Oily skin, particularly on your forehead and other parts of your face, is a common complaint. But just as there are different skin types, there are also different oily skin causes. Thankfully, there are also a lot of ways to address the issue.
Here are just some of the causes of oily skin, as well as some skin care tips that might help.
Common Causes of Oily Skin
What causes oily skin? Researchers are not exactly sure why some people have oily skin while others have normal or dry skin. Oil, or sebum, is important to help keep your skin hydrated, and it also protects in other ways. But if you have too much oil, you will be at a higher risk of having issues such as pimples and blackheads.1
In most instances, oily skin will occur in the area of your face known as the “t-zone.” This includes your forehead, nose, and chin.2
The amount of sebum produced by your skin can vary with age. Babies tend to produce a lot, but the amount usually decreases by the time the child reaches puberty. But, as just about any high schooler knows all too well, sebum production will often increase dramatically once puberty hits. Sebum production usually begins to drop off for women after menopause. For men, it might not decrease until they are in their 60s or 70s.3
Several other factors can also contribute to oily skin…
––Men tend to produce more sebum – more than likely because they produce more of the hormone testosterone. Women tend to have oilier skin than normal when they are going through ovulation.4
––The time of year can also have an effect on when you might have oily skin. Sebum production tends to rise during the spring and summer. If you live in a more humid climate, there could be a higher chance of you having oily skin.5
––Ethnicity could also play a role.
Signs That You Might Have Oily Skin on your Face?
- Your face may take on a greasy, or shiny, appearance.
- You might have thick, rough skin, and large pores.
- You tend to develop pimples on a regular basis, as well as blackheads, because of sebum-clogged pores.7
Tips to Help Avoid Oily Skin
If you are tired of dealing with oily skin, there are a few things you can do that might help. The really good news is that most of these tips to help oily skin are extremely easy to follow.
1. Cleanse Your Face Properly
This is obviously an important part of any skin care regimen. But if you have oily skin, it could help reduce the amount of sebum that’s being produced. If you use soap with harsh chemicals, however, or if you cleanse too often, it could irritate your skin, causing it to dry out. This could, in turn, cause your skin to overproduce oil.8 Washing your face with a rough washcloth, or a loofah, could also stimulate sebum production.9
2. Try Witch Hazel
This natural astringent can help both soothe the skin and reduce oiliness.10 If you haven’t used witch hazel before, be careful. Apply some to a patch of skin on your arm or leg to make sure it doesn’t cause irritation.
3. Use Natural Facial Masks
Using a facial mask could help address some of the causes of oily skin. Colloidal oatmeal, for instance, has been shown to not only cleanse the skin without stimulating sebum production, but soothe it as well.11 Honey, according to a study, has antibacterial qualities that could help ease certain skin conditions. It may also help to reduce the appearance of oily skin.12
Using the right kind of moisturizer can be incredibly beneficial, especially if you have oily skin. An oil-free moisturizer can help keep your skin soft and healthy without contributing to that troublesome greasy feeling.13 Research indicates that aloe vera could be a very effective moisturizer for oily skin. It contains compounds that soothe the skin without stimulating sebum production. In order to work, however, a moisturizer will have to contain at least 10 percent aloe vera.14
Can You Prevent Oily Skin?
You might not always be able to prevent oily skin, but you can take action. Find the skin care routine that works the best for you, and stick with it every day. You may also want to steer clear of oil-based makeup products, because that could make matters worse.15
One of the potential oily skin causes you can control is your diet. There is some evidence, for example, that a type of fatty acid known as squalene could play a role in increasing sebum production.16 Squalene is found in olive oil as well as palm oil, wheat germ oil, and others.17 Have a talk with your dermatologist to see if this might work for you. But don’t ever make any sudden, substantial changes to your diet before first discussing it with your family doctor.
Wrapping it Up
Having oily skin can be frustrating. You might feel helpless when it comes to doing anything about it. You’re not. There are a lot of things you can do to help reduce the appearance of oily, greasy skin. Find the solution that works best for you, and commit to a thorough skin care regimen to help keep that excess oil at bay.