Many factors contribute to oily skin, including hormone levels, humidity, diet and cosmetics. Oily skin occurs when the sebaceous glands in the skin are overactive and produce excessive sebum. However, heredity plays the biggest role in oil production. Oily skin is most common during puberty but may affect anyone of any age. While nothing can completely stop oily skin, a number of treatment options and home remedies can reduce oil production.
1. Wash your face three times a day using soap and hot water. Hot water is much more effective at dissolving and washing away skin oil than cold water. You can use regular bar soap or try a medicated soap, such as Neutrogena Oily Skin Formula or Clearasil soap for oily skin.
2. Exercise regularly to boost circulation, improve blood flow and unclog pores. Contrary to what many people believe, sweating is actually healthy for the skin and can help stop oily skin and reduce the frequency of acne outbreaks.
3. Apply a mud or clay mask to your face several times each week. Darker masks are typically the most absorbent, but rose-colored clay may be less irritating to sensitive skin.
4. Use an astringent that contains acetone to help stop oily skin. In most cases, rubbing alcohol and witch hazel work just as well as expensive astringents. You can also purchase astringent pads at most pharmacies and grocery stores to carry with you when you are away from home.
5. Purchase only water-based cosmetics, as oil-based products can increase oil on the face. Set foundations with a light dusting of baby powder, which is more absorbent than many cosmetic powders. Powder will not stop oil production, but it can minimize the appearance of oily skin.
6. Stop or change the type of oral contraceptive pill you use to help stop oily skin. Hormones play a major role in oily skin, which is why oil and acne increase during puberty and pregnancy. If you are not currently using birth control pills, you can ask your doctor about the benefits and risks of using oral contraceptives to treat oily skin.
7. Avoid overstimulating your skin. Exfoliating too often is a common trigger of excessive oil production. Frequent or severe sunburns or constantly rubbing or picking at your skin can also cause over-stimulation. If you exfoliate, do so only once or twice each week to prevent an increase in oil production.
8. Try an over-the-counter or prescription medication that contains retinol to control oily skin. Use these products sparingly to avoid skin irritation, redness and flaking.