Why do I have oily skin and how to control it

Ok, first things first - oil on your skin is not all bad. If you’re in doubt, check out our previous blog about your skin’s natural defense and how oil (sebum) plays a role in this.

But! So often we get an excess in oil. You know - that super shiny, greasy look all over your face. No matter how much blotting paper or “matte-look” makeup you use, the oil seems to break through an hour or so later. And worst of all, this over production of oil is apparently causing breakouts and blackheads!

So why does this happen and how do we stop it?

Causes of oily skin, and steps to take to control it.

Under each of your pores is a sebaceous gland that produces natural oils called sebum. This helps keep your skin hydrated and healthy. But when they go into overdrive, it can wreak havoc.

Let’s look at the things that you can’t really control.

  1. Genetics

Oily skin does tend to run in families. If one of your parents has oily skin, you’re likely to have overactive sebaceous glands, too.

  1. Age

Over time, your skin will naturally produce less sebum as you age. So while you may not grow out of oily skin, the sebaceous glands will certainly slow down.

This is why many people who have aging skin also have dry skin. Fine lines and wrinkles are also more noticeable because of the lack of collagen and sebum.

So if you have oily skin now, one benefit is that you may not show signs of aging as quickly as your drier counterparts.

  1. Season and location

While genetics and age drive the underlying causes of oily skin, where you live and the time of year can also make a difference.

People tend to have oilier skin in hot, humid climates. You’re also more likely to have more oil on your skin during the summer than you would in the fall or winter.

Things that you can control that may be contributing to your oily skin.

  1. Using unsuitable skin care products

Oily skin can be brought on by using the wrong skin care products for your skin type. Some people mistake combination skin for oily skin, and they might use too heavy creams, for example.

Therefore it is super important to figure out your skin type before looking for a skincare routine to match. Find out your skin type here with our quick quiz.

Using the correct skin care products can make a huge difference in the amount of oil that’s left on your face.

  1. Overdoing your skin care routine

On the flip side, washing your face or exfoliating too often can also make your skin oily. This can seem like an oxymoron, since the purpose of washing and exfoliating is to get rid of oil.

But if you do this too often, you strip away too much of the oil from your skin. This can cause your sebaceous glands to go into emergency mode, where they produce even more oil to make up for the loss.

You only need to wash your skin twice a day to keep excess oil at bay.

Failing to wear sunscreen can also dry out your skin, leading to more sebum production. Make sure you wear sunscreen every single day. Moisturizers and foundations with sunscreen tend to be less oily, but you may still need to reapply throughout the day.

  1. Skipping your moisturizer

It’s a myth that moisturizer causes oily skin. In fact, without moisturizer, any skin type will dry out.

So instead of skipping moisturizer, the key is to find the right kind of moisturizer. A lightweight moisturiser works well for oily skin. Always make this your last step after cleansing and serum.

  1. Lack of exfoliation

This refers more to breakouts and blackheads caused by an excess of oil. By exfoliating once a week with an exfoliant with both a physical exfoliation action and an active enzyme formula, we clear away dead skin cells, dirt and bacteria that clog your pores and ultimately lead to breakouts and blackheads. 

In addition, we recommend a deep detox mask, like this one, to further draw out impurities and blockages in your skin and help minimise your pores, as well as balance the oil production from your pores.

Do you struggle with oily or breakout prone skin? Try our Daily Essentials Set for Oily/Acne Prone Skin. In 3 easy steps, you will notice the difference and be on your way to happy, balanced skin - forever!