You just woke up, and your face is already super shiny. You weren’t sweating or outside; you were just sleeping. How does this keep happening?
If this is you. it sounds like you’ve got naturally oily skin, and that’s a recipe for disaster for your pores. But there’s got to be a solution, right?
Everyone’s skin secretes natural oils from their pores called sebum. Sebum keeps your skin moisturized, so you don’t crack or blister easily. That moisture is healthy, but some people produce more natural oil than their body needs, and that’s when it starts to be a problem.
Besides shininess, you might notice that you feel greasy only an hour or two after showering or washing your face. You’ve also probably noticed that you’re prone to breaking out because this sebum gets trapped, along with bacteria and dead skin cells, which clog your pores.
So, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of what causes oily skin, what to do about it, and how to keep your skin shining with radiance (instead of oil).
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The Causes An Oily Face
Oily skin isn’t random. There are a variety of causes for oily skin, which we’re going to delve into now.
One major cause is genetics. If your parents have excessively oily skin, chances are you will too. Unfortunately, there isn’t any way to change your genes, but your parents or older siblings might have some recommendations for how they’ve dealt with their oily skin over the years.
You may not grow out of oily skin, but the older you get, the less sebum your skin will produce. We often associate overactive sebaceous glands with teenagers because their hormones are going crazy during puberty. By the time they’ve reached their early twenties, the puberty process is over, and the sebaceous glands have calmed down. However, that’s not always the case.
As your skin ages, lots of things slow down, like collagen production, and the oil glands relax. Sometimes your skin can go too far in the other direction, and you end up with dry skin.
While that might not be a huge comfort right now while your skin is still oily, take comfort in knowing that people with oily skin don’t show their age as soon as their friends with drier skin.
Just remember, every five to ten years, you should reevaluate your skin. Having oily skin in the first 30 years doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have oily skin for the rest of your life after that.
Season and Location
Where you live and what time of year it is affects skin as well. In hot and humid regions, people are more likely to have overactive sebaceous glands. Plus, during summer, when you’re sweating and enjoying your fun in the sun, you’re also more likely to have an overly oily face.
In fact, the wintertime often dries out your skin. We’re not saying that you need to pack up and move somewhere else or hide away during the summer, but there are some techniques you can apply during these problematic times for your skin.
Keeping blotting sheets in your purse may help to soak up that extra oil during the day, when you’re out and on the go. Blotting papers are small, thin sheets which are easily found in most drug and convenience stores. As their name implies, they blot up excess oil without messing up your makeup.
Speaking of skincare products, this might also be an issue for your oily face. Although oil production isn’t an allergic reaction, you might be using the wrong skincare products for your skin type. Those products might be making you seem oilier than you would be naturally.
But that doesn’t go for all moisturizers. Using moisturizer doesn’t make your skin oilier. Actually, if you’re using medication for acne, you should be especially sure to include moisturizer into your daily skincare routine. Look for lightweight moisturizers or ones that are water-based and look for products that are labeled as non-comedogenic to ensure they won’t clog your pores.
On the other hand, your skincare routine might be too intense for your sensitive skin. It sounds weird since you’re washing to get rid of excess oil, but if you exfoliate and cleanse too often, that might trick your skin into thinking it needs to produce more oil. If you’re worried about excess oil, wash or rinse your face no more than twice a day to keep your sebaceous glands from ramping up to overdrive.
You’re Not Wearing Sunscreen
In the same vein, sunscreen is basically the most important part of your skincare routine. If you don’t protect your skin from the potentially harmful rays from the sun, your skin will dry out, which can lead to hyperactive sebaceous glands. Look for concealers and foundations that contain sunscreen if you want to go out all dolled up, and otherwise lather up that sunscreen before you walk out the door.
What Can You Do To Reduce Oily Skin?
Whether you use soap or just rinse, it’s important to use water to wash off any leftover makeup, dirt, sweat, or whatever else may have gotten on your face overnight or throughout the day. Keeping your face clean goes a long way towards alleviating too much oil.
Exfoliation will become your best friend. You do need to be gentle on your skin, so maybe start with exfoliating a few times a week and monitor your sensitive skin’s response before upping it to every day. If you plan to rinse your face twice a day, keep your exfoliation to a once a day, maximum.
Next, mask up!
Try using a face mask once or twice a week. Just make sure to check the ingredients for all-natural products that will really help your skin.
One such ingredient is honey. It works hard to fight off bacteria. Plus, honey moisturizes your skin without making it oily because it is a natural humectant. That means that it pulls moisture from your skin and holds it there, but it doesn’t add more.
There are also a variety of clays in different clay face masks. Besides all of the other benefits for your skin that clay provides, like shrinking your pores, it also pulls out impurities from your skin while still locking in moisture.
There are a few common types of clay to look for:
- • Kaolin is best for sensitive skin.
- • Bentonite clay is recommended for especially oily skin because of how absorbent it is. It works for a really deep, detoxifying cleanse.
- • French green clay is another one that is popular for people with severe acne and red patches on their skin.
- • Moroccan rhassoul clay is present in more high-end products because of how well it works for all kinds of different skin types.
What’s nice about clay masks, as opposed to other masks, is that you let the clay dry on your face and then gently wash it off with water. It’s much better for more sensitive skin.
If you’re more inclined to go for a DIY method, consider giving old-fashioned oatmeal a try. Mix some ground oats with honey to make your own inexpensive but effective face mask from the comfort of your own home with easy ingredients. Oatmeal is a soothing agent for your skin, which can assist with red patches and also absorbs some oil.
As an extra bonus, as you massage the ground oats into your face, you’re also exfoliating your beautiful face. Plus, you can add other items from your kitchen like yogurt or fruit (such as apples or bananas), which are full of healthy vitamins.
If you want an alternative to oatmeal, try ground almonds. These work as both an exfoliant and a way to soak up the grime from your skin. Like oatmeal, you can mix them with mashed fruits, yogurt, or honey for a glowing effect.
If you are looking for something a little simpler, with only one ingredient, try aloe vera. It works for sunburns, soothing your skin, and treating flaky patches.
Another home remedy that is a little less appealing is egg whites and lemons. Lemons are acidic and, like other citrus, absorb excess oil from your facial skin. Egg whites are a popular addition for home remedies for the skin and hair because they help to tighten pores and lock in moisture.
Finally, try products which include jojoba oil. Using even more oil on an already oily face? Jojoba oil may be able to trick your sebaceous glands into producing less oil by making your skin think you already have enough on your face. Just make sure not to use too much, or you might overwhelm your sensitive face.
We get it – it’s more than frustrating to have to deal with a shiny face and worrying about all of the excess oil your skin is producing. You just want to have clear, glowing, beautiful skin. Is that really too much to ask?
Certain aspects of your life that influence your facial skin’s oil production may be outside of your control, like genetics, where you live, and how old you are. However, there are still many ways for you to take back control. We’re happy to help you along your beauty journey, enabling you to find the skincare regimen that works best for you, so you can enjoy the skin you’re in.
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