11 Tips to Manage Oily & Acne-Prone Skin

Sebum gets a bad rap but it’s actually an important substance to keep your skin supple and waterproof.  Your skin naturally secretes sebum to protect against bacteria, dryness, friction, and external factors.  If you have oily skin, the key is balance, rather than eliminating sebum.  By restoring harmony in the skin, you’ll have a healthy, happy complexion that is always glowy, never greasy.

5 Tips For Oily Skin

Re-Evaluate Your Cleanser

If your skin feels squeaky clean and tight after cleansing, your cleanser is probably too harsh.  Avoid sulphates and stripping scrubs.  Use one that's pH balanced, leaving your skin soft and hydrated.

Eat Clean

Highly processed foods and insulin spikes might cause breakouts and increased sebum production.  Avoid processed foods and stick with fresh, high fiber foods with low glycemic index.  We love seasonal produce such as lotus root, watermelon radishes, bitter melons, celery, plums, cucumbers, and aromatic herbs to keep the skin healthy and glowing.


It seems counter-intuitive to apply oil to blemish-prone skin but the right blend of oils actually help balance sebum production and reduce breakouts. Oils help break up congestions because oil is a lipid, and lipids dissolve lipids.  Grape and Perilla oils are two lightweight seed oils that are anti-inflammatory, treat acne, fade scars, and prevent sun damage. 


If you are short on sleep, your body may release more cortisol, a stress hormone which cause breakouts and skin inflammations.  The ideal time to go to bed according to TCM is 11PM, which is the Gallbladder hour, to allow the body to detox and heal optimally.


Check Your Hormones

Hormonal fluctuations is one of the main causes for excess sebum production.  Stress hormones can cause an overly oily complexion, resulting in congestion and breakouts.  Other hormonal changes such as menstrual cycle, puberty, pregnancy, menopause and PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) can cause an overdrive in oil production.  To balance your hormones, manage stress levels, get enough sleep, and consider seeing a TCM practitioner.