5 natural solutions to oily skin

There are times when having oily skin can feel like the worst. Constant breakout, having to wash your hair every 12 hours, constant shiny skin. Of course the good news is that oily skin doesn’t age as much as dry skin. So we look like teenagers for longer, albeit with all the teenage skin problems.

There are many expensive ‘solutions’ for oily skin, however before you fork out the big bucks, give these natural remedies a try with stuff that can be found in your own kitchen.

Tomatoes

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Tomatoes contain vitamin C which is good for fighting off spots, and also natural oil-absorbing acids. To reep the benefits, cut a tomato in half and rub the gooey side over the skin. Leave to dry and then wash off. You may look a little silly, but it’s worth a try.

Egg Whites

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Whisk up a bowl of egg whites until stiff and apply to skin for 15 minutes to get all the skin clearing benefits of vitamin A.

Lemon juice

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The astringent and antiseptic qualities of lemon juice make it great for drying and clearing up your skin. Mix with honey to make a face mask with the added antibacterial qualities that honey brings.

Yogurt

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As well as having plenty of health benefits when put INSIDE your face, yogurt also comes with benefits when put ON your face. The lactic acid is a great oil absorber. Just apply natural yogurt to skin for 15 minutes.

Cucumber

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Vitamins A and E are the best ‘beauty’ vitamins, and cucumbers are full of both. They also have cooling properties which help with angry breakouts, and magnesium and potassium for oily skin. Run cucumber slices on your face (yes, seriously) and leave overnight.

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Clearasil Review

I remember using these Clearasil Pads as a youth, before I finally went to the doctor for my acne and was prescribed a specialised treatment. But considering what I was up against, they worked pretty hard to clear my skin.

After coming off my prescription treatment a few years ago, I still get the odd breakout. Recently I had one that was worse than ever. Most of my treatments I use now are more cosmetic than clinical but I realised I needed some decent, over-the-counter spot stuff, stat!

I tried various Freederm creams (rubbish) and then remembered that these Clearasil pads held their own pretty well against a 14 year olds acne, so maybe they’d be just what I need now

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Sometimes with adult acne, the teenage products are the best you can get over-the-counter. Each pad is infused with a spot treating cocktail, with active ingredient, Salicylic acid. Just rub over problem areas after washing your face. They’re pretty good at keeping spots at bay and drying out existing spots. But if your skin is really bothering you, the best thing to do it go to your doctor. There are some great prescription spot treatments. However, this product works really well for the odd breakout.

African Black Soap: The Miracle Skincare Product

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African Black soap has long been praised for its miraculous curative effects on acne. After I came across some in my local health food shop/yoga centre I couldn’t wait to try it.

African Black soap is suitable for all skin types and can be used as a replacement for your ordinary face wash. I was skeptical as to how affective a soap could be on my skin. I never really think that my cleanser has any effect on my skin, because we wash it right off! But after a week I can definitely see some positive changes in my skin. My breakouts are less frequent, my scars are faded, and my skin is so soft.

It has a different effect on everyone, and each batch is unique. Therefore you cannot predict how your skin will react. It can be too drying on some skin and it can even burn, so its a good idea to test it on a small part of your skin before you rub it all over your face. Some people like to cut the raw soap with other ingredients such as shea butter to make it easier on the skin.

As well as being great for acne, it is full of antioxidants, it helps fade discolouration, it is healing and has even been known to be great for exzema and psoriasis. It is definitely worth trying.

How to cover acne with makeup

Having suffered from acne in varying degrees of seriousness over the past ten years, I undertand how important makeup can be. With the right foundation routine, you can achieve the semblance of perfect skin, at least temporarily. That’s a big deal when you have acne.

How to cover up cystic acne

This makeup tutorial takes you through one girls routine in covering up her cystic acne. It’s informative, helpful and relatable. If you are struggling with the nightmare that is acne, I recommend this video. You are not alone in your struggle.

Tea Tree Face Mask Review

I love face masks. I love that feeling when you’ve got a face mask on, and your hair soaking up a treatment in a shower cap with your feet up and a cup of tea. The ritual of the face mask has become so much more than what it actually does for your skin, that I forgot that there are products out there that really do improve your skin.

The Body Shop Tea Tree line has long been praised for its treatment of spot prone skin.

I have been using their Tea Tree Face Mask for months for fun, before I realised that it is actually working wonders on my skin.

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There’s plenty in there, I have been using huge amounts for about 3 months and I have only used about half. I use it quite frequently just on my problem areas, and then every now and then I will apply it all over my face for a deep treatment.

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Being tea tree, it does leave your skin feeling minty fresh.  That’s the only way to describe it. It tingles. If you have sensitive skin, however, it may be best to use sparingly.

I have really noticed an improvement in my skin since I started using it so I really recommend it to anyone with oily and spot prone skin. Its fun, and it works.

Sudocrem – Not just for nappie rash anymore

Sudocrem as a beauty product may not be your first thought about this household staple, but they have just released a skin care cream (£2.11) that might just change your mind.

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Sudocrem has long been used for its healing properties. When I was a youth I used to use the antiseptic cream on my spots and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone there. Now they have released their Skin Care Cream specifically for spot and acne prone skin. I’m so excited about this product, because it is so rare to find an over the counter blemish clearing product that actually works. Let alone for such a good price.

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I applied it at night after washing my face, rubbing it into my skin (it can be left on as a face mask, which is what Towie star Lauren Pope does). I wasn’t expecting to see results for a few days but the next morning I could definitely notice a difference. I have oily, spot prone skin and even when my skin is clear, I can always feel bumps under the surface waiting to become spots. After using this those bumps went down, and after just two uses they were almost completely gone. My redness was also reduced. In general, my skin was much calmer.

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It is very thick in consistency so a little goes a long way. Especially if you are rubbing it into the skin. Or you can use a bit more and leave it to soak into the skin over night. (see picture above)

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I definitely recommend this product, even if you don’t have spot prone skin. Some people use it just for a glow. Lara Stone says she uses it on planes to refresh her skin before landing. And at £2, its a no brainer really.

When it comes to your face, just do you!

We can do what we like with our faces. They are OUR faces. I don’t wear makeup often, and haven’t done for a couple of years and here’s why.

First of all, I am incredibly lazy. I could happily spend the rest of my life watching netflix surrounded by cats. So if I have to choose between more time in bed and wearing makeup, my bed will always win. I’ve always been fairly confident about being makeup free since my school days. We weren’t allowed to wear makeup until 6th form.  We had to report to our housemistress every morning for ‘the face wipe test’ and it didn’t matter where we were, if a teacher thought we had makeup on they would use the public humiliation technique to scar us from ever daring to cover up a spot again. This seemed cruel and unnecessary (and still does to some extent). Teenage girls are walking insecurities. I had horrible acne that would later leave scars that took years to fade. I hated my nose and was convinced people wouldn’t notice it if I drew attention to my eyes so I would line the hell out of them. But on that first makeup free day, the world did not end. Turned out everyone had spots, and no one looked that much different without our poorly applied makeup. I still had boyfriends and no one set themselves on fire at the sight of my real face. Even though I think it is unfair not to let teenagers at least wear concealer for their spots, I cannot deny it gave me a confidence in myself that has never left. So thank you, school. Kind of.

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Obviously as soon as I left school I learnt how to apply makeup properly and embraced how fun and transformative it can be. I really love painting faces, and still do. However a couple of years ago I went a long time without makeup and I got to know my face all over again and I became really attached to it. I am really fond of my unique face with all its lumps and bumps and when I wear makeup now I don’t feel 100% comfortable. I still love applying it and trying out new products, but I take it off again relatively quickly, and I probably only wear it now about once a month. I know it seems weird to feel more comfortable without makeup, but I just prefer to see my unaltered face looking back at me in the mirror. It upsets me that women who choose not to wear makeup are labelled as lazy or slobs.

On the other end of the spectrum, it also upsets me when people judge men and women who wear a lot of makeup or who need makeup to feel comfortable. As much as we can choose not to wear makeup, we can also choose to wear as much makeup as we want. When I do wear makeup for a night out I wear A LOT! And I’m sure I speak for most people who wear makeup when I say we do not do it to attract people, we do not care if you think it’s too much, we do not care if you think we are prettier without it. Our main concern isn’t pleasing strangers. We wear it because it’s fabulous and makes us look fierce and it’s fun to apply. We can be creative and reflect our personality with the canvas that is our face and the paint that is our makeup. It is art, and anyone who thinks otherwise is unenlightened. And for some people, a signature makeup look can be part of their personality. It reflects who they are, so if they feel uncomfortable without makeup it is not because they are insecure, it is because they don’t feel like themselves.

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Our faces are our faces, and they are not there to please onlookers. Dolls, do what you want with your faces! Paint them up, or leave them be. They are YOUR canvas to decide what to do with.

Review: Clinique Anti-Blemish treatment

A couple of months ago I went on holiday and forgot all my skin care goos. I was panicking because a week without my various acids, peels and lotions and I’d go back to looking like the pimply teenager I used to be. At the airport I did an emergency run for something spot related. The cheapest product I could find (£18.50 RRP but about £15 at the airport) was the Clinique All-Over Clearing Treatment from the Anti Blemish Solutions line, which incidentally I had been meaning to try. 

Unfortunately, during that week away my skin was terrible. I had more spots that I’d had in about 5 years, and I put it down to the my fancy new Clinique cream not working and when I got home I stopped using it and returned all my old products with vigour to get rid of all those newly acquired spots. It turns out what I thought were spots were just blocked pores from 7 days of sweaty sunbathing and sun tan lotion. (I am yet to find a sun tan lotion for oily skin that won’t cause breakouts.)

So when I ran out of my usual overnight clearing cream I returned to the Clinique one to give it a proper chance in a home environment. And it worked like a charm! 

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I am using the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion (a previous Miracle Product of the Month)less and less because I have no spots I need to get rid of. This cream seems to work by preventing spots from appearing in the first place so that I don’t have to deal with them or the messy scars they leave behind. Not only that, but I feel like my old scars are reduced, but that may just be the healing power of time working it’s magic. It does have a bit of a funky smell, but the kind of medical/clinical smell that makes you think it must be the real deal. I’d be very interested in trying the rest of the Anti-Blemish range. 

Overall, I give this product an 8.5/10 for spot treatment ability, a 6/10 for price and a bonus point for reducing redness. 

Miracle Product of the Month: June

I can’t believe I’ve gone so long without having this as my MPOM, I guess it’s one of those products that are so essential to my routine I just take it for granted. It is the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion (£14.50 beautybay.com)

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It is the best spot-on spot treatment I have ever had. It combines salicylic acid, calamine, camphor and all other kinds of junk designed to shrink your spots overnight. You apply it with a cotton bud dipped into the pink stuff at the bottom (do not shake the bottle!) and then dab that onto the troublesome area. The spot will reduce overnight, or if it is a spot waiting to come out it will disappear without ever showing it’s ugly head. The salicylic acid fights the spot while the calamine reduces redness and inflammation. Life Hack: also works to take the itch out of mosquito bites.

I can’t recommend it enough. Just remember to wash your face in the morning or you will be walking around with pink dots on your face all day.