It’s been a long journey to get my skin to calm down. Since hitting puberty, I’ve had the oiliest skin I’ve ever known anyone to have. I went through a round of Acutane, which helped for a while, and then after a couple of years, I was back to square one (though the acne was dramatically improved). It didn’t help that I was living in the humid Ohio River Valley. I reached a point where I was okay with very oily skin and just learned to cope with it. Somehow, I never quite gave up, though, and kept looking for ways to get it under better control.
I finally have, and I want to share with you what I did to do that. It was only recently that I got it completely under control, which is why this post isn’t making it out there until just now. I used to do everything the dermatologist suggested: wash with a special acne wash, blot your skin, make sure you use makeup remover, etc. etc. I went through the Clinique line and their four (I think it’s four) step program. I did everything the dermatologists and cosmeticians were telling me to do. Things didn’t improve until I decided maybe bombarding my skin with chemicals wasn’t going to fix anything, and even if it didn’t fix anything, it would still be taking better care of my skin if I removed chemicals from my routine. As such, I tried things like oil cleansing (rather messy and leaves a lot of greasy laundry to do). Oil cleansing was fine, but it wasn’t so good for removing makeup, so in the evening I went back to my good old Neutrogena. Eventually, I heard about cleansing with lemon juice. Lemon juice easily removes excess oil without dehydrating the skin. Perfect! Except it doesn’t remove makeup. Okay, so lemon juice in the morning. This was one of the best discoveries of my skin journey, because lemon juice is simple to use, a natural astringent if you have oily skin or large pores, and it really does do a great job of cleaning the skin without drying it out.
So what about removing makeup? That was my last challenge. I had been using Neutrogena for my evening routine to remove my makeup, because it was the only thing I knew that would really get my face clean. I had been using it for my body wash as well, because my back, chest, and shoulders were especially prone to oiliness as well. Then I heard about sulfate-free cleansers, and I thought I should try a sulfate-free cleanser on my body to see if it would get the oiliness under control. Well, I saw a difference immediately. Then I decided to try it on my face. If it works on my body, it should work on my face. And it did! It removed the makeup and didn’t cause my face to get horrifically oily overnight. I was already using sulfate-free shampoo to help control the seborrhea on my scalp. I don’t know why I didn’t think to use it on my face and body sooner to control the seborrhea everywhere else.
And that’s it. I use lemon juice in the morning. It’s so inexpensive! I get a lemon and squeeze as much juice out as possible into a small brown cosmetic bottle and keep it in the fridge. You can also water it down if it’s a little too potent for your skin. I use a cotton pad by putting it over the mouth of the bottle and shaking up twice, and then simply wipe over my face once, and I’m done! Now in the evening, I use a sulfate-free cleanser (I also want to try a cleansing milk) and washcloth to remove makeup and buff my skin smooth. I then apply a small amount of borage (or starflower) seed oil, and that’s all I need! I’ve even started applying a small amount of starflower oil in the morning before I put my makeup on to keep my skin supple for application. It works beautifully! My chest and back don’t get oily at all anymore. It’s saved a lot of my clothes, because as you may know, oil can be rather destructive on clothes and difficult to wash out. My skin has never been so healthy!
I hope this revelation I’ve shared helps you in your skin journey!
For my body wash, I use Madara Refreshing Soap. Once I find a sulfate-free facial cleanser or cleansing milk, I’ll share that with you as well!