How to deal with Oily Skin – Skin Care Routine

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How to deal with Oily Skin – Skin Care Routine

How many times during your morning beauty routine, have you looked in the mirror and saw a thin sheen appear across your forehead? Better yet, how many times has a pimple surprised you on date night? We’ve all been there, primping in the mirror only to find the horror of all horrors a blemish on our beautiful face destined to mar our appearance and thus ruin our lives forever. Except not really. Oily skin is a condition suffered by many of all ages. The question is, how to deal with oily skin? I myself have battled the aforementioned sheen and/or surprise pimple, especially during important events in my life.

As the largest organ of our bodies, our skin not only protects us from pathogens in the environment, it’s also an outward expression of our inner health. Dealing with oily skin doesn’t have to be an endless cycle of harsh face scrubs and messy face masks, in fact oily skin is quite manageable and once mastered can keep you looking and feeling beautiful, fresh and clean.

How to deal with oily skin

Signs of Oily Skin

There are four types of skin; normal, dry, combination, and oily. It’s important to determine first if your skin is in the oily category or lies somewhere in the combination spectrum. Combination skin ranges from normal and dry in some places too oily in others. For instance, your T-zone can suffer from too much oil, while your cheeks may have dry rough patches. If this is the case, different areas on your face may require different forms of treatment. To determine if you suffer from oily skin, examine your face closely and see if these signs appear:

Does your skin appear to have?

  1. Layers of oil – Does your skin appear shiny as if your rubbed Vaseline or baby oil over yourself?
  2. Large pores — Do your pores appear to be larger than normal? Larger appearing pores are due to the pores being more open due to overactive sebaceous glands.
  3. Blackheads or Pimples — Both blackheads and pimples are caused by skin debris mixing with oil to black hair follicles.

how to deal with oily skin

If all of the above apply to your skin, then you are suffering from oily skin. Don’t fret, as oily skin is something that can be maintained. It is best to learn the causes of oily skin in order to find the best way deal with it, to keep your complexion healthy and bright.

Causes of Oily Skin

The major causes of oily skin are overactive sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands are glands that secrete a wax-like substance called sebum. These glands are commonly found on the face, scalp, and surrounding hair follicles throughout the body1. And while you may curse these overactive glands for your oily skin, they actually serve an important function for the rest of your body. The sebum produced by these glands them help lubricate and waterproof your body. They also regulate body temperature, for instance, by producing sweat in order to delay dehydration. And while these hyperactive glands may be a simple case of bad genetics (yes oily skin can be hereditary)2 there are other more manageable causes for oily skin that includes;

  • Unhealthy diet — Too many processed foods, sugar, salt and especially fats can leave the skin malnourished and unhealthy. It’s important to maintain a healthy, balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, and good proteins such as poultry and fish. Drinking lots of water not only helps keep your complexion looking bright but moisturizes your body both inside and out.
  • Puberty — Everyone can relate to having oily skin especially during this delicate age. Hormones in the body are running rampant causing the sebaceous glands to do the same. The result an oily mess, especially on your face. Usually, the skin will clear up around early adulthood (18-21) with some experiencing the condition in their later years.
  • Pregnancy — Estrogen levels ramp up during pregnancy and like puberty cause an excess of oil produced by the sebaceous glands.
  • Oil-based makeup products and cleansers — There are products marketed to help sebaceous glands produce more sebum. Usually, these are oil based and should be used by people with dry skin. Be sure to carefully check for these products in your cabinet as they could be a major cause of your oily skin.
  • Weather — Ah, good old mother nature, sometimes seasonal changes have an impact on your skin. It’s often colder and drier during the winter months which can lead to more sebum being produced attempting to overcompensate for the lack of moisture in the air. Contrarily during the summer months, excessive heat and humidity might not be as helpful either.
  • Stress—Many people underestimate how much stress can affect our daily lives. In an increasingly chaotic world, stress is more common than ever before. Be sure to exercise, practice yoga, take a walk, find anything to help you de-stress after a long day/week/month whatever! Not only will you be helping your skin, but your body/mind/spirit as well.


How to deal with Oily Skin

Now that we’ve determined the cause of your oily skin it’s time to seek the solutions and wake up to a fresh complexion. The most effective way to combat oily skin is maintaining a skin care routine that includes not only cleanser but toners and moisturizers as well. Experts recommend washing the face twice daily with water-based gentle cleansers that specifically formulated for oily skin. Keeping a well-balanced diet as mentioned before is also very helpful in maintaining that youthful face.

  • Facial Cleansers — Perhaps your greatest ally is finding the perfect cleanser for your skin type. Remember just because your skin is oily doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be hydrated. Try using natural skin cleansers such as lemon juice, sugar and honey face scrubs and mud masks to help exfoliate and cleanse the skin without drying it. Make sure to wash your face every night before bed removing dirt, debris, and makeup as these will clog your pores causing more pimples and blackheads.


  • Exfoliate — Mud masks are a time-honored practice and one of the best things you can do for oily skin. The mud pulls out dirt and other impurities hiding beneath the surface of your skin, leaving the skin clean as well as hydrated. It is also a gentle exfoliator that will not dry out your skin.

Image Source: Flickr

  • Moisturize—While some may believe that moisturizers will only add more oil to the problem, oily skin still needs to be hydrated as dehydration could cause oilier skin. This ongoing cycle can become frustrating so be sure to find light water-based moisturizers.

Image Source: Flickr

  • Diet and Exercise—Be sure to take vitamin supplements to maintain healthy, beautiful skin and body. Vitamin B is an important factor for having healthy skin. Drinking plenty of water does wonderful things to both your body and skin, by keeping both hydrated. Eating lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and maintaining a daily workout schedule will also help keep your body stable and those glands from overworking. Avoid eating too many refined sugars such as pasta, white bread, and sugary fruit drinks.


While oily skin can be a hassle, it’s certainly treatable. With due diligence, the right products, and a can-do attitude, you can have your skin looking healthy and vibrant in no time. Some might say there are not benefits to oily skin, but there certainly are. Sebum contains anti-ageing properties which naturally helps prevent the formation of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots that form over time. It’s also rich in vitamin E which helps to fight environmental pollutants and sun damage3. Oily skin is actually easier to treat than dry skin which can be challenging especially during seasonal changes. Remember oily skin is not the end all of everything, and with the right guidance on how to deal with oily skin, you too can look fabulous and flawless in no time.


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