By Vineetha Reddy.
One of the greatest beauty concerns of today is battling with oily skin and the breakouts of acne associated with it. Perhaps you find it annoying and unfair when your friends with flawless skin complain about a miniscule bump on their face. Do you roll your eyes each time someone cries loud about how oily their skin gets due to the summer heat? You know all too well that if there was an award for the most difficult skin, you’d be one of the top contenders. You’ve tried all possible cosmetics and drugs to help you overcome this problem, but nothing has worked.
When all else fails, you must hail the goodness of nature. Here are five natural tricks to help you treat oily skin and acne:
1) Honey: Honey is one of the most favoured ingredients by gourmet food specialists the world over, but did you know that it’s also renowned for its remarkable skin healing and restorative properties? It is a natural humectant that retains your skin’s moisture (not oiliness) that common face washes tend to strip off. It also helps tighten the skin’s pores, thereby reducing the over-activity of your skin’s sebaceous glands. Owing to its antibacterial and antiseptic properties, honey also helps subside and treat acne.
How to use it: Apply honey on the affected areas of your skin and leave it on for 15–20 minutes. Wash your skin with a gentle face wash and pat dry.
2) Lemon: During summer, a chilled glass of lemonade is just what you need to revitalise your senses. Lemon is also what your skin needs to fight oiliness and acne scars. The anti-inflammatory properties of lemon help soothe oily and acne-prone skin. Being a natural astringent, lemon tightens skin pores and reduces the recurrence of acne. Lemon also has antifungal and antibacterial properties that fight skin infections and heal scars. It is rich in citric acid known to improve skin tone, lighten dark spots and soothe the skin.
How to use it: Cut a lemon into half and rub it on the affected areas of your skin, while squeezing the juice out. Leave it on for 10 minutes and wash off with water.
3) Clay mask: In a world where chemically laden beauty products are so sought after, the wonders of this all-natural skin mask may have been forgotten. From the Queen Cleopatra of Egypt to your beloved grandmother, many women through the years have sworn by the magical effect of Fuller’s earth on the skin. Packed with skin-friendly minerals like magnesium, silica, iron, calcium, calcite and dolomite, Fuller’s earth keeps the skin healthy and glowing. Its magnesium chloride helps absorb the skin’s excess oil, without stripping it of its moisture. It is also an excellent cleansing agent that removes dirt, grime, oil and dead skin cells. Its antiseptic properties fight acne while its anti-bacterial properties prevent the eruptions of acne.
How to use it: Mix half a tablespoon Fuller’s earth with rose water. Apply it on your face and leave on for 15 minutes. Wash it off with water.
4) Apple cider vinegar: Known as a single cure for a variety of health concerns like weight loss and improved cardiovascular health, apple cider vinegar is also highly effective in treating oily skin and acne scars. It contains malic acid and acetic acid which have antimicrobial properties that provide protection against acne and skin infections. It also helps regulate the skin’s pH which, if unbalanced, can trigger acne. It even helps improve skin tone.
How to use it: Dip a ball of cotton into a cup filled with ACV and dab it onto the affected areas of your skin. If you have highly sensitive skin, mix apple cider vinegar with water and then apply it to the skin. Leave it on for 10 minutes and wash off your skin with water. Moisturise soon after.
5) Tomato: Did you know that this juicy vegetable is also a great skincare ingredient recommended by dermatologists the world over? Tomatoes contain a chemical called lycopene that boosts skin health, prevents premature aging of the skin and provides protection against UV damage. The acidity of tomato juice helps tighten skin pores and prevents your skin from generating excess oil. Its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce your skin’s redness and irritation. Tomatoes are a powerhouse of nutrients that contain vitamins A, C, E and K. Tretinoin is derived from vitamin A; it speeds up the process of skin regeneration. The high antioxidant content of tomatoes has a rejuvenating effect on the skin.
How to use it: Mash the pulp of a tomato and apply it on the affected areas of your skin. Leave it on for an hour before washing it with water.
Regardless of whether your skin is oily or dry, these remedies are sure to revive your skin and restore its natural glow. This summer, ditch the chemically infused products and go the natural way!
A regular practitioner and adviser of everything related to nutrition, fitness, health and wellness, Vineetha Reddy also contributes to this knowledge ecosystem through her writing. She strongly believes that the organic food you find in your pantry will provide the best benefits for good health. Follow her on Twitter for her ideas and solutions.