Under the pores of the skin are the sebaceous glands, responsible for producing natural oils called sebum.
These help keep the skin hydrated and healthy, although when produced in excess, they can cause a more oily, shiny and often uncomfortable appearance to the skin. This is known as oily skin or seborrhea.
To combat oily skin, the first step is to identify the cause. Among the main factors are:
Where you live and the time of year can influence oily skin. For example, people tend to have oilier skin in hot, humid climates, and this is also more likely to occur during the summer than in the fall or winter.
It is more common for young people to have oily skin. This is because the skin produces less sebum as we age, as it loses proteins, such as collagen, so the sebaceous glands slow down.
Oily skin is often an inherited condition, so if one of your parents has oily skin, chances are you have overactive sebaceous glands too.
Bad skincare routine
Washing or exfoliating your face too often can make your skin oily. This is because, by removing too much oil from the face, the sebaceous glands can go into emergency and produce even more oil to compensate for the loss.
Using the wrong products
Oily skin can also appear if the wrong skin care products are used. A very common mistake is to confuse combination skin with oily skin, which is why products that are too thick are used, which are counterproductive.
- What product should you use according to your skin type?
Another common mistake is to use cleansers or moisturizers without differentiating the seasons of the year (it is not the same to use a product in summer than in winter).
How to combat oily skin
You can combat oily skin by putting the following tips into practice. Just remember, the results may take time to appear so you must be patient. If after two months you do not see results, you should consult a dermatologist.
Products for oily skin
For people with oily skin, products, including cleansers, moisturizers, or makeup, that say “oil-free” or “noncomedogenic” on their labels are recommended.
This means they won’t clog pores or cause acne. Oil-based or alcohol-based cleansers should also be avoided, as these can irritate the skin.
Regarding exfoliants, experts advise opting for beta hydroxy acid, which reduces the presence of oil on the skin, while sunscreen can be one that contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, but never those with oils or fragrances .
The use of moisturizing cream can cause confusion, since it is believed that it favors the oily appearance of the skin. However, experts assure that this is a myth, and warn that, if products are already used to combat oily skin, good moisturizing will be necessary so that it does not dry out and damage.
The important thing is to find the best product for your skin, generally, those water-based moisturizers work very well for people with oily skin, but to avoid problems, it is best to consult a dermatologist.
It is important to wash your face every morning, afternoon and after physical activity. Just avoid harsh scrubbing or rubbing, as it can cause skin irritation and damage, or over-washing, as it can backfire and increase sebum production.
Incorporating blotting papers for when they are needed during the day is a good way to combat the effects of oily skin, for example, when it is very hot and we sweat.
Gently press them against your face and leave them for a few seconds to absorb excess oil, but do not rub it, as this will spread the oil to other areas of the face and could cause irritation.
- How to exfoliate different skin types
It is also not good to sleep with makeup on or touch your face often. This last habit favors the spread of dirt, oil and bacteria from the hands to the face.
Only touch your face when you’re cleansing, moisturizing, or applying sunscreen or makeup, and make sure your hands are clean beforehand.
Natural medicine highlights the properties of the following home remedies to deal with oily skin:
- aloe vera: There is evidence that it can help treat scaly skin caused by oily patches. To do this, just apply a thin layer to the face before going to bed and leave it on until the next morning.
- Almonds and oatmeal: they can be ground and combined with honey to apply to the face and thus absorb excess oil. They also have anti-inflammatory and exfoliating effects.
- Honey: It can help oily skin thanks to its antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Only a thin layer should be spread over the affected area.
- Tomatoes: its pulp (combined with a teaspoon of sugar that acts as an exfoliant) helps unclog pores and absorb excess oil. Although the evidence is insufficient, it is believed that this benefit is due to its salicylic acid.
Until there is meaningful scientific evidence from human trials, people interested in using herbal therapies and supplements should be very careful.
Do not abandon or modify your medications or treatments, talk to your doctor first about the potential effects of alternative or complementary therapies.
Remember, the medicinal properties of herbs and supplements can also interact with prescription drugs, other herbs and supplements, and even alter your diet.
Sources consulted: American Academy of Dermatology, Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, US National Library of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, National Institute of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.