Does your skin appear shiny at all times? Is it prone to breakouts? Oily skin is the real culprit!
Your skin needs natural oil in certain amounts to be healthy and moisturized. Excess of it leads to clogged pores, pimples, blackheads, and other types of skin concerns. This is what frequently happens in people with oily skin type .
In this article, we take a closer look at the causes of oily skin and how you can manage it naturally with the age-old wisdom of our ancestors, Ayurveda.
Why Does Your Skin Become Oily?
Your skin consists of sebaceous glands  that are responsible for secreting ‘sebum’, an oily and waxy substance made of a complex mixture of different lipids.
“Sebum serves your skin as a natural moisturizer which prevents your skin from drying out, getting inflamed, and irritated. Sebum, along with the sweat secreted in your skin also contributes in regulating your body temperature,” says Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix.
While this process goes smoothly, sebum helps your skin to eliminate dead skin cells and other pollutants from the pores. However, if you have overactive sebaceous glands that synthesize excess sebum, then you end up with oily and greasy skin with clogged pores.
Your face contains 400-900 sebaceous glands/sq.cm approximately.
How To Know If You Have Oily Skin?
Signs of oily skin include:
- Having enlarged pores on the face, especially on your chin, nose, T-zone, and forehead.
- Your face becomes greasy and shiny, especially during the latter part of the day.
- Different types of acne such as pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, etc. develop in the oilier areas of your face.
- Your make-up does not stay on for long and it feels like it will slid off after a few hours.
What Causes Oily Skin?
Ayurveda says that everybody is the congregation of three vital energies: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, which needs to be at balanced levels for optimal functioning of the body. Factors such as genetics, diet, habits, and lifestyle play a significant role in keeping these energies or doshas in balance. If these factors are not aligned with your bodily mechanisms, it leads to vitiation of your dosha levels, resulting in a variety of health concerns, including skin problems.
As per Ayurveda, oily skin is the result of imbalance occurring in Pitta and Kapha doshas in your body,which can be triggered by any of the following factors.
As per Ayurveda, each individual is born with Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas in a unique proportion and the doshas in dominant levels influence the psychophysical characteristics of the individual. This innate nature of the individual due to dominant doshas in the body is termed as ‘Prakriti’. If a person has Kapha-pitta or Pitta-Kapha Prakriti (born with Pitta and Kapha doshas in dominant proportions than Vata), then the person tends to have oily skin naturally.
“If oily skin runs in the family, then there is a fair chance for the person to have oily skin with overactive sebaceous glands genetically ,” says Dr. Zeel.
2. Hormonal Modifications
Pitta dosha in your body governs the functioning of glands that secrete hormones in your body. During puberty, menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or menopause, your body experiences dramatic fluctuations in the production of different hormones due to elevated Pitta dosha. This, in turn, leads to the vitiation of Kapha dosha in the body, resulting in your skin producing excessive amounts of sebum.
Unhealthy lifestyle choices such as improper sleep patterns, lack of exercise, over exhausting work patterns, etc. push your body to produce high levels of cortisol hormone to deal with increased stress levels in your body. In other words, an unhealthy lifestyle results in the imbalance of Pitta dosha, which eventually leads to an imbalance in Kapha. So, you end up having oily skin.
4. Improper Diet
Regular consumption of sweet, salty, spicy, hot foods, junk, deep-fried and oily foods disturb the balance of Pitta and Kapha levels in your body, resulting in oily skin with acne.
Ayurveda says that in the lifetime of a person, childhood is majorly ruled by Kapha dosha until puberty. However, from adolescence, Pitta dosha takes over until a person reaches 50 years. Finally, the Vata phase starts at the age of 50.
Thus, puberty is the transitional phase of the governance from Kapha to Pitta dosha in your body which is when you tend to have oily skin, prone to acne.
6. Season And Location
Not just your Prakriti and age, but also the season and location you stay influence your bodily doshas. Ayurveda says the weather conditions in the period from late spring to early summers can aggravate the Kapha-Pitta levels in your body, resulting in oily skin during that period than in other seasons.
“There will be a spike in Pitta-Kapha levels in your body if you live in places with hot and humid climates. This will ultimately lead to oily and greasy skin with enlarged pores,” says Dr. Zeel.
7. Comedogenic Skin Products
If you have an oily skin type, using unsuitable products such as heavy creams, oily products, etc. will further damage your skin pH level, which results in the aggravation of Pitta and Kapha doshas in your skin leading to greasier skin.
How To Get Rid Of Oily Skin?
Ayurveda believes in treating skin disorders by bringing balance to the vitiated doshas with holistic herbal treatments, diet, and lifestyle.
1. A Proper Skincare Regime
To reduce overproduction of sebum on your skin, you need to follow a proper skincare regimen with products that contain herbs with Pitta-Kapha dosha pacifying properties.
A. Regular Cleansing
Washing your face at least twice a day helps to control the oil levels on your face. Use a gentle cleanser with any of the following herbs along with lukewarm water to wash your face.
- Nimba 
Avoid using konjac sponge or loofahs on your face as they can rupture and damage your skin tissues.
Use a natural toner made of astringent herbs to control oil production in your skin.
Some of the herbs that you can look for in your toner are:
- Rose/rose water
Astringent herbal toners unclog your pores effectively and work to tighten the enlarged pores.
For oily skin type, you should always seek an oil-free moisturizer that has good hydrating and soothing properties. Moisturizers with the following herbs work best for oily skin type:
- Kumari (Aloe vera)
D. Regular Face Packs
Regular application of facemasks using the most suitable herbal powders help to balance your elevated Pitta and Kapha doshas, thus controlling excess oil production in your skin.
Add sufficient water to any herbal powder to make a smooth paste. Apply the paste generously on your face and neck after cleaning. Leave it for half an hour until it dries up and then wash it off using lukewarm water. Repeat this twice a week for best results. Some of the herbal powders that you can choose are:
- Multani mitti
- Sandalwood powder
- Neem powder
- Orange peel powder
2. Home Remedies
A. Aloe Vera
Apply a thin layer of freshly extracted aloe vera gel on your face before sleeping. Leave it overnight and wash it off in the morning.
Vedix Tip: If you have not used aloe vera on your skin before, do a patch test on your elbow. If your skin does not develop any allergy or irritation within 24-48 hours, then it is safe to use for your skin type.
Apply a thin layer of honey on your face. Leave it off for half an hour and then rinse it off with cold water.
Add 2 spoons of honey to 3 spoons of finely ground raw almonds. Exfoliate your face gently and leave it for 15 minutes before washing it off with warm water.
D. Lemons & Turmeric
Add a spoon of lemon juice and turmeric powder  to 2 spoons of wheat flour. Make a paste and apply it to your face. Leave it for half an hour and cleanse it off.
E. Egg White
Add a spoon of lemon juice to 1 egg white. Apply this mixture to your face and leave it to dry. After half an hour, wash it off with warm water.
Add a spoon of sugar to the pulp of 1 tomato. Exfoliate your face with it for a few minutes. Leave it for another 5-10 minutes before washing it off with warm water.
3. Essential Oils
Dilute any of the following essential oils with carrier oils and use them in your skincare routine regularly. You can also add a few drops of essential oils to olive or mustard oil and perform abhyanga (full body oil massage) an hour before you take a shower. This can help to treat oily skin.
A. Tea Tree Oil
It has natural antimicrobial properties and controls the production of sebum in your skin.
B. Rosemary Oil
It helps in clearing the clogged pores and brings balance to the pH levels in your skin.
C. Lemon Oil
It normalizes the natural sebum production in your skin and improves your skin texture by tightening the enlarged pores.
4. Diet To Control Oily Skin
Ayurveda says that astringent and bitter foods have a pacifying effect on both Kapha and Pitta doshas in your body.
Here are some of the Ayurvedic dietary guidelines to keep your Kapha and Pitta doshas in balance:
A. Kapha-Pitta people should consume pungent, sweet, and sour foods in moderation and in equal proportions to maintain the dosha balance.
B. Foods should neither be too hot or too cold for Kapha-Pitta people to consume. Eat your meals at a moderate temperature.
C. Drink a cup of warm herbal tea made of amla, trikatu churna or triphala churna in the morning or evening.
D. Keep your breakfast simple and light by including fruits such as berries, apples, figs. You can also have hard-boiled eggs occasionally. Warm oatmeal porridge with berries, cardamom, and cinnamon is one of the best breakfast options for Pitta-Kapha people.
E. You can have whole grains like rice and barley with curries prepared with well-cooked veggies such as green beans, gourds, leafy greens, etc. for lunch.
F. After lunch, drink a glass of buttermilk
G. Your dinners should be lighter than your lunch. You can have a vegetable soup along with steamed sprouts. Make sure you finish your dinner by 7 pm.
H. Avoid eating heavy meals with oily foods.
5. Healthy Routine
A proper daily routine (dinacharya) is a great way to keep your doshas in balance while you can lead a happy and stress-free life.
Here are some of the Ayurvedic dinacharya guidelines to maintain dosha balance in people with Pitta-Kapha or Kapha-Pitta Prakriti:
A. Have regular waking hours, mostly in Brahma muhurta (one and a half hour before dawn)
B. Drink a glass of warm water as soon as you wake up to trigger your digestive fire and cleanse your system.
C. Practice Gandhusha (oil pulling) to eliminate ama (toxins) from your body.
D. Make sure that your bowel movement is regular. In case of constipation, drinking another glass of warm water may help to ease your bowels.
E. Do exercise followed by a short Pranayama regularly to keep your physical, emotional and mental health in balance.
F. Avoid working while you eat. Mindful eating is very important to keep your digestive Pitta in balance.
G. Make sure you take sufficient breaks between your tasks. This helps in proper channeling of your energy and keeps you focused throughout the day.
H. Avoid working for long hours that ruin your work-life balance. Pre-schedule your tasks and make use of the time productively so that your tasks don't get piled up at the end of the day.
I. Indulging in sports can help Kapha-Pitta people a lot in keeping their doshas in balance.
J. Do Padabhyanga (massaging your calves and feet) with sesame or mustard oil before bedtime.
K. Avoid using any kind of electronic device for at least an hour before you hit the bed.
How Can You Stop Your Face From Getting Oily Throughout The Day?
Besides managing your oily skin with a suitable skincare regimen, you can rely on blotting papers throughout the day. They are designed to wipe off the excess oil from your skin.
The Last Word
The good part of having oily skin is that it is less prone to premature aging. So, having an oily skin type is not the actual concern, but not knowing how to maintain it with the right products is. Let’s face it, every skin is different and needs to be treated differently for a balanced production of its natural oils.
At Vedix, we customize an Ayurvedic skincare regimen for you with well balanced herbal formulations based on your skin type and elevated doshas.Know Your Dosha Now
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