Why is my skin so oily? An expert explains
Whether your skin tends to get oily all of a sudden, or is greasy 24/7, shiny skin sure ain’t pretty (not to mention, it can lead to even worse things like blind pimples and acne).
Of course, your complexion needs to produce a certain amount of oil to stay supple and healthy – but when your Maybelline New York SuperStay Better Skin Foundation refuses to stay put, you have a problem.
Which leads me to the million-dollar question: “Why is my skin so oily in the first place?”
We spoke to Expert Skin Therapist, Robyn McAlpine, to find out the top causes of oily skin (and get her advice on how to address them)...
As Robyn explains, “You are born with your skin type and this generally will not change too much through your lifetime.” This means that if you have an oily skin type, you’re stuck with it – even though “your oil flow may be heavier or lighter at times”. The good news is, a little extra oil can be a powerful anti-ager, so you’ll probably have less wrinkles as a result!
But before you put your oily skin down to genetics, consider this: A true oily skin type is actually “the LEAST common skin type”. Turns out, there’s probably another cause at play...
Cause: Your menstrual cycle/period
Hormones have a massive influence on how our skin behaves, and the effect is tenfold during that time of the month. “At certain times during our menstrual cycle, our sebaceous glands are being told to pump out more oil,” Robyn says, which means your mug will seem greasier than usual. #Thestruggleisreal
Your skin tends to produce more oil than usual when you’re stressed. Why? Well, as Robyn explains, “stress affects our hormones”, which in turn affects our skin. But that’s just the beginning – according to the expert, we’re also more likely to touch our faces when we’re stressed, which “disrupts the natural barrier that helps regulate our oil production”. *Shoves hand back in pocket”.
To help lower your stress levels and “decrease your stress hormones”, Robyn recommends spending time “doing things you enjoy”. Remember the importance of self-care!
Cause: Incorrect skin care routine
Using the wrong skin care products for your skin type can stimulate your skin’s natural oil flow, “leading to an imbalance”. Over-cleansing, over-exfoliating and skipping moisturiser are also big no-nos. As Robyn says, “Even an oily skin needs a moisturiser to stay balanced and supported.” In fact, without moisturiser, “An oilier skin type will automatically produce more oil.”
When it comes to your cleanser, Robyn recommends staying away from surfactant-based cleansers and using one that “will remove any excess oil, without stripping your skin”. bh recommends TOLÉRANCE EXTRÊME CLEANSING LOTION and La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo Cleanser.
For best results, Robyn recommends seeing a skin care expert for a “thorough skin care analysis”, and to determine what products you should be using and how. While products formulated for oily skin such as Bioré Triple Action Toner or Sukin Oil Balancing Pore Refining Facial Scrub can be very effective for oily skin types, they may not be the right fit for your skin type. As Robyn says, “Removing too much oil can be worse for your skin than having too much oil”.
Makeup that isn’t skin-friendly can also compromise our skin barrier, leading our complexion to look shiny. A non-comedogenic product is best. Make sure you opt for the best makeup products for oily skin.
Cause: Poor diet
As Robyn explains, a poor diet can lead to an increase in “the oil content within each skin cell membrane”. The expert recommends reducing your sugar and alcohol intake in favour of “a balanced, healthy diet”. This should include plenty of water and healthy fats (think omega-3s, which are found in avocado, walnuts and fatty fish), to “improve the quality of oil that your skin produces” and “allow your skin to balance itself naturally”.
Do you struggle with oily skin? What do you find helps make your skin less oily?