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Oily Skin Care

An oily face is the result of over secretion of sebum by the oil glands. Read ahead.
Chandramita Bora
Our skin contains numerous oil glands, known as sebaceous glands that secrete oil or sebum to keep the skin smooth and moisturized. However, certain people have overactive sebaceous glands on their skin, which produce more oil or sebum than what is required for keeping the skin soft and supple.
The result of which is an oily skin that leads to a greasy shine and causes enlarged pores. This skin type attracts more dirt and grime and is, therefore, more prone to acne and pimple breakouts. On the positive side, it is more resistant to the signs of aging, like wrinkles and fine lines.
However, frequent acne breakouts, and a greasy shine gives oily skin an unattractive and dull look. The areas of the face that are more likely to face this problem are the forehead region and the areas along the nose and the chin (more commonly referred to as the T-zone).
A greasy face tends to have larger skin pores, which give it a rough or coarse appearance. For all these reasons, it is quite natural to want to find ways to get rid of excess oil from the skin.
However, while trying to do so, it is very important to adopt an approach that not only helps to remove excess oil from the skin, but also addresses the underlying factors that stimulate the sebaceous glands to secrete excessive oil.

Oily Skin Causes

For many individuals, oily skin is an inherited condition, where the sebaceous glands are programmed to secrete more sebum than the required amount. However, the activity of the sebaceous glands can be affected by certain other factors as well.
The factors that are more commonly found to trigger an excessive secretion of oil or sebum are, hormonal imbalance, use of harsh soaps or cleansers and oil-based cosmetics, and humidity and hot weather.
Of these causes, hormonal imbalance can affect many. Usually, teenagers and adolescents experience an over secretion of sebum due to a rising level of the hormone androgen. Women can experience hormonal fluctuations, and as a result, oily skin, during pregnancy and menopause.
Even those using birth control pills may develop this problem due to changes in the level of hormones in the body. In recent times, the occurrence of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD) in women have been on the rise.
These conditions are caused due to an imbalance of hormones in the woman's body and have acne, pimples, and an oily skin as one of the many side effects of the same.
Another prominent reason for the development of oily skin is the intake of certain medication forms, smoking, as well as an oily and spicy diet. All these can affect the activities of the sebaceous glands.
Smoking can enlarge the skin pores and thereby, stimulate the secretion of more oil. Similarly, excessive consumption of certain foods like, oily or greasy foods and fried or junk foods are believed to cause the problem of greasy face.

Oily Skin Care

The key to oily skin care is regular cleansing and choosing the right type of cosmetics and skin care products. Many people believe that washing their face frequently and using a strong cleanser to remove excess oil will help them overcome this problem.
But contrary to this belief, frequent washing, as well as use of harsh cleansers can prove counterproductive. This will actually stimulate the sebaceous glands to secrete more oil in order to compensate for the loss of oil.
Thus, it is important to limit washing the face to two to three times a day with a gentle soap or cleanser and lukewarm water while gently massaging it.
As far as cosmetics are concerned, use oil free brands, as well as non comedogenic makeup brands that do not block the skin pores. Use a moisturizer when required, especially after cleansing the skin. However, be sure to use a light and oil free moisturizer.
Along with cleansing and moisturizing, exfoliation is also important for skin care. Exfoliation at regular intervals helps to get rid of dead skin cells, which in turn, can prevent the clogging of skin pores and development of pimples and blackheads.

Home Remedies for Oily Skin

Certain home remedies have proved their efficacy in controlling the secretion of sebaceous glands. These are as follows
>>Using aloe vera gel has proved to be effective for several oily skin problems like, pimples and acne. Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory and healing properties, which helps to address such skin problems.
>>A paste of sandalwood powder used as a face mask can immensely benefit oily skin.
Mix sandalwood powder with water or rose water to make a paste, and apply evenly on your face, excluding the eye area. Let it dry and then wash if off with lukewarm water. It will help to reduce excess oil and clear up acne and skin blemishes.
>> Use milk. This will help to keep oily skin clean and prevent the clogging of skin pores.

>> Try honey to moisturize your face and also give it a soft and radiant look. Apply honey all over the face and leave it for 15 to 20 minutes, before rinsing it off with lukewarm water.
>> Use a face pack of honey and uncooked oatmeal. Mix a small amount of lemon juice with honey and oatmeal to make a fine paste, and apply it on your face evenly. Leave for about 15 minutes and then wash with tepid water.
>> To absorb the excess oil present on your face, try fuller's earth or multani mitti. Mix it with water to make a paste and apply on the face. Let it dry and then wash it off with tepid water to get radiant and smooth skin.
>> Like fuller's earth, you can use clay mask to get rid of excess oil from your face. Mix clay with water and lemon juice, and apply the resulting paste on your face and neck. You can also add honey and yogurt to it to get a better result.
>> One of the simplest way to remove the excess oil present on the skin is to apply lemon juice. The acids in lemon juice dissolve the sebum as well as reduce dark spots and blemishes.
>> Grate a few slices of cucumber, add a small amount of lemon juice to it and mix them properly. Next, add some water to it and apply on your face and neck. Leave for about 15 to 20 minutes, and then wash your face thoroughly.

Diet for Oily Skin

Diet also plays an important role in solving skin problems. People with oily skin should restrict their consumption of fats, especially animal fats and greasy and fried foods.
Instead, they should follow a healthy diet by consuming lots of green vegetables, fresh fruits, and protein-rich foods like, whole grains, beans, and nuts.
Other than that, it is also important to consume foods that contain vitamin B2, because, many times, it is the deficiency of this vitamin that leads to the stimulation of excess sebum. While following a healthy diet, it is also just as important to avoid smoking and keeping the consumption of alcohol to a minimum.
Oily skin treatment demands not only appropriate skin care with regular cleansing and application of these mentioned natural remedies, but also a balanced diet in order to address the underlying factors responsible for this condition.
In addition to these, drink plenty of water to get a glowing and problem free skin. To sum up, a healthy lifestyle and proper skin care is what is required for dealing with an oily or greasy face.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.