For those of us with oily skin, summer is no picnic. Heat and humidity pump up the shine. Sweating doesn’t help. When pores get plugged with oil and dead skin cells, acne develops. So many commercial products exist to curb oiliness! Haven’t you found their effectiveness to be short-lived? Still, if we increase their use, our skin just gets irritated.
Fortunately, there are natural agents that gently clean and control the sheen. In this post, I share homemade face wash for oily skin you can easily make. If you prefer ready-made products, I’ve included organic cleansers you can order online. Your skin can smile in the face of summer!
I hope you’ll find this post useful. Feel free to share your best face wash for oily skin in the comment section!
Hormones – One trigger of oil production is an androgen hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DTH). This chemical messenger tells our sebaceous glands to produce sebum, a waxy oil. Without DTH, our skin would be horribly parched. However, when too much of this hormone is released, oil glands shift into overdrive. Typically, this begins in puberty, increasing during monthly menstruation.
After ovulation, progesterone hormone rises, leading to excess DTH. For this reason, just before our periods, we’re more prone to oiliness and acne. DTH also spikes during pregnancy and menopause.
Heredity – We’re predisposed to oily skin if our genes carry this trait.
Dehydration – When we don’t drink enough fluids, our skin becomes dry. To compensate, oil glands work harder.
Stress – Feeling tense elevates the stress hormone cortisol and DTH, both of which increase oiliness. These hormones also surge when we’re sleep-deprived.
Weather – Summer’s heat and humidity cause sweating and further oil release. Conversely, during winter, our skin dries when exposed to wind and cold. Our glands offset dryness with more sebum.
Medications – Oiliness is a side effect of birth control medication and hormone replacement therapy. Also, any drug that’s dehydrating prompts sebaceous glands to make extra oil.
Scrubbing Agents – Hand mitts, washcloths, and cleaning brushes aggravate skin with friction. Oil glands do damage control.
High Glycemic Foods – A high glycemic load diet can increase skin oiliness and worsen acne.
The Link Between a High Glycemic Load Diet & Acne
Simple carbohydrates spike blood sugar. Our bodies quickly convert them into glucose, providing spurts of energy. The glycemic index (GI) is a number that reflects how quickly this conversion process occurs with specific foods.
To maintain healthy hormone levels, including DTH, our blood glucose needs to be steady. The lower a food’s GI, the less it will hike our blood sugar. Here’s what the GI numbers signify:
- 55 or less – low impact on blood sugar
- 56 to 69 – medium
- 70 and up – high
It’s also important to consider glycemic load (GL). This number measures how high blood sugar escalates when a food is eaten. Load is partly determined by the number of carbohydrates per serving. Load is easy to calculate. Just multiply a food’s GI by carb grams per serving. Then, divide the result by 100. Here’s the GL scale:
- 10 or below – low glucose elevation
- 11 to 19 – medium
- 20 and above – high
Even if a food has a high GI, if the carbs per serving are low, the load will be also. As an example, let’s consider watermelon, with a GI of 80. The carbs per serving are only 6 grams. Doing the math for the load, 80 x 6 = 480, divided by 100 = 4.8, rounded to 5. The low GL of watermelon means that eating it won’t increase oiliness.
Food labels often display the GI for their products. When not shown, you can look up the glycemic indices and loads of common foods on this list, by Harvard Medical School.
A 2007 article featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that a low glycemic load diet improves glucose metabolism and acne.
Isn’t it empowering to know you can moderate oiliness with lifestyle changes? Review your water intake, medications, and stress level. Avoid cleansing with a washcloth, hand mitt, or cleaning brush. Try to stay hydrated, and minimize high GL foods in your diet. With these strategies, you should see noticeable skin improvement.
Pros of Oily Skin
Here’s some encouragement for the future. Having oily skin will pay off as you get older. Since skin oil aids in retaining moisture, you’ll be less prone to wrinkling. Acne should subside, too.
So, if you’re young and troubled by an oily complexion, hang in there. You’ll reap the rewards as time progresses. Meanwhile, controlling oil accumulation will help your skin maintain a healthy glow.
Homemade Face Wash for Oily Skin (4 DIY recipes)
There are several advantages to making your own natural cleanser. Many retail products contain harsh chemicals, fragrances, and emulsifiers, aggravating skin and causing breakouts. Often, labels don’t fully disclose ingredients.
With a homemade cleanser, you avoid dousing your skin and bloodstream with toxic chemicals. Gentle ingredients sweep away impurities and excess oil, leaving your skin feeling clean and soft. You’ll also save money over store-bought products. Here are four DIY recipes your skin will love!
1. DIY Face Wash with Coconut Oil & Honey
(Clink on the links for where to purchase items.)
- 3 teaspoons organic virgin coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon Manuka honey – Manuka honey has more antibacterial properties than regular honey (source)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- small bowl
- lidded container
- stainless steel spoon
- Warm your spoon by running it under hot water, and dry it. Next, use it to scoop out the coconut oil, and place it in your bowl. With the same spoon, measure out the honey into the bowl. Stir the liquids together. Add the baking soda, and stir well. Transfer the mixture to your container, affix the lid, and store at room temperature.
- To apply, scoop out a pea-sized portion with a clean fingertip. Smooth on your face and rub gently in circular motions with your fingertips for 30 seconds. To draw out impurities, allow the cleanser to remain on your face for one minute. Then, rinse it off with lukewarm water, and pat your face dry with a soft towel.
- Coconut oil and honey kill bacteria and eliminate oil. Baking soda is antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory.
- The granular texture of baking soda exfoliates dead skin without being abrasive (source). Its pH softens and absorbs sebum.
2. DIY Rosewater Cleanser
- 1 cup liquid castile soap
- 1 tablespoon sweet almond oil
- 1 teaspoon rosewater
- 3 drops rosemary oil
- 3 drops lavender oil
- 3 drops tea tree oil
- pump bottle
- Insert the funnel into the pump bottle, and measure out the castile soap, almond oil, and rosewater. Add the rosemary, lavender, and tea tree oils. Cap the bottle, and shake it well. Between uses, refrigerate the cleanser, and shake before each application.
- Massage into skin, and leave on for one minute. Rinse off with warm water, and pat your face dry with a soft towel.
- Rosewater curbs oil, kills bacteria, and soothes irritation. It also regenerates skin, moisturizes, and balances pH. As an astringent, it tightens pores.
- Lavender and tea tree oils are antiseptic. Rosemary oil eliminates bacteria and encourages cell growth.
- Castile soap, sourced from vegetable oils, produces a foamy lather. It’s free of synthetic fragrance and detergents. It also cuts greasiness.
3. DIY Face Wash with Honey & Lemon
- 1 teaspoon raw organic honey or Manuka honey
- 1 teaspoon fresh organic lemon juice
- small bowl
- You can use this formula at night before bedtime. Either squeeze the juice from an organic lemon or use bottled organic juice. Then, combine the honey and lemon juice, and stir well. If the mixture is too thick to spread, add a few drops of water.
- Gently massage into skin with your fingertips for 30 seconds. Leave it on for one minute before rinsing with warm water. Dry your face with a soft cloth.
- Citric acid in lemon eliminates bacteria, and enzymes slough off dead skin. Lemon’s astringency removes oil and brightens skin tone.
- Honey softens skin by drawing moisture. Antioxidants decelerate skin aging. To receive honey’s antibacterial benefit buy it raw and organic. The pasteurized honey stocked by supermarkets is heated far above the temperature present within bee hives. High heat destroys beneficial enzymes. One of them, glucose oxidase, produces hydrogen peroxide, a natural disinfectant.
4. DIY Chamomile Cleanser
- ¼ cup organic chamomile tea
- ¼ cup liquid castile soap
- ¾ teaspoon sweet almond oil
- 3 drops tea tree oil
- 3 drops Vitamin E oil
- small bowl
- pump bottle
- Brew a strong cup of chamomile tea, reserving ¼ cup, and drink the rest. Pour the remaining ingredients into a small bowl, and add the cooled tea. Stir well, funnel into the bottle, and secure the cap. This formula yields about 4 ounces of cleanser. Refrigerate it between uses.
- Massage over face, and let sit for one minute before rinsing with warm water. Gently dry your face with a soft towel.
- Chamomile soothes skin inflammation, kills germs, brightens skin tone, and fades spots. Its astringent property tightens pores and aids tissue regeneration. Drinking the tea will relax your nerves. It’s an ideal way to end a day.
TIP – I recommend alternating daytime cleansing with the coconut oil + honey face wash and rosewater cleanser. Then, rotate evening washing with the honey + lemon and chamomile cleansers.
Top Organic Cleansers & Natural Face Wash Products
1. Christina Moss Naturals Face Wash
Also created for sensitive skin, this product is hypoallergenic. It’s free of harmful chemicals, synthetic fragrance, and dyes. It’s concentrated, so you only need a dime-sized amount for each use.
Skin-loving ingredients are citric acid, aloe vera, rosemary, and oils of coconut, olive, and sunflower. The company guarantees purity and freshness for six months from the purchase date. Bottles are recycled plastic, with biodegradable labels.
You can buy it here.
. Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash
This cleanser is specially made for oily and combination skin. It eliminates shine with castile soap and essential oils of tea tree and chamomile. Natural skin softeners are coconut oil and glycerin. The formula is free of preservatives, artificial dyes, and additives. The manufacturer doesn’t test on animals, and packaging is recycled and biodegradable. It’s not certified organic, but it’s still a great cleanser for oily skin.
3. Era Organics Natural Face Wash
The oil-balancing substances in this product are Manuka honey and aloe vera. The cleanser also contains Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E. Since it’s highly concentrated, you only need a dime-sized amount per use.
Unlike most soaps, this face wash is pH balanced. It’s also specially formulated for sensitive skin and isn’t tested on animals. Especially noteworthy is the 60-day, money-back guarantee.
You can find this product on Amazon here.
Note that this product contains sodium benzoate. This preservative can cause several side effects. (source)
Over time, you’ll appreciate having oily skin since you’ll be less prone to the signs of aging. Meanwhile, keep shine under control by minimizing stress and not using abrasive scrubbing agents. Also, try to stay well-hydrated, and eat mostly low GL foods.
Cleanse your face with either homemade washes or retail products with natural oil eliminators. During mornings, you might alternate the DIY coconut + honey face wash with rosewater cleanser. In the evenings, rotate the honey + lemon and chamomile cleansers.
If you prefer retail products and have sensitive skin, use Christina Moss Naturals. If your skin is especially oily, use Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash.
With lifestyle changes and oil-cutting cleansers, your skin should show a vast improvement. Say hello to a summer glow!
Do you have some natural tricks for nixing greasiness? What’s your favorite face wash for oily skin? Please share your expertise!
If you have oily skin and acne, I recommend that you read this post: Here’s How You Can Get Rid of Acne Once and for All. Also watch this video with Dr. Axe: