The Top 8 Causes of Oily Skin and How to Treat It

May 6, 2020
Oily skin can be a constant torment. It leaves your skin looking greasy and shiny even just hours after washing it. It causes breakouts and blemishes, and often sends your foundation sliding off your face well before the day is through. You can blame oily skin on your sebaceous glands, which are tiny glands that produce sebum to moisturize and protect the skin. However, if your sebaceous glands are overproducing sebum then you’ll have a problem with oily skin. There are many reasons why your sebaceous glands might be overactive and therefore many causes of oily skin. Below are 8 of the most common reasons to blame for your oily skin.'
1.     Genetics
We can't talk about skin type without acknowledging the major role of genetics. Just like every other physical feature, we get our skin from our parents. If you have oily skin, chances are then that you inherited it. Unfortunately, there’snot anything you can do about that. But there are products for oily skin that can help.
2.     Over-washing or under-washing
It might seem counterintuitive but washing your face too often and with harsh products can actually cause an increase in excess oil on your face. Its important to recognize that the way your face behaves is often in reaction to something else. So when you wash your face frequently, your skin starts to tryout. And in response to this dryness, your sebaceous glands will kick into overdrive to compensate.
That excess oil and sebum along with any dead skin cells on your face are what will clog your pores and cause acne, so washing consistently is important. Sweat is another contributor to acne breakouts, so be sure to wash directly after exercising.
Treatment: When it comes to cleansing your skin, stick to twice daily – once in the morning and once at night. Also, be sure to use the right cleanser. Steer clear of oil-based and alcohol-based cleansers, and try to avoid anything with harsh acne-fighting agents, like benzoyl peroxide, which will dry out your skin. A gentle foaming cleanser with salicylic acid and vitamin A (which studies have shown can help mitigate oily skin) is the best solution.
3.     Cosmetics
Nothing can destroy your confidence like checking your reflection just hours after applying makeup to see that your foundation is melting off. If you suffer from oily skin then chances are you have been there. Makeup, especially foundation,can be difficult to tame when your skin is oily. It really all comes down to finding the right products for oily skin, and the good news is that there are makeup lines out there specifically formulated to combat that shine.
Treatment: There are a few important steps you should take before applying makeup to ensure that it won’t slide off. Using the right moisturizer is essential, but we’ll get to that in a bit. When it comes to cosmetic products, choose foundations that use words like “matte” and “mattifying” or “longwear” and “lightweight.” You definitely want to avoid foundations that describe themselves as having a “luminescent” or “radiant” finish, as these products are likely to add a sheen that will make your skin look greasy. You may also want to consider powder foundations, mattifying primers, and setting sprays. Anything labeled oil-free and non-comedogenic will be your skin’s best friend. And absolutely do not skip out on washing your makeup off at the end of the day.
4.     Moisturizer
Its a common misconception that oily skin reduces the need for moisturizer or even that moisturizer will make your oily skin even oilier. The fact is, moisturizing is one of the most important steps in a skin care routine, for all skin types. Not using enough moisturizer is one of the more prevalent causes of oily skin.
Treatment: Use non-comedogenic and oil-free moisturizers so you won’t clog your pores. A lightweight, breathable moisturizer will keep your skin hydrated and prevent your sebaceous glands from overproducing sebum in response to dry skin. If your skin is oily in your-zone and dry in other areas, you can always use two different moisturizers– lightweight, oil-free for that oily t-zone, and a creamier, thicker moisturizer for any dry patches.
5.     Pillowcases
Say you've perfected your nightly skincare routine. It’s 5 steps, from cleanser to moisturizer and in the end, your skin is glowing with gratitude. Then, you lay your head down on a pillowcase that hasn’t been washed in weeks. Thatpillowcase is likely covered in all kinds of dirt and oil, and now you’ve just laid your fresh, clean face on top of it, rendering your meticulous and rigorous skincare regimen completely useless.
Treatment: Wash. Your. Bedding. This is a major cause of oily skin, but one so easily overlooked. And washing your sheets regularly might not always be convenient, so keep an extra set on hand so you can swap them out without having to take the time to wash them.
6.     Dehydration
Dehydration is the root of so many problems. Just like with under-moisturizing, dehydrated skin cells will respond by over-producing oil. Dehydration also causes inflammation throughout the body which can lead to breakouts and redness, and just generally unhappy skin.
Treatment:Drink more water. This one is simple, and it'll be more than just your skin thanking you for it.
7.     Weather
Hot and humid weather is a major cause of oily skin. The heat and humidity will trigger your sebaceous glands to secrete more sebum than normal in response, and colder climates will dry your skin out which will send your sebaceous glands into overdrive as well.
Treatment: Moisturizer and sunscreen. Moisturizer is always key to fighting oily skin and acne. But sunscreen might be another unsung hero. UV rays will trigger sebum production, causing more oil on your skin. So be sure to apply sunscreen every day.
8.     Nutrition
If you love cheese, then we have some bad news for you. Research shows that dairy products can lead to oily skin. Dairy products contain a high level of hormones which lead to greasy skin. So if you notice that you are breaking out a lot, it may have something to do with how much dairy you are consuming.
Treatment: Cut back on the dairy. If this is too tough, then use detoxifying products to combat the oiliness. 
Oily skin may have its roots in your genetic makeup, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do to prevent it. Knowing what causes oily skin can help you treat it. If you’re armed with the knowledge, shopping for skincare and cosmetic products doesn’t have to be so challenging. And you can make better lifestyle choices to help keep your oily skin in check.
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