoon of Bentonite Clay, one teaspoon of raw honey, 2-3 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil and enough water to turn it into a smooth paste.  Gently apply to your face and allow to set before removing with a hot shower or warm, wet face washer. Pat dry.

Do this at least three times a week or more.

Try our handcrafted Radiance Face Mask with Detoxifying Clay to instantly improve skin without over-drying it. 

7. Clean Diet

One of the most important ways to care for oily skin is to eat more high fibre, high water content plant foods - yes, you guessed it, fresh fruits and vegetables!

By include plenty of colourful fruits, veges and leafy greens in your diet, you will ensure that your cells are nourished with enough vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants to support the health of the largest organ of your body, your skin.

Extra Tip:  Add a little nutritional yeast or wheat germ to your diet for an additional nutrient boost.

Even a slight deficiency in vitamin B2 can cause oily skin, so make sure to eat good sources of vitamin B2 like organic beans, raw nuts and whole grains. Black beans, buckwheat and whole rice are an exceptional supply of iron to the body, and they known for their powers in rejuvenating the skin too. 

Avoid pork, sausages, bacon, ham, salami, corned beef and all processed meats, as well as fried food to reduce the bad fats and chemical preservatives in your diet which are significant culprits in causing unhealthy skin.

Additionally, avoid all white flour, white bread, white rice, white pasta, packaged cereals, packaged sauces, cookies, cakes, biscuits, soft drinks (basically all processed packaged food) and limit your intake of alcoholic, particularly spirits and those which have chemicals and preservatives.

It should go without saying that you should also avoid processed and refined sugars and artificial sweeteners.  Satisfy your sweet tooth with raw organic honey, medjool dates, organic maple syrup and raw cacao powder.

Learn more in Why Diet is Key to Glowing Skin. 

8. Pure Essential Oils

Essential oils have long been considered nature's medicines to support human health, including the skin.

Some of the best essential oils for oily skin include:

  • Lavender
  • Tea Tree
  • Frankincense
  • Bergamot
  • Cedarwood
  • Cypress
  • Geranium
  • Juniper
  • Lemon
  • Sage

Choose at least two of these that appeal to you. You can browse our full range of doTERRA essential oils here

Additional Self Care Tips To Improve Oily Skin:

  • Try Apple Cider Vinegar on oily areas of the skin for a neutralising effect;
  • To stimulate circulation and rejuvenate the skin, regularly brush and massage the entire body;
  • The skin repairs itself most while we sleep, so get plenty of good sleep!
  • Exercise regularly because it will nurture and cleanse the skin from within and it boosts circulation and encourages blood flow;
  • Don’t smoke: smoking encourages enlargement of the pores and affects the overall health of your skin;
  • Swim in the ocean, get sunshine - a combination of soaking in sea water and a little exposure to natural sunlight can do wanders for detoxifying, re-setting and re-nourishing the composition of your skin and restoring youthful glow;
  • Use an infra-red sauna - Having a session in an infra-red sauna 1-2 times per week will help to detoxify the skin from the inside out and is also a very healthy, restorative and meditative practice for all over body and mind health;
  • A facial sauna using lemongrass, liquorice root and rosebuds can also help.  Simmer a total of two to four tablespoons of dried or fresh herbs in two quarts of water two or three times a week. While the pot is steaming, place your face at a comfortable distance over the steam for fifteen minutes. You can put a towel over your head to trap the steam. Afterwards, splash your face with cold water and allow your skin to air dry or pat it dry with a towel. Allow the herbal water to cool in order to save it as a toning lotion to be dabbed on the face after the sauna.
  • Use a natural blemish product: the Skin’s Love Potion Blemish Clean Up Gel uses aloe vera and other natural ingredients to clear up skin. 

Learn more in Skin Health: 5 Natural Healing Tools to Replace Toxic Personal Care Products.

No matter your skin type, by embracing even just a few of these natural skin care tips and remedies, you'll be on the path to rebalancing your skin and enjoying that youthful, healthy glow. 

Always remember, as the largest channel of absorption and elimination in your body, taking good care of your skin should be high on your list of self care priorities.

Tolman Self Care.


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