The grease, the grime, the shininess!

Oily skin is such a pain. I know. I have it. We can blame heredity… in the old days, our ancestors had excessively oily skin which helped to protect against the elements such as harsh sunlight and excess rain. These days as we mostly hang out in our indoor, air conditioned homes, we don’t see much of a point to the oil slicks hanging out on our faces. We can blame a hormonal imbalance which increases gland activity. Here’s the good news: skin dries out with age. The flow of sebum and oil increases during the teen years (think puberty) and decreases as we get older. What about those of us in our mid 30’s who STILL have extremely oily skin? More good news: oily skin ages at a much slower rate than other skin types and is slower to show skin discoloration as well. The downside, of course, is breakouts and large pores. So yes, you may deal with pimples in your 30’s if you have oily skin. However, you’ll have fewer wrinkles than your friends at age 50!

There are many remedies for oily skin. Hot water dissolves oil better than lukewarm water. So be sure to wash your face with hot water twice a day every day. Washing more often will dry out your skin and trick it into actually producing MORE oil to overcompensate: don’t do that! Clay or mud masks help immensely, as do products specifically geared for oily skin. I use an oil mattifier every day under my makeup, and special tissue blotters which absorb oil but don’t disturb my makeup.

What we want to do when treating oily skin is to remove excess surface sebum without completely removing the skin lipids. You want to cleanse with a natural face cleanser formulated especially for oily skin. A cleanser’s pH should be 4.5 – 5.5, since the skin’s pH value is approximately 5.4. Gel cleansers work best on oily skin (as opposed to cream based cleansers).

There are those who say that cologne can refine the pores— I don’t feel that putting cologne on your facial skin is a good idea if you are prone to breakouts. Fragrance free products will be your best bet. Interested in a natural remedy? You can try green clay powder and raw honey, or lemon juice. And don’t forget to keep your hands off your face! During the day oil collects on your fingers and you don’t want to be absentmindedly tapping on your chin with oily fingers while you’re on the phone (don’t ask me how I know this!)

Heather Price of Cleveland, OH, has been a skin care and beauty consultant since August of 2000. Have you ever wished you had a skin care program that was customized for your needs by a personal consultant? That’s what Heather does- she sends you home with skin care and color products that meet your specific needs. The result is smoother, softer, younger looking skin. Clients feel better about their appearance which gives them the self confidence they need in their lives. You can join Heather’s email list at – she answers every email response personally