Oil, or sebum, is naturally produced by your skin to protect and hydrate itself. Beneath each one of your pores is something called a sebaceous gland. If you have oily skin, sebaceous glands tend to overproduce oil, which can lead to shiny, greasy skin as well as blackheads and other blemishes. Figuring out what is causing your oily skin is the first step in creating a fitting skincare routine.
If your skin exhibits some or all of the following signs, you most likely have an oily skin type:
On the other hand, if you notice that only your T-Zone is oily, but other areas of your face—like your cheeks—are dry or normal, you likely have combination skin. Depending on your skin type, you can look for specific skincare products that are catered to what your skin needs.
Why is your skin oily? Oily skin, at its core, is often caused by an overproduction of sebum (or oil). Your sebaceous glands produce this sebum all over your skin, and especially on your face, to keep your skin moisturized and healthy. Sometimes, though, your sebaceous glands may produce an excess amount of sebum, leading to oily skin.
Here are some common factors that may lead to oily skin:
Oily skin generally has a genetic component, and you can be more prone to this skin type if members of your immediate family had oily skin growing up. Since there’s nothing you can do about shared genetics, focus on choosing products formulated for oily skin and following a consistent skincare routine to combat the oiliness.
Where you live can also make a difference in the oil production of your skin. If you live in a tropical or in a humid climate, you are more likely to have oily skin compared to someone living in a dry environment. Your skin may also appear oilier in the summer months compared to winter or fall months.
Adjust accordingly when choosing products for your daily skincare routine. While a heavier moisturizer might be necessary to keep skin from getting too dry in a drier climate, try a lighter moisturizer, like one that is water-based, to combat the humidity in your area.
Make sure to cleanse regularly as well as apply moisturizer consistently so that your skin will be healthy and balanced no matter the weather.
While oily skin may give you the urge to wash your face multiple times a day, overwashing can cause your pores to go into overdrive. When you remove too much oil from your skin, your pores go into crisis mode and produce more oil to protect your skin from dryness.
Only wash your face twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. If you notice your skin getting oily throughout the day, carry gentle cleansing cloths with you to help remove excess oil without overwashing your skin.
“When you remove too much oil from your skin, your pores go into crisis mode and produce more oil to protect your skin from dryness.”
Certain medications, like birth control or hormone replacement pills, can impact the condition of your skin. Other medications, especially those that contain steroids, can also cause oily skin. Ask your doctor if you are uncertain about the side effects of your medications.
It’s a widely circulated myth that moisturizers can cause greasy skin. In fact, using a daily moisturizer is an essential part of a good skincare routine. If you don’t moisturize, your skin may produce more oil in an attempt to compensate for dry skin on your face. To moisturize oily skin, choose an oil-free moisturizer to help hydrate your skin without clogging your pores.
“If you don’t moisturize, your skin may produce more oil in an attempt to compensate for dry skin on your face.”
When shopping for makeup, look for products labeled as oil-free and non-comedogenic. These types of products are designed to prevent clogged pores and are ideal for oily skin types. At the end of the day, make sure to remove all your makeup with a makeup removing wipe as part of your nighttime skincare routine.
While it may be difficult to resist foods that contain sugar, dairy, and carbohydrates, these foods can wreak havoc on your skin. Consuming too much of these foods can lead to overactive sebum production and the oily skin that comes along with it. Try to find a healthy balance so you can enjoy your favorite foods and take care of your skin. Adding foods high in antioxidants and drinking enough water can work wonders not only in how you feel as a whole, but it can also greatly benefit your skin.
Oily skin is manageable and there are some things you can do to help get rid of oily skin. Discover how you can rid your skin of excess oil once and for all with these tips:
While there is no easy fix for oily skin, there are things you can do to help manage oily skin before it starts. Read more below to learn more tips and tricks to help prevent excess oil production on your skin.