Why is Your Skin Oily? What Causes Oily Skin?
Oily skin is the result of the overproduction of natural oils called sebum from sebaceous glands under the skin surface. Sebum is a waxy substance that protects and hydrates your skin, however, too much of it results in shininess, clogged pores, and acne. Varying hormone levels cause increased production of androgen, one of the top oily skin causes. High androgen levels promote more sebum to be funnelled through the pores onto the skin surface creating an oily sheen. This fluctuation of hormones depends on genes as well as life events like puberty or pregnancy. Environmental and lifestyle factors also influence the production of oil. While you can’t get rid of oily skin, you can certainly take steps to manage it. The key is to identify one or more of the underlying causes. It is quite tempting to retain squeaky-clean skin, but it is also important to treat your skin gently and avoid using harsh products. The aim should not be to strip the oil from the skin. If this happens, it sends wrong signals and more sebum is produced leading to oilier skin. So, you need to pick a face wash that controls the oil without stripping it of your skin.
Causes for Oily Skin
- The Weather
The climate you’re in affects your skin’s natural oil production. Skin tends to be oilier in hot, humid climate rather than during the fall or winter.
- You’re Stressed
Stress can wreak both your body and skin. When you’re stressed your cortisol level rises which in turn can cause an increase in your skin’s natural oil production.
- Enlarged Pores
Pores can stretch out due to age, weight fluctuations and previous breakouts. Larger pores tend to produce more oil.
- Using the wrong skincare products
Using heavy creams and oils on your skin can make it oily. If you have drier skin in winter, be sure to switch to lightweight moisturizers and gel-based products in the summer.
- Following a wrong skincare routine
If you have oily skin you should cleanse twice a day morning and evening- and after exercising. Your skin comes in contact with dirt and grime throughout the day so it’s important to keep your skin clean to maintain a fresh face. On the flip side, over-cleansing or exfoliating can also lead to oily skin. Washing your face constantly will strip away too much oil and your sebaceous glands go into emergency mode to make up for the loss, thus producing more oil.
- Skipping moisturizer
Moisturizing your skin is a must especially if you're using acne treatment such as salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Not providing your skin with enough hydration will cause excess oil production. Use a lightweight, water-based moisturizers meant for oily skin.
5 Tips to Control Oily Skin
1. Use Gentle Foaming Face Wash
Add a gentle face cleanser to your skincare routine. Many people believe that they need to use a strong face wash for oily skin however this is too harsh and can trigger increased oil production. If this is not effective, medicated acne washes can help. They contain acids that can control oil production like salicylic acid, glycolic acid or beta-hydroxy acid.
2. Choose ‘Non Comedogenic’ and ‘Oil Free’ Skin Care Products
Products that have these labels, including moisturizers, cleansers, primer, and makeup, won’t clog your pores or cause acne.
3. Use Blotting Papers
Use blotting papers that are specifically designed absorbent papers that remove oil from the skin. Blotting papers will not treat the oil production in the skin, but lift excess oil off the skin throughout the day to make it appear less shiny.
4. Don’t Forget Your Sunscreen
Sunscreen helps control oil and sheen as well as sun-damage that lead to wrinkles and dark spots. UV light pulls water from the skin while increasing the size of sebaceous glands and oil production. To prevent breakouts use sunscreen that contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and avoid ones that contain fragrance or oils.
5. Healthy Diet
Diet rich in carbohydrates like white bread, sugar, and rice may lead to high glucose and therefore insulin level. Insulin has been shown to elevate sebum production. Instead, consume a healthy balanced diet containing fish, spinach, flaxseed, nuts and soybean products, which not only creates a healthy lifestyle but also a healthy complexion.
Best Face Wash for Oily Skin
Rustic Art Neem Basil Face Wash Concentrate
Neem basil face wash is a natural, organic and vegan mild cleansing product suitable for oily to normal & acne-prone skin. It also contains essential oils including that of lavender, Neem, and lemongrass. The ingredients are anti-bacterial and offer protection against pollution. Castor oil present in the concentrate is a natural astringent that cleanses the skin, drawing out oil, dirt, bacteria, and stimulates the production of collagen for younger-looking skin. The face wash concentrate lasts up to 3 times longer than the liquid of the same quantity. It doesn't contain sulfates, phosphates, parabens, synthetic colours, and fragrance. It can be purchased on the Rustic Art for Rs. 200 (50g).
Neutrogena OIl Free Face Wash
This is an alcohol-free face wash that deeply cleanses the skin, controls oil production and makes skin brighter without over-drying it. Its deep penetrating action clean pores and removes excess oil. The active ingredients in the formula condition and soothe the skin leaving it residue-free and clean. It is an effective face wash to prevent breakouts. This salicylic acid-enriched face wash is recommended by dermatologists as a part of a daily skincare routine. It is non-comedogenic and hence, does not clog pores. The salicylic acid softens the epidermis thereby making it easy to get rid of dead skin cells. Buildup on the skin is one of the reasons for acne eruption. The face wash is available on Nykaa for Rs. 384.
Lotus Herbals Tea Tree and Cinnamon Anti-Acne Oil Control Face Wash, 120 g
The Lotus Herbals Face Wash formulated with tea tree oil can reduce acne due to the antibacterial properties of the oil. Tea tree oil also clears pores and reduces oil production. The other ingredients of the face wash are cinnamon and oak bark extracts. Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties, which will help counter breakouts and redness. Oak Bark has astringent properties to soothe acne inflamed skin and is effective in reducing the appearance of acne scars. Overall the face wash gently cleanses your skin keeping it hydrated and giving it a natural glow. It is available at a price of 199 for 120 gms of the product.
Himalaya Herbals Purifying Neem Face Wash
Himalaya Neem Face Wash is a herbal cleanser that is formulated with a mix of Neem and Turmeric. Both the ingredients have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which are effective against acne. This gentle cleanser not only reduces acne but it also restores your skin’s natural health. It is hypoallergenic and free from harmful chemicals. The soap-free formulation is perfect for all skin types and can be used daily. The face wash is not very expensive and is easily available at stores & online shopping websites. It can be purchased at Rs. 155 for 150 ml.
Cetaphil Oily Skin Cleanser
Cetaphil Oily Skin Cleanser reduces excess oil without damaging the skin barrier. The gentle wash is specially formulated for oily, acne-prone sensitive skin. One of the ingredients in the wash is glycerol which is good for oily skin as it draws moisture from the air to hydrate skin without making it greasy. Cetaphil cleanser is a soap-free, non-Comedogenic product that maintains a pH balance of the skin and is dermatologically recommended. It can also be used to remove makeup. 125 ml of product is available for Rs. 427.
Aroma Magic Neem and Tea Tree Face Wash
If you are looking for a perfect cleanser to combat breakouts and oily skin then search no more. Aroma Magic Face Wash is formulated with organic ingredients and has the therapeutic benefits of essential oils. Neem and rose petal extracts treat acne, and pimples by removing excess sebum produced. Its anti-inflammatory effects reduce redness and swelling caused by pimples. The face wash also removes blackheads due to the presence of tea tree and lavender essential oils. The vitamins present in it lighten scars and blemishes and improve skin texture. It is 100% free of parabens, soap, alcohol, artificial colouring & fragrance. Use the face wash at least two times a day to get better results. Pamper your skin with this gentle face wash to look radiant and young. It is available on Amazon and 200 ml of face wash costs approximately Rs. 223.
Kama Ayurveda Anti Acne Cleansing Foam
The Kama Ayurveda formulation has plant-derived Allantoin and Salicylic acids, which is safe for users. It is gentle and reduces blemishes and breakouts. This potent cleanser has Neem Oil, Tulsi, Tea Tree and Wintergreen Oil, Aloe Vera and Calendula Flower Extracts. Neem is known to reduce pimples, and scarring. It also helps in restoring moisture. Tulis avoids over-drying of skin and has detoxifying property. It not only protects against inflammation but also clears blocked pores. The essential oils in the formulation will deeply cleanse the skin and boost skin renewal. The Aloe vera and Calendula extracts are soothing and heels distressed and damaged skin. The face wash is 100% natural and dermatologically tested. The product promises clear and taut complexion with regular use. You can buy the product on the Kama Ayurveda website for Rs. 595 (50 ml)
Ponds Pure White Anti Pollution with Activated Charcoal
Ponds Pure White Anti Pollution Face Wash is enriched with activated charcoal, which deeply cleanses the skin thereby revealing radiant and glowing skin. The active ingredients in the face wash penetrate deeply removing grime, dust and dirt. With regular usage, the face wash reveals fresh and radiant skin by removing dead cells. The activated charcoal in the formula removes deep-seated dirt caused due to pollution, makeup, oil and impurities revealing a fair complexion. The face wash exfoliates and detoxifies the skin while retaining the much-needed moisture. The fragrant face wash is available in 100gm, 150 gm and 200gm tubes. The price of 200 gm tube is about Rs. 252.
Mamaearth Charcoal Natural Face Wash for Oil Control and Pollution Defence
Mamaearth’s Charcoal face wash not only controls excess oil but also detoxifies the skin. Charcoal and clay draw out impurities, makeup and excess oil from the skin thereby unclogging pores. Charcoal also aids in maintaining a natural skin tone. Clay gently exfoliates and removes excess oil without drying out the effect. Coffee is a powerful antioxidant that is amazing for the skin. It reduces dead skin cells and maintains skin tone. The face wash is dermatologically tested and doesn't contain SLS, Mineral oil, Paraben, Artificial preservatives and colours. It can be purchased for Rs 249 on Amazon.
MCaffeine Naked and Raw Coffee Face Wash
This is a deep cleansing coffee face wash that removes all impurities, dirt and excess oil. It is formulated for normal to oily skin. The ingredients in the face wash brighten the face, provide an oil-free and younger-looking, problem-free skin. Coffee Deep Cleanses the skin and increases collagen production as well as reduce cellulite. It also levels the skin tone and removes puffiness. Water lily promotes regeneration of skin and has anti-inflammatory properties, aloe vera soothes the skin and seaweed reduces skin pigmentation. It is SLS, Paraben and Cruelty-free. The face wash can be used by both men and women and is available for Rs. 349 for 100 ml.
Bonus Idea: 3 Foods to Avoid if You Have Oily Skin
- Refined Grains
Refined grains lose nutrients and fibre during processing and hence primarily contain carbohydrates, i.e, they have a high glycemic index. Studies have shown that a low glycemic load reduces acne symptoms. Hence, to lower your glycemic load replace refined grain products like instant rice and white bread with brown rice and quinoa.
- Sugary foods
Sugary foods have a high glycemic index and do not promote skin health. Cut back on candy, cakes, cookies, and pastries. Instead consume a diet rich in fruits and vegetables like yams, mangoes, and apples. Fruit smoothies and lime water and an excellent alternative to soft drinks.
- Inflammatory fats
Consume omega-3 rich food and fewer saturated and trans saturated fat which keep skin oily and acne-ridden. Saturated fats are found in fatty meats like steaks and bacon while trans fats are available in processed foods. Take these foods in moderation and consume more fish, walnuts, and flax seeds which are high in omega-3s.
Gently Massage Your Skin in Circular Motions
After rinsing your face, apply your preferred cleaning product to your fingertips and massage in small, circular motions. Pay special attention to your T-zone, where there tend to be more oil, and areas where you sweat, like along your jawline and hairline.