Home Blog Home and Wellness Why Is My Face So Oily? How to Treat Oily Skin?

Why Is My Face So Oily? How to Treat Oily Skin?

por Dr. Jonathan Doyle - Updated June 19, 2024
Oil on human skin is not a strange concept. Instead, it is an indication that such skin is healthy. The skin has pores. Each of these pores has a sebaceous gland right under it, which produces sebum. As a natural oil, sebum performs two major roles—maintaining the skin’s protective barrier and keeping it hydrated. But things can get overwhelming for the sebaceous glands. When this happens, they become overactive, thereby secreting sebum in excess. Excess sebum ultimately causes oily skin.
The physical indications of excess sebum production include enlarged pores and a shiny appearance of the skin. It also raises the risk of skin issues like acne . Fortunately, anyone can manage their oily skin. In most cases, the proper skincare routine can keep sebum production in check and the skin healthy. Oil-free and non-comedogenic products have proven effective in dealing with oily skin alongside certain medical treatments.

How Do You Check If Your Skin Is Oily?

To determine whether your face is oily, check how smooth it feels. If it feels greasy, you likely have oily skin. You can even use blotting papers to confirm. Just dab them on your cheeks, forehead, and nose and hold them up to the light. If they’re all shiny, that’s a sign of oily skin.
If all the three sheets show saturation, you most likely have an oily skin. Alternatively, if only your forehead, nose, and chin (T-zone) are oily while your cheeks are dry, you most likely have combination skin .
absorbing oil with a blotting paper

Why Is My Skin So Oily All of a Sudden?

What causes oily skin? Oily skin, also known as seborrheic dermatitis , occurs when the skin’s sebaceous glands produce sebum in excess. Sebum is a natural essential oil that helps protect and hydrate the skin. However, when it is available in excess, it harms the skin, causing issues like blackheads, acne, and a shiny appearance.

The Role of Genetics

We cannot entirely remove the role of genetics in how oily the skin gets. Considering that genetics contribute to skin type, it is safe to say that we can inherit oily skin via genetic predisposition. In other words, your oily skin may be caused by your parents or close relatives having similar skin. The sebaceous glands in such skins may be more active, leading to the over-secretion of sebum and, ultimately, oiliness on the skin.
daily skincare

The Role of Hormones

Hormones may affect the balance of sebum production in your skin. Due to hormonal changes associated with adolescence, the sebaceous gland becomes active, producing more oil. This, in turn, leads to oily skin and possible acne breakouts. Likewise, natural processes like pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause can affect the body’s hormonal balance, leading to excessive sebum production and oily skin woes.

The Role of Skincare Products and Habits

Managing oily skin depends on your skincare routine and products. Avoid overwashing the face or using harsh cleansers to protect your skin’s natural oil. Otherwise, doing so will reduce the natural oil content on the skin, forcing the sebaceous gland to secrete more sebum in replacement. Adopting non-comedogenic, oil-free skin care products, including moisturizers, is also advisable. These can reduce pore-clogging due to excess oil on the skin. It also helps to exfoliate your skin regularly to get dead skin cells off. This ensures that sebum and debris do not accumulate within the pores.

The Role of the Environment

Environmental factors like pollution and climate also affect the rate of sebum secretion in the skin. The sebaceous glands produce more oil when the weather is hot and humid. Likewise, exposing the skin to cigarette smoke, radiation, and other forms of pollution can trigger oxidative stress. This forces the skin to secrete more sebum to protect itself. Indoor air conditioning and central heating can also reduce moisture levels, resulting in skin oiliness.
say no to greasy food

The Role of Diet

What you eat also affects the amount of oil on your skin. Research has established that some foods increase sebum production in the skin, causing acne flare-ups. For example, refined carbohydrates, sugary snacks, and other high-glycemic foods raise insulin levels and sebum production rates in the body. The same goes for dairy products with high hormonal content—they cause oily skin and acne. Therefore, it is best to adopt a balanced diet. The skin can significantly benefit from vegetables, fruits, and omega-3 fatty acids.

The Role of Stress and Lifestyle Choices

Stress is known to distort your skin’s sebum production balance. When stressed, the body produces more cortisol, which conditions the sebaceous glands to produce more oil. Also, you can add bacteria to your face through activities like touching and picking at blemishes. Over time, these bacteria worsen your skin’s oiliness. The best way to avoid these is to adopt stress-reducing practices like exercise, meditation, and proper sleeping habits.

How Do You Manage an Oily Skin?

How to get rid of oily skin? To effectively manage oily skin, you must adopt an approach that focuses on external and internal factors. We have some recommendations below;

Clean Your Skin Properly

Water is a crucial element in skincare. It’s not just about what you apply to your skin but also what you rinse it with. Tap water often contains chlorine, heavy metals, and other contaminants that can irritate your skin, leading to dryness, acne, and other skin problems. By using a faucet-mounted water filter, you can ensure that your skin is exposed to the cleanest and safest water possible.
The newly released Waterdrop Skincare Face Washer can protect your skin from irritation caused by impurities present in your tap water. This bathroom sink faucet water filter can reduce 97% of chlorine, 99.9% of bacteria, and other impurities in your water source, ensuring pure, clean water for your facial washing routine.

Moisturize Correctly

Moisturize your face regularly with oil-free, lightweight moisturizers to keep it hydrated. It is best to go for products specially created for oily or acne-prone skin.

Remove Dead Skin Cells

Exfoliate your skin with salicylic acid or alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). These products can help you remove dead skin cells, prevent clogging of the pores, and reduce oiliness.
removing dead skin cells on the face

Adopt Oil-absorbing Products

Introduce blotting papers, clay masks, and other oil-absorbing products into your skincare routine to reduce the amount of oil on your face.

Drink More Water

Hydration plays a crucial role in regulating sebum production and maintaining skin elasticity. Therefore, drinking plenty of safe and clean water all day is advisable. Waterdrop reverse osmosis water filtration system can provide healthy water at home so you can always stay hydrated.

Consult the Experts

If your skin remains oily despite all your efforts, you should seek professional help. Set up an appointment with a dermatologist. They can provide you with a personalized skincare routine to help your situation. They may also prescribe medications or professional procedures like laser therapy or chemical peels.

Take Away

Understanding oily skin and its possible causes is key to having smooth and clear skin. Oily skin often develops due to hormonal fluctuations, genetic predispositions, diets, environmental factors, and lifestyle choices. Depending on your situation, you can adjust your lifestyle to achieve healthier skin. Remember that your transformative skincare journey won’t happen overnight—it takes consistency and patience.


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