Oily skin occurs when the sebaceous glands are over-active and they secrete too much sebum. This is quite common in teenagers. The sebaceous glands are stimulated by hormones, so anything that influence the hormones to fluctuate can cause oily skin.
Women experience hormonal fluctuations after puberty during pregnancy, peri menopause, and in the beginning of each menstrual cycle. Emotional and physical stress can affect the hormones in both men and women as well.
Excess sebum clogs the pores which can lead to infections, since clogged pores develop into acne and black heads.
Oily skin tends to have:
blackheads, skin blemishes and acne.
a coarse-grained texture.
a shiny look and be greasy to touch.
Essential oils are a great addition to an oily skin care program since they not only control the bacteria on the surface of the skin, but they also reduce the amount of sebum being produced.
Cedarwood, cypress, juniper, sandalwood, tea tree, lemon, lavender and bergamot are the most effective essential oils. Juniper and cypress are both astringents, and as such they help regulate the fluid levels.
Bergamot and lavender work great together. Lavender has a balancing effect and bergamot reduces the sebum production. Both oils are also antiseptic, which control the bacteria on the surface of the skin.
A light polyunsaturated carrier oil should be used. Apricot kernel or jojoba are suitable.
Geranium, one of my favorite oils, also has a balancing effect on the sebaceous glands. It makes a great addition to the lavender - bergamot blend.
Essential oils can be added to non-scented liquid castile soaps, used in compresses or added to facial toners. Avoid harsh cleaners.
A good facial toner is recommended to remove excess oil from the skin and to clean the skin. Floral water, witch hazel, and apple cider vinegar make a great combination for a toner. Astringent herbs and lemon juice are also useful. There are many various recipes for facial toners, but here is one to get you started:
Herbal infusions or distilled water 4 ounces
Apple cider vinegar or witch hazel 2 tbls.
Honey 1 tsp.
Lavender 4 drops
Rosemary 2 drops
Add the herbal infusions or herb tea water to an amber bottle. Add the vinegar. Add the essential oils to the honey and mix well and finally add the honey to the liquid. Shake well and apply to the skin with cotton balls.
Herbal tea/infusion: Sage, yarrow, rose petals can be used.
The essential oils of basil, bergamot, cedarwood, clary sage, cypress, eucalyptus, grapefruit, geranium, juniper, lemon, rose, lemongrass, mandarin, patchouli, sandalwood, tea tree, ylang-ylang have traditionally been used for oily skin.
According to Battaglia, other carrier oils that can be used, other than the ones mentioned above, are hazel nut, kukui nut and sunflower oil. Don't use any heavy oils on the skin. Use exfoliants to keep pores clean, but don't overuse them since they can actually stimulate oil production if used too frequently.
As always lifestyle and diet needs to be considered to ensure the success of any skin care regimen. A wholesome diet with plenty of fiber, fresh fruit and vegetables, essential fatty acids, plenty of water, avoiding processed food, minimizing the exposure to chemicals, a good quality multi-vitamin and mineral supplement need to be considered.
The skin reflects how we feel on the inside. If the liver and kidneys don't function properly it will show on the skin.
It is important to cleanse the colon and strengthen the detoxification capacity of the kidneys and liver.
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Johanna is an aromatherapist and she is passionate about educating people about health, essential oils, real food, natural remedies, and nutrition so they make healthier choices in their lives.
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