Oily/Combination Skin

This is a relatively common skin type.

Oily skin occurs when the sebaceous (oil secreting) cells over produce oil. The cells are producing more oil than your skin needs for proper lubrication.

Although oily skin can be problematic for some, over production of oil has some positive side effects. This skin type is generally slower to develop age spots, wrinkles, and fine lines. It often doesn't freckle or go red from sun exposure, but tans evenly.

Although oily, skin may be lacking in actual moisture, ie the amount of water held inside a skin cell. Oil an water have two different functions. Ensure that any treatment for oily skin does not involve eliminating moisture from the skin.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Often only in certain areas such as the nose, forehead, chin and upper back. Skin may be dry of normal elsewhere -commonly referred to as combination skin.
  • Prone to breakouts, well past adolescene.
  • Chronically shiny appearance, greasy feeling and large pores.


  • Usually heredity.
  • Can be affected by diet, hormones, birth control pills, pregnancy and cosmetics.


  • Poor diet can have an effect on overall condition of skin.
  • Smoking promotes enlargement of pores and impairs skin health
  • Hormone imbalance, may be worse when stressed or at certain stages of the monthly cycle.

Self Care

  • Check your water intake and increase to 2 litres is necessary. This keeps skin hydrated and flushes out toxins
  • Reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet - fried foods, heat processed vegetable oils. Use olive oil instead.
  • Avoid sugar, chocolate and junck food
  • Use hot water to remove oil when washing your face. Keep skin very clean, but don't wash more than 2 or 3 times as day as excessive washing will encourage the skin to produce more oil.
  • Try using a clay or mud mask once or twice a week.

Medical Treatment

  • Alpha-hydroxy acids found in fruits can be beneficial for oily skin, as they remove the top layer of the skin and encourage skin renewal which may help with large pores. Always patch test first, and check that the product does not contain more than 5% alpha-hydroxy acid.
  • Benzyl peroxide may be prescribed.

Nutritional Help

  • Evening Primrose Oil - contains linoleic acid which is needed by the skin.
  • Flaxseed Oil - supplies skin with essential fatty acids.
  • Vitamin A - as beta carotene, necessary for the healing and the constrution of new skin.
  • Zinc - as well as being great for the skin, helps with Viatmin A absorption and maintaining proper concentrations of Vitamin E in the blood. Zinc deficiency can be a cause of acne.

Herbal Help

  • Aloe vera has excellent healing properties for skin.
  • Lavender is very good for regulating red skin.
  • Facial Steam with lemongrass, liquorice and rosebuds once or twice a week for 15minutes. Add dried or fresh herbs to a bowl of boiling water, and place face over bowl with towel over your head to trap steam. Once cool, water can be used as a toner.
  • Witch hazel applied with an organic cotton pad is excellent for absorbing oil.