Causes of Oily Skin

What causes oily skin? We'll explain. Learn what causes some people to have oily skin, the better to deal with it and prevent it.

Oily Skin Causes: Why Do Some People Have Oily Complexions?

Do you often find yourself wondering just how come your friends manage to maintain a fresh dewy look all day, while you have to constantly delve deep into your bag for your oil-control blotting papers? Or how they can indulge in as many decadent treats as they like while you feel that merely glancing in their direction will result in an acne breakout?

When you have oily skin, it can feel as though everyone else can get away with everything and anything, while you have to remain constantly on the lookout for pesky zits that have a habit of popping out at the most inopportune of moments.

And yet, it’s possible to emerge victorious in this seemingly unending struggle in which your skin has had the upper hand to date.

And the first step to victory lies in understanding why some skins, happen to be more oily than others.

In this article, we examine a number of possible causes which may play a role in this difference. And once you’ve read them all, you’ll come away with helpful information which will prove useful in enabling you to give your skin the care it deserves ensuring it remains on its best behavior.

What causes oily skin?

Our skin is filled with glands, vessels, and nerves which make it the perfect protective layer for our bodies. And one of them happens to be the sebaceous gland whose job is producing an essential substance referred to as sebum, which actually happens to be a fancy word for the oil produced by our bodies to keep our skin supple and smooth.

However, this tiny gland, which exists in large numbers, doesn’t act on its own - much like every other cell, tissue, and organ in our bodies — but relies on internal and external factors in order to know just how much to produce.

And we’ve delved into a number of those factors below:

  • Our hormones: They're the chemical regulators in our bodies which work behind the scenes and which as a group, have their fingers in very many pies - they get to set the tone for our moods, growth and overall well being. However, at set times in our lives, such as puberty, they do tend to go into overdrive resulting in an imbalance. And since one of their many spheres of influence happens to be just how much oil our skin gets to produce, such an occurrence can result in greasy skin, clogged pores and acne breakouts.
  • Stress: Worried about that presentation you need to give in front of the entire department for one week running? Or about your pet’s newfound fondness for chewing on your carefully typed, freshly printed reports? According to scientists, stress can result in our sebaceous glands becoming particularly productive. And it’s all due to one of our chemical regulators or hormones known as cortisol which not only spikes when we feel worried or upset but also gets to influence how much oil our skin produces too.
  • Diet: This next factor is somewhat less mysterious than the genetic code and hormones which exert a potent influence on our bodies. And yet, in its own way, it’s pretty influential too especially since it happens to involve one of our favorite things in the whole wide world: food. According to nutritionists, a diet high in dairy, refined starches and sugar will make those sebaceous glands become rather hyperactive. Most delightful treats happen to fall into that category: cookies, brownies, pizza loaded with cheese, and that comforting mug of hot chocolate with a double helping of cream. Beverages such as coffee and tea also deserve an honorable mention due to their tendency to cause dryness of the skin which results in its producing even more oil in an attempt to even things out. Remaining well-hydrated, on the other hand, will keep production at even levels and will contribute to reducing the oil on your skin.
  • The Climate: It’s probably the last factor you’d have expected to be capable of tweaking the output of your sebaceous glands. And yet hot and humid weather has proven capable of turning those levels right up. It’s pretty much the same at the furthest end of the scale too: dry, cool weather tends to dry the skin out resulting in even more oil production as well.
  • Makeup: Quite often acne breakouts may make you want to cover your skin with heavy layers of makeup. However, while doing so will enable you to conceal the inflammation temporarily, it could also exacerbate the problem since using heavy layers of makeup does encourage even more oil production. Seeking expert advice and assistance and using makeup suited to oily skin will ensure you’re able to give your skin the treatment it deserves and reap rich dividends too.

Concluding Thoughts: How knowing what causes oily skin can help to treat it

With so many factors influencing our oil-producing glands, it can feel as though taking care of oily skin can be an uphill task. But it needn’t be. Substituting dairy-rich food for healthier fats, fruits, and whole grains, remaining well hydrated and using the right kind of makeup could go a long way towards keeping your skin in great condition. Speaking to a healthcare expert too will also ensure you’re equipped with the knowledge you need to care for your skin effectively and get to enjoy great skin that will be the envy of your friends.

Resources— American Academy of Dermatology, Marie Claire, Medical News Today