Why Is My Skin So Oily?

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Why Is My Skin So Oily?

Why Is My Skin So Oily?

If you’re constantly battling blemishes and reaching for blotting papers in your purse, we can empathize. Oily skin can come with its benefits, but constantly managing the breakouts and oily sheen that can come with the territory can be overwhelming.

Fortunately, there are ways you can manage those visual symptoms of oily skin without having to pack on the powder. Let's discuss oily skin, what causes it, and how to maintain that dewy look without looking greasy.

What Is Oily Skin?

All skin types produce natural oil, also called sebum. Oily skin is simply skin that produces an excessive amount of oil. These overactive oil glands often respond to certain stressors or internal factors.

Your skin’s natural oils are extremely important for your overall skin health. Without them, your skin would be more prone to the visible effects of accelerated aging, chronic dehydration, and an overall skin texture that appears perpetually dull, rough, and parched.

Oily Skin Type vs. Occasional Oily Skin

It’s important to note here that having an oily skin type is different from having abnormally oily skin at certain times. The key lies in what’s normal for you.

If you normally have overactive oil production, you may have an oily skin type. If you usually have dry skin and suddenly notice excess oil production, the reason might be a sudden change in your environment or lifestyle, or a separate underlying cause.

You can see a dermatologist or other healthcare provider if you're unsure what your skin type is and what skincare products will work for you. 

What Does Oily Skin Look Like?

The first and most obvious way you can tell whether or not you have oily skin: simply look at it. Excess sebum production can often create a slick and shiny appearance, and your skin may even feel oily to the touch.

You can also pay attention to other telltale signs of oily skin, like breakouts. If you get a lot of blemishes, blackheads, and pimples, you might have oily skin. The bacteria that cause these blemishes thrive in an oily environment, which is why breakouts are generally more common with oily skin.

You can tell whether you have an oily skin type by simply washing your face. Without applying any serums or moisturizers, if your skin naturally gets oily after half an hour of washing it, you likely have oily skin. On the other hand, if your skin only gets oily in your T-zone (your forehead, nose, and chin), you might have combination skin.

Combination skin must be treated differently than oily skin because there are both oily areas and dry areas of skin. For these areas of dryness, it’s important not to use products designed for oily skin, as these products can further dry out your skin. This can ultimately cause more fine lines, dead skin cell buildup, and more serious skin problems down the road.

What Are the Causes of Oily Skin?

If you have consistently oily skin, that might simply be your skin type. In that case, your skin’s oil level likely doesn’t change much. You might have days where it’s more or less oily, but ultimately, your skin will likely always have a natural sheen to it.

However, if your skin suddenly becomes oily, a couple of factors could be at play.

Some of the possible causes of oilier skin include:

  • Hormone Fluctuations: Testosterone, an androgen, can cause oil glands to release more oil. Progesterone is another hormone that can trigger extra oil production when its levels are high.
  • Stress: Cortisol, the stress hormone, can also increase oil production in the skin.
  • Age: Skin typically produces less sebum as you age, so your oily face may be a temporary part of your youth.
  • Environmental Factors: You might notice more skin oil if you are in a hot or humid climate. 
  • Harsh Skincare Products: If your skincare products have stripped away your skin’s natural oils, your skin might increase its secretion of oil to make up for it.
  • Oily Moisturizers: Some moisturizers leave an oily residue on the skin, which can easily be mistaken for oily skin.

How Can You Address Oily Skin?

If your skin is creating excess sebum, there are ways you can manage the shine. One of the most efficient ways to address the appearance of oily skin is to strategize your skincare routine.

Use Gentle Cleansers

Washing your face is the first step of your skincare routine and this is also one of the steps that can affect your oil production the most. Some face washes can strip the skin of its natural oils, especially if you use a foaming cleanser.

Instead, you may want to look for a gentle cleanser that lifts away debris without causing an overproduction of oil or overwashing the skin. For instance, The MANTLE Skin Conditioning Wash features a pre and probiotic complex, stabilized vitamins C and E, and short-chain hyaluronic acid to deliver a deep cleanse and nourish its natural balance.

Use Exfoliating Serums

Next, you can use an exfoliating serum to clear away dead skin cell buildup and support a smooth and bright appearance. Serums that include salicylic acid and niacinamide can also help support balanced oil production.

For this step, consider our Resurfacing Compound. This resurfacing serum combines the power of toner, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, exfoliants, and retinol all into one powerful, all-encompassing formula. 

Plus, our double patent-pending SIREN Capsule Technology makes sure that these ingredients are directed straight to the areas of the skin that need them the most.

Use Lightweight Moisturizers With Occlusives

Finally, ensure your skin stays hydrated with a non-comedogenic moisturizer. You’ll see plenty of moisturizers marketed as oil-free and water-based. Still, the prime factor to consider when choosing moisturizers is whether they provide deep hydration using humectants and occlusives. 

Humectants are ingredients that draw water into the skin, while occlusives help retain the moisture. A foolproof favorite for all skin types, even oily, The SUPER Intensive Face Oil quenches skin with actives like hyaluronic acid, vegan squalene, peptides, and more to deliver multi-layer hydration for up to 48 hours.

As with any skincare routine, finishing your routine with noncomedogenic sunscreen is important. It’s generally recommended to choose a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 that provides broad-spectrum coverage against UVA and UVB rays.

Wrapping It All Up

If you have oily skin, chances are you’re used to the constant shine that comes with it. You may even be accustomed to breakouts common with oily skin. 

If you have oily skin all the time, you might just have an oily skin type. However, if you suddenly have oily skin, it could be from hormonal fluctuations or using the wrong skincare products.

Luckily, you can address the visible symptoms of oily skin with simple skincare swaps. To learn more about how to manage your skin type and reveal your dewiest, most youthful-looking skin, visit the U Beauty blog today.


Sunscreen FAQs | American Academy of Dermatology

How to Control Oily Skin | American Academy of Dermatology

Sebaceous Glands: Function, Location & Secretion | Cleveland Clinic

Demystifying Gross Stuff | American Chemical Society

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