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How to deal with oily skin

Updated: Mar 10, 2023

Oily skin is a common problem that many people struggle with. It occurs when the sebaceous glands on your skin produce too much oil, making your face look shiny and greasy. Oily skin can be caused by genetics, hormones, certain medications or cosmetics, diet and lifestyle choices such as smoking or stress. It's important to identify oily skin, so you can properly treat it before it becomes worse. The best way to diagnose oily skin is through visual examination of the affected area and testing for excess oil production in the facial pores.

Identifying Oily Skin

Signs of Oily Skin

The most common signs that someone has oily skin is a greasy appearance, shiny complexion, and large pores. Other signs include blackheads, pimples or acne breakouts in the T-zone (forehead, nose and chin) area. Additionally, people with oily skin often have to wash their face several times a day to keep it from looking overly shiny or greasy.

How to Test for Oily Skin

To test whether you have too much oil on your face, take two pieces of tissue paper and press them against different areas of your face—the forehead, nose and cheeks—for one minute each. If there are patches of oil on the tissues after holding them up to your face then you likely have an oily skin type.

The Best Ways to Diagnose Oily Skin

Once you’ve determined that you do indeed have an oily skin type through the testing process above, it’s important to get a more thorough diagnosis so that appropriate treatments can be prescribed by a dermatologist or skincare specialist if needed. A doctor will typically use special devices like microscopes and cameras during this process in order to determine where exactly the excess oils are located on the surface of your skin as well as what kind of oils they are made out of in order for proper treatment options such as cleansers or moisturizers tailored specifically for treating oily skin can be recommended accordingly.

Taking Care of Oily Skin

Tips for Managing Oily Skin

Taking care of oily skin can be a challenge, but there are several things that you can do to manage it. Start by using oil-free cleansers and moisturizers that are designed specifically for oily skin. Avoid harsh soaps or scrubs as these can strip your natural oils and cause further irritation. Additionally, use products with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide which help reduce the appearance of pores and regulate the production of sebum on your face.

Oils That May Help Balance Skin

Certain oils such as jojoba, grapeseed, tea tree and lavender oil may also help balance out the excess sebum production in those with oily skin types. Jojoba is especially beneficial since it mimics our natural sebum, so it helps replenish any lost moisture while controlling shine at the same time. Grapeseed oil is light enough that it won't clog pores yet still provides adequate hydration while tea tree has antibacterial properties that can help combat acne breakouts associated with an overproduction of oils on our faces. Finally, lavender has calming properties which helps reduce inflammation caused by excessive amounts of oil on our complexion.

Using Natural Remedies to Control Oily Skin

In addition to changes in skincare routine and product selection, other natural remedies like changing up one’s diet or lifestyle habits might also be necessary when trying to control an overly-oily complexion. Consumption of foods high in healthy fats such as avocados or salmon may aid in regulating sebum production whereas reducing stress levels through exercise or activities like yoga could also prove beneficial for achieving balanced skin health from within!

Preventing Oily Skin

Moisturizing Properly

It’s important to use a moisturizer that is specifically made for oily skin as this will help regulate the production of oils without clogging up your pores. It’s best to opt for an oil-free, lightweight and non-comedogenic formula that won’t leave your face feeling greasy or weighed down. Additionally, you want your moisturizer to have ingredients like hyaluronic acid which helps retain moisture while still keeping skin looking matte.

Cleansing Gently and Regularly

In order to keep excess oils at bay it’s essential to cleanse your face regularly but gently in order to avoid stripping away its natural sebum barrier. Use a gentle cleanser designed specifically for oily skin once per day and try not to scrub too hard or use hot water when washing - always remember that less is more! Also be sure to rinse with lukewarm water afterwards, so you don't irritate your complexion further.

Avoiding Harsh Chemicals and Allergens

To prevent irritation from triggering additional oiliness on the surface of the skin, it's important to stay away from harsh chemicals found in many skincare products such as sulfates or parabens which can cause redness, dryness or other reactions when used excessively on sensitive areas of our faces. Furthermore, allergens like fragrances should also be avoided if possible as these may trigger breakouts due their often irritating nature on already irritated complexions

Treatment Options

Topical medications are the most common and least invasive way to treat oily skin. These include topical retinoids, antibiotics, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, alpha hydroxyl acids (AHAs) like lactic and glycolic acids, and azelaic acid. Skin By Nico's Lactic Alpha cleanser contains both lactic and glycolic acids as well as plant based extracts to promote healthy skin. Topical treatments help reduce inflammation and sebum production while also fighting bacteria that can lead to acne breakouts. They can be purchased over-the-counter or prescribed by a dermatologist depending on the severity of your condition.

Prescription medications may be necessary if topical treatments are not enough to control your oily skin issues. Common prescription medications used for treating oily skin include oral contraceptives, spironolactone (a diuretic drug which reduces oiliness) and isotretinoin (also known as Accutane). Isotretinoin is a powerful medication that works by reducing oil production in the sebaceous glands but should only be taken under doctor supervision due to its potential side effects such as dryness or irritation of the skin.

Light and laser treatments provide another non-invasive option for controlling excess oil production on our faces without having to resort to more aggressive forms of treatment like surgery or chemical peels. Intense pulsed light therapy (IPL) helps reduce oiliness in pores through heat energy which shrinks them, thus making them less noticeable; whereas lasers work by targeting melanocytes which produce excessive amounts of oils responsible for greasy looking faces! Both options are usually done in a series of sessions at dermatology offices with minimal downtime afterwards so they’re worth considering if other methods don’t seem effective enough against stubbornly shiny complexions..


Overall, managing oily skin can be challenging but with the right knowledge and approach it doesn’t have to be. By utilizing suitable cleansing, moisturizing and skincare products tailored specifically for those with an excess of sebum production while also making lifestyle modifications such as avoiding harsh chemicals or allergens in our environment, one should be able to achieve a more balanced complexion that’s free from greasy shine. If necessary, topical medications or laser treatments provided by dermatologists may also prove beneficial in controlling overly-oily complexions so don’t hesitate to seek professional help if needed!



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