Oily Skin: Causes, Consequences, And Solutions

What is oily skin?

Everyone’s skin needs a specific amount of oil to stay hydrated. This oil is produced by the sebaceous glands which are located all over the body but are particularly numerous on the face and scalp.  

These glands produce a substance, called sebum, which is a natural lubricant that protects the skin from external aggressions and prevents it from drying out. It also helps remove dead skin cells and other debris from your pores.

The amount of sebum you produce defines the type of your skin. If your sebaceous glands are overactive and create too much sebum, your skin may seem shiny and your pores will clog. This is why those with oily skin are more prone to skin imperfections like acne.

What are the causes of oily skin?

There are several factors behind your oily skin. They could be separated into two categories: health reasons and environmental factors. The health reasons include hormonal changes that happen in your body. However, the environmental factors include humidity and weather change.

The list below contains the main causes of oily skin.

Genetics

Oily skin is typically hereditary, so if one of your parents has oily skin, it’s likely you will have inherited the trait. Oily skin can be inherited through your ADN, as having larger sebaceous glands that produce surplus oil is a hereditary characteristic that can be transferred down the family tree.

Environment

Humidity and hot weather boost sebum production, resulting in more oil on the skin. In arid or cold conditions, on the other hand, skin can dry up, prompting oil glands to overwork to compensate.

Washing Too Much

If you believe that overwashing your face would reduce oil on the skin by limiting sebum production, you are wrong. Scrubbing the skin too hard with washcloths, other abrasive instruments, or strong exfoliators actually dehydrates the skin, causing glands to overproduce oil. That’s why a controlled cleansing is so important.

Cosmetics

It’s important to always use high-quality skincare products that are suitable for your skin type. For oily skin, make sure to choose the products that are labeled as either oil-free or non-comedogenic. If you choose the wrong product, you risk drying out your skin, causing oil overproduction, or choosing a product that is too oily. Poor-quality cosmetics could damage the skin and cause the sebaceous glands to produce more oil.

Hormonal Changes

Hormones and oily skin appear to be completely linked. Androgens are the hormones directly responsible for oil production. They cause sebum overproduction when their level fluctuates. This often occurs during puberty and pregnancy, as well as during some women’s menstrual cycles or menopause. Extra hormones could be released too due to stress and illness resulting in sebum overproduction.

Poor Diet

It might be tough to stay away from sugary, refined carbohydrate, and dairy-based meals. However, as delicious as these meals are, too much of them can lead to excess sebum production and the greasy shine that comes with it.

Oily skin treatment?

Although oily skin can clog pores and cause acne breakouts, it also offers a lot of advantages. Oil aids in the preservation of the skin, and those with oily skin have thicker skin and fewer wrinkles. The trick is to find a good compromise between having too much oil and keeping your skin’s natural hydration.

Dermatologists prescribe the following methods to help manage oily skin:

Washing Regularly

To care for oily skin, you must first remove the extra oil by regularly washing your face in the morning, before bedtime, and after a workout.

Avoid using extremely harsh cleaners, since they can irritate skin and cause oil production. Instead, use a mild, foamy wash. You shouldn’t scrub your face too hard for the same reason.

It’s important that your cleanser is non-comedogenic, non-irritating, and non-allergenic. It should also be easy to rinse off. gels or bars work better for oily skin than creams or oil washes.

Exfoliating Several times

Don’t forget to exfoliate. Use a light, exfoliating wash several times a week. This will help remove dead skin cells, which can trap sebum. When sebum gets stuck in dead skin cells, it leads to acne.

Apply moisturizer daily

Moisturizer is also necessary for oily skin, especially if you’re using oil-removing products. Choose a non-comedogenic and lightweight moisturizer that won’t clog your pores.

Use blotting papers

Throughout the day, blotting papers can be used to remove build-up and regulate shine. This item may be found at most big-box retailers as well as smaller places. Avoid rubbing the paper against your face, since this might spread the oil.

Avoid Touching Your Face

Throughout the day, avoid touching your face. This can transfer bacteria, debris, and even more oil to face areas that are prone to developing acne and other irritations.

Remove Makeup Before Bed

Besides choosing non-comedogenic cosmetics that won’t clog your pores, make sure you take off all of your makeup before going to bed. Use a makeup remover that works without requiring you to scratch and aggravate your skin. Micellar water makeup removers are excellent at removing water-based makeup. They have proven effective at removing also the oily film left behind by an oil-based makeup remover.

Avoiding Certain Ingredients

There are some ingredients in skincare products that could clog your pores. So avoid using products that contain cocoa butter, coconut oil, petroleum jelly, and silicone.

Avoid also alcohol-based products since they irritate the skin.

Choosing the Right Products

Choose products that contain ingredients with verified oil-fighting characteristics such as Green tea, Niacinamide (a form of vitamin B3), and L-carnitine (an amino acid).

Follow the directions on the product label while using it. If you’re trying anything new, start by using it gently to ensure that it doesn’t irritate your skin and aggravate your conditions.

When to See a Dermatologist

Everyone’s skin is distinct, and there is no such unique approach to skincare. The above recommendation may fail to give you the result you want.

If oily skin makes you feel uncomfortable and embarrassed or you are dealing with blackheads or acne, make an appointment with a dermatologist.