What Causes Oily Skin And How-to Get Rid of It

Below your skin’s surface is special glands called sebaceous glands, which produce sebum. This oily substance moisturizes and protects your skin from damage. But what causes an overproduction of these oils? And how can you combat the oily skin and clogged pores? Well, there are as many causes for oily skin as there are treatments and remedies to deal with it. But you will never get rid of your oily skin completely. What you can do is keep up with a few healthy habits for skin that looks and feels better.

What Causes Oily Skin

#1 – Skin Type:

skin types

This is the only one on our list that isn’t caused by some outside source. Oily skin can be a genetic trait in your family that can’t be avoided. It’s usually caused by larger sebaceous glands beneath your skin. These will automatically produce an excessive amount of oil. Those with this skin type will most likely suffer from clogged pores that lead to acne.

#2 – Seasonal Changes:

Seasonal changes

Dry winter air can do a number on your skin. The lack of moisture can put your glands into overdrive to compensate for this. Your skin will be oilier at these times, requiring more care on your part. But the hot, humid weather that begins in spring and continues all summer won’t give you a break. The sweat on your skin will also be full of excess oils, clogging your pores with dirt and bacteria.

#3 – Hormonal Changes:

hormonal imbalance

When you hit puberty, the body is flooded with hormones that support the natural changes in your body. That’s one of the reasons teenagers have such acne prone skin. But this doesn’t stop when puberty ends. Your body is constantly changing throughout your life, especially at certain times. Pregnancy is one of these times. Your body is changing to create a new life and oily skin can be one of the downsides to this. Menopause can also cause oily skin and acne. In these instances, the overproduction is caused by fluctuations in your hormonal androgens. You can’t really control this, but there are ways to treat it when it does occur.

#4 – Stress:


When you get stressed out, you may notice more blemishes than at the calmer times in your life. That’s because your body reacts to stress by producing more hormone androgens. This creates an excess of oil on your face and body, causing more pimples.

#5 – Medications:


There are a few medications that can cause significant changes in your body. Birth control pills or hormone replacement drugs can both increase oil production. But there are a variety of other medications that can cause dehydration. This will cause your sebaceous glands to overcompensate for the lack of moisture. Oily skin will be the result.

#6 – Sun Tanning:

Sun Tanning

The sun can have a drying effect on your skin. So, why do your face and body feel greasy after a day of tanning? Well, it because the sun is actually harming your skin as it darkens the tone. This triggers an injury response in your body. Your glands then kick in, overproducing sebum to protect you from further damage. Using a tanning bed can have the same effect, so don’t be surprised if you feel a bit slippery when your session is over.

#7 – Using The Wrong Skin Care Products:

Wrong SkinCare Products

Using skin care products for a skin type you don’t have won’t help treat your issues. For instance, you may have some oily areas while others produce normal amounts of oil. This means you have combination skin. If you use a cleanser designed to treat oily skin, the normal areas will be stripped of the oils it needs. Then those areas will produce more oils to compensate for this issue. This will lead to acne and blemishes, requiring even more use of your cleansers, to clear up your skin.

#8 – Overusing Your Skin Care Products:

Skincare products

Even if you are using the right products for your skin type, you still need to be careful with how you use them. If you over-cleanse with these products, you could strip away too much of the oils in your skin, drying it out. This includes using them too often and using too much every time. More is rarely better where your skin is concerned. The same goes for over-exfoliating to get rid of dead skin cells that could clog your pores. You could cause excessive dryness and irritation, which will lead more oil.

#9 – Overusing Your Skin Care Tools:

Skincare tool

Scrubbing away dead cells, dirt, bacteria, and oil is great for your skin’s health. It is necessary to do this on occasion for glowing skin that stays blemish-free. But you can scrub too much or too hard. That’s why you need to limit your use of items meant for this purpose. This includes rotating cleansing brushes, buff puffs, hand mitts, and pore strips. Even a normal washcloth can irritate your skin if you are using it repeatedly throughout the day. These products can also cause excessive dryness. Your skin will overproduce oil to rehydrate and moisturize those dry areas.

Treatments and Remedies to Get Rid of Oily Skin

#1 – Wash Your Face Twice Each Day:

face wash

Washing your face too often can lead to excessive oil production to combat dryness. But not washing at all won’t help with any skin conditions. That’s why you should wash your face twice each day for the best results. Do it in the morning when you wake up and again to remove the makeup, dirt, and oil before you go to bed each night. Don’t use a harsh cleanser at either of these times. These can strip away your natural oils, causing your glands to increase their output. Gentle cleansers are best, though you can choose one that is designed for oily skin.

Look for ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or beta-hydroxy acid. These work to treat acne you may already have, but can also clear up excess oils. Be careful the first time you use one of these products. Only try out a small amount on one section of your skin to ensure there is no allergic reaction. It is also a good idea to use tepid water when you cleanse your face. Hot water can dry your skin even more and cause irritation.

#2 – Choose the Right Toner:

tea tree toner

Toners can be good for reducing oil on your skin, but you must be careful when using them. This is because astringent toners contain harsh chemicals that could cause irritation. They could also strip away too much oil, which will lead to dry skin. If you choose to use a toner, be sure to find a gentle product that won’t cause dryness or irritation. This will help reduce excess oil and balance out your natural production. It is also a good idea to focus its use on the oilier areas of your face. These can include your forehead, nose, and chin. Leave the rest of your face toner-free, or you’ll end up with dry patches.

#3 – Adapt With All Types of Changes:

skin care regimen

You may need to alter your skin care regimen during different seasons. Hormonal changes due to pregnancy, menstruation, or stressful times also require different treatments. Keep a variety of cleansers and other products on hand to deal with these changes as they arise.

#4 – Use Clays and Masks:

Clay mask

Facial masks and clays are a great way to remove excess oil and clean out your pores. Some say these should be used a few times a week, but doing so could lead to dry skin. People with oily skin should actually limit their use to once or twice a month, or before a big event. This occasional use will give you the glowing skin you want without adding to the problem.

#5 – Moisturize:


You may think that oily skin has all the moisture it needs. But all skin types need to stay hydrated, even this one. To avoid ending up with greasy skin, you’ll want to choose an oil-free moisturizer. You can alter the amount depending on your need, and even use more on the drier areas and less on the oilier patches. But don’t skip it altogether, or your skin will suffer for it.

#6 – Blotting Papers:

blotting paper

Though blotting papers won’t prevent oily skin from happening, they can help clear it away. These small, thin papers are cheap to buy at any pharmacy. They are quite convenient since you can carry them with you throughout the day. All you need to do is dab them over the oily areas of your face. They will soak up the extra oil and leave you with less shine.

#7 – Change Your Diet:

change diet

When it comes to oily skin, you are what you eat. This means fatty foods, lots of sugar, and loads of unhealthy oils contribute to oily skin. To reduce this, you’ll need to change your diet. Choose healthier options, like fruits, vegetables, and lean meats or other proteins. It’s also a good idea to cut out the carbonated drinks and limit your alcohol intake. Replace these with water. After a few days, your skin will begin to clear, and you’ll start to feel better as well.

#8 – Exfoliate:


Over-exfoliating can increase oil production. But not exfoliating at all will leave your pores clogged with dead skin, excess oil, dirt, and bacteria. Instead of doing it every day, limit your exfoliating to 2 or 3 times a week. This will clear out the excess without causing unwanted irritation. When exfoliating, you can choose your favorite product. Facial scrubs are a good choice, whether you buy a commercial one or choose to make it yourself. Some healthy ingredients to look for either way are oatmeal and almonds.

Oatmeal can help to treat any inflammation while it absorbs the extra oil. It is gentle to use, so it won’t irritate your skin. You can grind it as fine as you like to deal with your sensitive skin. Ground almonds can also soak up those oils and clear out any impurities while they scrub your skin clean. They can be combined with a variety of other ingredients to make a healthy scrub for your face and body.

#9 – Jojoba Oil:

jojoba oil

Avoiding oils is something those with oily skin have become accustomed to. But not all oils are bad, as jojoba oil can prove. It has been used for years to treat oily skin, blemishes, and a variety of other skin issues. This is because jojoba oil is so close to the sebum your body naturally produces. When you use it on your skin, your sebaceous glands slow their production, producing less oil as a result. But this doesn’t mean you should slather it all over your face. A few drops of this oil every day can heal your skin and reduce its oily feel.

#10 – Aloe Vera:


Aloe Vera is a well-known treatment for soothing burns, from the sun or otherwise. It also helps to treat a variety of skin conditions, including excess oil. It can treat the dry patches oily skin can cause, smoothing and hydrating the affected areas. You only need a thin layer applied each night before you go to bed. Don’t rinse it off. Instead, let it work its magic while you sleep.

#11 – Lemon Juice:


Lemons contain acids that can absorb oil and have antibacterial properties. You can combine them with eggs for a pore-tightening face mask.

#12 – Honey:


Honey is one of the best products there is to treat oily skin. It is an antibacterial and an antiseptic. This helps treat acne by cleansing the skin. Honey is also a natural humectant. This means it will clear out the oil by drawing out the excess moisture. But it won’t leave your skin dry and dehydrated. You can use it on its own, letting it soak in for about 10 minutes. Then rinse it away with warm water and enjoy the look and feel of your clear skin.

Oily Skin Causes Final Thoughts

Oily skin can be a hassle but there are measures you can take to reduce it to have the clear skin you’ve always wanted. It just takes a bit of careful planning and use of your skin care products. Change your habits, and you’ll change your skin. If you are looking for more hair care articles check out our hair care buyer’s guides.


  • Bio ElementsWhat Causes Oily Skin? How to Get Rid of Oily Skin.
  • Ann Marie Gianni: Oily Skin: What it is, How to Cope, and the Best Facial Products for You 
  • WebMDHow to Manage Oily Skin
  • Healthline: 10 Home Remedies for Oily Skin