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Oily skin can be a nuisance and using harsh chemical to try to "fix" your oily skin can come with a host of other problems. So what's the solution? Here's some tested natural skincare ingredients for oily skin. Try them out by themselves or as part of a skin care product.

First, a quick vocabulary lesson.

Sebum - this is the oil that your glands produce and that comes out of your pores. So "oily skin" can be though of "my skin producing a lot of sebum".

Too much sebum can trap dirt and bacteria causing more problems like acne and breakouts.

Oily skin is largely genetic, but can be made worse with things like hormone fluctuations among others.

Here are some ingredients that can naturally help with dealing with sebum and oily skin.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Because it contains citric acid (a natural AHA), and acetic acid, (antifungal and antimicrobial) natural apple cider vinegar can help increase cell turnover and fight the bacteria that causes problems on your skin.

Apple cider vinegar is made from crushed apples, which are allowed to ferment through a slow process of turning into alcohol and then forming acetic acid. It has been used for centuries as an all-natural remedy, mainly because of its anti-fungal properties.

For example, it can help you get rid of warts, athlete's foot and canker sores.

Apple cider vinegar is also used for dealing with various health conditions, such as lowering high cholesterol or hypertension, weight loss, treating acid reflux, arthritis treatment and so on.

How to use apple cider vinegar for skin?

There are many ways in which you can benefit from apple cider vinegar. Taking a bath with it is very helpful in case of acne, eczema and psoriasis, because the acetic acid in the apple cider vinegar kills bacteria and fungi that cause these skin conditions. It also help control the breakouts caused by sebum aka oil skin.

You can also alleviate dandruff by washing your hair with apple cider vinegar once per week. It will make your hair shiny and healthy.

Another great advantage of apple cider vinegar is its ability to exfoliate your skin, which makes it perfect for oily skin treatment, since it will reduce the oil production. It removes dead skin cells from the surface of your face and helps you get rid of blackheads very fast.

Mix one part apple cider vinegar with two parts water, then apply the mixture with a cotton ball to your face. Afterwards, rinse it off with water only.

Apple cider vinegar can be used for oily skin treatment in another way as well. Simply mix one part apple cider vinegar and four parts water.

Apply the mixture on your face using a cotton ball, leave it to dry and afterwards wash it off gently with cold water only.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a natural remedy that has been used for centuries to treat all kinds of skin problems, including acne. It is also one of the few natural remedies that have some clinical studies to back up their use and effectiveness.

So does tea tree oil work? Let's find out…

Tea tree oil comes from an Australian plant Melaleuca alternifolia, which was named by Jacques Labillardière in 1798 after his botanist friend, M.L'Héritier .

The essential oils derived from tea tree oil leaves contain terpinen-4ol , so it is believed that this is the main active component. The oil is extracted by steam distillation of the leaves.

Dermatologists have used tea tree oil for decades to treat all kinds of skin problems, including acne, fungal infections and insect bites .

Clinical studies validating tea tree oil's effectiveness in treating acne are sparse but promising. A recent study showed that 5% tea tree oil gel was more effective than placebo both in inflammatory and non-inflammatory lesion counts after eight weeks of thrice daily application.

Another clinical trial compared 5% tea tree oil solution to placebo water in mild-to-moderate acne over six weeks and found an 81 per cent improvement with tea tree oil (compared to 34 per cent with placebo)  in total severity scores.

And while tea tree oil is not officially approved by the FDA for acne treatment, a survey of dermatologists in the US revealed that approximately 60% of them use tea tree oil for this purpose .

However, there are also several reasons to be cautious about applying tea tree oil on the face. One study has shown that acne-prone skin reacts differently from normal skin when treated with ethanol or water. In fact, they found that topical application of 100% tea tree oil increased sebum production and actually worsened inflammatory lesions in these patients .

Another important safety concern regarding tea tree oil is its potential irritant effect. A few studies have confirmed it can cause contact dermatitis  in some people due to exposure via damaged or broken skin.

The bottom line: There's no doubt that tea tree oil can be beneficial in treating acne when used appropriately.

While the research suggests that 5% concentration should be sufficient, I recommend using only pure and natural preparations like that provide the therapeutic properties of tea tree oil without any hazardous additives.

Kaolin Clay (and Bentonite Clay)

Bentonite Clay and Kaolin clay are both great when it comes to helping your oily skin.

Simply mix one teaspoon of kaolin powder with enough distilled water to make a thin paste, and apply a thin coat on your face. Let dry completely, and rinse off with warm water.

Follow up with an astringent if your skin feels tight after rinsing off the mask - my favorite is witch hazel . Any brand should work well though, as long as it is alcohol free or denatured .

And do not forget about moisturizing afterwards!

Lavender Hydrosol

As I wrote in the last blog post (click here to read) , all three hydrosols that I received from The Lavender Herb Co. were really interesting, but the one that intrigued me the most was lavender hydrosol because of its possible benefits for my oily skin type.

Unlike some other facial mists, lavender water is not just pure water with a few drops of essential oil - it's actually made by distilling fresh lavender flowers (which is why it smells like lavender). This makes it even more potent than an infusion or an essential oil because distillation concentrates not only its scent but also all of its beneficial properties - which is exactly why  I wanted to it out on my face.

What are the benefits of lavender water for oily skin?

Lavender hydrosol is antiseptic, which means that it can kill bacteria, germs and other pathogens on your skin.

This makes it ideal for acne-prone skin because even though acne is not caused by bacteria (most scientists agree that excessive production of sebum under the influence of certain hormones causes pimples), killing these microbes will prevent future breakouts.

In addition to this powerful antimicrobial effect, lavender has numerous other benefits for oily and problematic skin:

anti-inflammatory properties -  reduce swelling and irritation;

soothing properties - calms redness and prevents itching; reduces the appearance of scars;

regenerative effects - speeds up skin healing and stimulates collagen production, reduces wrinkles and fine lines.

Because of these properties, lavender hydrosol is a popular ingredient in many anti-acne treatments. A nice bonus for those who use it as a daily skin care product is that this lovely smell relaxes both your mind and body, making it even more beneficial.

What are the side effects of lavender water?

Lavender water has been used for thousands of years to treat various ailments related to the nervous system (skin problems included) so its safety profile is well known: there are no reports about any dangerous interactions between lavender and medications or adverse reactions when used as a cosmetic product.

In case of any skin irritation, discontinue use and consult your dermatologist for advice. As lavender hydrosol can be a bit strong - especially on a freshly shaven face - make sure to do a patch test before using it regularly.

What is the best way to use lavender water?

Due its antimicrobial properties,  lavender water should be applied no more than twice daily (unless you have an extremely sensitive skin that cannot tolerate this concentration). In the mornings, I just gently rub it with my fingertips all over my face and neck after cleansing but before applying all other morning products . In the evenings , I spray some on a cotton pad or directly onto my face if I don't have anything else planned afterwards - sometimes I even pour a little bit in my palms and pat it into my skin.

When should you use lavender water?

As this hydrosol is mostly used for calming irritated and reddened skin, it's best to apply it after cleansing. If you suffer from acne flare-ups or other types of inflammatory conditions that affect your whole face, spraying some lavender water onto a cotton pad and wiping your face with it will not only soothe your epidermis but also help reduce the redness caused by inflammation. Since the cooling effect is especially great when used on hot summer days under makeup, try spraying it wherever you tend to get shiny throughout the day (forehead, nose etc.) before applying your makeup.

What are the lavender water benefits for oily skin?

As usual, I'm sure you realize that the best way to incorporate previously unknown natural treatments into your skincare routine is by talking to an expert - derma or otherwise.

Yet, since this hydrosol is gentle enough to be applied daily and it has a plethora of known benefits for acne-prone skin, it's definitely worth trying out .

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil benefits for oily skin moisturizing and cleansing moisturizer. It is an excellent emollient that can help to soften your skin; it also has some anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it great for use on red, irritated patches of skin caused by conditions like acne, psoriasis or eczema.

A common problem with oily skin is over production of sebum that clogs pores and contributes to acne breakouts .

Unfortunately many products used to combat this type of problem are harsh and strip the natural oils from the skin without providing enough moisture to keep your face soft and supple.

Jojoba oil benefits oily skin by balancing the amount of sebum produced on the surface which prevents those dreaded clogged pores.

This is because jojoba oil mimics the natural oils your skin produces.

Jojoba oil benefits oily skin by leaving behind what looks like a silky satin finish that does not look greasy which makes it perfect for everyday use.

Jojoba oil has been shown to reduce wrinkles, fade age spots , and heal sun damage . This makes it great to use on both your face and body.

The fatty acids in jojoba counteracts the dryness caused by other treatments such as retinol or glycolic acid. It speeds up the process of healing acne scars significantly over time when used over any period of time.

Best of all, one bottle lasts for several months making this great value for money!


These are some great, natural skincare ingredients for oily skin to try.

These can help you improve your oily skin and get rid of acne and breakout issues that can come along with it.

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