Oily skin is like that one annoying neighbour that you just can’t seem to get rid of. It’s just always there making life more difficult for you. But what if we told you there are a few tips that could come in handy and help you to evict this annoying “neighbour”? It is normal for your skin to appear dull and somewhat clammy at the end of a tiring day. It happens to the best of us. But this supposed clamminess becomes a problem when it happens much sooner than the day’s end. If you notice oil starting to show up around your t-zone and chin area within 20-30 minutes of cleansing your face, chances are your skin is as oily as it comes.
Now there are many things you can do to manage your skin so that it can’t be confused with a treasure from the middle east. The primary action to take in this case is to obviously invest in good skincare i.e., Ayurvedic face wash and cleansers appropriate for removing excess oils (the most important), moisturizers that are light, hydrating gels to balance out your skin’s pH, and these are just the basics.
There are some great options out there when it comes to face washes and you could certainly go down the chemical route with ingredients like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, benzoyl peroxide, niacinamide, and more. But, we’re bigger fans of natural, ayurvedic ingredients that deliver on their promises without the baggage of side effects. Keep on reading to know a few ingredients found in ayurvedic face washes that are just perfect for people with oily skin.
What Is Oily Skin?
We’ve been rambling on for quite a while about how troublesome oily skin is but we haven’t really discussed just what it is. Let’s explore it a bit on that front, shall we?
So scientifically speaking, oily skin is the natural state of your skin when your sebaceous glands overproduce sebum (natural oils and fatty substances), which are released to your skin’s surface through the pores. Talking in layman’s terms, oily skin is a result of the overproduction of oil which can happen due to a magnitude of reasons. This excessive oiliness on the face can often look unattractively shiny, attract unnecessary attention to texture & enlarged pores, and be a glorious bed for dirt, pollution, and impurities in the environment to stick to. Who wants to go through all of that? Certainly not us!
If you’re Ayurveda fanatics, like us, you likely know a fair bit about why people have their respective skin types. The Ayurvedic philosophy suggests that the characteristics of our bodies are determined by ayurvedic 3 primary doshas - Vatta, Pitta, and Kapha. It is the last dosha i.e. Kapha, associated with earth water that is responsible for oily skin. Kapha skin is obviously oily in appearance, thick-textured, somewhat soft, with large pores, and is quite prone to cystic acne.
Now, don’t get us wrong. Having oily skin isn’t necessarily the bane of all existence. In fact, Ayurveda actually suggests that people with oily skin age better and more gracefully because their skin is less likely to get fine lines and wrinkles that make themselves at home due to dryness. So, having oily skin can be good in the long run but a pain for the time being, which is why it is important to learn how to manage it. That is where we come in!
A Simple Guide for Picking Ayurvedic Face Wash Ingredients for Oily Skin
By now, you have a bit more in-depth knowledge of what oily skin is, what determines the oily nature of one’s skin, and what causes does Ayurveda define? So naturally, the next step is to learn how to deal with oily skin and manage it efficiently. As suggested earlier, one such way to do so is to opt for suitable types of ayurvedic face wash or cleansers with ingredients that target oily skin and all its comorbid problems specifically. Mentioned below is a simple guide on how to pick ingredients that can do wonders for you and how to identify the ones that are big red flags for your skin type.
What to Use?
Here is a list of some popular and some herbal ingredients found in ayurvedic face washes in cleansers that people with oily skin should undoubtedly dive in: -
- Aloe vera- It’s no secret that this sticky, gooey plant is quite possibly a godsend for irritated skin. Aloe vera just soothes like no other, better than a Mohammad Rafi song on a rainy evening. It is also no secret oily skin is annoyingly easy to irritate. Pair these two, and you get magic.
- Blood Orange- Most citrus fruits have astringent properties. Astringents are great for stripping off all that extra sebum & excess oil and help in reducing acne. Blood orange is also packed with vitamins and antioxidants. So naturally (pun intended), finding it in your ayurvedic face wash makes complete sense.
- Chandan (Sandalwood)- The love affair between Chandan (often used as a spot treatment) and pimple/acne is as old as the tale of time. In the world of Ayurveda, Sandalwood is known for its incredibly soothing and anti-septic properties. So, it should be no surprise that a Chandan-based ayurvedic face wash can be fantastic for oily, acne-prone skin.
- Cucumber- At this point, you already know, cucumber is practically just water, what could possibly go wrong? Cucumbers have high amounts of Vitamin C, which prepares the skin to undergo weather changes by packing in hydration and supplying antioxidants.
- Eucalyptus- This is one of those underrated plants that just doesn’t get the attention for its miraculous wonders on oily skin but totally should. Eucalyptus is antibacterial, anti-infection, and anti-inflammatory. So pretty much a dream for the oily-skinned folks. Research suggests that this plant is rather effective at providing relief from acne very quickly and hence it is finding its way into ayurvedic face washes.
- Lemongrass- This herb adds as much value to cleansers for oily skin as it adds flavor to Thai and Vietnamese dishes. Lemongrass is good for more things than just an addition to your cup of chai. People with specially enlarged pores in their oily skin should definitely invest in a good ayurvedic face wash that lists lemongrass as an ingredient because of its pore-cleaning, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties.
- Multani Mitti (Fuller’s earth)- A cleansing agent in and of itself, Multani mitti is a type of clay that acts as a gentle exfoliator. It soaks up impurities, dirt, and grime and removes excess sebum, leaving behind an appropriate amount of natural oil on the skin. Multani mitti ayurvedic face washes can be game-changers for Kapha-type skin.
- Neem Leaves- This is that one herb that completely deserves all the hype it gets. The talks of neem being the ramban ilaaj (holy grail remedy) for acne have gone through pretty much every Indian household. Often referred to as a “miracle tree” and “reliever of sickness”, Neem has been used for various medicinal purposes for more than 5000 years in the world of Ayurveda. Its antibacterial properties keep a check on breakouts and infections by clearing out sebum and impurities from deep within the pores.
- Triphala- The legendary Indian superfruit Triphala, contains antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and laxative (when consumed orally) properties. Comprising of three berries - Haritaki (a natural astringent, antibacterial and emollient in nature; it purifies the skin), Amalaki (anti-aging and antioxidant; helps in maintaining a youthful appearance), and Bibbitaki (responsible for toning and cell regeneration), Triphala becomes the perfect powerhouse for most skin types and especially targets oily skin to achieve its healthiest and most beautiful potential.
- Turmeric- This Indian spice is pretty much a potent form of anti-inflammatory properties that are known to combat acne and oil like no other. A great addition to cleansers, homemade-face masks, serums, and more, Turmeric or Haldi works wonders for Kapha skin and can most commonly be found in ayurvedic face washes paired with neem.
What to Avoid?
Just like everything that shines isn’t always gold, everything natural may not always be the best for you. Here is a short list of natural ingredients in ayurvedic face wash you should steer clear of if your skin is rather oily: -
- Almond, Castor, Coconut, Olive, and Sesame Oil- As the popularity of oil-based cleansers and makeup removers has risen in the past decade, it has become more common for people to choose face washes that have high amounts of oils. Oily cleansers can be great for dry-skinned people but are obviously not the best choice for people with oily skin, especially cleansers that have thicker types of oil such as coconut or castor, etc. The smartest thing to do in this case is to avoid these oils entirely because thicker fats don’t penetrate well into the depths of your skin, and thus end up creating a layer over the skin’s surface, which can clog your pores and ultimately won’t let your skin breathe.
- Malai- It is common for people with oily skin to make the mistake of putting malai (milk cream) on their faces, and boy does this mistake bring about catastrophic consequences. Raw milk has lactic acid which can be great for combatting oily skin. Malai, on the other hand, is pure fat (you can literally harvest ghee out of it!) and can make your skin look even greasier. It is also comedogenic, meaning it blocks your pores and gives lots of bumps and blackheads, yikes! So, all those ayurvedic face washes that claim to have the goodness of malai, kiss them goodbye.
- Commercial Honey- While honey is usually praised in Ayurveda for its antibacterial & acne-fighting properties as well as its ability to get rid of excess oil from the skin, you seldom find 100% pure honey that is not processed and has no added sugar. High amounts of sugar present in commercial, adulterated honey can be comedogenic for your skin and make it react. And many commercial brands don’t use pure honey in their ayurvedic face washes. Best to avoid it for your oily skin’s sake.
- Gram Flour- Though gram flour is the perfect gentle exfoliator for oily skin, for the most part, it can on occasion cause allergic reactions in people with enlarged and irritated pores. If you absolutely must use a ayurvedic face wash with besan (gram flour) in it, it is advisable to do a small patch test along your jaw to figure out if you’re allergic or not.
How to Manage Oily Skin?
The best way to manage oily skin is to have a set down a skincare regime that caters to your needs and comprises products suitable for your skin type. One more important thing to keep in mind is to stay away from too much variation. Oily skin is naturally more sensitive meaning it is very prone to reacting to new substances and formulations. To maintain a normal pH, avoid adding or removing steps from your routine too often. Once you have achieved a regimen that works well for you, stick to it. Here’s a little guide that can help: -
- Cleanse- Whether you choose a commercial ayurvedic face wash, or formulate one for yourself at home, you must use your choice diligently. Cleansing is undoubtedly the most important part of your skincare routine as an oily-skinned person. Make sure your ayurvedic face wash has the ingredients that your skin needs and cleanse your face gently & wash using warm water (it helps in releasing excess oils and clearing out clogged pores) Pat dry using a soft cotton towel or a t-shirt. Do not drag or tug the towel across your face.
- Exfoliate- Choose a gentle exfoliator in accordance with your skin’s needs, appropriate for your skin type, and exfoliate your entire face, paying special attention to the T-zone i.e. your forehead & nose along with inner cheeks and chin. Do this only 1-2 times a week. Over-exfoliating can be seriously damaging to your skin.
- Tone- Freshen up your skin with a gentle toner and balance its pH. You can choose which toner suits your requirements best but personally, we’re fans of just plain, old good quality, pure & authentic, distilled rose face water. It gets the job done like no other.
- Hydrate- Once your toner seeps into the skin, apply a hydrating gel on your face to maximize hydration and make up for any water loss that may have happened since you washed and dried your face.
- Moisturize- Apply some light moisturizer or your favorite cream and lock in all that good moisture. Do not overdo this step, you still want your skin to be able to breathe.
- Repeat- Repeat this entire routine sincerely to maintain and manage your skin’s health. You may alternate a few products for their night versions to use in your night time routine, but be regular.
- Sleep Well- Your body needs rest. Being asked to sleep properly for a good 6-8 hours seems like a textbook, redundant solution to a very rampant problem, but we promise you, it works! Being well-rested eliminates the possibility of you breaking out from stress and takes the load off of your glands that would otherwise overproduce oil and sebum as a result of being under stress.
- Eat Proper Nutrition- Your body treats you how you treat it. It is important to govern what goes inside. Your nutrition makes up for a significant portion of your skin’s health, which means eating a well-balanced diet, with a good amount of protein, vitamins, leafy greens, drinking 3 litres of water a day, and saying no to fatty foods and ginormous amounts of carbs can help detoxify your body from the inside out and keep a check on your oily, acne-prone skin.
Oily skin can be super difficult to deal with, it may mess with your confidence at times, but by no means is it something to be ashamed of. Having oily and sebaceous glands is a very common phenomenon that can sometimes even be a blessing (it delays signs of aging, woohoo!). If you’re not the biggest fan of your oily skin, managing it effectively is simpler than it may seem. Following the tips and information provided in this guide can help to a great extent.