Caring for oily skin – Aotea Store

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Caring for oily skin

Oily skin is the result of excessive sebum production. The skin secretes an oily, waxy substance called sebum in the sebaceous glands, which are below the epidermis (surface) layer of the skin. This passes through the corneocytes (skin cells) to the surface where it mixes with lipids (fats) to form a protective coating for the skin.

The coating of this oil protects the skin from harm including UV radiation, bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, and substantial water loss. It also waterproofs the skin and is mildly acidic, which kills bacteria. 

Common causes of oily skin

As mentioned, the overproduction of sebum is the primary cause of oily skin. This can be the result of:

  • Hormones
  • Genetics
  • Climate and environment
  • Diet

Excess sebum production is mainly caused by the release of certain hormones, which instruct the sebaceous glands to produce sebum. Times when this occurs more than usual are during puberty, when the testosterone and estrogen hormones are elevated, and during stress, when production of the cortisol hormone is increased.

Genetics can play a part. If your parents were predisposed to oily skin, you may be more likely to experience it.

In polluted cities, it is common to experience increased oil production as the skin tries to protect itself against pollutants in the air. Bacteria thrive in moist climates, while drier climates can dry out the skin. These climatic effects can trigger increased oil production. Similarly, over the course of the year, our skin is exposed to different conditions. In summer, the humidity in the air is higher, and the glands may produce more oil. In winter, the air is much drier and this can dry out the skin. The body may attempt to compensate by producing more oil.

Unhealthy diets which incorporate large amounts of trans saturated fats can lead to oily skin.

Ingredients to help combat oily skin

The astringent property of mānuka opens up the pores, allowing the skin to breathe and excess sebum to be discharged. Mānuka is also a powerful antibacterial (30x stronger than Tea Tree oil), so naturally kills acne-causing bacteria.

The antibacterial properties of also kawakawa combat infections that oily skin causes. The antiinflammatory properties of kawakawa also works to reduce redness.

Our toners and cleansers are solvents for the excess oil and any accompanying grime off your skin. They “lift” particles off the skin, which a water wash alone can't do. 

The balance of natural plant oils in our creams help regulate the skin’s natural production of oils and rehydrate the skin. 

A routine for helping oily skin

The first step is to lift the excess oil and accompanying grime off your skin using an astringent solvent product such as our cleanser. It is tempting to use a highly astringent product which will remove all the sebum, but this will lead to drying out of the skin and prolongate the problem.

Cleanse your skin morning and night with our gentle Kūmarahou and Mānuka Honey cleanser for at least 1 minute. Then rinse. 

The second step is to hydrate the skin. Our kawakawa toner will tighten the skin’s pores, allowing proper breathing of the skin and hydration.

The third step is to apply one of our face creams containing plant oils which nourish the skin cells with fatty acids and locks in moisture overnight or in the morning. The end result is hydrated, tight, supple, clean skin, with no oily residues and resultant blemishes. Kiri ora - healthy skin!

Our range of therapeutic skincare is inspired by indigenous thinkers and rongoa Māori. Click here to browse our range.