Did you know, your skin can be oily and dehydrated at the same time?! If you’re lacking a little H20 and your skin is dehydrated, your sebum production will kick in… but in overdrive. Before you know it, you will have excess oil yet still lack the much-needed hydration your skin is singing out for. This is the perfect recipe for those uninvited little lumps known as milia, clogged pores, and breakouts. The fact is, everyone has oil in their skin. Under each and every one of your pores is a sebaceous gland. This is necessary to produce natural oils called sebum which helps keep your skin hydrated and healthy. So what causes oily skin? Oily skin is usually caused by excess sebum being produced by the body. It can be affected by many factors, and the good news is, some are completely under your control. Most people with oily skin types try to eliminate the problem the wrong way which circles back to becoming more of a problem. It’s important to understand how your skin’s production of oil can be affected and the everyday skincare faux par’s that only enhance the circle of oily skin. Most factors of oily skin are caused by hormones. Hormones play such a big part of regulation in the body and can affect your mood to your skin health. A few common experiences can trigger hormonal changes that lead to an increase in sebum production: Diet, sleep deprivation, pregnancy, puberty, menstruation, and stress. Puberty and menstruation are a fact of life so understanding how to roll with it is crucial. Also in this bracket, falls pregnancy. A sudden mammoth change in hormone levels and most significantly, testosterone levels rise around ovulation. Similarly, times of high stress or sleep deprivation alter hormonal levels and upsets the balance. This causes commotion as the body tussles to release new hormones that enable us to cope with such new demands being placed on us. You can imagine this rollercoaster process only plays disruption with our hormonal balance. The conclusion is that life events such as puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and stress can all cause skin to become oily. How to manage oily skin 1. Breath easy With life being so busy and non-stop these days, it is no surprise that stress can build. As well as causing havoc with your mental and physical health, stress is another culprit of bad skin. When we’re stressed our body produces an excess amount of cortisol, which causes a hormonal reaction that can lead to breakouts. It’s an easy vicious cycle of destruction as we endeavour to hide such breakouts with concealers and make-up tools yet that again clogs pores and can lead to worsening breakouts. Sometimes it is not so much as a skincare routine but a breather (literally), that you might need… take a deep breath, it calms the mind. 2. You are what you eat The proverbial saying ‘You are what you eat’ is the notion that to be fit and healthy from the inside out, you need to eat good food. It’s probably not revolutionary news but put simply, healthy eating is the key to wellbeing. We all have up to 100 trillion cells in our bodies, each one demanding a constant supply of daily nutrients in order to function optimally. You need to think of food as fuel and nourishment which in turn takes us back to those hormone balances and hence healthy skin. Sugar is the biggest culprit ingredient that causes sebum production. If you’ve been wrestling with oily skin and looking for a cure, eliminating processed sugar from your diet may be the solution you’re looking for. Convenience foods are the ones to avoid as they throw it all at you! Sugar in any form influences the two major causes of acne: hormones and inflammation. If you’re interested in limiting or quitting sugar and dairy, you might not have to completely say goodbye to it. How often you consume it and which products you cut out may make a difference, too. Zinc helps to regulate the oil-producing glands, so they behave better! What’s more, a diet deficient in zinc, magnesium, vitamin B, and omega 3 may contribute to oil production. The bottom line is, be aware of what you are putting into your body and remember that good old saying, “everything in moderation”. 3. Wash away the day We know to always wash the day off before we go to bed and we know how good it feels to freshen up in the morning with a splash of cold, but washing more than twice a day can be detrimental to your skin health and affect oil production. As tempting as it may be to give a little douse to a detected oily patch when you catch a glimpse in the mirror at lunch, try to abstain! This is is only giving signals to the skin that oil is being washed away so it will produce more. Your skin automatically thinks the oil needs to be replenished which results in over-production. It is advisable to stick with your cleansing routine just twice a day to create that perfect base. 4. Scrub a dub dub (…but not too much)! You may be inclined to reach for the scrub to ‘scrub away’ the oil but again you are sending the wrong messages to the balance of oil in your skin. Intrusive scrubbing actually means getting rid of the natural sebum, or oil, in your skin can again cause more oil to be produced in response. The secret it to get your tools right! Instead of aggressive exfoliation, using a salicylic acid treatment means dissolving oils (drying them up) rather than eliminating and encouraging overproduction. While we discuss the right tools, make sure you’re not using pore-cloggers! These will increase the tendency for more breakouts. By clogging the pores of the skin you trap oil underneath and such obstruction isn’t going to give you that sought-after glow! 5. Hydrated skin is happy skin It’s a common mistake to think oily skin doesn’t require a moisturiser. In fact, skipping moisturiser could actually make your skin more oily than it was, to begin with as the moisturiser actually helps reduce the oiliness because it helps slow down sebum production. 6. Makeup only magnifies the beauty that already exists Makeup into play when the skin overcompensates to replenish the oils. If you really can’t escape that feeling a toner brings, it’s best to try one without alcohol for a gentler approach.But make sure your trusty kit isn’t going to add another layer of oiliness on top! As we now know, oily skin is already over-producing the stuff that leaves us looking greasy and shiny and it messes with our complexion. You can still wake up and make-up but look for oil-free products! It’s true that with a good brush, you can be a good artist, and as good as the electric cleansing brushes are, it’s the same deal with eradicating oils that the skin then goes into overdrive to reproduce… so go easy and limit use to once a day! 7. Treat with the help from professionals Professional treatments and products are a great way to help manage oily skin. At Total Body Concept our best treatments for oily skin are the Bespoke Mandelic Peel, Microdermabrasion, A-Zyme Peel and Blue Light LED. Our Ultraceuticals range has a number of products that help combat oily skin, including Ultra Clear Foaming Cleanser, Purifying Mask, Balancing Gel Cleanser and Hydration Lotion.