Oily Skin – What It Is And How To Deal With
One of the most common skin conditions that men and women of all ages can have is oily skin.
This is a condition wherein the sebaceous glands of the skin overproduce an oily substance called sebum. The
severity of this condition is largely determined by your genetic make-up and hormonal condition.
If your parents have oily skin, there is a good chance that you and your offspring will have it too. Other
causes of oily skin are diet, pregnancy, side effects of oral contraceptives (i.e., birth control pills), reaction
to cosmetic products, hot weather and high levels of humidity.
While oily skin can occur at almost any age, it is during the teenage years that this dermatological condition
is at its most severe. As we age, this condition becomes less pronounced. Also, while this can be uncomfortable and
result to clogging of the pores which promote the occurrence of acne, oily skin types age more slowly than other
How to deal with oily skin
In dealing with oily skin, it is important to remember that the sebum is not the enemy per se, just the excess.
You should therefore avoid treatments that almost completely strip your skin of sebum and promote dryness and skin
flaking. There is a strong chance that your body will fight back by producing even higher levels of sebum to
compensate for the loss, resulting to a condition called reactive seborrhea. When this happens, even if you
discontinue the treatment, you could end up with an even more severe case of oily skin than you started out
What makes reactive seborrhea worse is that, when your skin becomes dry, it tightens up, effectively restricting
the outflow of excessive oil (without stopping its production) which, in turn results to pore blockage and skin
outbreaks. While it is important to keep your skin very clean, it is unadvisable to wash it more than three times
in a day because of the drying effect on the skin which promotes further production of sebum.
One effective way to treat oily skin is to first use oil-based products that dissolve the sebum and follow it up
with oil-free moisturizers which remove the shine that is characteristic of oily skin. Use “pure” soap, i.e., soap
that has natural oils and contains no synthetic additives for fragrance or killing of germs. Do not use
alcohol-based cleansers or lotions as these promote drying and flaking.
Use moisturizers sparingly if you are below the age of 30, after which your skin could make use of moisturizers
on a twice-a-day basis. If you need to where make-up, first apply a day cream containing benzyl peroxide, which
prevents the secretion of sebum. Just make sure not to go to bed with your make-up on.
Oily skin need not be a major problem if you just remember to keep your skin clean but not dry, i.e., it is all
right to have some oil on the skin as long as it is not excessive.