The Best Home Remedies to Treat Oily Skin: The Ultimate Guide

How to get rid of oily skin

If your face seems shiny and greasy all the time, you may have oily skin. Sebaceous glands connected to your hair follicles produce excess sebum which is causing your oily face.1 Excess oil on your skin may lead to acne, whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples. In addition, people with oily skin may also have large pores.

While oily skin is annoying, there are natural home remedies to reduce the shiny appearance of your oily face and draw out the excess oil. The key is to treat your oily skin gently and avoid irritating it. Natural home remedies like aloe vera gel, tea tree oil, clay, lemon and honey can help you control oily skin and get rid of some of its symptoms. It may help to remember that people with oily skin are less likely to get wrinkles.15

Causes of Oily Skin

Your skin acts as a barrier to protect your inner tissues against harmful environmental effects like bacteria and UV radiation. The sebum produced by your sebaceous glands waterproofs and lubricates your skin and hair.

Many things can cause oily skin, some which you can’t control. Fluctuating hormone levels during puberty and your menstrual cycle can trigger sebum overproduction.2 Some drugs like corticosteroids may also make your face appear shiny.

Your DNA may also play a role, explains a study published in the journal, Developmental Cell.3 Finally, stress can wreak havoc on your skin. When you are stressed, your body increases production of your body’s stress hormone (cortisol). Cortisol, in turn, can trigger a spike in oil production.4

It’s important for you to control your oily skin. Left untreated, it can lead to more troublesome skin problems like acne, explains Mayo Clinic.5, 6 Home remedies for acne can help you manage your oily skin.

Let’s look at home remedies for controlling and preventing oily skin.

Home Remedies for Oily Skin

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is well-known for the healing and nurturing effects it has on the skin which makes it ideal for treating acne-prone oily skin.7 Due to its anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory effects, various skin problems and breakouts can be treated by using aloe vera.

As with any natural treatment for oily skin, you need to do a small patch test to make sure you are not allergic to aloe vera. Some people who are allergic to garlic, onions, or tulips are more likely to be allergic to aloe vera too.8

There is a good evidence for using aloe vera as a natural remedy for oily skin. A study published in the journal, Skin Research and Technology, found that aloe vera was effective for maintaining skin hydration after only a single application.9 According to Mayo Clinic, aloe vera may also help treat acne if your oily skin caused other skin problems.10

To use aloe vera gel to control your oily skin and prevent whiteheads, massage it on your skin and let it set and soak. Don’t wash the gel off, your skin will absorb it completely. Repeat 2 times a day or as often as needed. Alternatively, if you have the aloe vera plant growing at home, just take a limb, scoop out the fresh healing gel and apply it over your oily face.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is considered to be the number one essential oil for treating acne and pimples on oily skin. Tea tree oil has anti-bacterial properties which makes it ideal for fighting the bacteria that cause acne. It also helps to treat inflammation and reduce redness.

A study published in the Medical Journal of Australia found that a 5 percent solution of tea tree oil gel reduced the appearance of acne and helped heal lesions.11 The researchers found that tea tree oil was as effective as skincare products containing benzoyl peroxide which is commonly used as topical treatment for mild acne.

If you have developed acne or pimples as a result of your oily face, spot treatment with tea tree oil may help treat it. You can use tea tree oil on a cotton swab for small areas and apply it directly to pimples.

If you want to take care of larger areas of oily skin, you can use tea tree oil as a facial cleanser. Dilute it in a carrier oil such as jojoba oil. For 2% concentration use 10-12 drops of tea tree oil per 1 ounce (30 ml) of carrier oil. Dip a cotton ball in the tea tree oil mixture and gently cleanse your oily skin. Leave for about 30 minutes.

Facial Masks for Oily Skin

Homemade facial masks can help absorb excess oil from your skin’s surface and reduce excess oil. You can use them as an occasional treatment to reduce the appearance of your oily skin.

However, you should limit your use to no more than once or twice a week to avoid drying out or irritating your skin. Here are some homemade face masks for oily skin that you may want to try.

Baking soda and lemon face mask

The combination of lemon and baking soda can benefit your oily face. Lemons are packed with vitamin C and citric acid, which naturally disinfect skin and remove excess oil. Their natural acids can gently exfoliate and cleanse oily skin, leaving it toned and even.

Baking soda can be used as a facial cleanser to remove dead skin cells, oil or dirt from the skin. This helps to unclog pores and prevent skin conditions such as acne and pimples.

Simply combine 2 tablespoons each of brown sugar and baking soda with ¼ cup of lemon juice. Pat in on your skin and relax for 10 minutes while the mask removes excess oil from your oily skin.

For other ideas, read my article on how to use baking soda for gorgeous skin.

Turmeric face mask

Turmeric face mask works for acne and eczema as well as greasy skin. It can reduce inflammation and redness, and promote skin healing. Due to turmeric’s antioxidant properties, it has been used for skin rejuvenation.

Here’s how to make turmeric face mask for treating oily skin, acne and to reduce inflammation: Combine equal amounts of turmeric, honey, and yogurt to exfoliate your skin while reducing inflammation. Allow the mask to work for about 20 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water.

You can add to the above turmeric face mask, 1 tsp. of lemon juice which can help to lighten the skin and it’s good for oily skin. You can also add a few drops of tea tree essential oil if you suffer from acne.

Honey face masks

Honey face masks are soothing for inflamed skin, antibacterial for acne breakouts and hydrating for damaged skin. Honey can help treat minor acne by attacking the bacteria that cause the outbreaks while moisturizing the skin to aid rejuvenation.

To use honey for your oily skin, mix a tablespoon each of honey and aloe vera gel with three drops of tea tree oil or lavender essential oil. Apply the natural honey face mask on your oily face and leave it on your skin for 20 minutes to promote healing, reduce inflammation and to draw out excess oil. The antibacterial properties of honey and aloe vera can help heal acne sores.

Honey face masks can treat many skin conditions and you can find more recipes in my article about the top 10 honey face masks.

Oatmeal facial mask

Oatmeal facial scrub is an excellent home remedy for oily skin and it’s also beneficial for treating acne. Oatmeal is a good moisturizer with skin healing, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Use this oatmeal mask to leave your skin free of dirt and oil.

To make your own oatmeal facial mask simply use 2 tsp. oatmeal ground up finely in a food processor or blender, 1 tsp. raw organic honey
1 tsp. lemon juice and a few drops of tea tree essential oil. Gently apply the oatmeal mask on your skin while massaging in a circular motion. Leave it for a few minutes and remove with warm water.

Egg whites and lemon juice face mask

Egg whites are known to tighten oily skin and draw out excess oil, improving the condition of oily skin. Lemons are extremely versatile and can be used in many ways to enhance your health.

  1. Whisk two egg whites.
  2. Add the juice of half a lemon.
  3. Apply the mix on your face and leave it on until it dries.
  4. Rinse off with cool water.
  5. Re-apply a few times a week to get rid of excess oil and reduce the appearance of oily skin.

Green clay mask for oily skin

Green clay is loaded with iron and magnesium which gives it its green color. It acts fast to absorb oils and toxins, and is suitable for controlling oily skin.

It is easy to make a homemade clay face mask for a greasy skin: make a paste of clay and water and apply to your face as a mask. Leave on for 20 minutes and wash off.  Do this once or twice a week for a smooth and healthy skin.

You can also use other types of clay, such as white clay or Bentonite clay – see more information in my article on how to use clay for great skin. For example, you can use white clay as in this homemade cleansing face scrub.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (AVC) doesn’t just effectively remove excess oil from your skin, it also helps to balance pH levels and can prevent your skin from becoming too oily or too dry by balancing the production of sebum. Its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties can help prevent and treat acne caused by a combination of oily skin and bacteria while unblocking pores and removing dead skin cells.

You should mix apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of water in order to avoid irritating your skin. Never use undiluted ACV.

Before you use ACV all over your face, test it on a small area of your face to make sure your skin doesn’t develop a reaction to it.

To make your own ACV toner for treating oily face, mix equal parts of ACV and water. You can also try adding green tea or aloe vera gel.

To apply the ACV toner to your skin, simply use a cotton bud and gently glide over your oily skin to treat it and moisturize it. Leave it for 5 minutes and wash your face with warm water. After a while when your skin got used to it, you can gradually increase the concentration of the ACV and leave it for a longer period. Just make sure you shake the mixture before you use it, so that the water and ACV are thoroughly mixed up.

For a more detailed information, read my article on why you should wash your face with apple cider vinegar.

Combine the ACV toner with witch hazel

You can use the ACV mixture as-is or add witch hazel which may help treat inflammation that often accompanies acne. Witch hazel on its own is also an effective treatment for acne. Witch hazel is a natural astringent so it can reduce the excess oil secretions.

A solution of one ounce of witch hazel with three drops each of lavender and tea tree oil can help treat acne. You can find more great recipes with witch hazel in my article: Witch Hazel for Acne – The Ultimate Guide.

Sea salt scrub for oily skin

Sea salt is a natural detoxifier that contains many valuable minerals that are naturally found in the sea. Sea salt cleanses and draws impurities from the deeper layers of the skin and is very good natural treatment for oily skin.

To make a sea salt facial scrub for oily skin, mix equal amounts of sea salt and lemon juice. Mix ingredients until well combined. To use, dampen your skin and use your hands to massage the mixture into your greasy skin for a few minutes. Avoid any wounded or scratched areas. After massaging rinse your skin with warm water.

Essential Oils for Oily Skin

Essential oils like lemon and bergamot offer pleasant-smelling ways to reduce oil on your skin with additional health benefits for healthy skin. There are several ways you can add them to your skincare routine as part of a treatment for oily skin.

You can add a few drops of essential oils to one of the above home remedies for oily skin for an added healing boost.

You can also add a few drops to a carrier oil like jojoba oil. You can use them alone or combined to create your own scent. Try mixtures such as rosemary and lemon or bergamot and lavender for a pleasant-smelling treatment.

Many essential oils have antibacterial properties which make them a good choice for oily skin. Chamomile essential oil, for example, has a long history of use for treating a variety of skin conditions like acne and minor burns.12

Essentials oils like lavender and lemon balm can help you relax to reduce stress, another trigger of oily skin.13, 14 However, you should always use essential oils diluted in a carrier oil and not apply them directly to your skin.

You can find more information about how to use essential oils in your skincare routine in my article about the best essential oils for skincare.

You should also pay attention to how your skin reacts when using a skin treatment. Irritating it will make your oily skin worse. You may want to consider trying homemade oily skin treatments on an inconspicuous area on your body like your forearm before putting anything on your face.

Reduce Stress

You can treat your oily skin by reducing stress. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends several actions you can take to reduce stress and the resulting effects on your skin.4 Exercise, for example, releases endorphins that can ease your stress as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Mindfulness techniques, relaxation practices, and meditation may all help you manage your stress while taking care of your oily skin. It’s important for you to recognize the symptoms of stress so you reduce its impacts on your skin before it gets out of control.

You can also use these essential oils for reducing stress and anxiety.

Tips for Controlling Your Oily Skin

To get the most out of homemade oily skin treatments, follow these tips to help you manage your oily skin:

Use a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser on your face.7 If your regular skincare product doesn’t help you to manage your oily skin, you might want to consider one with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid as an active ingredient, explains WebMD.15

While you should wash your oily face daily, you don’t want to overdo it. Irritating your skin will leave it vulnerable to bacterial infections. It may also over-dry your skin, eventually causing the skin to secrete even more oil.

Oil-free sunscreens, oil-free cosmetics, and moisturizers will reduce the appearance of oily skin. Many people believe that people with oily skin don’t need to moisturize, however it is recommend adding oil-free moisturizer (like aloe vera gel) to your daily skin care routine. They are readily absorbed into the skin without leaving a greasy feel.

While your skin may even become dry in the winter, your oily face likely gets worse in the summer.16 During the warmer months, you should wash your face twice a day.7 If you’ve exercised enough to sweat, it’s a good idea to wash your face after your workout.

Always, make sure you remove your makeup before going to bed to avoid clogging your pores.

Oily Skin – When to Talk to Your Doctor

If you’ve tried self-care treatments for oily skin without success, you should talk to your doctor or dermatologist. Your symptoms may indicate another underlying cause. If your oily skin has developed into acne, your doctor can provide you with other options for managing your condition.

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