Let’s face it, between the skyrocketing temperatures and festive outdoor activities, summer - as wonderful as it is - is definitely “oily” season. Luckily, the plethora of summer fruits and veggies makes it easier than ever to tweak your diet so you can decrease excess oil production. Here are a few nutrition and beauty tips I give my clients with oily skin to help them balance their skin naturally.
1. Eat more raw, crunchy foods and lower your salt intake
Just like we choose skin care based on our skin type, we should tailor our food choices around our skin type as well. Because people with oily skin tend to retain water and have a slower metabolism than those with other skin types, eating a lot of raw, crunchy foods that require larger amounts of fluid to digest will decrease excess fluid in the body. Fresh salads, raw and crunchy fruits and veggies, and dry grains like fresh popcorn or rice cakes are preferable to the cooked, moist versions of the same foods. The goal is to kick-start digestion to burn off excess water stored in the tissues, which will in turn rev up metabolism so the body can effectively detoxify. Note: do NOT decrease your water intake, as your organ systems require plenty of water each day to function. Click HERE to calculate how much water your body needs daily.
2. Avoid added fats and refined oils
I’m all for the consumption of healthy fats, but to decrease excess oil production in the skin, we also need to decrease oil and fat consumption in the diet (as opposed to dry skin types, who need a bit more fat/oil in their diets). Eating foods that contain natural fat is okay in moderation, but avoid adding a lot of extra fat and oils during cooking. For example, if you’re sautéing veggies, use one teaspoon of oil, or just enough to moisten the pan, and consider skipping that spoonful of coconut oil and almond butter in your morning smoothie (while these foods are healthy in general, they should be decreased when dealing with a chronic oily skin imbalance). Above all else, avoid processed foods with refined oils like soybean and other “vegetable” oils because they are toxic and cause oxidative damage at a cellular level. Instead, choose unrefined, cold-pressed oils for cooking.
3. Be careful of dairy consumption
I don't enjoy telling people this, but dairy builds mucous in the body that is then stored in the tissues. This excess mucous creates a sluggish metabolism, which means the body is unable to detoxify properly. Excess toxins and mucous in the system will eventually find their way to the surface of the skin in the form of blackheads, acne and excess oil. Complete avoidance of dairy isn’t necessary, unless you have an allergy or intolerance, but definitely keep it on your “occasional” foods list. Note: avoid “low-fat” dairy products - they have been highly processed to remove naturally occurring fats and are, therefore, highly inflammatory. (Keep in mind that milk used topically on the skin can be beneficial because it removes impurities, strengthens lax pores and softens the skin, while bypassing the digestive tract).
4. Enjoy tea or coffee on the daily
If you have chronically oily skin and love coffee or caffeinated tea, then you’re in luck. Consuming 1-2 cups of a caffeinated beverage tends to “wake up” the body’s digestion, and hence, metabolism. Excess caffeine will fray your nerves and cause stress hormones, like cortisol, to increase. If you opt for a caffeinated drink, just don’t add heavy cream, syrups or sugary creamers, as these are mucous-building or inflammatory.
5. Use an aloe and/or rosewater-based toner
Celebrated for centuries for its skin beautifying properties, aloe has been proven by modern-day science to have powerful anti-inflammatory benefits while working to reduce the swelling and redness that accompany acne and irritation. Aloe is also highly moisturizing without being greasy - an added bonus for oily skin. Rosewater, made by distilling rose petals with steam, is highly moisturizing, helps to minimize pores, and is filled with nourishing antioxidants and bacteria-fighting compounds. Check out BLOOM’s Hydrating Botanical Mist formulated with pure aloe, rosewater and essential oils that shield the skin from toxins HERE.
6. Use an oil-absorbing (not stripping) facial cleanser
While the idea of stripping oil from the skin with sudsy cleansers is appealing to many oily-skinned gals, it’s precisely the opposite of what the skin needs. The goal is to remove make-up, dirt, grime, pollutants and grease sitting on top of the skin, but not to alter the skin’s pH (which needs to remain more acidic - harsh cleansers make it more alkaline). Remember, the body is always seeking balance. Because that “squeaky clean” feeling means the skin’s pH is extremely out of balance, skin cells respond by overproducing the oils that have been stripped. It’s a vicious cycle and one that you can stop, starting now! Using a gentle daily exfoliant with natural, oil-absorbing ingredients will remove waste from the skin without altering the pH. BLOOM’s Everyday Brightening Polish for oily skin is formulated with rice powder that lightly sloughs off dirt and dead skin cells while absorbing oil (which gets rinsed off after cleansing). POLISH also contains organic lemon peel, which is nutritive and antiseptic, thereby giving the skin nourishment while guarding against unwanted toxins. Learn more about our POLISH for oily skin HERE.
I hope this article has shed some light on ways to balance your oily skin naturally. If you learned anything new, feel free to share with your friends and family so we can all enjoy happy, balanced skin together!
To your glowing skin!
Misty, BLOOM Founder & Nutrition Therapist