What Causes Oily Skin, How to Fix It

What Causes Oily Skin, How to Fix It

In short, oily skin is caused when skin produces excessive amounts of sebum, the oil naturally produced by the body. This oil, which is secreted by the sebaceous glands, can cause clogged pores, build up on the skin, and even cause discomfort. This can make skin tone look uneven and congested.

Our guess is that you’re here to learn about what causes oily skin and how to fix it. Let’s get started!


Main Takeaways: Oily skin is caused when skin produces excessive amounts of sebum causing clogged pores and build up on the skin.

Good to Know: Genetics, hormones, and your diet all play a role in whether or not you have oily skin.

Recommended Products: So Clean! Facial Cleanser, Rose and Shine Rose Water Toner, Crème de la Cream Brightening Moisturizer, and Prince Charcoal Detox Mask.


Want a toner to help balance natural oils? We've got you covered.

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What Causes Oily Skin?

As we discussed above, oily skin occurs when the skin produces an excess of sebum– but what causes the skin to do that?

Here are a few factors that cause oily skin:

  • Genetics. No matter what kind of skin you have, your genetics all but undoubtedly have something to do with it.
  • Hormones. If you’re like most, your skin was probably at its oiliest when you were an adolescent, when your hormones first started going a little wild. A group of hormones called androgens are what cause oil production in the skin. When imbalanced, they can cause excessive sebum to be produced.
  • Pregnancy, menstrual cycles. Nothing will get your hormones out of sorts like pregnancy and menstruation. Don’t be surprised if you experience excess oiliness for a few days out of the month or during your pregnancy.
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    • Environment. A seriously humid day can ramp up sebum production, especially if you have oily skin to begin with.
    • Diet. Foods that are high in saturated fats, sugar, and even some carbohydrates can cause your sebum production to rise.
    • Medication. All kinds of medications– but especially meds like birth control pills and hormone replacement– can cause your sebum production to spike.
    • Dehydration. Skin that’s dehydrated sometimes overcompensates by ramping up oil production, leading to oilier skin.

    How to Fix Oily Skin

    Luckily, with a great skin care regime and a few lifestyle adjustments, oily skin can be kept under control. Here are some easy ways to do that:

    1. Cleanse morning and evening– but don’t overdo it. So Clean! is a gentle facial cleanser that not only clears dirt and make-up from the skin, it helps balance skin’s natural oils.

    So Clean!

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    2. Tone. Balance your skin and help refine your pores with the right facial toner. Our Rose and Shine rosewater toner helps control excess oil and minimizes the look of pores while adding hydration after cleansing.

    Rose and Shine

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    3. Exfoliate a few times a week to draw impurities from the skin. Proper exfoliation is effective at unclogging pores and detoxifying your skin. We recommend Prince Charcoal detox mask, which utilizes bentonite clay, activated charcoal and glycolic acid to purify your pores.

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    4. Moisturize. Skin that is dehydrated may try to compensate by producing more oil. Look for a moisturizer that includes oil-balancing ingredients squalane and jojoba oil, like our Crème de la Cream brightening moisturizer.

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    5. Consider your diet. Clear your diet of anything that can ramp up sebum production, such as foods high in saturated fats (dairy products are the biggest culprits) and sugar. Consume more antioxidant-rich foods, like berries and dark leafy greens.

    6. Meditate. Stress causes hormone levels to change, which, in turn, can cause oil production to increase. For many, meditation is a great way to reduce stress.

    7. Use oil absorbing sheets. The more dirt and oil is allowed to sit on the skin, the more damage it can cause. Oil absorbing sheets are a handy way to rid of excess oil throughout the day.

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    If you have oily skin, it’s not all bad! There is one major benefit to having oily skin: people with oily skin have a tendency to develop fine lines and wrinkles later in life than most people. In other words, you’ll stay looking younger, longer.

    Remember, having oily skin is not all that bad! You have a natural glow that many people envy. The trick is knowing how best to care for your skin and keep it healthy. A proper skincare routine and diet are the best ways to achieve beautiful skin.