This article explains what an oily skin type is, how to know if your skin is the oily type and the possible cause of oily skin.
You might know that everyone’s skin produces oil – this naturally produced oil is called sebum, a wax-like substance.
While lubricating your skin, sebum protects your skin from drying out and irritation. When this process functions normally, sebum removes dead skin cells and other irritants from your skin pores.
An oily skin type is exactly what it sounds like. In the case of oily skin, sebaceous glands are overactive and discharge excess sebum. The excess oil on the face makes your skin look shiny or greasy. If left untreated, your skin pores can become clogged, accumulating dead skin cells, and leading to various skin imperfections.
How Do You Know if You Have Oily-Type Skin
If your skin shows the following signs, then your skin is oily type:
- Your face is shiny and generally appears greasy later in the day.
- Skin pores are visibly enlarged, particularly on your nose, chin, and forehead.
- Makeup seems to “slide” off and doesn’t stay on for long.
- The oilier areas on your face have pimples, blackheads, or other forms of acne.
Take special note of your T-Zone. It’s the area of your face consisting of your forehead and nose, which usually have more active oil glands that produce excess sebum. If your T-Zone is oily, but the rest of your face looks dry or normal, your skin is combination-type.
7 Causes of Oily Skin
What causes oily skin?
As explained above, if your skin persistently looks shiny and you have to wipe your face several times during the day, then you have oily-type skin. Oily skin feels greasy within hours of cleansing.
Oily skin can occur for many reasons, including lifestyle, environmental, and genetic factors. But oily skin is typically genetic – if your parents had oily skin, it’s a probability that you, too, will have a similar fate. However, it can also result from heightened hormone levels, for example, during puberty or menopause period, or during women’s menstrual cycle and pregnancy because sebaceous glands become overactive during these times.
Let’s discuss the leading seven causes responsible for oily skin:
Oily skin tends to run in families. For example, if one of your parents has overactive sebaceous glands, you will likely have oily skin.
Age can be responsible for your oily skin. People in their teens and 20s are more likely to have oily skin. This is because as we age, the sebaceous glands slow down. This is why many people have dry skin when they grow old. This is also the time when fine lines and wrinkles are more noticeable because of the lack of collagen and sebum.
However, it doesn’t mean that with age, you will necessarily grow out of oily skin.
One benefit of oily skin is that you may not show signs of aging as quickly as your drier counterparts.
The place where you live, and the time of year
Besides genetics and age responsible for the underlying causes of oily skin, the place where you live and the time of year can also make a difference.
People are likely to have oilier skin in humid and hot climates than in the fall or winter.
Whereas one may not be able to pick up and move away because of their oily skin, they can try to adjust their daily routine during days of high humidity and heat.
Keep blotting sheets handy to touch up extra oil throughout the day. A matte moisturizer or foundation can also help soak up excessive oil.
Sometimes your skin pores stretch because of growing old, previous acne breakouts and weight fluctuations. Larger pores tend to produce more oil.
Though it’s hard to reduce pore sizes, you can take care to blot areas of your face with enlarged pores throughout the day.
Using the wrong skin care products
Oily skin conditions may aggravate by applying the skin care products that are not right for your skin type. For example, don’t mistake combination skin for oily-type skin and use too heavy creamle.
Use the correct skin care products meant for oily skin and see how they make a huge difference in the amount of oil your skin produces.
If you have oily skin that becomes drier during the winter months, you may need to change your skincare plan that suits dry skin during winter.
Overdoing your skin care routine
Many people wash and exfoliate more, thinking this will help eliminate oil. But, on the contrary, washing your face or exfoliating it too often can make your skin oilier.
The reason is that if you do this too often, it will strip away too much of the oil from your skin. This can prompt sebaceous glands to enter emergency mode, producing even more oil to compensate for the loss.
You only need to wash your skin twice daily to keep extra oil at bay.
Not wearing sunscreen can also dry out your skin, resulting in more sebum production. Remember to wear sunscreen every single day. Moisturizers and foundations with sunscreen are typically less oily, so you may need to reapply them throughout the day.
Skipping your moisturizer
It’s a myth that moisturizer makes your skin oily. The fact is that without moisturizer, any skin type (including oily skin) will dry out.
In fact, if you’re using acne treatments like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, you certainly need a good moisturizer to prevent your skin from drying out.
So instead of skipping moisturizer, the secret is to look for the right moisturizer. Lightweight, water-based moisturizers are good for oily type skin. Make sure this is always your last step after cleansing and toning.
Also, read labels and choose products that say “oil-free” and “non-comedogenic” to help keep your skin’s pores clear.
Oily skin can occur due to many causes. Therefore, you may have one or more than one cause for your oily skin.
For instance, you might be living in a humid climate, and also oily skin may run in your family. In such cases, you’ll have to address all the causes of extra oil on your skin to help achieve cleaner and clearer skin.
Once you’ve started your oily skin treatment, you need to give it some time to work.
It can sometimes take a month or two to see any significant improvements. If you still struggle with extra oil after this time, you may need to see a dermatologist.