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Things You Can Do To Get Rid Of Oily Skin

Oily skin is a common problem that occurs when an excessive amount of sebum is produced by the sebaceous glands, thereby making the skin look greasy and shiny. [1] Sebum is made up of fats and helps protect the skin and provide moisture. However, excessive secretion of sebum causes acne and if it's not treated well, it causes spots and pimples. [2]

Oily skin can be a result of environmental, genetic and lifestyle factors. [3] Oily skin is difficult to manage, but there are various ways in which you can control the oil production and get a more balanced skin without dabbing layers of loose powder.

How To Get Rid Of Oily Skin

1. Balance cleansing and exfoliating

The common mistake that people with oily skin often make is by washing their face over and over again and using a face cleanser. You may get a clean look but that's only temporary. It might surprise you but over-cleansing your face will only make oiliness worse.

Washing the face often can disturb the skin's acid mantle: the thin layer on the top of the skin that protects it from bacteria. Upsetting the skin's acid mantle will result in irritation and breakouts. [4] You may ask, how do we regularize the acid mantle of the skin then? The answer is simple, wash the skin twice a day with a gentle cleanser.

It is also important to regularly exfoliate the skin. [5] Since oily skin is often prone to clogged pores, removing the dead skin cells will help prevent the occurrence of blackheads. There are various exfoliation masks in the market but home-made mask can be made as it's free of chemicals and safe to use.

Oatmeal exfoliating mask

Oatmeal contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help reduce skin irritation, therefore it is apt for oily skin.


  • 1 tablespoon of oatmeal.
  • 1 teaspoon of honey.
  • Water (as needed)


  • In a bowl, mix all of the ingredients together and make it into a thick paste.
  • Apply this all over your face and leave it for 20 minutes.
  • Wet your fingers and scrub your skin lightly.
  • Wash it off with normal water.
  • Use this scrub three days in a week.

2. Moisturize your skin with a facial oil

Are we using oil to fight oily skin? Sounds absurd, but using facial oil actually attracts your own oil from the skin and helps to break it up. Jojoba oil is a great moisturizer, as it contains oil-fighting properties. [6]


  • Jojoba oil


Take a few drops of jojoba oil on your fingers and gently rub it on your face and neck in a circular motion. Leave it overnight.
Wash your face the next day.

3. Use a clay mask

Clay mask is one of the best remedies for oily skin. Bentonite clay is a popular clay that is good for oily skin. This clay has super absorbing qualities that make it good for oily skin as it absorbs excess secretion of sebum. [7] It contains magnesium, iron, copper, silicate, and potassium, all of which helps in boosting the skin health. Here is how you can use this clay.


  • 1 teaspoon of bentonite clay
  • 1 teaspoon of water


  • In a bowl mix bentonite clay and water and blend them well until you get a smooth texture.
  • Apply the mask on your face and neck and leave it on for 30 minutes or until it dries up.
  • Wash your face with normal water.

4. Reduce stress

We normally do not associate stress with oily skin, but when we are stressed out, it is seen on our face. This is because there is a connection between our mental health and skin health. Stress triggers all kinds of skin problems and it also makes oily skin worse. Stress releases hormones called adrenal androgens [8] , which increase the production of oil and hence leads to clogged pores
[9] .

Yoga is an excellent stress reliever and so is meditation. Focus on slow breathing through your nose and you will be able to feel the stress exiting your body.

5. Consume a healthy diet

A diet rich in antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids helps to improve the appearance and texture of the skin. Foods rich in antioxidants are blueberries, cranberries, apple, spinach, whole grains, and peppers. For omega 3 fatty acids, consume tuna, walnuts and flaxseeds.

Avoid foods like white rice, white bread and sugar, as they are high-glycemic foods that increase the activity of oil glands in the skin. [10] Also oily, greasy foods are not good for the skin as they aggravate oily skin conditions. Consuming healthy foods will significantly reduce the secretion of excess sebum and even reduce skin irritation.

6. Keep yourself hydrated

Drinking plenty of water and keeping yourself hydrated is the key to maintaining healthy skin. Water has unique properties that help in improving the skin and minimize acne and other skin conditions [11] . Insufficient consumption of water leads to dull, wrinkly skin and causes more prominent pores. It also triggers the oil gland to secrete sebum, therefore, causing oil build-up on the skin. So, it is a must to drink 8-10 glasses of water every day.

Lemon water also helps to keep the skin hydrated as it contains vitamin C that is effective for curing acne.

7. Use blotting sheets

Blotting sheets are thin, small papers that help in removing excess oil from the skin. [12] They help in minimizing shiny, greasy skin. These papers are pocket-friendly and easy to carry as well. You can use it whenever you need it.

8. Use almonds

Almonds help to absorb excess oil from the skin. [13] Here's how you can use almonds:


  • 3 tablespoons of finely ground almond
  • 2 tablespoons of honey


  • Mix these two ingredients and apply it gently on to your face in a circular motion for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Wash your face with warm water.

9. Use honey to keep the bacteria away

Honey contains antibacterial and antiseptic properties that are good for treating acne and oily skin. Honey helps to keep the skin moist but not oily.


  • Honey (as needed)


  • Spread a thin layer of honey on to your face and let it dry for 10-15 minutes.
  • Wash it with warm water.

Tips To Keep In Mind

  • Always use a light moisturizer as this helps the skin in secreting less oil.
  • While using make-up products, always look for oil-free or non-comedogenic products that will not clog the pores.
  • Do not use excess powder as this may encourage the skin to produce more oil and your face will look cakey. Apply it only on shiny areas of the skin.
  • Sunscreen is very important for all skin types. People with oily skin tend to not use it sunscreen tends to be oily and greasy. Look for oil-free and mattifying formulas that do not have preservatives and fragrance. Ingredients like niacinamide help to absorb excess oil from the skin and keeps the skin smooth without drying it out.
View Article References
  1. [1] Sakuma TH1, Maibach HI.Oily skin: an overview. 2012;25(5):227-35. doi: 10.1159/000338978. Epub 2012 Jun 20.
  2. [2] Pappas A, Johnsen S, Liu JC, Eisinger M. Sebum analysis of individuals with and without acne. Dermatoendocrinol. 2009;1(3):157–161.
  3. [3] Endly DC, Miller RA. Oily Skin: A review of Treatment Options. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2017;10(8):49–55.
  4. [4] Schmid MH1, Korting HC.The concept of the acid mantle of the skin: its relevance for the choice of skin cleansers.1995;191(4):276-80.DOI: 10.1159/000246568
  5. [5] Grajqevci-Kotori M, Kocinaj A. Exfoliative Skin-peeling, Benefits from This Procedure and Our Experience. Med Arch. 2015;69(6):414–416. doi:10.5455/medarh.2015.69.414-416
  6. [6] Chularojanamontri L, Tuchinda P, Kulthanan K, Pongparit K. Moisturizers for Acne: What are their Constituents?. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2014;7(5):36–44.
  7. [7] Pappas A, Johnsen S, Liu JC, Eisinger M. Sebum analysis of individuals with and without acne. Dermatoendocrinol. 2009;1(3):157–161.
  8. [8] Ghosh S, Chaudhuri S, Jain VK, Aggarwal K. Profiling and hormonal therapy for acne in women. Indian J Dermatol. 2014;59(2):107–115. doi:10.4103/0019-5154.127667
  9. [9] Shohani M, Badfar G, Nasirkandy MP, et al. The Effect of Yoga on Stress, Anxiety, and Depression in Women. Int J Prev Med. 2018;9:21. Published 2018 Feb 21. doi:10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_242_16
  10. [10] Katta R, Desai SP. Diet and dermatology: the role of dietary intervention in skin disease. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2014;7(7):46–51.
  11. [11] Popkin BM, D'Anci KE, Rosenberg IH. Water, hydration, and health. Nutr Rev. 2010;68(8):439–458. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00304.x
  12. [12] Arbuckle R, Atkinson MJ, Clark M, et al. Patient experiences with oily skin: the qualitative development of content for two new patient reported outcome questionnaires.Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2008;6:80. Published 2008 Oct 16. doi:10.1186/1477-7525-6-80
  13. [13] Chularojanamontri L, Tuchinda P, Kulthanan K, Pongparit K. Moisturizers for Acne: What are their Constituents?.J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2014;7(5):36–44.
Story first published: Sunday, May 12, 2019, 11:00 [IST]
Read more about: oily skin skin beauty
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