Having oily skin can lead to breakouts, screw with makeup application, and make you shiny as a diamond. Luckily, there are many natural ways to treat oily skin.

15 ways to treat oily skin

Ways to to treat oily skin include the following:

1. A proper skin care routine

proper skin care routine to treat oily skin
proper skin care routine to treat oily skin

With oily skin, it’s all about achieving balance. If you don’t wash your face, the excess sebum can trap dirt or dead skin in your pores, causing a breakout.

If you wash your face too much (or too harshly), then your skin will produce even more oil to compensate for your dried out face. So, it’s good to establish a face washing routine that finds a happy medium.

The best way to do this is to chat with your dermatologist. They can help you find a routine that works for your skin’s specific needs.

In the meantime, wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser and be sure to use a moisturizer. Ditch any harsh soaps or products that make your skin feel dry. You can also experiment with toners and oils (which we’ll get to later).

One more hard rule: Don’t sleep with your makeup on!

A face full of makeup overnight is practically asking your pores to get clogged. Even if you’re the sleepiest person on earth, take five minutes to wash your face before bed. Your not-broken-out skin will thank you in the morning.

2. Cleansing cloths

Though it’s best to not wash your face more than twice a day, sometimes you need a boost to really cleanse the skin. If it’s extremely hot out and you’ve been sweating, feel free to use a cleansing cloth to get rid of excess oil.

These are also great for post-workout skin care. The extra sweat and oil from a workout can clog your pores, so a quick wipe with a cleansing cloth will keep your pores clean and help avoid breakouts. Try cleansing cloths by Cetaphil, which are gentle and don’t dry out skin.

3. Fight oil with oil

Treating oily skin with more oil might sound completely batty, but the right oils can actually make a huge difference. When the skin’s natural oils are balanced, you produce less sebum and have fewer days with excess grease on your gorgeous face.

To keep your skin in balance, it’s best to use noncomedogenic oils (they won’t clog your pores) like argan oil, black raspberry seed oil, or rosehip oil. It might take trying a few different face oils to find the one you love best.

4. Konjac sponges

Oily skin attracts dirt and dead skin, so it’s important to keep pores clean to avoid breakouts. Konjac sponges are made with fibers from the roots of a yam-like vegetable and they’re perfect for gentle exfoliation.

The sponge helps clear pores without damaging the skin, and they’re completely compostable when you’re done with them! Just make sure that you don’t use the sponge every day.

Over exfoliation can cause dryness, which causes sebum production, and the whole oiliness cycle starts again. Exfoliating about twice a week should keep pores clear and sebum production in check.

5. Blotting papers

Blotting papers to treat oily skin
Blotting papers to treat oily skin

When you’re starting to feel like you resemble Tamatoa’s shell from Moana, use a blotting paper to get rid of extra oil. As with everything that removes oil, use in moderation.

If you go through 20 blotting papers a day, you’re probably removing too much. However, the occasional blotting paper is a simple way to remove shininess and keep your makeup intact.

6. Clay

Not just for Patrick Swayze/Demi Moore Ghost cosplay, clay is great at absorbing oil. One study found that a clay and jojoba oil mask greatly reduced acne. French green clay is also known to be rich in minerals and especially good for oily skin.

Look for a mask that’s primarily made from natural clay, or make your own mask at home. Powdered cosmetic clays are available online and you can mix them with your own favorite ingredients for a DIY solution.

7. Charcoal

Activated charcoal is all-natural and draws out any gunk that’s hanging around the pores. Despite its heavy-duty cleaning power, charcoal is gentle on the skin.

For best results, don’t use a charcoal product every day. That might leave your skin a little dry and upset the oil balance. Instead, use it a few times a week to remove excess sebum.

8. Honey

Honey to treat oily skin
Honey to treat oily skin

Acne isn’t just caused from too much oil, it can also be caused by bacteria on the skin. To get rid of extra bacteria and oil, try honey.

Honey is naturally antibacterial and helps seal in the skin’s natural moisture. Plus, it’s a treatment that’s probably sitting in your pantry right now. Simply put some honey on your face (raw and organic is preferable), let it sit for a few minutes, then wash off gently with warm water.

Read about 10 Benefits Of Honey For Skin & Face.

9. Oatmeal

When you’re making breakfast, put a little bit of that oatmeal aside for your face. Oatmeal is a natural anti-inflammatory, so it helps calm the skin. The grain both absorbs oil and gently exfoliates — without the usual danger of drying you out.

Follow instructions to make a normal bowl of oatmeal (sans toppings, of course). Let the oats cool, then slather them on your face and enjoy sitting in your breakfast mask for about 20 minutes. Wash off with warm water and apply a moisturizer to seal in that oaty goodness.

10. Aloe vera

Not just for sunburns, aloe vera is an incredibly soothing ingredient for all types of skin. Aloe helps treat breakouts and generally aids the healing of skin. So, if your face is irritated from an oily/too dry/back to oily cycle, aloe can help calm it all down.

Before bed, massage a layer of aloe into your skin and keep it on overnight. In the morning, wash off as normal. The cooling effect is nice for a nighttime routine and it’s a natural, affordable treatment option.

Read about The 6 Most Popular Skin Care Routine Before Bed.

What causes oily skin?

Oily skin is a bit of a mystery. The primary cause is basic: skin gets oily when it produces too much sebum, an oily concoction secreted by the sebaceous glands.

But why does it overproduce? Oily skin tends to run in families, so it’s likely that you’ve been blessed with the gift of shiny skin by your parents. Still, an article from The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology said there’s no proven cause of oily skin and it’s not clear why sebum production varies from person to person.

So, there aren’t a lot of good answers on why your skin gets that greasy feeling, but there are a few things that can influence your skin’s sebum output.

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