Why Is My Face So Oily and What Can I Do?

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There's nothing like having oily skin to break up a makeup look and give you that greasy appearance. It can be challenging to find the perfect combination of products to keep your oily skin at bay. If you don't figure it out, it can lead to more problems than just your makeup separating. 

Your skin’s oil production can also cause breakouts and clogged pores (if there’s excess oil production). Suddenly, your oily skin becomes acne-prone skin. However, if you try to strip your face of all its natural oils, it could come back with a vengeance. 

We are going to go over how you can treat your oily skin the right way. Find out how to prevent it and how to apply makeup that won't slide off. We’ve got the scoop on a skin care routine that can help, from cleansing to sunscreen and more. Let’s get your complexion glowing! 

Causes of Oily Skin 

Everyone's skin creates natural oil from the sebaceous glands. This oil is a natural face moisturizer and keeps your hair and skin shiny and healthy. However, the glands can go haywire. When your body starts producing too much sebum, you end up with oily skin. 

For many people, this is unavoidable due to reasons such as puberty, pregnancy, and even menopause in some cases. 

You have more oil glands in certain areas of your face than others, including your chin, nose, mid-cheeks, and forehead. These areas are probably where you first notice signs of shininess. 

There are many causes for these glands overproducing sebum, like genetics, hormone changes, and stress. Oily skin can lead to acne that is hard to control because the excess oil can also cause more bacteria growth on your skin, which is where acne comes into play. 

Acne results from pores clogging from dirt and oil on the skin. When you have oily skin, keeping your skin oil-free in all areas of the face can feel impossible. Fortunately, you can prevent your oil glands from going into overdrive through various skincare products, cleaning up your diet, and seeing a dermatologist.   

How To Prevent Oily Skin 

There's a lot you can do at home to prevent your skin from getting too oily. If you follow all of these tips, you should see noticeable results in your skin. However, if genetics is the reason you have oily skin, it can be harder to prevent. Changing up your skincare routine is still your best bet. 

If you have an imbalance in your gut, you might also want to consider cutting out dairy products, such as cheese. Excess dairy can sometimes lead to acne issues. 

Wash Your Face on a Normal Basis 

When you clean your face, you reduce the amount of oil on your skin. Washing your face morning and night with the right type of cleanser, though, is essential. You want to use a gentle product and not one with a bunch of fragrances and harsh chemicals. These ingredients can irritate your skin and send your glands into overdrive. 

If you have acne, look for a cleanser with acids, like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and beta-hydroxy acid. A gel cleanser or green tea cleanser (with antioxidants) can also work well for oily skin. 

When you begin using a cleanser with one of these ingredients, test it on a small area of skin (like your arm) to see how it reacts. Leave it on the skin for at least an hour, and then rinse it off. If you have sensitive skin, it can negatively react, and you shouldn't use it all over your face. Everyone's oily skin is different, so what works for one person may not work for you. 

Use a toner 

Toner is an important in-between step. Use it after your cleanser and before anything else, like serum or moisturizer. It removes any stubborn oil or makeup that your facewash didn't get. Toner helps keep your pores clear from debris so they don't become clogged. 

There are also toners specifically made for oily skin. They have a combination of glycolic and salicylic acids, which can keep your skin looking matte all day. Beware: toners can contain ingredients too harsh for your oily skin and can end up doing more harm than good. 

Moisturize Your Skin 

You may think this sounds counter-productive since the oil is moisturizing your skin. However, moisturizing the skin should be an integral part of everyone's routine, oily skin or not. 

If you have oily skin, adding a lightweight moisturizer can hydrate your skin without making it look shiny. Similar to toner, there are moisturizers for oily skin. They contain ingredients like occlusives, humectants, and emollients. 

Try to look for a moisturizer labeled "non-comedogenic," meaning they don't have ingredients that will clog your pores. Also, avoid products with mineral oil, petrolatum, and cocoa butter, which can also block up your pores. 

Another good hydrating option that also helps with oil control is using face masks. Try something like a clay mask to soak up excess oil. 

Oily Skin Treatments 

If your at-home skincare routine isn't cutting it, you may need professional advice. A dermatologist can prescribe you medicine and creams that may work better at managing your oily skin. Let's go over the different options they may recommend. 

Medicated Topical Creams 

Several topical creams are beneficial to taming your oily skin. Retinoids are a common treatment option.

Tazarotene and tretinoin, both retinoids, have been shown to reduce the size of your pores. Larger pores usually mean you have a larger amount of sebum production. In one study, 42% of subjects who used tazarotene daily for 24 weeks had smaller pores. Similar studies showed tretinoin also reduced pore sizes. 

There isn't enough evidence to prove that retinoids reduce sebum production. However, the study results mean it may be worthwhile to try these topical creams when treating oily skin. 

Light and Heat Energy Therapies 

There are also non-invasive treatments, like light and heat energy therapies. The treatment penetrates the deeper layers of your skin and can reduce oil production. 

Light therapy uses different color wavelengths, which target various skin issues. The energy helps repair and rejuvenate damaged skin cells by stimulating the production of collagen and elastin. 

Other light, like blue light, is used to treat acne and can slow down oil production. Red light can also be beneficial in shrinking the size of your pores and regulating oil production. 


There are oral retinoids you can take that make a significant impact on reducing sebum. These medications reduce the size and secretion of your sebaceous glands. 

One study showed that oil production decreased by 90% during oral isotretinoin therapy. One year after the medication, the individual's sebum production remained significantly lower than before. 

A lower dose is often used when people have oily skin but not acne. However, a lower dose isn't as effective long-term. 

There are some side effects while on these medications, like chapped lips and dry skin. It can also lead to congenital disabilities if you are pregnant, so doctors usually encourage two forms of contraception. You should address any concerns you may have with your doctor or dermatologist. 

Applying Makeup to Oily Skin 

If you haven't managed to decrease your oil production yet, don't worry. You can still wear makeup without it sliding off your face!


After your skincare routine, apply a mattifying primer to your skin. This step will help keep it from breaking apart midday. It also creates a smooth surface for the rest of your makeup. 

Foundation and Concealer

After primer, go in with a mattifying foundation. HIDE Premium Foundation is semi-matte, making it perfect for all skin types. Once you've evened out your skin, go in with a concealer to cover any lingering imperfections. HIDE Premium Concealer can cover almost anything. Both products are oil-free and are long-lasting so that they won't break apart. 

Set Your Face 

Finally, set your face with a translucent powder. The powder will absorb any oil and give you a matte finish. Keep blotting papers with you to dab off any oil throughout the day. 

In Summary

Oily skin is a manageable skin type, and there are many options to help you deal with it. There are at-home remedies, like sticking to a skincare routine, that can be very beneficial. 


There are also professional treatments that can make a significant difference in oil production. HIDE premium products can keep your skin looking flawless and give you coverage that will last all day no matter your skin type!



Oily skin: 6 treatments, causes, and prevention | Medical News Today

Does Oily Skin Need a Moisturizer? - Acne | Very Well Health

Oily Skin: A review of Treatment Options | NCBI

Light Therapy Treatments - Everything You Need To Know About LED Skin Treatments | Elle