We are all looking for that perfect complexion, a balance between a natural glow and matte skin. However, there is a fine line between a glow and an oily mess–especially in the summer. Different factors like the time of the year, skin type, skincare, and makeup routine can affect how oily your skin gets throughout the day. We notice this primarily on what we call the “T-zone,” that is, your forehead, nose, and chin (they form a letter “T”).
That excess of oil comes with its share of side effects. Oily skin attracts more dirt and impurities, resulting in clogged pores, eventually turning into breakouts. So, how can we control that oily t-zone and keep our skin shine-free throughout the day?
What is Oily Skin, and Do You Have It?
There are four different skin types: dry, oily, normal, sensitive, and combination (1). Oily skin produces an excessive amount of oil (or sebum) that makes your face look and feel greasy. Some people are genetically predisposed to have oily skin; however, most of us notice increased oil production once we hit puberty. In addition, it is normal to see more of this shine on the forehead, nose, and chin (the t-zone) with oily skin. This is because the sebaceous glands in that area produce more sebum than the rest of your face (2).
To know if you have oily skin, wash your face and notice how long it takes to get shiny. Do not apply any moisturizer or other products. If it doesn’t take long for your t-zone to get oily or greasy, you have oily or combination skin.
Now that you know what oily skin is, how can you control the excess shine?
As annoying as it can be, the oil in our skin plays a vital role in the health of our skin. This oil our skin produces is called sebum. Sebum is produced by the sebaceous glands and is mixed with lipids to moisturize and protect the skin’s surface (3).
Also Read – 5 Homemade Fruit Face Packs for Oily Skin
7 Easy Ways to Control Excess Oil in the T-zone Naturally
1. Clean Your Face:
Wash your face morning and night with a mild cleanser. The type of cleanser plays an important factor in oil production. You want to use a cleanser that leaves your skin feeling comfortable and clean after using instead of using one that leaves your skin feeling tight and dry. We still need oil in our skin. Switch your cleanser according to the season; use something targeted for oily skin in the hotter months. And in the colder winter months, choose a cleanser for normal to combination skin. Just remember that regardless of the season, you want to avoid the tight feeling after cleansing.
2. Use a Toner:
A toner is a game-changer in your skincare routine. It is a liquid infused with different properties that help balance your skin after cleansing and prime it for the rest of your products (4). Balanced skin is happy skin that is less likely to overdry or overproduce oil. Choose a toner that is alcohol and fragrance-free, as those are known irritants to the skin. You can also opt to make your own natural toner with some rose water or cucumber with tomato.
You might think you don’t need to moisturize and hydrate oily skin; after all, you don’t want it any more greasy, right? But, on the contrary, you should still moisturize day and night. If your skin is oily all over, choose a lightweight gel moisturizer. Choose a water-based moisturizer if you are a combination with an oily t-zone but dry on the cheeks. Apply first where your skin is driest, and then use whatever is left on your fingers for your t-zone.
Little actions like touching your face throughout the day may be making your t-zone oilier. By constantly touching your face, you spread the oils and bacteria present in your hands to your skin (5). This mindless action will make you more prone to breakouts, irritations, and shine. Keep your fingers off your face and only touch it when applying your skincare products.
4. Hydrate from the inside:
Your body needs ample amounts of water to replenish, especially during summer. Drinking water helps to eliminate the toxins in your body naturally. A body that is well hydrated and is consistently flushing out toxins shows it on the skin–skin is more radiant, better hydrated, and balanced. The average person needs to have 8-10 glasses of water (2 liters) per day (6).
Exfoliating your skin, especially the T-zone, is important to control the oil and remove impurities trapped in your pores. Dead skin cells can trap even more oil and pollution particles in our skin, resulting in nasty breakouts. Exfoliation is designed to remove that layer of dead skin cells and elements that your cleanser cannot fully clear. You can make your own exfoliant (or scrub) at home! First, crush some soaked almonds until they are very fine, and then add milk. Gently massage the mixture on your t-zone. Repeat this process two to three times per week. You’ll notice your skin is more radiant than ever and your pores tighter.
6. Healthy Diet:
A diet rich in saturated fats, refined sugars like pizza, bacon, and deep-fried foods can hurt the look of your skin. Research has shown that those kinds of foods are associated with skin damage (7). Instead, add to your diet foods high in antioxidants like berries, carrots, tomatoes, salmon, nuts, etc. In addition, healthy fats like those found in nuts, avocado, and olive oil can significantly improve your skin’s look and feel.
Also Read – 10 Amazing Homemade Facial Kits for Oily Skin
7. Choose Oil-free Makeup:
For a shine-free complexion that lasts all day, choose oil-free makeup. Your skin is already producing all of the oil it needs; there is no need to add more with your makeup. For extra-lasting power, use a primer that helps control oil production before you apply your foundation. After, use a translucent powder to set the areas of your face you know tend to get the shiniest, like your nose, center of your forehead, and chin.
Oily skin that gets shiny throughout the day can get dehydrated. There is a big difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin. Dry skin is a skin type that lacks oil, whereas dehydrated skin is a condition where your skin lacks hydration. Oily skin that is dehydrated can still look greasy but dull at the same time; it often has a rough texture and is prone to flakiness. It needs water. Choose a water-based moisturizer that has hydrating ingredients like aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin. (8)
Natural Face Remedies to Control an Oily T-zone:
1. Aloe Vera:
Aloe Vera is one of the best natural remedies to control excess oil. This plant works as a natural astringent that absorbs sebum and dirt from the skin–all while hydrating your skin. To use, apply the aloe vera gel directly on your t-zone. Leave it for 30 minutes and then wash off with water.
For a refreshing and cooling twist, try this Aloe Vera and Cucumber mask recipe:
Mix aloe vera gel with two tablespoons of cucumber juice and apply it all over your skin. Leave it on for half an hour and then wash off. You can enjoy this mask a couple of times a week for the best results.
2. Tomato and Honey Mask:
Tomato helps balance your skin and reduce excess oil, while honey moisturizes and works as an anti-bacterial. Crush a tomato and mix it with honey until you have a thick paste that will not drip off your face. Apply on your t-zone (or your whole face if you are oily on your cheeks, too) and let it sit for 15 minutes.
3. Natural Astringent:
Make your own natural astringent (or toner) by taking ingredients like cucumber juice, witch hazel, rose water, and tomato juice. Most of this mix should be rose water, followed by cucumber juice, tomato juice, and finally, a very small amount of witch hazel. Use this toning astringent after washing your face for tighter pores and hydration.
4. Sandalwood, Turmeric, and Almond Oil Deep Pore Cleanse:
Sandalwood and turmeric provide anti-bacterial properties that help prevent breakouts. In addition, Almond oil pulls excess oil and impurities while moisturizing the skin. Mix equal parts of sandalwood powder and turmeric, and add four drops of almond oil and a bit of water to create a paste. Apply the paste to your nose (where the pores are the largest and produce the most sebum) and leave for 15 minutes. Wash off with warm water and notice tighter pores and a matte complexion.
5. Papaya Mask:
Papaya is a superfood for your skin. It is high in antioxidants that protect your skin against environmental damage, and it has enzymes that exfoliate your skin from impurities that may clog pores. Use it on your face by mashing pieces of ripe papaya into a bowl and add few drops of lemon into it– mix well. Next, apply this face mask on your face and neck, concentrating most of it on the T-zone. Wash it off after 20 minutes. This face mask is excellent for removing excess oil and giving a glow to your skin.
An oily t-zone is caused by excess oil production from the sebaceous glands. This can result in unwanted shine on the forehead, nose, and chin area. You can do little things daily to decrease excess oil production of your skin to have a healthier and better-balanced complexion. A diet rich in antioxidants, drinking enough water, and a skin-care routine tailored to your skin type will greatly improve your skin. Include homemade natural skin-care remedies to your routine to reduce that unwanted shine. From masks to toners, there are many ways you can take control of your skin and stay shine-free throughout the day.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can you get rid of oily skin forever?
Genetics plays a significant role in your skin type, and it will not change much as you age. However, once you go through big hormonal changes in your life, like puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, you will notice a few changes in your skin type. For example, your skin might become more or less oily than before. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to change your skin type, but many natural methods are available to control oil in your skin.
Are there any side effects to the remedies shared?
If you have any known allergies to any of the ingredients shared, avoid using that particular remedy. When trying anything new on your skin, always do a patch test on the side of your neck or forearm to test for an allergic reaction. If no reaction occurs, you can move on to a facial application. The Papaya Mask and Tomato and Honey mask may leave your skin more sensitive to UV light. After application, avoid direct sunlight and wear sunscreen.
Are there any benefits to having oily skin?
As much as you can dislike the unwanted shine that oily skin can have, it actually has many long-term benefits. The oils produced by the skin help moisturize and protect it, meaning that the skin is thicker and less likely to wrinkle.
- “The No BS Guide to Discovering Your Real Skin Type” – healthline.com
- “What Is Sebum and Why Does It Build Up on Skin and Hair?” – healthline.com
- “What is sebum?” – medicalnewstoday.com
- “Think Toners Are Pointless and Drying? You Might Want to Reconsider” – healthline.com
- “HOW TO CONTROL OILY SKIN” – aad.org
- “How Much Water Should You Drink Per Day?” – healthline.com
- “What are the best foods for healthy skin?” – mayoclinic.org
- “Dry Skin vs. Dehydrated: How to Tell the Difference — And Why It Matters” – healthline.com