Why is My Face so Oily All of a Sudden? {Help!}

Oily skin on your face can be a hassle. But what if you’ve never had oily skin before and suddenly your face feels greasy all the time? This problem is actually more common than you think. Sudden excessive oil can show up at random times throughout your life. There are many reasons for it, from changes in your body to an altered diet. Even the products you use can increase your face’s oil production. Luckily, there are as many solutions for controlling this issue as there are causes. For causes and treatments of sudden oily skin on your face, read on!

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Sudden Causes for Oily Skin on Your Face

If you aren’t prone to oily skin on your face, the reason for a sudden rise in oil production may be easy to figure out. Changes in your lifestyle or activities can alter your body’s hormones. This may affect the sebum produced by your sebaceous glands, resulting in an oily face.


You may have noticed that when you’re stressed, you’re plagued with extra oil and acne. This can happen at any time of your life, whether you’re a teenager focused on exams or an adult with a big project at work. The reason for this increase in natural oils is due to the release of cortisol. This hormone then leads to increased sweating. Blood flow to your skin decreases since it is then redirected your other organs, such as your brain. Your oil glands go into overdrive, producing higher amounts as a protective measure. 

Hormonal Changes

stressIt seems like a women’s body is changing all the time. First, we go through puberty, which brings on our menstrual cycle. As the hormones in our body increase and decrease throughout the month, so does the oil we produce. These excessive oils then lead to clogged pores and acne. But when our cycle is over, our glands reduce the oil, and our skin is back under control. Later in life, we have menopause to look forward through. Though our menstrual cycle is over, our hormonal changes aren’t. During these years, both our estrogen and progesterone levels are reduced. Testosterone takes their place, which causes the skin to produce more oil.


Our body is made up of mostly water, so a lack of it in our system can affect every inch of our bodies, including our skin. Not drinking enough water can leave our skin looking and feeling dry. This may lead to an increase in sebum to replenish your skin of the moisture it’s lacking. Alcohol is another factor that leads to dehydration. The more you drink, the higher your heat index rises. This then leads to an increase in sweating, releasing the moisture your body contains. The oils that come out with these secretions will then clog your pores, leading to acne.

Eating Habits

Though the occasional sugary treat isn’t an issue, a high-sugar diet can lead to more oil and acne. This is because your blood sugar levels spike after eating too much sugar. Insulin levels than spike, causing an increase in oil production. The same goes for anything with a high glycemic content. Foods like bread, pasta, rice, and flour all have the same effect on the body as sugar. Your blood sugar goes up, insulin levels increase, and the result is an oily face.

Dairy products can also factor in when it comes to oily areas on your body. Milk, cheese, and other forms of dairy can boost male sex hormones. These include testosterone and androgens. This causes an increase in your insulin levels, much the same as the sugar and starches do. Your oil production is then stimulated, clogging your pores and leading to more acne.

Using the Wrong Products

beauty productsIf you’ve noticed the sudden onset of oily skin, it may have something to do with the products you use on your face. A harsh cleanser or toner containing alcohol can dry out your skin. This leads to higher oil production to hydrate and soothe your sensitive skin. Using an exfoliating scrub can also cause irritation. Though fine if used only once a week or a couple times a month, too much use can strip away the oils you need for protection. This boosts your oil production, leading to that greasy feeling skin.

Your skin will even create more oils if you wash it too often. Morning and night are the best times for cleansing. Any more than that and you’re taking away your skin’s natural barrier against bacteria. It will defend itself by upping its oil production. If you have an oily T-zone or all over oily skin, you may think you need to avoid using a moisturizer. This is the wrong thing to do since these skincare products will keep your skin soft and supple. Without it, your skin will dry out and your face will overcompensate. Beauty products can also affect your skin in a negative way, causing an oily face. Makeup that’s too heavy will lead to clogged pores. Then other skin issues will develop, including extra oil, blackheads, and whiteheads.

How to Control Oily Skin on Your Face

It doesn’t matter if you usually have dry, normal, oily, or combination skin. When the excess oil starts to weigh on your face and mind, make a few simple routine changes to get it under control. These can be done both internally and externally, and the more you use, the better your skin’s health will be.

Internal Changes

fruits and veggiesIf oily skin is plaguing you, the first thing you can do is look at your diet. Those sugary treats, starches, and dairy products could be replaced with healthier options. This would include fruits to sate your sweet tooth, and veggies for better health. Try almond milk to replace the hormone triggering cow’s milk. Limit your alcohol intake and boost the amount of water you drink every day. It’s also a good idea to cut out the French fries and chips. The oils contain omega-6 fatty acids, which can cause inflammation in your skin that leads to acne. Those oils also get onto your hands, which may then touch your face, adding to the oil already there. The less you take in, the less oil there will be on the outside.

Another thing you can do is to try to reduce the stress that affects your mind and body. This may be hard to do since stressful times will come up repeatedly throughout your life. But you don’t need to let it take over to the point where it causes breakouts and a lack of sleep. You can try meditation to calm your mind and relax your body. Get as much sleep as you can by trying to put those stressful thoughts out of your mind. And if all else fails, ask for help on whatever issue is plaguing you, or put it aside. Life’s too short to spend it worrying, especially when your worries lead to unhealthy skin.

External Changes

Swapping your cleansing products is one of the best ways to care for an oily face. Instead of harsh, alcohol-based products, use a gentle foaming or gel cleanser. There are many brands that create their products based on skin type. This should make it even easier to find the proper cleanser for oily skin. Your toner should also be checked to ensure it won’t cause any irritation. Limit how often you exfoliate or use face masks. These may strip too much oil away, leaving your skin dry and unprotected. If you aren’t using moisturizer, find a lightweight one to add to your routine. If you already are using one, make sure it isn’t too heavy since it could lead to clogged pores.

extrenal changesDon’t overwash your face, either. Though you don’t want greasy skin, you do need some oil on there for protection. Use blotting papers or facial tissues to take off the excess if needed instead. When it comes to makeup, less is definitely more. Heavy foundations are a no-no, but oil-free or matte foundations are fine if you need them. Otherwise, it may be best to use a light powder to cover those blemishes and reduce the shine. Use it only where you need it and leave the rest of your face as natural as possible. Of course, if you try these steps and your face is still oily, there may be some other issue causing it. This may require a visit to your dermatologist. They can help find the right treatment to deal with the underlying cause and get rid of your oily skin for good.

Causes of Oily Skin Final Thoughts

If you’ve had normal or dry skin your whole life, the sudden onset of extra oil on your face can be frustrating. This is especially annoying when it leads to runny makeup and acne. Instead of panicking, make some simple changes to your routine to help bring it under control. And remember, to keep that oil from taking over your face:

  •         Eat healthy
  •         Drink lots of water
  •         Reduce your alcohol intake
  •         Meditate to relieve stress
  •         Use gel or foaming cleansers
  •         Moisturize every day
  •         Change your makeup
  •         Speak to a dermatologist

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