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Tips on How to Manage Oily Skin and Breakouts

Posted by Natasha on 3/20/2013

One of the most common complaints I hear from people is that they have oily or acneic skin.  Over production of sebum can create pimples and blackheads, dry spots, a shiny face and worst of all your makeup tends to slide right off after about an hour.  So I can understand why so many of you are on the hunt to find something that will help control your oil production.

Some of the main causes of oily skin are:
     Hormonal shifts
     Skin Care Routine
Below you will find a few tips you can try to help calm an oily complexion. Remember, it is best to try changing one thing at a time for a period of at least two weeks so that you can tell if it is working or not.

NOTE: one month is the optimal length of time to test something as that is how long it takes your skin to regenerate. I always remind clients that they know their skin the best and should be able to tell the difference between a breakout due to your skin purging or a bad reaction to a product. Be sure to stop using a product right away if you think it is a reaction.

Never ever use products that contain benzyl peroxide. A well-known acne brand uses benzyl peroxide in their products. Although it may clear up the acne for the short-term, it does way more damage and can lead to worse problems in the future. Benzyl peroxide can cause skin to become dry, flaky, red, swollen and itchy. It can also bleach skin, clothes and pillowcases. Think of the damage it does to your delicate skin!
Avoid facial cleansers that contain Sodium Laurel Sulfate. It is best to cleanse your skin no more than twice a day using warm (not hot) water and be sure to use a gentle cleanser that does not contain SLS. SLS strips your skin of all oils and dries it out which can cause your sebaceous glands to overcompensate and produce EVEN MORE OIL! This is NOT what we want.  (this gentle, SLS free castile cleanser is a favourite)
Try using a toner that contains distilled Witch Hazel. Avoid toners that have alcohol as it can also dry your skin out too much thus causing excess oil production. Witch hazel is a natural antiseptic and astringent which helps to prevent breakouts by removing the extra dirt, oil and bacteria that may be left over after washing. For those of you with combination skin, try applying with a cotton onto your oily spots.
Exfoliate your skin at least once a week. Excess oil production can clog pores and lead to blemishes and breakouts. And guess what?? If your oil ducts become clogged, it can dry your skin in that area and cause excess oil production!! Wow eh? Exfoliating your skin helps to loosen the debris and prevent those nasty breakouts. You can use a grainy scrub or AHA’s– or both! (be sure if you are using something abrasive that the tiny grains are perfectly round. If not perfectly round they can create tiny tears in the skin. For example, crushed walnut shells are NOT round but micro-dermabrasion crystals are).
Moisturize. It is a common misconception that someone with oily skin should not use a moisturizer. It’s about finding one that works best for you. Don’t be afraid to ask for samples. Some prefer the oil free kind, or a light moisturizer. Instead of applying all over your face, try to apply only on dryer areas.
Use a finishing powder. A good finishing powder can help to absorb extra oil allowing your makeup to look fresh and shine-free longer. Look for ingredients like rice powder to absorb oil and Silica Microspheres to also absorb oil and scatter light. This gives you a flawless complexion as it blurs the look of fine lines and imperfections.
Evaluate your diet. A common cause of oily skin is diet. Try to stay away from sugar, salt, junk foods, cooking oils and fried, greasy foods. Drink LOTS of water. Also, assess any supplements you may be taking. I tried fish oil supplements a few years back (with hopes to improve my skin, hair and health) and they made my face oily, which was good, but also caused breakouts on my chin. I wasn’t sure what it was at first as I had also changed some other things in my skin care routine. Once I discovered it was the fish oil pills they went straight in the trash! So much for doing a body good with Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids ;)

Home Remedies and treatments 

 Cucumber & Honey Mask whip up some cucumber in a blender and add some honey and apply to a clean, dry face. After 15 minutes rinse off with lukewarm water. Cucumber is great for oily skin as it is an astringent and anti-inflammatory. Honey is a natural humectant.
       • Honey Oatmeal Mask - Mix 1tbs honey, 1 egg yolk and some oatmeal in a bowl until it is a thick paste and apply to clean, dry face for 15 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water.
       • Baking Soda Pore Clearing Mask – Mix up a thick paste with baking soda and water and massage this gently on the entire face for a few minutes. Leave on your skin for 10 minutes and then rinse with lukewarm water. This can be used as your exfoliant, just don’t overdo it or you will end up with dry, irritated skin!
       • Apple Cider Vinegar Astringent. Dilute 1:1 with water and apply to face with a cotton pad after washing and before moisturizing. This is amazing for acne. Be sure you buy a brand that is organic, unfiltered and unpasteurized to reap all the benefits.
       • Use clay masks. To avoid overdyring your skin, just apply to problem areas and use occasionally. Tip: green clay is more drying than kaolin (or china) clay
Unfortunately, because skin type is mostly determined by genetics, you may never be able to completely eliminate the excess oil on your skin. But if you try a few of the tips above I am confident that you will be able to reduce your oil production and have a balanced complexion. On the bright side, the great thing about having oily skin is that you don’t get wrinkles as easily as the rest of us! The extra oil keeps your skin moisturized thus helping to prevent the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. You make us dry skinned gals jealous ;)
What do you think?  Would you try any of these tips at home?  Have any tips to share?
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