How do you make your skin less oily?
Living with oily skin can be very exasperating and often, as far as your skin is concerned, it feels like you never moved on from being an awkward teenager, constantly pestered with bouts of pimples and blackheads. The good news is that there is help out there, from specialised cosmetics to skin-boosting nutrients.
Today, though, I want to focus on home remedies that are simple, effective and affordable. There were quite a few contenders for this list and a few recommendations that instantly got my vote of disapproval – please note now, toothpaste is not the way to go when it comes to treating your spots! However, I have managed to come up with 7 natural solutions that you should find easy to implement from the comfort of your own home.
1 - Aloe vera
If you’ve read any of my other skin blogs, you’ve probably worked out that I’m definitely a fan of this particular remedy, and with good reason. Aloe vera is naturally cleansing and incredibly versatile, whether you’re drinking its juices to support healthy digestion or apply it to your skin.
It’s naturally anti-microbial and this is definitely a quality you want in your skin products if you suffer from oily skin, as this means it’s capable of tackling the bacteria responsible for clogging your pores. Aloe vera can also help to soak up excess oil, giving you a more balanced complexion.
However, it is worth noting that aloe vera can be quite abrasive on sensitive skin so I’d always recommend testing aloe vera gel first before apply it directly to your face. You can find aloe vera gel at most healthfood stores or you could try extracting your own from the leaves of the aloe vera plant! A lovely household plant, aloe vera is very low maintenance and can even filter the air in your home, minimising indoor air pollution!
Or, alternatively, you could try and find a skincare product that already incorporates this ingredient, such as Aloe Pura’s Aloe Vera Gel with Vitamins A, C & E.
2 - Jojoba oil
Applying more oil to your already oily skin? Thanks but no thanks is what you’re probably thinking - but wait a minute. As it turns out, oils can be very good for oily skin. Most oils are chockfull of vitamins, minerals and anti-inflammatory properties so they can be a valuable addition to your skincare regime.
My oil of pick would have to be jojoba oil. Although, despite its name, jojoba oil technically isn’t an oil at all but a liquid polyunsaturated wax which might sound even less appealing. Nevertheless, it’s lightweight and can balance your production of sebum oil. This is because it has such similar properties to sebum oil that it can trick your skin into thinking it’s already producing more oil, thereby preventing an overproduction of sebum oil in the first place. Clever!
You can usually find good quality jojoba oil from most healthfood shops and, since jojoba is a carrier oil, you can mix it with other oils such as geranium essential oil or chamomile oil.
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3 - Oatmeal and honey
Oatmeal and honey – sounds more like part of balanced breakfast than a recipe for a face mask, but it can be surprisingly effective. Both oatmeal and honey have natural anti-inflammatory properties, with honey also being an anti-bacterial agent too!
Oatmeal is also able to absorb excess oil whilst being very moisturising, so may convince your skin not to produce as much sebum oil, while honey can reduce irritation and redness – together they’re the perfect double act! Just make sure you use ground oats and, when it comes to honey, go as organic and natural as possible – Manuka honey would be my personal recommendation.
4 - Cucumbers
Part of a healthy salad and an excellent addition to your skincare routine, you might think of cucumbers as something to put in sandwiches but they can also be really beneficial for oily skin. It’s hydrating, astringent and good at tightening open pores.
Naturally cleansing and rich in antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin A, E and magnesium, there are a number of recipes out there for a cooling cucumber face mask but my favourite would have to be combining cucumbers with egg whites and just a dash of lemon juice. Leave on your face for 15-30 minutes to help reduce your symptoms
5 - Apple cider vinegar
I definitely wouldn’t condone using ordinary malt vinegar as a remedy for your open pores and oily skin but apple cider vinegar is different. It contains alpha hydroxyl acid and can even help to remove dead skin cells and reduce sebum plugs, preventing clogged pores and spots.
Now it’s important to note that the type of apple cider vinegar you use can go a long way so always go for organic if you can. Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar is organic, raw and unfiltered so I would definitely recommend checking it out over at Jan de Vries.
Never apply apple cider vinegar directly to your skin. Instead always make sure you dilute with water first, let’s say a 3:1 ratio in favour of water, at least to start off with.
6 - Tomatoes
Similar to cucumbers, you might think of tomatoes as belonging in your sandwiches and salads but, like cucumbers, they hold a number of surprising benefits for your oily skin. They can help to balance your skin’s pH, limiting the production of sebum oil and tightening open pores.
They’re also rich in vitamin C and capable of relieving inflammation and detoxifying your skin. So what’s the best way to unlock their potential? While tomatoes can make a healthy addition to your diet, you don’t need to dress them up for your skin – raw, pureed tomato should do the trick! Just place one medium tomato in a blender and puree. Once you have a smooth paste, apply to your face for 15-20 minutes before washing off.
7 - Egg whites
Eggs whites are rich in proteins and nutrients such as magnesium, so they can be a useful remedy for oily skin, helping to repair damaged tissues and shrink pores. It also works to remove impurities and excess oil from your skin, preventing breakouts of spots and pimples.
Admittedly, eggs whites don’t exactly sound like a pleasant idea for a face mask but they are effective. However, if you’re still not sold on applying raw egg whites to your face, you could try mixing with a little lemon juice to improve its consistency and skin-boosting properties.