Oily skin is caused by too much sebum being produced due to over-active glands. Sebum is actually a natural, healthy skin lubricant, definitely not a bad thing. However, when the skin produces too much sebum, it becomes oily, or thick and heavy in texture. Oily skin is shiny and prone to pimples and blemishes. This skin type isn’t always bad because it is less prone to wrinkling and other signs of aging than other skin types. This is the result of the oil helping to keep precious moisture locked in the epidermis, or outermost layer of the skin. The most negative aspect of this skin type is the fact that oily complexions are especially susceptible to clogged pores, blackheads, and buildup of dead skin cells on the surface. Oily skin can have large, clearly visible pores especially in your face’s “T-zone.”
You’ll need patience to successfully treat oily skin, since excessive oil production is actually an internal problem. Results will be slow, and in some cases the client should be referred to a dermatologist. Although oiliness may not be completely eliminated, the condition will be improved.
The main focus of treating oily skin is to remove excess surface sebum without too much removal of the skin lipids. Severe degreasing treatment can lead to an apparent worsening of secretion, which kills the point of the cleansing in the first place. A method of cleansing is to wash the skin with a prepared solution of a very mild synthetic detergent containing no oils, waxes or any other lipid agent that could aggravate the condition of the skin. Sometimes this is combined with a toning lotion. This will eliminate the oily residue and debris from the skin surface. Some cleansing products contain low concentrations of hydroxy acids, which remove dead cells from the upper levels of the stratum corneum. A light moisturizer may be included in the product to counteract any drying effects of the cleanser. You’ll need to use this on an ongoing basis to keep the condition at bay.
You can also use a lathering cloth for facial cleansing purposes. This is a growing segment of the facial-care market. Some of the cloths are designed to meet the specific needs of different skin types. The cloth will contain a low level of surfactants making them mild to skin. These products are able to generate a lather via the cloth structure, incorporating air as the lather is generated. Carefully depositing conditioning agents directly onto the skin helps to improve the skin’s overall condition beyond basic cleansing. This is how we can attack the problem from the topical level, but keep in mind that we must make internal changes as well in order to see lasting changes. Lastly, the different cloth textures allow for individualized and gentle exfoliation that removes skin flakes for a more even skin surface. This combination of benefits can eliminate the need of other specialty cleansing products, such as exfoliators, make-up removers and toners.
It’s super important to continue to treat your skin every day with an astringent, but please don’t use any alcohol-based products! if you strip too much oil from your face (which alcohol will do), the skin will overcompensate and produce even more oil, and we’re right back to where we started. Cleanse twice a day with a mild cleanser to prevent clogged pores, but don’t scrub hard or overdo it. Moisturizing is not necessary on a daily basis. However, if your face feels tight after washing, then apply a light, oil-free moisturizer. Please also avoid mineral oils and cocoa butter. When choosing makeup, especially foundation and blush, buy oil-free products. Only use oil free and non-comedogenic make-up so you don’t end up clogging your pores. (There are also many oil-absorbing foundations that will help keep excess oil from accumulating on your face) Use a sunscreen that is not oil based, preferably a gel, as it’s less greasy. Be sure to use a minimum SPF of 15. If you do have breakouts, use a cleanser with salicylic acid to help exfoliate pores.
We need to address the internal aspect of this as well. The right diet will go a long way here – avoid refined starches, sugar, animal and dairy fats, fried and processed foods. Eat a low-fat diet emphasizing fresh fruit, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates. Drink 6-8 glasses of water each day. Try to have regular, daily bowel movements. Make sure your vitamin/mineral intake is adequate. Vitamin A, B-6 and lecithin can be helpful. And most important of all, you should be exercising everyday.
The right combination of internal and external treatments will improve this condition, follow the instructions above and you’ll be enjoying wonderful healthy looking skin in no time!