How to Know If You Have Oily Skin & Treatments

Mother Dirt

Oils that are produced by the body naturally are good for your skin. But as they say, everything is good in limits, the same thing applies here too. Excessive oil can lead to skin issues like acne flare-ups and blemishes. So, it becomes vital for you to alter your skincare routine as well as the products that can help overcome this issue.

Are you still wondering how to know if you have oily skin?

This piece will end your curiosity by answering all the questions related to oily skin.

What is Oily Skin?

Oil is essential for your skin to stay moisturized. But what matters is how much oil your skin produces. Depending on this, your skin type will be determined and categorized into either dry, oily or combination skin.

Oily skin, as the term says, is the excess oil on the face that gives it a shiny or greasy appearance. It is important to treat oily skin or else, it can result in enlarged, clogged pores as well as accumulation of dead cells. Additional skin issues like blackheads and pimples may also be caused due to oily skin.

Science Behind Oily Skin

Oily skin is caused when too much sebum is secreted by the sebaceous glands. Sebum is an oily substance that hydrates and safeguards your skin. So, in a way, it is important to keep your skin healthy. However, excess sebum from a sebaceous gland can result in clogged pores which will further lead to a host of skin imperfections.

How to Know If You Have Oily Skin

- The first visible sign is when you notice that your skin emits a little extra shine. Your skin may feel greasy in no time.

- Other visible signs like breakouts can also occur on oily skin as the sebum comes in contact with dead skin cells and further clogs your pores. This leads to blackheads, pimples and other types of acne.

- The pores get enlarged and will easily be visible on your forehead, nose and chin.

- Last, even after using high-quality makeup, it will slide off in no time.

So, what factors are responsible for making your skin oily? When do sebaceous glands start secreting excessive oil? Let’s find out.

What Are the Underlying Causes of Oily Skin?

While it is not possible to get rid of the oily skin completely, it is possible to make it less oily by identifying the cause behind it.


Oily skin is related to sebaceous glands which are considered to be hereditary. So, if your parents have oily skin, there are great chances that you’ll inherit the same.


The secretion of sebum is stimulated in hot as well as humid weather. So, if you live in a hotter area, it can lead to more oil on the skin. Contrary to this, people staying in cold climates will be more prone to dry skin.


Certain medications like hormone replacement medicines are likely to increase your natural oil production. This is one of the possible side effects that occur while taking certain steroids. Other medications that cause dehydration too can contribute to producing excess oil.

Hormonal Changes:

Hormones and oily skin are proportional as androgens are mostly the cause of oil production. So, when they fluctuate, your skin turns oily. This generally happens when you hit puberty, or before menstruation, during menopause, and during pregnancy. Other reasons that can trigger hormonal change are stress and illness that can alter your skin type.

Improper Diet:

If you are more inclined towards foods that contain sugar, refined carbohydrates, or dairy, you are likely to have oily skin as these foods may lead to overactive sebum production.


Go with skincare products that are made of high-quality, are labeled oil-free, and are suitable for your skin type. For instance, if you use a product that is suitable for dry skin, you may end up using a product that is too greasy. This will simply add to your oily skin issue.

Your oily skin may be the result of one or multiple causes. So, identify the cause behind your oily skin and read on to figure out ways to control it.

How to Control Your Oily Skin

Wash Your Face Regularly

Washing your face regularly can control the oil and shine on your skin. However, it is recommended to either wash it with just water or along with a gentle cleanser. Avoid fragrant soaps, harsh chemicals, or added moisturizers. This can either irritate or dry out your skin, causing more sebum production. Also, avoid using rough washcloths and loofahs as this can again irritate your skin, add friction and produce more oil. Try to find a gentle cleanser, and look for a skincare product that is meant for those with an oily complexion.

If washing your face is not helping the cause, try some medicated products for acne prone skin that contain acids like salicylic, glycolic, beta-hydroxy or benzoyl peroxide. However, begin with testing on a small area of your skin as these acids may be irritating to some skin types.

Additionally, choosing the right facial cleansers may also control your oily skin.

Pat Dry Your Face

After washing, never rub your face with the towel. Instead, gently pat your skin dry only with a soft towel. Rubbing or using a rough washcloth may trigger sebum production.

Moisturize Regularly

While you may be avoiding moisturizers thinking that it will make your skin look greasier, it can benefit you if you are picking the right one. 

Get Enough Sleep and Clean Your Bed Often

Holistic health begins with a good night’s sleep. If you are sleep-deprived, it can significantly affect the look and appearance of your skin as it can lead to insulin resistance. The increase of insulin can stimulate sebum production.

Another thing, make sure to clean your bed often as the dirt and oil can accumulate and add to your skin issues. It’s best to change your bedding every week.

Eat Healthily

What you eat reflects your overall well-being including your skin health. Certain foods that you eat may impact your skin by causing acne and an oily face. It’s best to increase the acne-fighting foods in your diet to help recover your skin health. These include antioxidant-rich food, omega-3 fatty acids, green tea and probiotics. However, it’s best to reach out to your dietitian or nutritionist before making any major changes to your diet.

The Takeaway

Oily skin isn’t bad at all, but if this is causing you additional skin issues, it’s best to identify the underlying cause and work on it with any of the above-mentioned treatments.

The ultimate treatment that can help you overcome the oily skin issue will depend on your personal experience. Find a routine that works best for you and stick with it to experience a notable difference. Also, be sure to test anything new on a small patch and note how your skin reacts. Don’t use the product again if the skin reacts badly to a particular product. If the problem persists, it’s best to consult a dermatologist who’ll further guide you with a line of treatment.

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