My daughter was teased in high school about her oily skin–she wants a “clean slate” (and a clean-looking face) now that she’s graduated and is going to meet new friends in college. What products do you recommend to fight acne and oil slicks?
Dr. Linda Miles L. Ac., D.O.M. responds:
As your daughter knows, oily skin can be frustrating since it generally tends to be shiny all over – on the cheeks, jaw line and the t-zone. It may be that her pores are also enlarged and visibly clogged, which leads to blemishes and breakouts.
When caring for oily skin, many people make common mistakes such as washing constantly with harsh, drying cleansers or skipping their moisturizers out of fear of adding more shine. In order to achieve more balanced, clearer skin, choosing the right skincare routine that encompasses healthy, natural skin care products and the correct lifestyle choices are essential for optimal skin health.
To start, have her choose skincare products that contain gentle, yet scientifically proven effective, herbs that balance skin oils and clear and prevent blemishes. Rosewood acts as both an antiseptic and an astringent and can help balance both dry and oily skin. Tea tree, one of my favorite natural first-aid remedies, contains powerful antiseptic and antibacterial properties that help clear blemishes and prevent breakouts. Willow bark, the natural source of salicylic acid, is a common ingredient in many over-the-counter blemish-fighting products. It can help remove dead skin, dirt and toxins, and unclog pores. Lavender, another one of my favorites, contains astringent and antibacterial properties to help fight breakouts. Lastly, Chamomile has strong anti-inflammatory properties, making it ideal for helping reduce redness and calm skin.
These herbs are combined in derma e®’s Very Clear® Problem Skin Cleanser, Cleansing Scrub, Problem Skin Moisturizer, Spot Blemish Treatment and Problem Skin Body Wash and work very well together to balance skin oils and help clear and prevent breakouts.
Because blemishes can be the result of too much bacteria, this gentle yet effective cleanser should be used with warm (not hot) water 2-3 times a day. Then, follow with the moisturizer that balances hydration and provides nutrients to the skin. Oily skin and breakouts do not occur from too much moisture from a facial moisturizer; they result from skin that is not balanced. The spot blemish treatment is also good for specific breakout areas. Exfoliating at least once a week will also be beneficial, because it prevents build-up of older skin cells and stimulates new cell growth.
Since hormones and nutrition can affect skin, making healthy lifestyle choices will also make a difference. To relieve stress, any type of exercise, outdoor activities, long walks, yoga, stretching and breathing exercises will be beneficial. A good night’s sleep, about 7 to 8 hours is also ideal. Additionally, a balanced diet with fresh fruits and vegetables, very few processed foods and plenty of water is very important.
While oily skin and blemishes can zap confidence, hopefully this natural approach will help your daughter and anyone looking to feel good on the inside and out.
Dr. Linda Miles L. Ac., D.O.M., is Vice President of derma e® Natural Bodycare. Read beauty q & a with derma e for great tips on natural beauty and skincare.