If you have oily skin, you’ve doubtless felt some frustration towards it over the years. If you’ve had it since you were young, you’ve probably had someone tell you that it leads to fewer wrinkles in adulthood, but that doesn’t always seem like much of a reassurance. Alternatively, perhaps you had dry or normal skin throughout adolescence, and have suddenly found your skin breaking out, or your face becoming shiny during the day. Whichever way oily skin has made its presence known in your life, we know how unhappy it can make you, so read on for some tips and tricks for dealing with oily skin.
It can be helpful to first work out the cause of your issue. For many people, general skin type is simply down to genetics and hormones, but it’s likely that you’ll see a pattern in your increased oil production if you take a moment to think about it. Hormones fluctuate throughout our lifetime and, whilst this does make it most likely that it’s teenage skin that will suffer most from greasiness and breakouts, it sadly doesn’t exclude the rest of us. Sleeping pattern, diet, and stress levels all contribute to volatile hormones, so try to identify which one (or more) is the trigger.
Both everyday stress and a non-ideal sleeping pattern increase the presence of the same hormone in your body: cortisol. If you’ve ever had a breakout before a big day, or woken up after tossing and turning to dull, unhealthy looking skin then you’ll already be familiar with some of the effects of raised cortisol levels, and increased oil production is unfortunately another side effect. If you’ve noticed an increase in oiliness recently, try identifying the cause of the stress and actively trying to relax. It’s possible that you’re only marginally aware that something is actually causing you to worry, so figuring out what it is is the first step to overcoming the problem.
Then, try to work out a solution. If it’s not something quite so simple, and the stressful thing is going to be going on for a while, try taking a few moments for yourself every day to relax and re-centre yourself. This could be in the form of a face mask, a run, or a minute of meditation. Try writing down positive messages about yourself, or compliments you receive throughout the week: not only will this help to reduce your stress levels, it’s also a confidence boost - which is always nice if your skin is misbehaving! And if none of those options sound appealing? We certainly wouldn’t judge you for just sitting back and enjoying an episode or two of your favourite show. However you do it, make sure you take time for yourself in your week - your skin will thank you!
Sleep, too, is integral to keeping cortisol levels balanced. Try to have a regular sleeping pattern (even at weekends!) to lower the levels of this stressful hormone. Your skin will gradually stop overproducing excess sebum, and you’ll notice that increased blood flow is making your face glow! Sounds like a winner all round to us.
It can also be helpful to take note of what you’re sleeping on: unwashed bedding can collect bacteria and deposit it onto your sleeping face, especially if you sleep on your side or front. If you’re already producing more oil than normal, this can be a catastrophic combination, as it can lead to more frequent breakouts - and nobody wants that! Try to launder your pillowcases at least once a week, and flip them over about halfway through the cycle, in order to prevent this.
Additionally, try tying up your hair before bed: as anyone who has had a fringe can tell you, hair touching your face can transfer natural oils from your scalp to your skin. Whilst these oils leave your locks shiny and healthy, they can wreak havoc on your skin, so try not to let your hair drape over your face while you sleep.
Diet can also play a role in how oily skin gets. Several studies have linked eating dairy products, especially milk, to an increase in sebum production and acne breakouts. This could be an option worth exploring, especially if you find your skin becomes more problematic at specific times, such as towards the end of your menstrual cycle or during periods of high stress.
If you know you have a trigger approaching, why not try cutting down, or cutting out dairy entirely from your diet for a few days, to see if it makes a difference to your skin?
External factors also play their part. It can be tempting to cleanse any sign of greasiness from your face as soon as they appear, many times a day. Harsh, drying ingredients will temporarily get rid of the appearance of oil, however, this generally results in lower layers of skin actually becoming dehydrated, and producing more oil in order to rehydrate the skin.
It’s best to avoid both over-washing and rough formulas that strip the skin: try not to cleanse your face more than twice a day, and look for milder formulas. Our Daily Detox Facial Wash contains nourishing ingredients like moringa peptides, which help to rebalance the skin and keep oil production under control without stripping your face, as well as protecting skin from pollution-borne free radicals. Follow up with our Rainforest Rescue Blemish Rescue Serum, which contains willow bark, a natural source of exfoliating salicylic acid, and an Amazonian blend of acai and copaiba, which work to decrease sebum production. Both products leave the skin feeling and looking cleaner and calmer, without exacerbating the issue. And don't skip the moisturiser: the calmer and more balanced your skin is, the less it will overproduce sebum, and moisturiser is an essential part of this! Try our brand new True Balance Lotion, with Ginger plant cells, Avocado extract, Moringa peptides and Hyaluronic Acid to mattify oily skin!