Oily skin – my biggest issue ever since I was 13 years old.
Well, that and acne. And the question why my thighs looked thick in pencil skirts. And why I always seem to fall for the bad guy. But not todays topic, Anne, get back on track!
Over the years I have tried countless things to keep my skin balanced, from the “harsh foaming cleanser followed by alcohol toner” routine to several kitchen hacks the friend of a friend (of a friend) had amazing results with.
You Tube wasn´t a thing back then, which was probably a blessing. I bet I would have been the one to try the toothpaste/baking soda face mask at some point!
The key to balanced skin is obvioulsy the right skincare (and there are plenty recommendations on the blog here), but today I decided to focus on things you can do without buying a new cream.
If you prefer listening over reading, here is a video I filmed on the topic. Just make sure to pin the blog post for further reference before you go!
1. Adapt your routine to the time of day
Your skin has clock cells, and like your alarm they wake the oil glands in the morning and tell them to increase sebum production. Sebum production reaches its height at midday and then slowly decreases again, being lowest at night. It is important to adapt you choice of skincare to that, using the mattifying stuff throughout the day and leaving the face oils for the evening, when your skin needs them.
2. Food does impact your skin
We all know by now that a healthy diet plays a huge role in healthy skin. But what is true for every skin type is even more important for oily people: A high level of ILGF-1, a hormone linked to Insulin, is associated with higher sebum production. And high leves of Insulin occur if you have a high blood sugar.
So anything that will cause a peak in blood sugar will inevitably cause a peak in sebum production too. Sweats, white bread, even bananas could be the culprit in makeing your skin extra oily.
3. Hormonal balance
Apart from ILGF-1 and Insulin, there are other hormones that do affect sebum production.
Have you ever wondered why more men than women suffer from oily skin? It is because androgens, the male sexual hormones, affect our oil glands.
Why that matters? Because women have male sexual hormones too, and some have more than the average. That doesn´t mean that you will grow a beard (I have high Androgen levels without looking manly in the slightest), it just means that in that case being on the pill could help with oiliness.
Which of course is not a suggestion to go on the pill solely to balance your skin, but if you are considering different options for preventing pregnancy, take it into account.
4. Stress levels
Ever noticed how bad your skin can get when life gets busy? It isn´t only the change in diet (stress eater anyone?)!
When you are stressed, your body produces Cortisol, which increases sebum production and general inflammation – perfect conditions for some new breakouts!
Now there is no way we can avoid stress altogether, but we can change the way we deal with it. Depending on what suits your personality more try meditation or cardio excercise, both of which lower Cortisol levels in your body.
Oh, and sleep! Getting enough sleep will make the stress hormones vanish in thin air.
5. Embrace it
Take it from someone about to turn 40: You will only have benefits from your oily skin in the long run!
Sebum is amazing at protecting your skin from pollution, dehydration and other irritants, it catches the dirt before it really gets to the skin and makes it so much easier to wash the gunk off at the end of the day.
Fine lines, dry patches? They will appear much later on your face (if you don´t use that baking soda mask, that is!)
Any skin gets drier with age, so chances are you will have lovely balanced skin for the rest of your life.
Do you have any tips you want to share?