Why Is My Skin So Oily?

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Pretty much all guys have experienced the dreaded oily skin, and trust us, it sucks. You want your face to be clean, clear and healthy, not like it looks like a greasy piece of pie from your favorite pizza joint. But it’s important to know that oily skin is surprisingly common among guys and, actually, it can even be a good thing. In fact, dudes with oily skin may have a unique upper hand — they tend to get fewer wrinkles as they get older.

But that doesn’t mean you should simply ignore the oil overload and hope it saves you big bucks on Botox down the road. Excess oil on a day-to-day basis can clog pores, leading to blemishes that cause acne and make you feel self-conscious, so you definitely need to get the grease under control stat. Before you figure out how to quell the oil production, you want to figure out exactly *why* your skin feels the need to go OTT on the oil.

Why Men Get Oily Skin

Guys get oily skin for a bunch of different reasons, but they’re all rooted in the same thing — an excess production of sebum (oil) within the skin. Certain things, like those listed below, can signal to the body that it needs more sebum, and it’s that overload of sebum that gives you that slick, greasy look. At the same time, the overproduction clogs your pores and leads to annoying blemishes and blackheads. Here are a few things that cause dudes to experience a surge in sebum:

  • A Spike in Testosterone — A lot of weird stuff happens when we go through puberty, including a surge in the hormone testosterone. Researchers believe that this spike actually causes the body to double-down on its production of sebum, which is why the oiliness seems off the charts when we’re going through these bodily changes, from puberty through our early 20s.
  • A Not-So-Great Diet — Sorry, guys, but there is actually some evidence to suggest that what you eat and drink can lead to an oil overload. While it isn’t as clear as pizza = oily skin, we do know that some foods tend to trigger breakouts and oil in excess, including dairy products and foods with a high glycemic index, such as bread, cereal and even some fruits.

 fried greasy foods collection

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  • The Wrong Products — Certain skincare products are packed with ingredients that clog the pores and dry out skin, which can signal to your body that you need more natural moisture, effectively speeding up the sebum production process and leaving you looking greasy. Make sure to use the right oil control skincare products to help keep the oil production to a minimum.
  • Excessive Sweating — You might have oily skin because you’re genetically predisposed to sweating more or because you tend to hit the gym extra-hard. Sweat pushes the extra sebum through your pores and onto the surface of your skin, which contributes to blocked, irritated pores. Make sure you always head straight to the showers after a particularly hard-hitting workout.

How to Get Rid of Oily Skin

Hopefully, by now, you’ve pinpointed why your skin might be a bit on the oily end. Regardless of why it happens, you should approach it in the same way. First, by making lifestyle changes or swapping out oil-triggering products and, then, by following these steps.

  • Wash Your Face at Least Twice a Day — Choose a face wash that thoroughly clears away excess oil that’s clogging the pores and leading to breakouts. 
  • Use a Moisturizer — Use a high-quality gel moisturizer for oily skin to help control moisture. We know, we know. It sounds insane. If you’ve got greasy skin, won’t a moisturizer just make things greasier? Actually, no. A good moisturizer will actually help train your skin to stop overproducing oil, which can lead to a less greasy appearance and drier, healthier skin.
  • Use an Oil-Controlling Mask — Twice a week, break out your favorite peel-off mask for blackheads to help deeply cleanse the pores so they don’t go crazy producing excessive oil. You’ll appreciate how well the right mask will get oil under control and visibly reduce the appearance of blackheads.

 man washing face over sink

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If you’ve got oily skin, the first thing you need to understand is that it’s super common. A little overproduction of oil happens to pretty much all dudes at some point in their lives, so don’t stress. Arming yourself with the right products and knowledge is the best way to get it in check and make it more bearable.

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