Causes of oily skin
Oily skin is a case of excessive production by sebaceous glands, resulting in shiny, greasy skin.
Typically, sebum production keeps the skin from drying out and moisturizing. Now, the overactivity of sebaceous glands can be triggered by different causes.
Shiny or oily and blemished skin. What helps?
We would all like to be shiny for once in our lives. But when our skin is shiny, we usually don’t like it. Moreover, especially in young people, shiny skin means large pores, blemishes, and often acne is close at hand.
So what to do? What can proper care look like, and where does the annoying oily shine come from in the first place? Quite clearly, it is a lipid excess, often genetically hormonally caused. There is an imbalance between the quantity and quality of the lipid film (skin fat) on the skin.
The technical term for this type of skin secretion is “seborrheic skin.” Sebaceous gland-rich areas such as forehead, nose, chin, or shoulders and anterior and posterior sweat groove are usually most affected. Usually manifesting during puberty (sometimes escalating), this process is almost always regressive in the 3rd decade of life—small consolation for teenagers.
Because this same skin condition is often the precursor to inflammatory acne. Unfortunately, the affected teenagers often only come for cosmetic treatment when pimples – papules and pustules sprout on the face and when the pores are clogged with sebum. Here it is necessary to weigh whether the case is still cosmetically relevant or whether it is better to contact a dermatologist.
It makes sense to intervene in a regulating way with special care. The most crucial point here is thorough but gentle cleansing. Gentle because the skin’s own barrier should be preserved and the physiological pH value of the skin restored. Because it is precisely the pH value of the skin that is usually destroyed by the (understandable) desire to cleanse and degrease the skin thoroughly.
What could this care look like?
To prevent the formation of comedones (blackheads), exfoliation once a week is recommended. In addition, more robust measures such as microdermabrasion or fruit acid peeling can help refine skin relief. However, these applications should be performed by a cosmetic professional. The advantage of fruit acid peelings lies in the horn and comedones dissolving effect.
Furthermore, care should be taken that the lipid balance of the skin is regulated and that moisture is added to the same extent. Therefore, light oil-in-water emulsions (O/W) are recommended, ointments and water-in-oil emulsions (W/O) should be avoided at all costs.
Since this type of skin secretion is often also very sensitive at the same time, the following active ingredients are particularly recommended: Hyaluronic acid, allantoin, and salicylic acid. This combination of active ingredients ensures hydration and regeneration (in acne scars), has an anti-inflammatory effect, and prevents clogged pores. In addition, especially in acne lesions, the combination of vitamin B3, linoleic acid, and calendula (marigold) leads to stabilizing the skin barrier and thus to better skin.
Last but not least, adequate light protection should be considered in this skin condition because UV radiation leads to a temporary stimulation of sebum production as well as to hyperkeratosis. The latter is a cornification that does not allow the existing sebum to drain off and thus may lead to skin impurities again. Therefore, sunscreen gels are particularly suitable in this case.
Suggestion for a treatment:
Duration of treatment
Whether equipment was used and whether a massage was performed, 45 to 90 minutes should be planned for this treatment.
In addition, other causes generally favor the development of oily skin:
What is the best way to care for my oily and blemished skin?
Oily and blemished skin is particularly unpleasant when it appears on the face. Visible red pimples or blackheads can also become a psychological burden for those affected. Therefore, it is more important to choose the proper care for the skin.
Special cosmetics for oily skin ensure that the skin’s protective layer is maintained or improved. Since the pH value of the skin is about 5.5, the care products should also have about this value. When choosing a skincare product, those affected have a wide range to choose from: Tinctures, creams, and gels – for day and night. Here, particular care should be taken to ensure that the products do not contain any fat. This would only exacerbate the problem.
Diet can also play a role in developing oily and blemished skin. It is known that a balanced, vitamin-rich diet has a positive effect on the entire organism – including the skin. Whether, on the other hand, a particularly alkaline, i.e., acidic diet is beneficial for blemished skin has not yet been scientifically proven. In general, you should avoid a high-fat content in your diet; this can be reflected in the appearance of the skin. In addition, you should avoid stimulants such as alcohol and cigarettes. Their consumption can also lead to impure skin.
Which cosmetics are best for oily skin?
In general, preventive care should be taken to adequately protect the skin, especially from the sun’s UV radiation. The primary maxim for oily skin is not to use care products with high oil content. For sun-worshippers, this means: Rather use sunscreen instead of suntan oil! Since there is sufficient sebum production in oily skin, greasy products would also clog the skin pores, becoming inflamed. As a result, pimples or blackheads can develop.
Therefore, creams that absorb excess oil are particularly suitable for oily skin. In addition, face masks made of healing clay or gentle peelings can be performed once a week. This opens pus pimples, keeps the pores clean, and contributes to the care of impure skin.
When using a face mask, it is also essential to match it to the individual skin type. You can find more information on this at kosmetik.org.
In contrast to dry skin, impure skin may be cared for with cosmetics with relatively high alcohol content, such as a cleansing toner. This is because oily skin is not sensitive, the excess oils are removed, and inflamed areas are disinfected. For moisturizing oily skin, light, low-oily oil-in-water emulsions are suitable. These products are absorbed slowly, release the water and balance the moisture content in the skin.
Symptoms of oily skin
In oily skin, the top layer (horny layer) is thickened (hyperkeratosis). This causes the skin pores to dilate. These enlarged pores tend to clog, especially in the area of the so-called T-zone (forehead, nose, chin) and in the décolleté, shoulders, and back. As a result, the typical symptoms develop pimples and (inflammatory or non-inflammatory) blackheads (comedones). In addition, the skin is shiny; it appears oily and often also poorly supplied with blood and thus pale; in the skin appearance, only a few lines and wrinkles are found.
What ingredients can be included in cream against oily skin?
Creams against oily skin often contain active ingredients that keep sebum production in check, keep pores clear or make the skin look duller. To remove dandruff and smooth the skin, salicylic acid or vitamin A acid are often added to the creams. In addition, antimicrobial substances such as triclosan added to creams for oily skin have a disinfecting effect and dry out the skin.
In the case of severe skin problems, creams or gels containing the active ingredient benzoyl peroxide can be used. This ensures that the horny cells that clog the sebaceous glands peel off. However, side effects are possible: the skin may burn or itch, and sometimes the skin problems also worsen. It is therefore advisable to talk to a dermatologist beforehand.
All products suitable for the care of impure skin are marked as such on the packaging. These are usually available in the pharmacy or a drugstore. If you are unsure which care your skin needs, you should consult a dermatologist. They will recommend a suitable therapy for your skin problems.
Tips against oily, blemish-prone skin
Mild cleansing with sebum-regulating ingredients: Cleanse the skin in the evening with a small amount of cleansing gel. Do not use a towel but fresh cosmetic tissues when drying the skin. In the morning, cleansing with water is sufficient.
Do not over-care: Rather, apply a few skincare products and prefer non-greasy, moisturizing cosmetics. Do not apply many different products on top of each other (layering).
Exfoliation: Especially for blemish-prone skin, apply an exfoliant once a week to remove dead horny cells and unclog pores.
Diet: Acne and oily skin are aggravated by a dietary style with a high glycemic index. Therefore, avoid foods that cause blood sugar levels and insulin levels to rise quickly and high. These foods include white flour products, fast food, sweets, and sodas. Consumption of milk and dairy products also promotes acne. Suitable milk substitutes include nut- or oat-based plant-based alternatives that contain lower levels of insulin-releasing amino acids—more on the topic of good nutrition and beautiful skin.
Avoid whey protein shakes. Consuming such milkshakes can trigger what is known as bodybuilder’s acne. Omega-3 fatty acids, on the other hand, are thought to have an anti-inflammatory effect. They are mainly found in fatty sea fish, flax/walnut, and hemp oil.
Tip: Make sure you take breaks of several hours between meals to lower insulin levels.
Do not take extra vitamin B supplements if you are prone to blemished skin. This can trigger acne or worsen existing acne if you have a predisposition.
Enjoy the sun only in moderation or appropriately protected: Although the belief in a positive influence of sunlight is also widespread concerning acne, high UVA radiation causes the increased formation of fatty acids, which can stimulate the development of blackheads. On the other hand, UVB radiation allows inflammations to heal more quickly and has a drying effect on the skin. However, it also causes the so-called light callus, leading to skin inflammation. Suitable sun protection is also recommended for blemished skin, especially since a pimple can leave a pimple mark after a pimple, which can be darkly pigmented by sunlight. This dark pigmentation after a healed pimple is still visible for a relatively long time.
Medication: In pronounced cases, treatment with externally applied medications such as azelaic acid or benzoyl peroxide or internal treatment with, for example, very low doses of vitamin A acid is recommended.
Suitable cosmetic products for oily skin
Cleansing: Cleansing gels are particularly suitable for oily skin, as they do not add grease to the already oily skin.
Creams: Oil- or lipid-free products such as fluid, serum, or gel and so-called non-comedogenic products are ideal. These products do not promote blackheads and impurities and can also be used well with oily skin. In addition, hyaluronic acid has proven itself an ingredient for oily skin because it is moisturizing but not greasy.
Sun protection: Use products that do not additionally grease the skin. Do not apply sun oil, but rather a sun protection gel, spray, or fluid.
Make-up: Instead of cream makeup, it is better to use water-based makeup such as a make-up fluid or powder products.