Clean Beauty, Holistic Medicine for Makers

Oily Skin – Not Just Genetic

Oily skin, a curse unto the makeup wearer, doomed to melt off foundation forever more. Something you’re either born with, or born without — right?


In the way of genetics, ya momma didn’t give you no oily skin, she gave you a more sensitive digestive system, which can totally be helped.

Something I like to challenge people to do is think differently about genetics, and what it means for something to be “genetic”. Something like this isn’t usually coded into a person’s DNA as beepboopbeep — the gene fairy now says you’ll have oily skin. Nope, it isn’t the same as blue eyes or hiker’s thumb. What it really means is that your body processes what’s put in it in a different way that allows this end result to happen.

So, give it something else — exactly what your body needs, that is.

So… why is my skin oily?

First, you need to understand what’s happening here. The nitty-gritty of “oily” skin.

And that is…?

Some level of oil is normal, but anything more than a subtle lubrication of the skin is actually the body ridding itself of toxins through the pores.

To understand that, you need to know how the body gets rid of what it doesn’t want. The first two ways you’re pretty familiar with — In fact, when you were a kid, you literally called them “one” and “two”. The third is less obvious — it’s your skin, via sweat, oil, etc.

If the digestive system and kidneys can’t get rid of everything they need to, they default to the skin. In fact, if the colon can’t detox everything it wants, sometimes it skips the kidneys and jumps directly to the skin — depends on your body. Anyway, that’s why the colon, digestion, and liver (the toxin filter) are pretty much the end all be all in skin ailments. Rashes come back to the liver, liver spots/skin quality comes back to the liver, inflammation comes back to the digestive system, liver issues come back to the colon, literally, you name the condition.

When it comes to oily skin, it’s the sameee thing. The body’s blocked from eliminating toxins the normal way, so started pushing any other stuff out the pores — especially undigested fats and oils.

How does this happen?

It could be one of a few things: 1. Your body is acidic (check body pH or acid/alkaline balance), aka the digestion has slowed down so much the body is trying to get rid of toxins in whatever way it can; 2. Your colon is toxic, and digestion is slow from other means (like possible food allergies), aka you have a buildup of toxins that, again, the body is trying to get rid of however it can; 3. It could be hormonal, but that also comes back to liver and digestion, because when the liver is working well it processes/eliminates extra estrogen; or, 4. your body isn’t processing fats well, meaning you may have gallstones (nothing a quick liver/gallbladder flush can’t fix!) or a few other liver-centric roadblocks, causing oils to be pushed out of the skin because they can’t be digested.

(Ps, this was the reason I used to have oily skin, oily skin that completely went away after I did a few flushes and better understood what my body needed to fully digest fat).

This list isn’t exhaustive, but it gives you a place to start.

But why me?

No need to fret, babe, all of these are really common and simple to treat with a few tweaks. A great place to start is giving some extra love to your digestion/liver/gallbladder – because, as we now know, that’s where oily skin begins.

Next steps

A few things to look into:

A Full Spectrum Enzyme + Probiotics – These should always be your first stop on the digestion level-up train. They help fully digest food and break it into usable parts for le bod.  

An especially helpful enzyme for you could very well be lipase: the enzyme that specifically breaks down fat (this is normally what the gallbladder/bile does, but in someone with oily skin, this process is proooobably inhibited).

A Colon Cleanse – Cleaning out the colon/digestion means cleaning out the liver and skin. ‘Nuff said.

A fasting regimen or other cleanse that gives digestion a break. Other examples could be a juice or broth cleanse – These let the body work through any left over ish, cleaning out the colon, liver, and skin.

Castor Oil Packs – A deep and gentle detox for the liver without needing to take a bunch of supplements and tinctures and stuff – or, could be done in conjunction to further the effectiveness of an herbal/oral cleanse.

Liver cleanse or gallbladder flush, depending on what you need. Gallbladder flushes clear out gallstones (painlessly) and liver cleanses usually involve a potent herbal mix, both of which you may need to double check are right for you. With these guys you should see a naturopath to know exactly you need. Something to start with are the fasting regimens, a digestive cleanse, or the colon cleanse, above. They will help detox the liver too, just less directly and with fewer contraindications.

Coffee Enemas – I’m serious

Colon Hydrotherapy – Yep

Flaxseed meal – Fiber absorbs toxins and keeps digestion smooth, but this form of fiber also blocks excess/harmful estrogen from binding to cells, thus helping with estrogen-hormonal imbalance. Yes please.

Like I said above, I alwayssss recommend seeing someone who can give you a clear understanding of your body, plus a plan of attack very specific to you. We should all have someone in our corner (a naturopath, per say) to help us know exactly what we need.

Obviously, nothing in this is meant to diagnose you, but instead, help you understand that cosmetic complaints don’t exist in a vacuum (so we should treat them as such). Most of all though, I wanted to give you a place to start. Remember everything is figureoutable and nothing is permanent — and that can even apply to your skin.

Alright, what do you think, any of this hit home? How do you feel about the skin deep ultimately not being skin deep?

Leave me a comment; let me know if you’d like to know more about the liver/skin connection or another issue you’d like me to dig into.

Ps, dry skin is not the reverse of this, it has to do with kidneys. I can do a post on this also, drop your request below.

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