Oily Skin Type: Causes and Treatment

Oily Skin Type: Causes and Treatment

Every skin type has advantages and drawbacks. For example, people who have dry skin might have trouble making their foundation look smooth, but they are less likely to suffer from acne. Those with combination skin might have trouble finding a suitable product, but the naturally-occurring oils on their T-zone area will keep their skin looking healthier and softer.

The same goes for people who have oily skin. They might be more prone to acne, but their skin shows much slower aging rates. The natural oils work as a mask for the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

We don't get to choose the skin type we're dealt, but we can always do something to improve it. Managing the amount of oil our skin produces is no exception. And by controlling our sebum levels, we can also control the side effects of oily skin.

So, what are the symptoms of the oily skin type, what causes it, and what skincare products can you use to treat it effectively? Let's find out.

What Makes Our Skin Oily in the First Place?

Before we get into all the different ways we can treat oily skin, let's delve into how our skin gets oily in the first place. Oily skin occurs when our sebaceous glands produce large amounts of sebum.

Sebum is a fancy name for the oily substance released onto the skin from the glands. A moderate amount of sebum is crucial for healthy, glowing, and well-balanced skin. However, very oily skin is more likely to cause acne breakouts.

It's important to know the difference in skin types. Oily and acne-prone skin will need a completely different routine than very dry skin, combination skin, or even a normal skin type.

Symptoms of Oily Skin

Just like any other skin condition, there are many symptoms attributed to oily skin.

It's important to remember that your skin can change due to age, the change in seasons, or even as a result of your hormonal fluctuations. So, if you're currently suffering from oily skin, it doesn't mean it will always be the case.

What are the symptoms of oily skin? Here are a couple of distinctive symptoms you should be aware of:

You might have extra oil on your nose or around your so-called "T-zone" - the space above and in between your eyebrows.

Now we've explained how the sebaceous glands work, let's examine what different factors cause the over production of oil.

What Are the Causes for an Oily Skin Type?

Knowing the causes of your oily skin is crucial to solving the problem. Multiple factors, conditions, and habits can worsen the appearance of this skin type. If you're aware of these, you have the upper hand in controlling the damage they cause.


Genetics plays the biggest role in causing oily skin. If oily skin runs in your family, you will experience it too.


As you age, the protein in your skin decreases, making your skin less oily. That doesn't mean that you always change skin types as you grow older, but it means that the amount of oil your skin produces is decreased.

However, you might experience a change in skin type. If it happens and your skin becomes very dry, it's important to treat it with new ingredients and appropriate products like our wrinkle-free moisturizer. As we've mentioned before, dry skin types are more prone to fine lines and wrinkles, so a change in your skincare routine is necessary if you want to keep your skin under control.

The Climate and Season

Environmental factors also play a major role in determining our skin condition. In excessively hot and humid climates, our skin tends to become oiler, while in dry, cold climates, people usually have dry and flaky skin.

When it comes to the seasons, each one has a different influence on our skin. For instance, during the summer, we sweat more, so our skin becomes oiler, while in the winter, our skin dries up due to the rain, winds, and cold. As a result, we might experience dry skin patches and a rough texture. It's more important than ever to use moisturizer for healthy skin.

Using Inappropriate Skincare Products for Your Skin

One of the best things we can do for our skin type is to get it properly diagnosed by a professional. This can save you a lot of time and money in the future. As you probably know, not all skincare products are created equal. The ones meant for people with dry skin will have different ingredients and effects than those for oily skin or sensitive skin. Therefore, it's important to know our skin type to buy the right products.

This often happens with people who have combination skin. People often mistake combination skin for oily skin and purchase products that are too heavy or won't combat the dry areas on their face. You might have combination skin if your forehead, nose, and chin have a greasy appearance but your cheeks have dry patches.

Remember, skin types aren't completely fixed, so your beauty routine might change as the seasons pass.

Using overly harsh products on the skin can also result in trouble. If you wash your face more than two times a day, you're doing more harm than good. It's a common misconception, especially among people who've never suffered from acne and oily skin, that you should wash your skin more often.

Contrary to popular belief, washing your skin too often can cause it to produce more oil than necessary, causing breakouts.

The same goes for exfoliating. If you do it more than two times a week, you risk damaging the protective layer of your skin.

Enlarged Pores

Enlarged pores can also be the cause of more sebum on the skin. On average, large pores produce more oil than smaller ones.

Unfortunately, you can't change the physical size of your pores. But don't despair; you can always treat them topically and choose makeup and skincare products designed specifically for people with large and visible pores that can remove excess oil.


Stress is bad for the body - we all know that. But is it equally bad for the skin? The answer is yes.

All of us have a certain amount of stress in our lives, whether it's due to school, work or relationships. Nowadays, it's impossible to spend even a day without stressing about external factors we can't control.

However, if you're concerned about oily skin, it's best to keep the stress in your life to a minimum. Stress can cause an increase in sebum production, making your skin oilier and leading to clogged pores and acne. To avoid this, try incorporating stress-relieving habits, such as yoga and meditation. Get less stress and less sebum.

Not Using Moisturizer Regularly

Many people who suffer from oily skin are tempted to skip moisturizer at some point. Some might do it regularly. After all, if there's excess sebum on the skin, it makes sense not to put anything on top of it, right? Well, that's not the case. Even oily skin types need to moisturize. Adding moisturizer after washing your face won't make your skin oilier - that's one of the biggest myths regarding skincare.

This is especially true if you use harsher products on your face, such as benzoyl peroxide and Retin A. Those products tend to dry out your skin, and you'll need a good moisturizer afterward to keep your skin healthy and glowing.

So, what's the best solution for people with oily skin? The answer lies in the product itself. Try choosing moisturizers specifically meant for you. Those are usually gentler and lighter than the rest. Opting for oil-free and non-comedogenic products will also help your condition.

Remember, it's best to use a moisturizer after each time you do your full skincare routine, which, for most people, is early in the morning and right before they go to bed.


You might be asking yourself, "What has diet got to do with my skin?"

Well, the answer is simple – in the last couple of years, numerous studies have shown a correlation between skin health and diet. It's been proven that high glycemic foods can cause an overproduction of sebum in some people. It's best to stick to a diet rich in whole plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and avoid dairy products.

Certain Cosmetic Products

When it comes to makeup and oily skin, it can be very tricky to combine the two without looking like a Christmas tree ornament. But don't despair! Luckily, there are specific cosmetic products that are designed for people who have oily skin.

Remember to always look for oil-free and non-comedogenic products. These won't clog your pores and won't cause any additional oiliness.

If you have sensitive skin, avoid harsh ingredients such as silicones, talc, or mica since they can worsen your condition. Don't use products meant for people with combination or oily skin because you may risk them drying out your skin, which will cause your face to produce excess sebum as a defense mechanism.

Make sure to do a patch test before trying any new products. This will keep irritated skin to a minimum.

Certain Types of Medication

Oily skin can be a side effect of certain types of medicine. Some medications (such as the birth control pill and hormone replacement medication) can cause excessive oil production, leaving your skin feeling greasy.

Another way medication can affect your skin is by dehydrating it, which will cause your glands to overproduce oil.

In addition, oily skin is often reported as a side effect of using certain steroids.

Oily Skin Type Treatment

Let's see what we can do to decrease the amount of oil produced in our skin.

One of the easiest things you can do is wash your face regularly. As part of our morning and nighttime routine, we should include a gentle face cleanser that removes all the excess dirt, oil, and bacteria while unclogging the pores.

If you're looking for an amazing cleanser, check out this one. Salicylic acid is a great option if you struggle with oily skin and acne.

Most experts agree that washing your face two times a day is ideal. But remember, how you dry the skin can make all the difference in the world. Don't be too harsh with the towel; instead, pat your face dry gently. By doing this, you're avoiding irritation and protecting the skin barrier against premature signs of aging.

Use a gentle cleanser to clean the facial skin. This will remove the dead skin cells and dirt that usually cause breakouts.

The next step in your skincare routine should be using a toner that will absorb the excess oil and gunk sitting on top of your skin. Watch out for some ingredients, like alcohol and synthetic fragrances. Instead, opt for natural ingredients such as aloe vera, sandalwood, witch hazel, and salicylic acid.

Try Misumi's Complete Clear 3-Step System to help with oily and acne-prone skin. With a toner, cleanser, and moisturizer, you can manage sebum production and get the clear skin you've always wanted.

Adding regular scrubs and face masks to your beauty routine is crucial. It's tempting to use harsh exfoliating products regularly, but don't give in to this temptation. Gentle exfoliators will do wonders - they will exfoliate your skin without harming your skin's protective barrier and help it renew itself, decreasing oiliness.

Using blotting sheets and papers is a great way to treat oily skin, especially if you're on the go or have already applied makeup. Blotting papers are exactly what they sound like – pieces of paper that you pat on your skin to eliminate excess oil. These can be found in most drugstores and are quite inexpensive. And the best thing about them is that you can take them anywhere and use them in a hurry.

DIY Oily Skin Type Treatments

Now that you know everything there is to know about optimizing your routine, feel free to give one of these DIY at-home treatments a go during your next pamper session.

Everyone loves a DIY treatment. They're easy, cheap, time-effective, and mostly require ingredients you already have in your home. So, what's not to love?

Honey Face Mask

Honey is amazing for combating oily skin. It can keep the skin moisturized without making it oily. Moreover, it also has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, making it the perfect option for those suffering from acne.

For this face mask, you'll need a couple of tablespoons of honey. Make sure you're using organic and raw honey if it's available to you. Apply a thin layer of honey on your skin and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Once it's done, wash it off with warm water. Your skin will be moisturized and glowing in no time!

Aloe Vera Face Mask

We've all heard aloe vera mentioned in the context of skincare before. But what makes it a suitable ingredient for your face?

As it turns out, aloe vera has incredible anti-inflammatory and cooling properties, making it a lifesaver for people suffering from sunburns. It's also rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, ingredients that suit all skin types.

Some research suggests that it might help with oily skin, especially oily patches, so it doesn't hurt to try.

You'll only need one ingredient for this face mask – pure, unrefined aloe vera gel suitable for face application. (But you can combine it with other products, like witch hazel, if you wish). Wash your face with a cleanser and apply a thin layer to your skin. You can either leave it on while you're sleeping or wash it off after half an hour - it's completely your choice.

If you have sensitive skin, wash it off after half an hour and gently pat dry. Use a patch test to see how your skin reacts before trying it all over your face, just in case it causes an allergic reaction.

Clay Mask

Cosmetic clay masks are miracle workers for oily skin and acne. You can use a few types of clay masks on your face: French green, rhassoul, kaolin, fuller Earth's clay, and bentonite. All of these perform different functions on the skin and have unique benefits. However, it's best to use kaolin clay for an oily skin treatment. Red kaolin clay, in particular, is famous for its absorbing properties.

Clay masks can be purchased in most drugstores and shops. Certain types can even be found in supermarkets. When preparing the masks, all you need is some water to form a paste. Afterward, apply it to your skin and let it sit for around 15 minutes. Wash your face thoroughly afterward and proceed with your regular routine.

Oily Skin Prevention

You don't always have the upper hand when preventing your skin from producing excess oil. As we mentioned before, genetics play a big part in determining your skin type. Other factors influencing oil production are also not always within our control, such as hormonal changes, external factors, and certain types of medication.

However, you can take steps to reduce the oils on your skin.

Keeping your skin care routine as simple as possible is crucial. Be consistent with the products you use - it can take a product a few weeks to create a difference in your skin.

When introducing new skin care products or ingredients to your usual routine, make sure you're doing it gradually and slowly to prevent any imbalances in skin pH levels and oil production.

Apply SPF every time you leave the house. Sun protection plays a vital part in keeping your skin healthy and youthful. Make sure you choose sunscreens that are suitable for oily skin types.

If you're an avid makeup user, it's best to stick to water-based or mineral makeup that won't clog pores. Make sure it doesn't contain harmful ingredients or oils. It's tempting to use layers of powder to mask your shiny appearance, but this is not always a good idea. Multilayered makeup can cause further irritation and congestion. For some people, it might even cause them to break out. It's better to use a non-comedogenic mattifying primer to mask the oiliness underneath the foundation.

Remember, diet is also one of the most important steps in keeping your skin happy and under control. Avoid processed foods and refined sugar whenever possible.

Final Thoughts

Managing oily skin can be tricky, but you're not alone. A few factors contribute to oily skin, such as your age, the climate and weather, your genetics, the products you use, and your general lifestyle. If you have combination skin, you'll likely have a lot of oil, too! While you can't influence all of them, you can certainly improve your condition by tweaking your skin care routine.

If all else fails, consult a dermatologist experienced in treating various skin conditions. They will help you find a solution.


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Patient experiences with oily skin

Diet and Dermatology

The Effect of Aloe Vera Clinical Trials on Prevention and Healing of Skin Wound

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