Updated: 2021, Jun 16

Oily Skin: Symptoms, Causes, Skin Care and Treatment

What is an Oily Skin?

When it appears that your entire skin (especially on the face) is coated with layers and layers of oil, you are probably suffering from an oily skin.

Oily Skin: Symptoms, Causes, Skin Care and Treatment

The overproduction of oil is caused by hyperactive sebaceous glands.

What are the Symptoms of Oily Skin?

Someone who has an oily skin, more often than not, has large pores, obvious blackheads, and pimples. In worse conditions, the person also suffers from acne.

The symptoms are all causing drastic humiliation to the sufferer.

What Causes Oily Skin?

Oily Skin
  • Heredity: When your mother or father has an oily skin type, chances are you and your siblings will have sebaceous glands that are overactive, too. Skin types can be inherited; hence some people are genetically wired to have breakouts and clogged, large pores.
  • Diet: A diet made up of processed food, excessive caffeine, high in fats, salt, and sugar will likely lead you to have an oily skin. An unhealthy diet leaves the skin dehydrated and poorly nourished, causing the sebaceous glands to go wild and jumpy.
  • Pregnancy: There is a drastic fluctuation of the hormone estrogen when you are pregnant. This leads to sebaceous glands being out of control. A lot of pregnant women are complaining of oilier than normal skin. Do not worry as the skin goes back to the previous skin type after delivery.
  • Puberty: Blame it to the spurt of hormones, adolescent girls and boys experience their first gush of extra oil during this period. This problematic phase stretches until they are about 18-21 years old, although others remain to have an oily skin in their adulthood.
  • Cosmetics: There are make-up products that encourage your sebaceous glands to be active. These cosmetic items are usual oil-based, hence feel heavier and greasier on the skin. Most of the time, cosmetics in liquid forms cause your skin to be oily.
  • Seasonal Changes: During the summer season, the heat and humidity drastically increase leading to your skin producing oil than normal. However, during the winter season where the air becomes arid, the skin gets dehydrated causing the sebaceous gland to overcompensate for the dryness, leading to an increased level of oil.
  • Overuse of Skin Care Products: Sometimes in achieving the goal of younger, cleaner and smoother skin, people tend to overcleanse and overexfoliate. Whenever you use too much cleaning and exfoliating products (especially with scrubs), the skin is stripped of its natural oils, which results to the sebaceous glands compensating for the loss.
  • Stress: Stress can cause your hormone to go crazy and produce lots of oil.

How do You Know If you have Oily Skin?

How to tell if you have an oily skin? If you have the following signs below, then your skin type is oily.

  • Greasy skin all the time. Not just in the T-zone area (forehead, nose and chin) but the entire face.
  • Plenty of blackheads. They usually camp in the opening of the pores.
  • Plenty of breakout battles.
  • Make up does not last long.
  • Experiences oxidation with foundation use. This is when your foundation color changes a few hours after application.
  • Larger pores than the usual. This is most evident in the nose and cheeks are.

What are The Problems Associated with Oily Skin?

Common problems associated with having an oily skin is acne.

This is an inflammatory skin disease involving the sebaceous glands and is characterized by papules, comedones or pustules.

Daily Routine for Oily Skin

Daily routine for someone who has an oily skin involves regular cleansing, toning and moisturizing.

If you use sunblock, choose an oil free product and apply it before your moisturizer.

Diet for Oily Skin

The number one rule for any skin type is drinking plenty of water to keep the skin hydrated at all times.


*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.

A balanced diet consisting of lean protein, complex carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables and essential fats also helps in maintaining the health of your skin.

Stay away from simple carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta, refined sugar hidden in bottles of carbonated drinks and sachets of white sugar, excessive intake of salt, and processed food.

Take vitamin supplements as every pill refurnishes what is lacking on your diet. Studies reveal that a deficiency in vitamin B2 results to an oily skin; so stack your plate with organ meats, wheat germ, nuts, and whole grains.

Make sure your rice is fortified with iron to keep your Fe levels right.
As much as possible, avoid food that has been cooked with oil.

If ever the use of oil is necessary, stay within the options of healthy oils like coconut, olive, vegetable and canola oil, and buy only the bottles labeled as “extra virgin”.

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Skin Care for Oily Skin

Pick skin care products that are water-based and specifically formulated for oily skin types.

This ensures that every time you cleanse, tone and moisturize, your pores are not in danger of getting clogged. Choosing skin care products that do not fit for your skin type only aggravates your oil problem.

The goal is to control oil production and not to encourage it.

Never go to bed without cleansing your skin free from dirt and make up, no matter how exhausted you are feeling. They will block the pores, and lead to more blackheads and pimples.

Keep your skin clean from impurities, but do not go overboard as excessive cleansing will only stimulate your glands to produce more oil.

Treat your skin to a special mud mask twice a week. Mud masks suck out the oils from the pores, leaving the skin cleaner and rejuvenated. Before slathering on a mask, expose your skin first to a mist of a hot water.


*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.

This preparation enables your pores to open, hence maximizing the benefits of your mud mask.

Opt for a gentle exfoliation rather than the harsh method of scrubs. Use an antibacterial soap as a cleanser If are suffering from acne.

Mediated soaps treat the underlying problem of infected papules and pustules.

Protecting Oily Skin

All skin types require the protective assistance of a sunblock. For oily skin, opt for an oil-free sunblock.

If you live in a tropical country, your sunscreen must have at least an SPF of 30. You need to apply a sunscreen even when indoors because UV rays penetrate through the roof and windows.

Treatment for Oily Skin

When treating an oily skin, the cause must first be identified before any treatment ensues.

Generally, gentle cleansing twice a day is the most effective management for oily skin types. For acne-ridden skin, look for products with ingredients like benzyl peroxide, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or beta hydroxy acid.

These acids work in clearing out the pimples. Toners that are free of alcohol also help treat problems associated with oily skin. They dry out the pimples and close the pores.

Skin types change all throughout the year. If your skin gets the oiliest during summer, alter your skin care products.

During winter when your skin gets normal or dry, switch to moisturizing skin care items. Using products when not needed only aggravates the oil problem.

If regular skin care rituals and over the counter products do not make the cut, consult a dermatologist.

How Can I Find The Best Cream for Oily Skin?

The belief that creams and moisturizers are unnecessary when your skin is oily is not a myth.

People with oily skin types still need to hydrate their skin. Dehydrated skin leads to overproduction of oil.

So if you want to help your skin, apply a light, water-based moisturizer infused with vitamins and minerals.

Read Also: DHC Deep Cleansing Oil Review and Importance Of PH Balanced Cleanser


*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.

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