Balancing Your Oily Complexion
Most of us know what it’s like to experience an oily face at some point in our life. Pizza, candy bars and zits are all synonymous with the teenage years. But while acne may be a normal, albeit unpleasant part of our transition into young adulthood, what happens if you still experience that greasy shine long after high school? Adult acne, oily T-zone, enlarged pores, and blackheads are, along with being common skin gripes, also telltale signs of an oily complexion. That's where the best moisturizers for oily skin and proper skincare techniques come into play.
Think of your skin as a yin-yang, where a delicate balance between moisturized and oil-free must occur. Luckily, with some simple adjustments, counteracting an oily complexion can be as easy as using the right products and techniques. Here’s our best tips for controlling oily skin and balancing out your complexion.
What Causes Oily Skin?
In order to fight something, you have to know what you’re up against and, in the case of oily skin, it’s overactive sebaceous glands which are to blame for that greasy shine. Sebaceous glands produce sebum which is your body’s way of keeping skin hydrated and moisturized, but excess sebum will give you an oily complexion.
The causes of oily skin include genetics, lifestyle, and environmental triggers, which means you can’t necessarily eliminate it since some factors are out of your control. However, there are steps you can take to help manage oily skin and balance out your complexion.
What Products to Use on Oily Skin?
It sounds like a no-brainer. To banish oily skin, simply use an oil-fighting cleanser and avoid moisturizer, right? Wrong! As surprising as it may seem, any attempt to strip your sebaceous glands dry, through the use of cleanser or exfoliator, can actually cause your skin to go into panic mode. That means those pesky little glands will begin pumping out even more sebum to account for the loss of moisture.
And, while your face might appear temporarily shine-free when you dab on the astringent, expect that grease to return with a vengeance once your sebaceous glands catch wind of what’s going on!
So, skip the harsh, oil-fighting acne washes and instead, opt for a gentle foaming cleanser that cleans skin without over-drying or stripping it of moisture.
Follow your gentle cleansing routine with a water-based oil-free moisturizer, which are often touted as “non-comedogenic” as these light moisturizers won’t clog your pores.
Home Remedies for Oily Skin
Scour the internet and you’ll come back with a multitude of home remedies designed to combat oily skin. As we’ve just discovered earlier, you don’t want to truly “dry-up” your face, as it will make the oil even worse in the long run, so take each remedy with a grain of salt.
One popular method involves combining egg whites and lemons as both ingredients are thought to tighten pores, while the acid from the lemon can absorb oil. To make your own egg white and lemon face mask:
Combine the white from one egg with the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon. Apply the mixture to your face and leave on until it dries. Remove the mask with warm water and then pat your face dry.
Alternatively, you can attempt to dry your face out with a thin layer of aloe vera or the pulp of a tomato as both are effective remedies to combat oil.
Jojoba Oil for Oily Skin
Perhaps the most effective method for fighting oily skin actually comes from applying a natural oil, such as jojoba oil to your skin. As surprising as it sounds, this method appears to be the most effective in combating oil.
But how does adding oil to your face ultimately make it less oily? Well, to put it simply it “tricks” your sebaceous glands into producing less sebum, since the glands will interpret the oil on your face as sufficient, and hit the brakes on its sebum-producing mode.
Jojoba oil is known to be especially effective for this trick, however, it’s important to note that this claim is not backed by scientific research. It’s also important to note that if you do go this route, ensure that you use the oil sparingly, as too much may clog your pores and worsen your shiny complexion.