If you have oily skin, most likely you suffered through your early years, especially adolescence, battling blackheads, blemishes and other outbreaks. You may have continued to battle blemishes as you got older, but you also became more fortunate. The oily skin you battled has protected and lubricated your skin so that you have fewer lines and wrinkles as your skin matures. Homemade herbal skin care for oily skin can bring you much closer to having the kind of skin you have always wanted. By crafting your own skin care products, you control what goes on your skin … allowing you to fully respond to your face’s needs.
Oily skin tends to look shiny and feel greasy, especially in the T-zone – the area of your face that spans across the forehead and down the nose and chin. It tends to have enlarged pores and a thick, coarse texture. It looks normal after cleansing, but a few hours later, it looks shiny and oily again. People with oily skin often deal with painful acne on other areas of their body as well such as their back and chest. Many people eventually outgrow oily skin in their mid to late thirties.
Oiliness of the skin changes depending upon the time of year and the weather conditions. In the summertime, overexposure to the sun can cause already overactive oil glands to become even more productive and sweating increases the skin’s oiliness as well. In the winter when bundled up with caps and scarves, oil buildup traps dirt becoming a breeding ground for bacteria which causes infection and clogs pores leading to more problems.
Other issues come into play when dealing with an oily complexion. Puberty and other hormonal imbalances can cause oiliness to increase. Stress can also have a detrimental effect. Exposure to heat and too much humidity makes an oily complexion even more difficult.
Herbs for Oily Skin
Although you would never want to apply anything to your skin that would stop oil production completely, some herbs are able to slow down the process. Eucalyptus, cypress, sage, yarrow, cedarwood, lemongrass, lemon, basil, ylang-ylang (an essential oil), and the fruit and leaves of the strawberry plant work to slow down the oil production of the skin.
Cleanse your face twice day using soap or a cleanser that has a neutral pH. During the day, quickly and easily wipe way excess oil with cotton pads soaked in witch hazel or blot away excess oil with oil blotting sheets.
Steam your face at least twice a week to unclog pores and get rid of excess oil. To steam bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 heaping teaspoon each of lemongrass leaves, lavender flowers, chamomile flowers and rosemary leaves. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for five minutes. If using essential oils, bring water to a boil. Turn off heat and add one drop each of lemongrass, lavender, chamomile and rosemary essential oils.
Avoid scrubbing as it stimulates oil production. Instead, use a facial mask with the base ingredients of clay or oatmeal to draw out and absorb your skin’s surface oil.
A toner with a minimal amount of grain alcohol is allowed but don’t use it often as alcohol is drying. Causing oily skin too dry out too much will cause it to produce even more oil to compensate for this loss.
Don’t neglect to moisturize oily skin thinking that it will cause the skin to become even oilier. Even oily skin benefits from moisturizing.
What can you do to take better care of oily skin? Consider implementing the following:
- Gently cleanse your skin no more than twice a day, plus after episodes of heavy perspiration.
- Use a gentle cleanser. Harsh is not better and can in fact cause more oiliness.
- Don’t pick, pop or squeeze blackheads and blemishes. This prolongs healing time, can cause scarring, and introduces more bacteria to the face causing more blemishes.
- Although sunscreen products can cause more breakouts, people with oily skin still need to be diligent in its use to prevent damage to the skin and to prevent cancer. Use a light moisturizer with SPF sun protection. Look for one that is specifically formulated “For Oily Skin.”
- Gently exfoliate using a mild facial scrub. Exfoliation encourages cell turnover by removing the dead surface cells. Be gentle because over-exfoliating can cause even more breakouts.
- Using a mask weekly will make a tremendous difference in your skin. Masks made with clay are recommended for use with oily skin.
- Makeups consisting of powdered blends work better than the liquid formulations.
Herbal Skin Care for Oily Skin
Let’s look now at skincare products that you can make for yourself to assist you in caring for your oily skin.
- Cleanser for Oily Skin (Will add link when published)
- Toner or Aftershave for Oily Skin (Will add link when published)
- Facial Scrub for Oily Skin (Will add link when published)
- Mask for Oily Skin (Will add link when published)
Enjoy these herbal skin care recipes for oily skin and you will be well on your way to more healthy and radiant skin.
Sources: What’s Your Skin Type?; Keville, Kathi. Herbs for Health and Healing. Rockville: Rodale, 1996.