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Help! I Have Oily Skin And Its Out Of Control


Stop stressing "why is my skin so oily?" and start taking measurable steps to improve your skin read on for a complete overview of oily skin and how it can be treated

MARY QUINN 17-05-2020

The causes of oily skin are varied factors from genetics and environment to lifestyle choices. While you can’t necessarily get rid of oily skin (and you wouldn't want to) you can take steps to make your skin less oily.

What is my natural sebum oil anyway, why do I need it? Everyone has oil in their skin. Under each pore is a sebaceous gland that produces natural oils called sebum.

This helps keep your skin hydrated and healthy, moisturised. With some people, however the sebaceous glands can produce too much oil. This is what creates oily skin.

This problem of oily skin comes and goes with most of us. We have it and its a problem and then it clears up. I see there being two halves to the problem.

1. equally, how to treat oily skin when it occurs, and

2. how to prevent the sebaceous glands from over producing

Treating Oily Skin

Wash Daily

Twice wash daily. Once in the morning and last thing late in the evening but no more.

First thing in the morning because this washes off the excess oil and dirt built up during the night. You pick up the dirt from your pillow and you tend to sweat, even a little if you don't notice but you do.

Late at night, you wash again to remove the dirt and grease accumulated during the day. From pollution found in the air to the sweat excreted and your makeup, everything wants to clog your pores.

If your pores are large they'll clog up quicker. Sebum builds up making your oily skin more prominent and making you more conscious of "it".

And don't use hot steaming water, rather use lukewarm water and pat dry your skin ― never rub or brush a towel over your skin.


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Use a Toner

Avoid anything that could dry out your skin, kicking off your glands to produce more oil than what is needed. Anything based on alcohol, put it in the bin because skin-friendly astringents are the best choice.

Witch hazel is one such astringent that is toning. I also know a lot of people can't use it, they've found it to be irritating. Salicylic acid-based toners can be damaging1, tending to strip off far too much oil from the skin.

Ideally, you should be looking at a DIY (do-it-yourself) solution.

A favourite carrier oil, cold-pressed, to match an oily skin complexion with a few drops of an astringent essential oil. With so few(er) drops you shouldn't experience an allergy. As always, do a patch test before to be sure of no complications.

Suitable Carrier Oils

Suitable Essential Oils

  • you have Grapefruit and Juniper, or

  • Lemon, Spearmint is another,

  • blend with Lavender or Tea Tree for more radiance

Use roughly 10 to 15 drops of essential oil per 100ml of carrier oil, that'll work for most people.

And, let's not forget about Honey for the toning of skin it works every time to calm almost any complaint you can imagine. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, avoid it as the beauty industry claims Honey is an animal by-product.

Regular Exfoliation

Use a natural bar of soap containing an exfoliating ingredient as you wash and shower to exfoliate your whole body. Any handmade, oil-rich soap will be suitable for daily use but personally, I list my recommendations later.

But soap will dry out my skin..

Soap won't dry out your skin. Not real soap and not an oil-rich soap handmade, it won't.

You will find that a) shop-bought soap bars are drying and b) much of factory mass-produced soap is not (oil and saponified lye) soap but consistent with detergent surfactants, instead.

Surfactants (Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate) are drying to your skin. Originally they were created for removing oil and grease from machinery.

By using an exfoliator daily you'll ensure pores are cleansed, and eventually smaller preventing clogging and build up beneath the hair follicles. If you experience drying simply change to another, non-exfoliating, soap for a few days.

There is such a thing as too much exfoliation.

You must also apply a face mask regularly. The drier your skin is, the less often you'd use one. The oilier your skin is, the more often you use one. But twice weekly and no more otherwise you may find your facial skin inflamed and suffering redness (drying out too quickly).

If you've sensitive skin, rinse off your mask after 5 minutes otherwise keep it on a little longer, say 10 minutes, maybe 12.

Experiment to see what works best for you personally.

Q. Experiencing an uncomfortable stinging or burning sensation?

A. Wash off immediately, because your skin may be telling you it is dehydrating2

Key ingredients to look for in a facial mask include, but not limited to, the following.


A mask containing minerals like kaolinite or bentonite can absorb oils and reduce skin sheen. Sebum levels are brought under control with no skin irritation.


Natural raw honey has antibacterial and antiseptic capabilities. A ten minute Honey based face mask may reduce Acne and oily skin while keeping the skin subtle.


Oatmeal helps cleanse your skin. Gentle, containing cleansing saponins, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds, Oats soothe irritated skin.

Review our own facial masks for the suitability, the mask for oily skin, one for dry, sensitive facial conditions and Acne-prone, Eczema damaged skin.

Moisturise Consistently

After washing, showering and once rinsed off a facial mask, when your skin is moist, apply a moisturiser to protect what you've worked for.

But never moisturise in the evening before bed without first washing or showering. You must have clean, hydrated skin to absorb the moisturiser more easily, without further causing blockage of your pores. A thorough wash of your skin clears out much of the old sebum, dirt and grease, from sweat and makeup.

You may wish to think about applying a base cold-pressed oil before your moisturiser. Because that'll allow your moisturiser to be absorbed just that little quicker. Be sure to use a carrier oil suitable to your skin type, so there's no trouble later.

Plan your Dietary Needs

Okay. You've cleansed (daily), toned (twice weekly) and exfoliated (once weekly, usually) and found the energy to moisturise. Something else you're forgetting about?

If you have your beauty workout under control then it could be time to review your diet.

Good and Bad Food

Quickly, the list on the left is for good foods and on the right are the bad foods, causing your skin to bloat and produce too much sebum.

Good Foods

Regular consumption of fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring, are excellent for the healthiest of skin.

You want as much omega-3 (omega-6 and omega-9 too) fatty acids in your diet as possible for the highest possible maintenance.

Seeds, nuts and pulses and beans are a sure bet you're eating well.

If you fry food, use Sunflower or Soy oil.

Both have a much higher smoke point compared to Olive. The higher the smoke point for cooking, the better the oil choice.3

Bad Foods

Refined, processed carbohydrates such as white bread, white pasta, white rice can cause an overproduction of sebum.

Switch to alternatives such as brown or wholemeal, and watch your sugar intake as well.

What sugar your liver doesn't consume is left to collect elsewhere.

Your body will dispose of this build-up through your dermis layer.

That's your skin, the metabolised sugar is going to be expelled along with other sebum.

If you do sense your sebum production is kicking into overdrive, eat more good foods.

  • Our facial mask buying guide, natural ingredients proven to cleanse your skin and enhance your skin's complexion and health

  • Botanical oil rich saponified soaps for balance of mind and body, repairing skin damage resulting in maximum moisturisation

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1 2

3 All oils will breakdown and decompose at a certain temparature. Olive has a lower smoke point (but not the lowest) compared to Sunflower or Soy, why I suggest either of those two oils as a first choice to cook with. Because every oil releases potentially harmful gases during decomposition, an oil with a high(est) smoke point is obviously more welcomed.

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Hannah (02-09-2020)

Can Recommend Your Masks

After speaking to you at Speyfest I bought a mask from you and I will recommend them for clearing out oily skin. And thanks for an imformative guide.

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