Does your face appear shiny and greasy with visible or prominent pores? If so, you have oily skin. This skin type occurs when the sebaceous glands produce excess oil or sebum. Sebum is the oily, waxy substance that protects and helps retain moisture in the skin.
While sebum is important in moisturizing and protecting the skin, too much of it can lead to oily or greasy skin. Excess sebum can also clog the pores and trigger skin blemishes like acne. Oily skin mostly affects the face with several symptoms, such as:
- Glossy and shiny appearance
- Enlarged and noticeable pores
- Blackheads and clogged pores
- Thick- or rough-looking skin
- Persistent or occasional blemishes like pimples
Oily skin symptoms and their severity can vary between individuals. The degree or severity of your skin oiliness can help determine the right treatment to manage your skin concern.
What causes oily skin?
Too much production of sebum or having an overactive sebaceous gland is the main cause of oily skin. A number of factors can trigger the excessive production of sebum. These include:
- Genetics – Oily skin can be hereditary. If your mother or father has oily skin, you are also likely to have the same skin type.
- Hormones – Changes in your hormone levels (which can happen weeks before your period) can cause the sebaceous glands to produce excess oil. This can then result in clogged pores, which may trigger acne.
- Stress – Too much stress can cause your body to release excess cortisol or stress hormones. This can prompt the sebaceous glands to produce extra oil, which can clog the pores and trigger breakouts.
- Weather – The climate you’re in can affect the natural sebum production of your skin. Your skin can become oilier in hot climates due to the rising humidity and temperatures. Hot or summer weather can also make you more prone to breakouts, as the sweat and sebum on your face can mix and clog your pores.
Certain medications – Increased oil production can be a side effect of some medications like oral contraceptives, certain kinds of steroids, and hormone replacement medication.
- Aggressive skin care routine – Washing or exfoliating your face too often can also trigger excess oil production. This is because it over dries your skin, which can then cause it to overcompensate by producing more sebum.
- The use of wrong skin care products – Skin products that are not suitable for your skin type like heavy creams and moisturizers can sometimes cause oily skin. The same is also true for using oil-based makeup.
- Poor diet – Research suggests that a diet high in sugar, dairy, and refined carbohydrates may result in increased sebum production.
Oily skin is susceptible to comedones and other types of acne. If you have this skin type, makeup may also dissolve or break down quickly. This only makes it important to control the oiliness or find ways to manage oily skin.
How can we help?
Here at Cutis Laser Clinics, we understand that having oily skin can be a nuisance. This is because apart from giving your face a greasy or a shiny appearance, it can also make it look dull and tired. We provide a number of medical aesthetic treatments that can help treat or control oily skin. We also offer recommendations on how to take care of your skin.
Your individualized treatment plan, depending on various factors such as your acceptable social downtime, your expected time frame and budget, will be explained in detail during your consultation with our Harvard trained Medical Director, Dr. Sylvia Ramirez.