Perhaps you’ve already heard about this old wives’ tale—that oily skin tends to age better. If that were true, oily-skinned folks now have a reason to rejoice. Although it sounds rather far-fetched (after all, aging has more to do with lifestyle habits than skin type) it looks like there’s some grain of truth to this claim.
According to a study published by Clinical Anatomy, the number of sebaceous glands is associated with wrinkle depth. That means the oilier your skin is, the less wrinkles you’ll get. But that is only true for areas that get a lot of oil like your forehead, for instance.
While that’s a good enough reason to celebrate, oily skin can still be annoying and uncomfortable. Having oily skin means dealing with other skin concerns such as enlarged pores and acne. Greasy skin requires more care than other skin types, which can be frustrating at times.
Why do we get oily skin?
Blame it on genetics, hormones, stress, poor diet, or the weather. Women on their periods or are pregnant may notice even more shine on their faces due to hormonal changes. Some medications can also trigger greasiness, and there’s not much that we can do about it.
Although the above are legitimate reasons why we get oily skin, one underlying cause that we often overlook is poor hydration. Sebum (oil) overproduction is a result of not having enough moisture on the skin. Even if your skin tends to get lots of sheen, you still need to moisturize.
It sounds counterintuitive to moisturize when your face is already an oil slick come noon time. But hydration is the first step to keeping the skin balanced, so it doesn’t “think” that it needs to produce more oil.
When we wash our face often (as people with oily skin tend to do often), we strip off the protective barrier of the skin, which comes in the form of sebum. Harsh cleansers and too much washing deprive the skin of natural moisture. The oil glands overcompensate for this by producing even more oil.
How to put an end to oily skin woes
While there’s nothing much we can do to stop oily skin, we can control overproduction of oil. Some commercial oily skin products can lessen the shine on the face for hours.
Silicone mattifying primers can help keep shine at bay and are good at preventing makeup from sliding off. However, the tradeoff is that they also contain ingredients that may be not safe.
You can keep your face shine-free without the potentially harmful chemicals found in commercial products. Remember, it’s all about keeping the balance in your skin and not stripping away all the oil.
At Biconi, we prefer natural remedies as oily skin treatment. They are safe to use and are less likely to cause skin irritation. Here are some of our favorites:
1. Coconut oil
From baking to oil pulling, there’s nothing that coconut oil cannot do. When it comes to skincare, coconut oil is also a winner. Rich in Vitamin E, coconut oil regulates the production of oil and helps clear pore blockage. It is super hydrating, which means you only need a small amount to moisturize your face. Coconut oil also contains anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, which help heal and prevent acne, one of the most results of having oily skin. The healing and protective power of coconut oil comes from capric and lauric acids, the same acids found in breast milk that protect babies from infection.
To use coconut oil as a moisturizer, apply 2-3 drops of oil after washing face. Massage it in circular motions to allow it to be absorbed by the skin. One caveat, though, is that coconut oil can be comedogenic when used as a moisturiser. As it can clog pores, people with acne prone skin may want to blend virgin coconut oil with facial oils that combat acne.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is another versatile beauty staple that many people swear by. It works great as a hair rinse, especially if you have a lot of product buildup on your scalp, but it’s also notable as a toner for oily skin. It’s great for balancing oil production without drying the skin. Human skin is naturally acidic, and when you apply acids like apple cider vinegar, you could get a healthy complexion that doesn’t require too much blotting.
Moreover, ACV contains alpha-hydroxy acid, a natural exfoliator found in fruits that helps smoothen the skin and prevent wrinkles. Alpha-hydroxy acids work by dissolving the oil that’s trapped in the pores, which is one of the causes of acne. To use apple cider vinegar as a toner, dilute equal parts ACV and water (a tablespoon would do) and apply on your face with a cotton ball three to four times a week. If you find the mixture too strong for sensitive skin, add a few more drops of water to dilute.
If you want lighter hair or skin, lemons are your best bet. Best known for its whitening capabilities, lemons can also be used to regulate oily skin. Lemons contain citric acid, which is a natural astringent. It soaks up excess oil and protects the skin from bacteria, which causes acne. It can also lighten the skin, making it a great natural remedy for fading acne scars.
Lemon juice can sting the face at the beginning and it can be quite drying too, which is why you need to dilute it with equal parts water. Apply with a cotton ball on the face and leave it on for 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water and follow on with your daily moisturizer.
Most natural remedies for oily skin can be found at the produce aisle, and tomatoes are no exception. Whether eaten or applied topically, tomatoes are excellent in keeping the skin healthy. It contains lycopene, an antioxidant that protects the body from free radicals and helps prevent aging.
Tomatoes are naturally astringent, which makes them great in balancing oil production. It also helps minimize pore size and promote acne healing. Although tomatoes are great in absorbing oil from the skin, it can be irritating to sensitive skin. A weekly mask made from mashed tomatoes and avocado can prevent excessive oil buildup. The mask will clean the pores out, so there’s no need to wash the face prior to application. Simply apply the mixture all over the face and let it sit for 20 minutes before rinsing off with water. Always follow up with a light moisturizer as tomatoes being astringent can be drying to the skin.
5. Plain yogurt
We mentioned earlier that oily skin needs ample moisture, and yogurt can provide exactly that. Aside from moisturizing the skin, yogurt is also wonderful in gently exfoliating the skin with its alpha-hydroxy acid content. By dissolving dead skin cells naturally, yogurt can make the skin look fresher and glowing. Moreover, it will also help prevent breakouts, which are commonly associated with oily skin. Some people even use it to relieve sunburn and premature aging.
Yogurt by itself is a wonderful oily skin treatment, but you can also combine it with honey for antibacterial benefits. To create a yogurt face mask, combine 1 tablespoon plain yogurt with 1 teaspoon manuka honey. The yogurt will moisturize the skin while the honey will keep bacteria at bay. Keep the mask on for 20 minutes before rinsing with warm water. Follow up with a light moisturizer for supple skin.
The bottom line
Oily skin is mostly part due to genetics, but despite that, you can still help keep shine at bay with natural ingredients you can find in your kitchen. The best thing about these natural oily skin remedies is that they don’t contain harmful chemicals that may alter hormones in any way. Also, they are not expensive and can be easily found in local markets and groceries.
You don’t have to use all the above natural remedies in succession. Choose one or two to start with and see how your skin would react to the natural ingredients.
Try the Biconi Virgin Coconut Oil to keep your skin hydrated. Free from SLS, parabens, mineral oil and other preservatives, this daily natural moisturizer can soothe chapped skin and help alleviate skin irritations.