Oily skin is marked by thick, heavy textured and greasy skin. It’s attributed mainly to enlarged pores and overactive sebaceous glands.

For these attributes, people who have oily skin usually deal with frequent breakouts. They have larger pores, too.


Oily skin is not something you get out of nowhere. There are several factors that can cause you to have this skin type.

Let’s break down the details.


If your parents have oily skin, there’s a good chance you’ll have the same skin type. Take note, however, that having the genes doesn’t readily mean you’ll have oily skin right away.

You are just more likely to have overactive sweat glands than other people.


Stress can cause mayhem to your body and it has the same effect on your skin. If you are under constant stress, the level of the stress hormone cortisol remains elevated, too.

This hormone can increase your skin’s oil production, pimples and clogged pores.


The food you eat can greatly affect your skin. If you have been eating more processed foods, sugar, salt and caffeine, you’re likely depriving your skin of the nutrients it needs.

Apart from that, these food items can also cause your sebaceous glands to be more active.

Fluctuations in hormones

People who experience a drastic fluctuation in their hormone levels are more likely to experience oily skin. This includes pregnancy as well as puberty.

Makeup products

There are cosmetics that can trigger your oil glands to be more active. Good examples include oil-based makeup products and those that are heavy and greasy.

Change of season

Cold weather can dry out your skin, forcing it to compensate by producing more oil. Humidity and heat have the same effect.


As mentioned, one of the things that will make you think you have oily skin is the presence of too much oil on your skin. In addition to that, you are likely to deal with the following:

  • Several blackheads
  • Frequent skin breakouts
  • Greasy and sticky feeling on skin
  • Makeup wears off quickly
  • Foundations tend to oxidize
  • Presence of larger, more noticeable pores

Skin Care Routine for Oily Skin

For oily skin, your main goal is to control your skin’s excess oil production. You also need to pay more attention to your pores to make sure they stay clog-free.

And this is where starting out a skin care routine can greatly help.

Step 1: Cleanse

Cleansing is a step you shouldn’t miss- seriously. No matter how tired or sleepy you are, never go to bed without washing your face.

And if you wear makeup, be sure to remove it first.

Cleanse your face twice a day. Do it in the morning and before going to bed.

This will help clean your pores and remove excess oil and makeup residues that can compromise your skin.

Choose a cleanser that’s gel-based. Foaming cleansers can work well with your skin type, too.

One way to know if a cleanser is right for you is to assess how your skin feels after washing it. If it feels taut and tight, it’s probably the right time to switch products.

Step 2: Exfoliate

Exfoliation is important as it helps get rid of the dead skin cells building up on the surface of your skin. It encourages faster cellular turnover which helps reveal healthier and newer cells.

Although beneficial for your skin type, you should still limit exfoliating your skin to once or twice a week. Doing it more frequently than that can leave your skin red, irritated and inflamed.

Choose a gentle exfoliator and skip the harsh ones. Great exfoliators for your skin type are those that contain salicylic acid.

It’s an ingredient that can penetrate your skin, allowing it to do its magic deep into your pore lining.

Step 3: Tone

A lot of people skip toners because they think that these products aren’t necessary. However, for someone who oils up more than usual and gets clogged pores more frequent than other skin types, toners are necessary.

They help pick up dirt, makeup residues and excess oil that your cleansers failed to remove. They also help bring back your skin’s natural balance.

In addition to that, toners can also reduce inflammation, particularly those that contain witch hazel.

Step 4: Using serums

Contrary to what most people believe in, serums aren’t only great for dry skin. Even those who have oily skin can benefit from it.

Of course, for a serum to be effective, you need to make sure that it has ingredients that can address your skin concerns.

Look for serums that have glycolic acid or salicylic acid. Green tea and hyaluronic acid are great ingredients, too.

Apart from ingredients, make sure that your choice of serum is non-comedogenic. If you can find one with a mattifying formula or one that can minimize large pores, go for it.

Step 5: Moisturize

Moisturizers can make you feel uneasy. With so much grease and shine on your skin, why would you apply more moisture?

Well, one good reason is to bring back your skin’s balance.

When you’re not using any moisturizer, your skin can end up dry and dehydrated, particularly after cleansing. This will signal your skin to produce more oil as a way to compensate.

And this is where more problems happen. More oil means more clogged pores and breakouts.

So, for moisturizers, make sure to apply twice a day, preferably after you wash your face. Stick with lightweight and water-based moisturizers as they are the best moisturizers for your skin type.

Again, make sure that you pick products that are oil-free and non-comedogenic.

Step 6: Use sunscreen

Having oily skin should be no reason for you to skip sunscreens. In fact, it gives you more reasons why you should use one.

If you use topical acne treatments, they can make you more sensitive and vulnerable to the sun’s UV rays. Apart from that, excessive sun exposure can spell bad news for your acne and acne spots.

It can make them darker and drier which can make them look worse.

So, for your skin type, the best sunscreen is one that is oil-free and lightweight. Physical sunscreens are great for oily skin as well since they have less chances of clogging your pores.

Apply your skin a few minutes (around 15 to 30 minutes) before stepping outdoors. You need to reapply them after every 2 hours or more frequent than that, depending on your activity.