Ever wiped your hand across your face only to come in contact with a thick layer of oil?

If you had no reaction to that, perhaps you should! I have some friends whose faces produce enough oil for them to fry pisang goreng with.

Oily skin is a very common problem for many individuals, and although it doesn’t really cause much harm to you, it can be a problem for the aesthetically-minded.

During my early twenties, I used to buy those blue-coloured blotting papers that turn transparent when they come into contact with my face oil – something that grossed me out.

Not only is it annoying, but oily skin can often also seem like a problem that just cannot be solved, with your forehead and cheeks often resembling a makeshift mirror, thanks to the shine!

The Evil Queen from Snow White might even mistake you for her magic mirror and ask, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”

Changes in hormone levels can cause oily skin, which may even lead to the development of acne.

However, you may also have your genes to thank (or curse!) for oily skin, as it is a problem that can be handed down from generation to generation.

So, what can you do?

Before trying anything else, remember to:

Wash your face!

This might seem like blindingly obvious advice, but it’s amazing how many people don’t wash their face at least twice a day (including my dad).

Yes, it might seem tedious and a bit of a chore at times, but washing away all that excess oil and dirt refreshes your face.

Use a gentle face cleanser and avoid excessive washing, which causes your skin to dry. and eventually, end up looking like The Thing from the Fantastic Four movie.

Use aloe vera

The antimicrobial properties of aloe vera make it a very suitable option, as it absorbs the excess oil on the skin’s surface.

If you don’t want to buy the gel, you can easily extract your own from a fresh aloe vera leaf that has been cut in two.

Once you’ve gotten the gel out, apply it to your face and let it dry.

After that, rinse off your face and repeat twice or thrice a day for the best results.

Keep your hair off your face

If your hair is constantly coming into contact with your face, the excess oil on your hair will definitely find its way there!

Yes, it may look ultra-cool to have hair bangs over your eyes and face, but girls, tie your hair up, and guys, get a haircut!

You should also try to minimise touching your face as those grubby fingers of yours are good sources of oil and dirt – I bet you don’t want your face full of dirt and oil, do you?

Egg yolk mask

Here’s something that is easy and quick to pull off.

Just separate a yolk from the egg white, and use a cotton ball or swab to dab the oily spots on your face with the yolk.

This will dry out the skin, and you should leave it on for 15 minutes before washing your face with cold water.

Just try not to think about what a waste of a potential telur mata kerbau (sunny side up) that was!

Apple cider vinegar

This is another non-complex toner that can be made at home.

Mix a portion of apple cider vinegar with three portions of distilled water (but regular drinking water should be good enough, because how many people have chemistry sets at home?!).

Use a cotton ball to dab this toner across your skin and leave it on for between 10 to 15 minutes after application.

Rinse your face with cold water and repeat several times weekly to see if there are any changes.

As you can see, there are numerous inexpensive and easily-available home remedies for oily skin, so you shouldn’t have any excuses to get started on cleaning up that oily face.


Dr Chen Tai Ho is an experienced aesthetic doctor who chills by the pool sipping espresso latte when he’s not attending to his patients. The information provided is for educational and communication purposes only and it should not be construed as personal medical advice. Information published in this article is not intended to replace, supplant or augment a consultation with a health professional regarding the reader’s own medical care. The Star disclaims all responsibility for any losses, damage to property or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.