How to Make Skin Less Oily

Understanding Oily Skin

Do you ever gaze into the mirror and hear a sad tune as you notice your shiny forehead and nose? Oily skin is a common issue, but luckily, managing it is simple once you know how. Let's explore some effective routines for controlling excess oil.

What Causes an Oily, Shiny Face?

Everyone's skin produces oil to some degree, serving as a natural moisturizer. Our bodies secrete it in the form of sebum, courtesy of our sebaceous glands. These glands are more concentrated in certain areas, like the face, back, and scalp, which is why you may have an oily face but not oily feet. When sebaceous glands overproduce sebum, your skin can become slick, greasy, and shiny almost immediately.

What Triggers Excess Oil?

Several factors can cause sebaceous glands to produce excess oil, including:

1. Tactile Irritation: Scrubbing your face too hard won’t help. It may temporarily reduce oil but will ultimately cause your skin to produce even more.

2. Environmental Irritation: Sun damage and high humidity can exacerbate oily skin. Sebum acts as a protective barrier, so when your skin feels threatened, it produces more oil.

3. Ingredient Irritation: Harsh skincare products, especially those containing alcohol, can dry out the skin, prompting it to produce more oil to compensate.

4. Hormones: Hormonal changes can lead to increased oil production. If you suspect this is the case, consider consulting a dermatologist.

How to Make Skin Less Oily

Creating an effective skincare routine for oily skin involves making a few key adjustments:

1. Choose the Right Products:
- Avoid harsh, alcohol-based products.
- Look for products with salicylic acid, which helps break up sebum and slow down its production. A concentration of up to 2% is effective without being harsh.

2. Cleanse and Moisturize:
- Gently cleanse your face at least once a day, ideally twice (morning and night). Always moisturize afterward to replenish hydration. Opt for lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturizers that won’t clog pores.

3. Pat Dry:
- When drying your face, pat it gently instead of rubbing. This minimizes irritation and helps prevent excessive oil production.

4. Use Sunscreen:
- Protect your skin from sun damage by using a mineral sunscreen or a moisturizer with SPF. These products are generally gentler on the skin and don’t add extra oil.

5. Adjust Makeup:
- If you wear makeup, switch to mineral, powder, or water-based products. Apply makeup lightly, especially on hot days, to avoid overwhelming your pores. Always remove makeup before bed.

6. Exfoliate Weekly:
- Exfoliate once a week to clear and prevent clogged pores. Use mild chemical exfoliants like those containing salicylic acid or fruit acids, which remove dead skin without friction.

7. Select Beneficial Oils:
- Not all oils are bad for oily skin. Avoid comedogenic oils like coconut and avocado. Instead, use oils like tea tree, aloe, safflower, and jojoba, which can help manage oily skin.


Oily skin is a persistent issue, but it’s manageable with simple skincare routines. While you can’t change your skin type, these methods can help control excess oil and keep your skin looking its best.

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