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HomeHealth articlesoily faceWhat Is an Oily Skin and How to Get Rid of It?

Oily Skin - Types, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

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Increased production of sebum results in oily skin. Read the article to know about the causes and how to manage oily skin.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Dhepe Snehal Madhav

Published At September 1, 2022
Reviewed AtSeptember 1, 2022

What Are the Different Types of Skin?

The skin consists of sebaceous glands under each pore, which produce sebum. This sebum is needed to keep the moisture of the skin intact. Depending on how much sebum is produced, skin type is determined.

According to the American academy of dermatology, there are five skin types:

  • Normal skin.

  • Dry skin.

  • Oily skin.

  • Sensitive skin.

  • Combination skin.

What Is an Oily Skin?

When there is overproduction of the sebum, it results in oily skin.

The characteristics of oily skin include:

  • The skin has large pores which easily clog.

  • It has a greasy appearance.

  • Oily skin is more susceptible to the development of pimples or blackheads.

  • It has a shiny appearance, in particular around the forehead and nose.

How Will I Know What Skin Type I Have?

After washing the face and pat drying it with a towel, look for the appearance of the skin. Also, note the changes after a few hours. In the case of oily skin, initially, it has a matte appearance, but with some time, it turns greasy. If you feel like your skin always appears shiny, and there is excess oil production even after continuous wiping, your skin type is oily.

What Causes Oily Skin?

Oily skin is caused by several factors, including genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.

The following are the causes of oily skin:

1. Family History:

Oily skin runs in the family. If you have a parent with oily skin, then the chances of you developing oily skin are high.

2. Presence of Enlarged Pores:

As a result of aging, earlier breakouts, fluctuations in weight, or enlargement of the pores present in the skin are seen. The bigger the pore, the larger is the secretion of sebum.

3. Climatic Conditions:

Despite genetics and age making an impact on oil production, the climatic conditions of the place we live in and the season of the year determine the amount of oil produced. When the climate is hot and humid or during summer, increased sebum production results in oily skin.

4. Doing Skincare Routine More than Required:

Although washing your face is usually done to get rid of the oil, washing it very often can increase sebum production, making the skin more oily. This is because, when the face has been washed, it dries out the skin, thereby intimating the sebaceous glands to enter the emergency mode and produce more sebum. Therefore, it is advisable to wash the face only twice daily. Similarly, avoiding sunscreens while going out in the sun can cause the skin to dry out, this causing the sebaceous glands to produce and release more sebum.

5. Wrong Choice of Skincare Products:

The amount of oil produced is greatly influenced by the correct choice of skincare products. Before using skincare products, it is needed to determine the exact skin type. When a combination skin type product is used in individuals with oily skin, it might aggravate the oily skin condition.

6. Avoiding the Use of Moisturizer:

Moisturizer is not associated with the cause of oily skin. A moisturizer must be used to prevent drying out, which further stimulates the sebaceous glands for excess oil production. For oily skin, lightweight and water-based moisturizers are recommended. Also, using an oil-free and non-comedogenic moisturizer should be made sure.

What Skin Care Routines Treat Oily Skin?

Although oily skin cannot be fully cured by using skincare products, using it regularly and appropriately can help reduce the oil produced.

1. Washing the Face:

The sebum produced by the sebaceous glands present under the skin is removed by washing the face. Using a cleanser and washing the face is recommended twice daily. When the day is scorching and humid or after doing heavy exercises, having an extra wash may be needed. Also, the cleanser used must be able to reduce dirt, dead skin cells, and sweat.

In the case of oily skin, the cleanser used should have the following characteristics:

  • It should be non-comedogenic, meaning that it should not block the pores.

  • It should not cause rashes, redness, and itchiness.

  • It should be non-acnegenic; that is, it should not worsen the existing pimples or cause new ones.

  • It should be non-allergenic, which is different from hypoallergenic. In the case of hypoallergenic, there is a decreased chance of an allergic reaction, whereas, with non-allergenic, there are zero chances.

  • Foaming soap or facial cleansers should be preferred.

2. Using Astringent:

Astringents are substances that help in tightening the pores and removing excess oil. Facial toners are an example of astringents. Before using an astringent, the face should be cleaned with a cleanser. Then the astringents can be applied to the skin with the help of a cotton ball.

The most commonly preferred astringents are:

  • Witch hazel, a natural product obtained from a flowering plant.

  • Citric acid obtained from citrus fruits.

  • Alcohol. However, it should be avoided in individuals with dry skin.

  • Salicylic acid, which helps in acne treatment. Using Moisturizer:

3. Using Moisturizer:

After applying an astringent, the use of moisturizer is recommended. Even with excess oil production, dry skin can result. This is because oil helps retain the skin moisture, and when oil is removed, skin can dry out. Therefore, using a moisturizer is needed in individuals with oily skin.

The moisturizer should have the following characteristics:

  • It should be able to seal the moisture and prevent skin dryness. In patients with oily skin, moisturizers containing Dimethicone and Cyclomethicone can be used. And the use of petroleum jelly and Lanolin should be avoided.

  • It should be able to draw up water from the lower layers of the skin to keep the skin hydrated on the surface. For this, humectants should be added to the moisturizer.

  • Moisturizers should contain emollients that prevent the skin from becoming scaly and wrinkled.

4. Skin Exfoliation:

When the dead skin cells are removed from the skin's outer surface, it is called exfoliation. Exfoliation gives the skin a smooth and healthy appearance and can help with clogged and enlarged pores. Using a chemical exfoliant is recommended for exfoliation in people with oily skin.

What Home Remedies Help in Treating Oily Skin?

  1. In addition to washing the face, the use of blotting papers helps in removing the excess oil from the face.

  2. The oil from the skin can be removed by using cosmetic clay. Of which, french green clay is the most commonly used.

  3. Applying honey to the skin, drying it for ten minutes, and washing the face help treat oily skin.

  4. Combining an egg white and one teaspoon of lemon juice that has been freshly squeezed, applying it to the face, drying it, and washing with water is a useful remedy for oily skin.

  5. Oats also help in absorbing excess oil. Half a cup of oats should be grounded, mixed with hot water, and a paste is formed. A tablespoon of honey should be added to it. This mixture should be applied to the face and dried for three minutes, and removed by washing with water.

  6. Also, making an almond paste by grinding almonds and adding honey can be applied to the face and washed after ten to fifteen minutes.

  7. In addition, tomatoes, jojoba oil, and aloe vera can also be applied to the face to treat oily skin.


Oily skin is a skin condition that cannot be cured entirely. With the help of skincare routines and home remedies, oily skin can be managed by reducing oil production. Also, after determining the skin type, care should be taken to use the appropriate skincare routine. If you have any doubt in identifying the skin type, reach out to a dermatologist.

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Dr. Dhepe Snehal Madhav
Dr. Dhepe Snehal Madhav



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