Do You Know What Makes Your Skin Oily?

Gunjan Lal
April 24, 2017
Views : 3398
Do You Know What Makes Your Skin Oily?

Oily skin (medically known as seborrhea) is caused due to an excess skin oil (known as sebum). When puberty hits, the increased androgen levels (which basically are male hormones present in both males as well as females), signal the oil glands of the skin to mature. Therefore, at the time of puberty zits and acne torture you because your body begins producing much more skin oil.

For some unfortunate people, oil glands go into overdrive and their skin takes on an oily look. This unpleasant oily appearance usually subsides to some extent post-puberty, but it can very well persist into adulthood - it's often seasonal, concurring with humid weather. The benefit with oily skin (yes, benefit!) on which most experts agree is that oily skin helps the skin age more slowly with fewer wrinkles. The sad fact, on the other hand, is that oily skin can look, well, oily. Additionally, as a whole, people with oily skin seem to suffer more with pimples and acne.

But apart from puberty, what else causes oily skin? A lot of us who've outgrown puberty are troubled with it equally. Here's a list of reasons which might be the reason why your skin is oily.


Did you know oily skin passes down from the parents? Well, that's true; hence hereditary factor is taken as an important factor. If you're not in luck, you might also experience aggravated oily skin condition than your parents. But you can control it with a few changes in lifestyle and a change of diet. If the condition keeps changing from time to time (for instance, you seem to experience excess oil secretion at times and on other times it's normal or not as much) the reason could be linked with hormonal disturbances in your body.

When oily skin runs in your genes, possibilities are that each member of your family will have larger sebaceous glands which make excess oil. Anyone's skin that is genetically oily is expected more to include clogged pores and breakouts.

Climatic Condition

At times the climatic conditions can be the reason behind the formation of excessively oily skin. Experts say that fluctuation in the sweat glands which can take place due to climate change can cause one to have oily skin in certain climatic conditions. For instance, if you put up in a place or visit a place with chilled weather and cold winds, the scope for sweat glands to act out would be minute. Whereas, if you go to a temperate region where the humidity is high your sweat glands would tend to be more active and start secreting sebum in abundance (especially if you have large pores)

The levels of humidity present in the atmosphere during monsoons makes the skin sweat - sweating leads to the production of excessive oil by the glands and make your skin oily. Impurities that are accumulated on the skin due to pollution, dirt and dust in the summer season also tend to make your skin oily. A rise in humidity and heat not only in monsoons but also throughout spring and summer may cause skin's oil output levels to boost.

On the other hand, when the air becomes dry during the winter season, your skin can get dehydrated and surplus oil production may happen when it overcompensates for what's missing.

Fast Food

Have you been consuming too much fast food lately? This may be the time for you to put some restriction on your consumption of fast foods. Yes, consuming fast food on a regular base in huge amounts can very well be a reason for oily skin. The excessive amount of snacks dripping with oil can not only make your skin secrete too much of oil but also initiate the development of major stomach issues. The process of digestion will not be initiated in an easy and the proper way. If your system does not work in a proper way and is not clean, there is a good chance that your skin would excrete excessive oil over and above your face.

Lack of Hydration

Most of us know we need to drink plenty of water but still have the tendency of not drinking enough water throughout the day. Thus, our bodies do not receive the right amount of water which it needed. The oil takes up a majority place and disrupts the entire process. This is also a reason why people are prone to excessive oil over the skin. The best way to treat this problem is simple - to drink as much water as possible.

It is important to consume at least two to three liters of water in a day so that your skins may breathe without getting susceptible to too much of oils.


Age is major factor that brings about changes on your skin. The hormonal fluctuation one undergoes during middle age is also responsible for the oily skin in those times. As women advance in age, they face the period of menopause in which the hormonal levels drop down leading to an excess production of oil from the skin glands causing oily skin. Hormonal treatments that are given during menopause also assist in increasing the levels of hormones in the body, which can have an adverse effect on the skin.

Radiation treatment or medicines which are prescribed to cure tumors can also bring changes in the hormonal levels of a person. Similar hormonal changes during puberty (as mentioned above) contribute to excess production of oil from the sweat glands. Apart from making the skin oily, these bring changes on the body such as the change of voice, growth of hair on several parts of the body, etc.

Menstrual Cycle

The reason for getting oily skin can be many, this is one of them. When women go through the menstrual cycle every month, the hormonal levels change along with each menstrual period. These hormonal changes tend to stimulate the oil glands in an extra production of sebum, which often leads to breakouts right before the periods.

One of the other reasons why you might have oily skin could be the irregularity in the menstrual circle. Many women and girls are seen to visit the gynecologist's chamber because of it. This may happen due to many problems related to women's reproductive system. Irregularity in menstrual cycle is also one of the reasons behind it. This irregularity gives way to the oily skin as the hormonal imbalance provides assistance to excessive oil secretion.

Cosmetic Usage

There are uncountable numbers of skin care products available in the market specifically for oily skin. You must know that these products may contain chemicals which could be harmful and damage your skin. Therefore, you must be careful while choosing cosmetic products that are oil free or are meant for oily skin. Extensive use of cosmetics to remove makeup could also harm your skin making it oilier.

Application of unnecessary skin care products can also contribute to making your skin oily. Scrubbing with a clean cloth, or using a rotating cleansing brush, hand mitts, and strips cannot just irritate your skin, but can also dry out your skin, causing it to overproduce oil for compensation.

An overuse use of skin care products in the quest for younger-looking, coherent, smoother skin - over cleansing, over exfoliating, scrubbing with too much force or applying too much product - all these things can lead to oily skin.

Also, the use of incorrect skin products (products not meant for your skin type) For instance, if you use a cleanser for make especially for oily skin when you have a blended skin, your skin will become over- stripped of the oil it requires. As a result, your skin will produce even more oil to compensate the loss.

Other Reasons That Cause Oily Skin

  • The pores on your skin help in secreting the oil which is produced by the sebaceous glands and allows proper sweating in order to maintain your body temperature. If this function is carried out smoothly the skin does not become oily. But in case, due to some reason, if your pores get clogged there may be the risk of the development of pimples and blackheads.
  • Sun tanning can also be a reason for oily skin. Tanning is awful as it decreases oil. Tan may seem to dry out your skin for some time, this, in turn, makes the sebaceous glands boost the production of oil in order to defend your skin's surface.
  • Certain medications can also cause you to have oily skin. Hormonal birth command and hormone replacement medications can cause an increase in oil output. In the same way, essentially any medication may cause dehydration and lead to a production of excess oil when your skin overcompensates for the need of oil.
  • Stress is another reason for oily skin. And by stress, I mean stress of both, the emotional as well as the physical kind. Stress stirs up your fight or flight response, and when you decide to get your fight on, that can yet again cause an increase in production of oil from your oil glands due to that hormonal surge. In an answer to stress, your body produces more androgen hormones, which leads to an excess production of oil.

Skin Care Tips for Oily Skin

  • People who have oily skin need regular cleansing with hot water and soap to prevent the pores from getting clogged.
  • Be mindful of the skincare products that you use, they might contain harsh chemicals. You need to avoid using such products to prevent your skin from getting dehydrated. Moisturizers that are oil free and cleansers that are oil based are the right choices for oily skin.
  • If you have an oily face then you must wash your face with hot water as the oil on your skin gets dissolved in hot water way better than in cold or lukewarm water.
  • Oily skin needs to be exfoliated carefully with a natural exfoliator at least twice a week. Salt and lemon are the best natural exfoliators for oily skin.
  • Mud masks or clay masks are perfect for an oily skin because they possess the properties that cut the grease effectively.
  • Neem can prove to be a boon for people who tend to suffer from oily skin due to large pores. If you apply neem paste as a face mask - it essentially works as an excellent exfoliant, additionally, it also shrinks your pore size! A neem face mask can help to prevent the development of blemishes and pimples.
  • Lastly, a balanced diet that is rich in vitamins, proteins and other nutrients, but is less in salts and sugar is best for oily skin. Fried, processed and fatty foods must be avoided as they all can boost excretion of oils from your glands.

Things You Should Avoid

Astringents, alcohols, and harsh soaps

These irritate and dry out the skin. Using such products cause your skin to compensate by producing more oil. There exists no scientific evidence that backs this claim, but anecdotally many people have found this to be the case. Regardless, these products do irritate the skin, and skin irritation can result in acne.


Yes, it is tempting to wash your face often just so you could reduce the shine that comes with oily skin. However, washing your face too many times is one of the worst things you can do (sad, but true) if you have an acne-prone skin. Washing your face over and over again produces excessive dryness which causes irritation, both of which are known to increase the symptoms of acne. So even if you have oily skin, try to wash your face properly, only two times a day.

Heavy cosmetics

I have explained above how cosmetics can cause you to have oily skin. The best way to walk past this trouble is to either avoid heavy cosmetics altogether or learn about the products that you use (their ingredients, and what skin type they are meant for) before you apply them on your skin.

Gunjan Lal

Gunjan Lal

Hi! I’m Gunjan, a self-proclaimed tea fanatic and intrigued with alternative ways to lead a healthy life. I firmly believe that we should take care of our bodies because it’s the only place we live in.

Share Your Views