While most of us are well aware of the do’s and dont’s of oily skin, but have you ever wondered what makes the skin oily? We know the after effects of oily skin like acne, blackheads, whiteheads, dullness and pigmentation. But we are completely unaware of the reasons that make the skin oily. While some of those causes can be controlled, but some are unavoidable. Avoidable or not, we bring forth our list of 14 causes that actually make the skin oily.
1. Lack Of Water
More than 90 percent of our body weight is due to water. Water is one such element that flushes toxins out of our body and maintains its pH level neutral. Not drinking sufficient water disturbs the body’s normal functions and makes the cells dry. The sebaceous gland is responsible for oil formation and secretion in our body. To combat skin dryness, sebaceous glands start producing oil in large amount. The result is oily skin that is prone to acne and painful blisters all over the face and body.
Pollution not just damages our hair, it also damages our skin. The skin pores are clogged with smoke and dirt particles that are too small to be repelled by a scarf. Clogged skin pores start producing sebum. When sebum combines with oxygen, it produces sticky residue that makes the skin oily. It adds that extra glare on the face that looks ugly.
3. Weather Change
Skin, when exposed to changing weather, makes the skin oily. Excessive sweat in summers and monsoons produce a lot of sweat. Hot and humid weather makes the skin sticky, and this attracts dirt and dust particles. The pores close and the body starts producing extra oil. Even when the sweat is controlled in monsoons and summers by using a gentle gel based cleanser, the skin reacts differently in winters. It starts becoming dry and flaky. To combat dryness, skin starts producing extra oil. This again makes the skin oily.
4. Hormonal Imbalance
Hormonal imbalance, caused during menstruation, pregnancy, post pregnancy and menopause, hyper activates the sebaceous glands. This fluctuation is caused due to constant fluctuation in the level of androgen, that keeps on increasing and decreasing without any warning. Cells react to these sudden fluctuations. The body tries to balance its functions according to the fluctuations. But in the process to balancing and changing the pH level again and again, the sebaceous glands start over working. It makes the skin oily.
5. Genetic Factors
Well, there are few things that we have no control over. Many skin and body conditions are inherited. Genes in the DNA cannot be altered. The recessive ones show not effect, but the dominant ones result in the same condition. Overactive/larger dominant sebaceous glands inherited from parents or great grandparents automatically make your skin super oily.
Yes, you heard us right! Stress too can lead to oily skin. You must be aware that there are various hormones controlling various emotions of your body. Different hormones are over secreted or under secreted under the impact of fluctuating mood. Thus, increased stress fluctuates the androgen level in the body like crazy. Result? Sebaceous glands start fluctuating. So does the oil level.
7. Comedogenic Cosmetics
While we think that comedogenic cosmetics just clog the skin pores resulting in acne, but they also lead to oily skin. In fact, over using various cosmetic items that are not herbal, and are rich in harsh chemicals, affect the skin’s pH level. Harmful chemicals clog the skin pores and they also make the skin dry and flaky. To restore the oil and hydration level of the underlying damaged skin cells, sebaceous glands produce oil in excessive amount. It makes the skin unnaturally oily and acne prone.
8. Birth Control Pills
While most of us know that birth control pills cause no side effects to the body, what we do not know is the concept of birth control pills. Birth control pills block the secretion of various cyclic body hormones that result in pregnancy. The disruption in the production of normal hormones disturb the pH level. This imbalance triggers the sebaceous glands to secrete extra oil. However, once the body gets used to these pills, the body’s disturbed pH level is restored. Thus, you can still control this oil production cause to reverse the damage caused due to extra oil.
Ever wondered why dermatologists recommend alcohol free or lesser alcohol skin care products? Well, this is because alcohol makes the skin dry. The worse happens when alcohol is abused. It dehydrates and damages the body. This disturbs the pH level of the body, affecting its tissues and cells. The resulting cells are dehydrated and dry. To make up for the dryness, body produces oil in large amount, making the skin oily.
Smoking is not just injurious to health, it is injurious to the skin as well. You might have heard that smoking leads to aging, but it also makes the skin oily. It reduces the amount of antioxidants in the skin, and increases free radicals. Free radicals, when combined with oxygen, trigger senescence. It results in early aging of the skin, and disturbs the pH level. The resulting skin is dry and flaky. The body produces oil to control dryness and the resulting skin is oily.
11. Unsaturated Fats
Improper and unhealthy diet can also lead to oily skin. Consumption of large amount of unsaturated fats result in oily skin. The omega-6 unsaturated fatty acid results in the inflammation of cells and tissues. Inflammation leads to dryness, freckles, chapped skin, itching and painful blisters. The body produces oil to combat some of the problems caused due to inflammation. It interferes with the oil secretion level, and makes the skin sensitive, oily and acne prone.
12. Everyday Makeup
Covering your skin with multiple layers of products is fine to get a flawless matte look when you step out. But using makeup everyday, even when at home, and keeping it on for hours doesn’t give the cells any room to breathe. The worse happens when you sleep with your makeup on. Using makeup everyday results in dryness. And the body has a unique way to combat dryness. It produces oil that adds extra glare to the face, making it oily.
13. Sun Damage
Exposure of the skin to harmful UV rays damage the epidermis and underlying skin cells. It makes the skin highly pigmented, blotchy and dry. While we start using de-tan products to remove tanning, the body starts it repairing and healing mechanism. It starts producing oil to hydrate and moisturize the dry burnt skin to reduce inflammation. This disturbs the oil level of the skin, making it oily and acne prone.
14. Using A Wrong Sunscreen
Most women end up being unhappy after using sunscreens. Sunscreens mostly end up in excess oil formation that leads to acne. But it isn’t the sunscreen to blame, it is us. Using correct sunscreen is as important as wearing sunscreen to prevent sun damage. When you a sunscreen not made for your skin type, it adds unnatural glare to your face. It results in sweating that leads to sebum formation. And oxidized sebum triggers sebaceous glands to produce oil. It makes the skin oily and almost unable to manage.
Having learnt what the causes of oily skin are, you must have understood how important it is to follow proper skin care routine to keep oily skin healthy. Avoid as many above listed factors as you can to keep your skin oil free. For the ones you have no control over, follow a good skin care routine.