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Natural Solutions for Oily and Acne Prone Skin

I am 42. Even at my age, I am challenged with a fair complexion that can show red spots easily. I also have oily skin and adult acne. Quite the challenge! I'm passionately interested in natural skin care, and my own complexion poses the perfect test for my studies.

Before I began using all natural products, I was losing the battle with my skin, and was discouraged. I had used commercial acne products, and at one time, went the prescription route. I encountered side effects and dry, irritated (itchy!) skin. I was sure that these drying commercial products would wind up causing other problems including aging my skin prematurely. I was skeptical that "gentle" products could combat my challenges, but when I became passionately interested in aromatherapy, my knowledge of natural skin care blossomed, and that lead to my desire to make the effort to try.

I was pleasantly surprised.

It is now several years later, and my complexion has dramatically improved. I will probably never have absolutely clear skin, but I am so pleased with the results. I know that my natural regimen will keep me looking younger than my years. I am now pleased that my skin type is oily as that is going to benefit me as I age. My oily skin type combined with my use of all natural products to manage it make me look almost a decade younger than I am - or so I'm frequently told, by those who discover my true age.

If you are also challenged by oily, acne prone or combination skin, there are expert artisan products available that can help you care for your skin:

Cleansers: Everyone is different, but I have discovered that using a quality liquid castile soap that has been blended with a small ratio of tea tree, lavender or other anti-bacterial essential oil on my face is the perfect cleanser for my skin. Cold pressed vegetable oil bar soap fragranced only with natural essential oils also is effective in cleansing my skin without irritating it.

Exfoliants: Because I use a quality foundation that has exceptional coverage yet looks "light," I do have a heavy amount of makeup that can leave debris on my skin and clog my pores over time if I do not ensure that my skin is kept well cleaned. Natural exfoliation 2-3 times a week using a sugar scrub, gentle nut meal product or other natural exfoliant helps me to ensure that my skin has a lovely glow and that all dead skin cells and makeup residue is removed. Everyone's needs are different, so you may need to see what specific products work for you, and discover how frequently you should use it/them. You may prefer to use exfoliants that have little to no oil in them, but I do recommend that even with oily skin, that you use a scrub that does contain some natural vegetable oil or jojoba. Exfoliation can be somewhat harsh on the skin, so it's wise to ensure that you are immediately soothing your skin with the oil contained in your exfoliant. If you find that your skin feels too oily after exfoliating, you can gently wash it with the cleanser of your choice.

Moisturizers: Those with oily and/or acne prone skin do not need intensive moisturization as does those with dry to normal skin. Having said that, moisturization is still necessary, especially if your skin care regimen frequently removes all the oil from your face. Good moisturizers do several things. First, they rehydrate your skin. Second, they help your skin retain natural moisture and help it to attract moisture. Third, a good moisturizer contains nutritive ingredients such as essential fatty acids that are important for healthy skin and combating the signs of aging. Look for moisturizers that include quality natural moisturizing ingredients such as vegetable oils rich in essential fatty acids, jojoba (a natural wax that does not clog pores), and that also includes essential oils that act both as a natural fragrance and that can help to combat bacteria, can reduce acne inflammation, and can encourage healthy skin.

Toners: A toner is intended to balance and sooth the skin. A toner is often used to ensure that all cleanser and makeup debris has been removed from the skin. Natural toners vary in the ingredients they include, but common ingredients include water, essential oils, aloe vera gel and herbal infusions.

Astringents: An astringent is intended to more thoroughly clean the pores and help to combat oily skin and acne. Most natural astringents do not contain alcohol, but some may. If you experience break outs and if your skin can tolerate products that contain alcohol, it may suit you to experiment by trying astringents that do and do not contain alcohol.

Acne Remedies: Most skin care products can be specially formulated to help combat acne and oily skin. Natural Acne Lines offered by artisans can include cleansers, moisturizers, facials, exfoliants, toners and astringents. Artisans have also developed specially formulated natural dab-on style products that help to fight the bacteria and inflammation that lead to acne and keep it at bay.

Facials: Clay and mud facial products help to absorb excess oils and stimulate circulation to the skin and underlying tissue. They naturally help to fight acne and are a good choice to experiment with and include in your natural skin care program. Some muds and clays are more absorbent than others. Those with oily and and acne-prone skin can generally use most clays and muds, but look for natural products that are specially formulated for oily or acne skin. The more oily your skin, the more likely you will be to benefit from clays and muds that are highly absorbent. Dead Sea and Moor Muds are good mud choices. Dead Sea, Bentonite, French Green, Multani Mitti and Red Kaolin clays are amongst those that are especially good with oily skin. Follow the artisan's directions as overuse can dry out the skin. As a rule of thumb, limit use of facials that include these clays to once weekly. For more frequent facial applicants, look for products that include White, Red and Pink Kaolin and other clays that draw less oils.

Body Care Products: Oily and acne prone skin isn't just limited to the face. The back, chest, neck and other areas can also pose a challenge to some people. Most acne products developed for the face can also be used elsewhere on the body as the face tends to be the most sensitive (do avoid the genitals and mucous membranes).

Cosmetics: Cosmetics, including mineral make-ups can include oils. It can be hard to find products that are completely oil free. The oil is used to help provide a small amount of moisturization, keep lose micas and other powder ingredients from causing too much "dust," and the oil helps the cosmetic adhere better to the skin. Depending on the severity of your oily or acne prone skin, you may be able to tolerate naturally based cosmetics that do include quality vegetable oils. When you are shopping for cosmetics, look for the type of oil that is used. Quality vegetable oils, especially if used within the cosmetic in a minute amount, will usually not clog the pores.

Mineral Oil Warning: When shopping for cosmetics and skin care products, avoid products that contain mineral oil. Mineral oil is a byproduct of petroleum production and can clog the pores.

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