Oily skin is a common problem. It often it starts at puberty but can last your entire life. If either of your parents have oily skin, then you likely will too because it is a strongly hereditary trait. Many people are frustrated by the shiny look or greasy feel that oily skin causes. Excess oil can also make your skin more prone to acne. In fact, a first step to healing acne is often to reduce oily skin. So, controlling your oily skin is important. Though it is hereditary, there are still some things you can do to treat it.
Remedies for oily skin are simple. The number one thing to do for oily skin is to avoid harsh cleansers. Irritation only makes the skin produce more oil. If you have oily skin, you probably gravitate toward cleansers that are oil free and harsh astringents. These aren’t necessarily the best choices because usually these cleansers are harsh and drying to your skin. It may seem like you need them to remove the oil, but that is not necessarily true. It is true that these products will remove the oil from your skin and may even solve your problem temporarily. In the long run though, they can make your problem worse. Frequent use of these products gives your skin the message that it is too dry and needs to produce more oil to seal in moisture.
It is important to understand that oil and moisture are not the same. The sebum in your pores is oily, and excess production of sebum is what makes skin seem oily and can cause breakouts. But sebum is important because it locks in moisture. What we need is the right amount of sebum. Too much is not good, but too little will leave your skin dry and defenseless. As we age, our skin looses more moisture. Even if it seems oily, your skin can be lacking adequate moisture.
The best way to treat oily skin and retain moisture is with thorough but gentle cleansing. An ideal cleanser will remove excess oil but keep the protective fatty acid layer of your skin intact. You should use a cleanser with a low ph, something close to 5.5, the pH of skin. Soap is very alkaline and as a result it strips away the skins fatty acid protective barrier that keeps skin moist and healthy. The squeaky clean feeling we get from soap may feel good because it removes oil, but it also destroys the protective layer leaving your skin dry and exposed. On top of that, it signals to your skin that it is too dry and that it is time to produce more oil to restore the protective layer.
If you need more than just a change of cleanser, there are other things you can do. Maybe you still need a way to remove some excess oil. A good, gentle way of doing this is with a clay or mud facial. The clay particles will absorb extra oil from your skin without stripping away the protective fatty acid layer. The clay is also cooling and soothing to the skin.
If these remedies for oily skin aren’t enough for you, then there may be a prescription to help your condition. Visit your doctor or dermatologist. But, more often than not, finding the right skin care routine and the right products will allow you to control your oily skin sufficiently.
So, if you have oily skin you may need to ditch your old bar of soap. You may feel that you need that strong soap to remove excess oil from your skin. But your goal isn’t really to remove extra oil is it? What you really want is to prevent your skin from getting too oily in the first place. Replace that alkaline bar of soap with something milder more in balance (pH balance that is) with your skin. Wash with a facial cleanser like this gently twice a day, but no more frequently.
Once you find the right routine for your skin you will find that it produces less oil and you will have fewer acne breakouts. It may take some trial and error and persistence to determine the best skin care routine for your skin, but it will be well worth the effort.