10 causes of oily skin

Have you ever notice that your skin emits a little extra shine? This is because everyone has oil in their skin. The sebaceous gland located under the skin’s surface produces natural oils called as sebum. Sebum is the waxy, oily substance which helps to keep your skin healthy and hydrated.

Oily skin due to the overproduction of the sebum from sebaceous glands. Hormone changes, genetics, or even stress can increase the production of sebum. Oily skin can lead to closed pores and acne.

A constant shiny look of skin is the symptom of oily skin. Oily skin may even feel shiny or greasy within some hours of cleansing. The causes of oily skin include environmental, genetic, and other lifestyle factors. Though you cannot certainly get rid of your oily skin, you can take steps to make skin less oily. The key to this is to recognize one or more of these underlying causes.


Oily skin usually inclines to run in families. If one of your parents has oily skin, you are likely to have overactive sebaceous glands. Having larger sebaceous glands produce excess oil which is a hereditary feature that can be passed down the family tree.


Though you do not grow out of the oily skin, your skin produces less sebum as you age. As you age your skin loses protein, like collagen. This causes the sebaceous glands to slow down.

That is why several people who possess aging skin also have dry skin. Wrinkles and fine lines are also more obvious at this time because of the lack of collagen and sebum.

One benefit of having oily skin is that you may not show aging signs as quickly as your drier counterparts.

3.Where you live and the time of year

As aging and genetics drive the basic causes of oily skin, the time of year and where you live can also make a difference.

Humidity and hot weather also impose the effect on your sebaceous glands. The hot climate tends to increase the sebum secretion thus leading to the production of more oil on the skin. On the other hand, in cold or arid climates, skin can dry out. It can cause oil glands to go into overdrive to compensate.

One may more likely to have more oil on skin during the summer than in the fall or winter. While it may not be easy to pick up and move away because of oily skin, you can adjust your routine during days of humidity and high heat.

Try to keep blotting sheets with you to touch up surplus oil throughout the day. A nonglossy moisturizer or foundation can also help soak extra oil.

4.Using the wrong skin care products

Using the wrong skin care products for your skin type can also be brought oily skin. Skincare products should be used according to your skin type. Some people may incorrectly take combination skin for oily skin, and they might use thick creams, for example.

People having drier skin during the winter may need to change their skin care plan for the spring and summer with gel-based cleansers and lightweight moisturizers.

Correct skin care products can make a vast difference in the amount of oil left on your face.

5.Enlarged Pores

Sometimes your pores may stretch out due to weight fluctuations, age, and preceding breakouts. Larger pores produce more oil on the skin.

It is not possible to shrink your pores, but you can take care to blot areas of your face with enlarged pores throughout the day.

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Skincare products which you use should be according to your skin type. They must be of a high quality and are labeled as either noncomedogenic or oil-free. For instance, if you use a product for dry skin or combination skin when your skin is, in fact, oily, you can either use a greasy product or dry out your face, causing more oil production. Poor-quality cosmetics are usually damaging for the skin. They tend to be harsher thus making the sebaceous glands pump out extra oil.

7.Overdoing your skincare routine

Washing your face or exfoliating too often can make your skin extra oily. This may seem like an oxymoron since the purpose of washing and exfoliating is to get rid of extra oil.

Scrubbing too hard with washcloths or with abrasive exfoliators will strip the skin of moisture thus causing glands to overproduce oil.

However, if you do this too often, it may strip away too much oil from your skin. This can cause your sebaceous glands to produce even more oil to make up for the loss. That is why mild cleansing is very important.

Washing your skin twice a day can keep excess oil at bay.

Failing to wear sunscreen can also cause the production of excess sebum. Try to wear sunscreen every single day. Foundations and moisturize with sunscreen tend to be less oily, but you still need to reapply it throughout the day.

image taken from Epiphany Dermatology

8.Poor Diet

It is usually difficult to not indulge in foods containing sugar, dairy products, and refined carbohydrates. But the consumption of these foods too frequently may lead to overactive sebum production which in turn makes your skin shiny or greasy.

9.Skipping your moisturizer

Moisturizer is equally important for all types of skin, including dry and oily skin. If you are using acne treatments, you absolutely need a good moisturizer to help keep your skin from drying out. Without good moisturizer, any skin type will surely dry out.

So instead of skipping moisturizer, you must try to find the right kind of moisturizer. Lightweight and water-based moisturizers usually work great for oily skin. After cleansing and toning, always make this your last step. Usually oil-free and non-comedogenic products help keep pores clear.

10.Hormonal Changes

Oily skin and hormones usually go hand in hand. Androgens are mostly responsible for oil production, and sometimes they may vary, causing an increase in sebum production. This frequently happens during puberty, during menopause, just before menstruation, and during pregnancy. Stress and illness can also stimulate the release of extra hormones, and with the hormones, more oil comes.


Oily skin is complex with a number of causes. It is also possible that a person may have more than one cause of oily skin.

For instance, oily skin may run in your family, and you might also live in a humid climate. In such cases, you will need to report all the causes of additional oil to achieve clearer, cleaner skin.

Once you have come up with your oily skin action plan, you will need to give it some time to work.

Sometimes a month or two is enough for any major improvements. But if you are still dealing with extra oil after this period, you may need to see your dermatologist.





Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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