Causes of Oily Skin And What You Can Do at Home
(Photo : Vecteezy / Svetlana Sokolova)

For many, oily skin is the bane of their existence, and we agree; having oily skin can be irritating and challenging to deal with. But don't worry, there are some things you can do at home to deal with oily skin

What causes oily skin?

Oily skin is primarily caused by overactive sebaceous glands, which produce an excess of sebum. This natural oil is essential for maintaining skin hydration and protecting against moisture loss. However, when sebum production is excessive, it can lead to a greasy complexion and clogged pores, increasing the likelihood of acne breakouts.


Several factors contribute to oily skin, including genetics, hormonal fluctuations, environmental influences, and lifestyle habits. Genetics plays a significant role in determining the size and activity of your sebaceous glands, which can influence oil production. 


Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause, can also affect sebum production.


Environmental factors, such as high humidity levels, can stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more oil. Additionally, exposure to heat and humidity can increase sweat production, which can further contribute to the greasy appearance of the skin. 


Lifestyle factors, such as stress and diet, can also impact oil production. Stress can trigger the release of hormones that stimulate sebum production, while a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugars may exacerbate oily skin.

What you can do at home

Overall, managing oily skin involves adopting a consistent skincare routine, using products formulated for oily skin types, and addressing any underlying hormonal or genetic factors that may contribute to excess oil production.

These skincare routines can help reduce oil and prevent complications like acne. However, they may not cure the underlying cause if it is hormonal. Prescription treatments may be needed in such cases, for which consulting a professional is most beneficial.

Double Wash

Wash your face twice daily by using a gentle cleanser to avoid over-drying, which can stimulate more oil production.

A recommended product such as SkinCeuticals Simply Clean can be used for this step in your routine. It is a gel cleanser priced at $39 for 200 milliliters, ideal for oily skin. It gently exfoliates, reduces fine lines, and removes waterproof makeup. The non-comedogenic formula is suitable for daily use and is free of parabens, sulfates, soap, synthetic fragrances, dyes, and alcohol. It's also great before in-office procedures like chemical peels or laser treatments.


Contrary to popular belief, moisturizing is important for managing oily skin. Look for oil-free moisturizers with sunscreen, like Differin Oil Absorbing Moisturizer. At $13, this product contains SPF 30. This lightweight lotion is formulated with micro pearls to absorb oil, giving your skin a matte finish. It is ideal for oily and acne-prone skin, pairing well with other active ingredients like acids or retinol. The moisturizer is oil-free, non-greasy, non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, and fragrance-free, making it suitable for sensitive skin. Differin recommends applying this product liberally, especially on exposed skin, 15 minutes before sun exposure. Follow this up by reapplying the product at least every two hours.

Blotting Paper

Using blotting paper absorbs excess oil between washes without spreading it. Try Palladio Rice Paper Oil Blotting Sheets, which are priced at $6 and are designed to keep shine at bay and maintain a fresh, matte complexion all day. These vegan blotting sheets are perfect for quick touch-ups anywhere. They feature dual functionality, with one side to absorb excess oil and refresh the skin and the other side infused with Rice Powder to set makeup for a long-lasting finish. Compact and convenient, these blotting sheets are a must-have for on-the-go touch-ups.

Clay Mask

Clay masks help soak up excess oil from the face. The Fresh Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask, for example, works as a purifying mask, daily deep cleanser, or pore-reducing treatment. Formulated with exclusive Umbrian clay, rich in minerals, it helps balance, purify, and clarify the complexion. Ideal for normal to oily skin, this mask visibly reduces the appearance of pores, leaving skin softer, smoother, balanced, and healthier-looking.

Green Tea

Applying a green tea emulsion can reduce sebum production over time. Isntree Green Tea Fresh Emulsion is formulated from green tea extract from Jeju Island to balance oil and moisture. The lightweight gel texture absorbs easily, leaving skin soft and hydrated. It contains anti-sebum ingredients to control sebum production, providing maximum moisture benefits without greasiness.