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All about Oily Skin

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Oily skin is coarser and thicker than the other skin types. It is caused by excess production of oil (the technical term is sebum). Here the oil producing sebaceous glands are overactive or hyperactive and hence they produce more oil than is needed. The oil oozes and gives the skin a greasy shine.

The good news is that oily skin helps skin age more slowly with fewer wrinkles. The bad news is that people with oilier skin tend to suffer more with blackheads and acne. This skin type requires constant care and tends to get affected by weather changes.


  1. Be aware- Oily skin is usually confused with combination skin because it has some areas that are oily and some which are dry. The care though is totally different in both the conditions. Hence if you are facing such a situation trouble shoot and check the skincare products you are using. Usage of wrong harsh skincare products is the main contributor in this type of situation.
  2. Factors that can aggravate the problems for oily skinned people-
    • External factors: hot humid climatic conditions, heat, dust, pollution.
    • Internal factors: genetics, diet.
    • Lack of hygiene or efficient cleansing regime.
    • Excessive scrubbing.
    • Excessive facials or stimulating massages.
    • Certain medications both oral or topical which are generally used to combat acne like iso-tretenoin, benzyol peroxide, salicylic acid, glycolic acid hormone-replacing medications (Therefore, it is very important to choose correct daily use skincare products for your skin type).
    • Choosing incorrect skincare products and regime: this is extremely important but is usually overlooked. Hence make sure you use only those skincare products that have a gel or serum or lotion base. Avoid products containing denatured alcohols, skin irritants (irritating or drying ingredients only make matters worse, because they actually trigger more oil to be produced directly in the oil gland) and excessive fragrance. Are non-comedogenic. Are skin pH friendly. Formulated specifically for your skin type/ concerns/ needs and are safe (do not contain toxic/ harmful ingredients in them) for application on human skin.
    • Excessive Stress– High stress levels often lead to more androgenic hormone production that could trigger excessive sebum production thereby causing oily skins.
    • Sun Tanning– Since it causes temporary skin dryness, it should be noted it could trigger excessive sebum production as the body tries to compensate the low oil level and protect your skin.
  3. Oily skin is extremely reactive to any change in your skincare regime, skincare products or any aesthetic procedure. Therefore, always get any aesthetic procedure; be it laser treatment, chemicals peels, chemical rejuvenation etc done only from a certified Dermatologist/Cosmetologist.
  4. Always consult a dermatologist; without any delay; if you are suffering from acne because it is very important to identify which type & stage of acne do you have. If treated timely you can prevent severe stages of acne.



  • Your cleanser should have: good cleansing properties, anti-bacterial ingredients in mild yet effective form, gel/foam/liquid based, skin pH friendly and most importantly it should not strip your skin of moisture.
  • Wash your face 2 times in a day. 
  • How much ever you may be tempted to use; Please totally avoid cleansers that contain irritants like artificial fragrances, chemical dyes etc. (Irritating or drying ingredients only make matters worse, because they actually trigger more oil to be produced directly in the oil gland. Also when your skin tingles, it means it is being irritated).

You can also read the DO’s & DON’Ts of CLEANSING

Step-2: TONING

  • Toner is a must and an important step for oily skinned people. Toners remove the last traces of impurities that can clog pores and help balance the skin pH. Apply toner right after washing your face.
  • Always use ALCOHOL-FREE toners because if they are alcohol-based they dry out the skin and create dead skin cell build up.


  • How much ever you may be tempted; avoid excessive scrubbing.
  • Exfoliate 1-2 times in a week. Once using synthetic scrubs and once using homemade face scrub. 

You can also read the DO’s & DON’Ts of EXFOLIATION


  • Moisturiser for oily skinned people should be lightweight, water based and oil-free. Not applying moisturizer will cause the skin to get dehydrated which is never a good option for the skin. Dehydration will disrupt the skin barrier as well as increased oil production which can possibly lead to increased breakouts.
  • At night use a lotion/cream which is light textured, non-greasy, non-comedogenic and replenishing. You can go in for hydrating serums. As lotions, gels, serums are best for oily skin. A serum is a skin care product that has a higher concentration of active ingredients. 

 You can also read the DO’s & DON’Ts of MOISTURIZATION 

Step-5: PROTECTING (Sunscreen)

  • It is difficult to apply sunscreen if you have oily skin but remember you can make matters worse for your skin; if you skip a sunscreen.
  • Always go in for gel/water/lotion-based, non-comedogenic, broad spectrum sunscreens.
  • Nowadays powder touch sunscreens are available; these give a dry touch and are a good option for oily skin.
  • If you have acne-prone skin, sunscreens containing Micronized Zinc Oxide are beneficial. As it is not only very lightweight and won’t clog the pores, but it also offers terrific broad spectrum sun protection.

You can also read the DO’s & DON’Ts of SUN PROTECTION

Step-6: PAMPERING (Face packs/masks)

  • Steaming your face once a week will help in opening your pores. Ensure your skin is well hydrated before you begin steaming it. Afterwards, moisturize your skin with your moisturiser (oil-free, light-weight, non-comedogenic). 
  • Apply face masks 1-2 times in a week. Opt for clay or mud based face packs. Face packs have the advantage of providing larger amount of active ingredients in contact with the skin for longer duration of time. 

IF YOU have any skin concerns like (uneven skin tone, acne, post acne scars, wrinkles, fine lines, sagging skin, dullness, stubborn blackheads, hyperpigmentation, dark circles, enlarged pores, complexion enhancement, dark spots, sun spots,  rosacea, melasma, skin allergies etc) then in addition to your daily regime you will require TARGETED TREATMENT regime which is specific for your skin concern but at the same time is also mild on your skin (eg milder forms of retinoids/pigment reducing ingredients etc).



  • Yogurt or Butter milk cleanser: Yogurt/ Butter milk can remove oil soluble impurities owing to fat-soluble enzyme lipase and protein based impurities owing to protease. Thus, Yogurt/ Butter milk removes unwanted oils from oily skin, yet preserves the moisturizing fat content of your skin. Preparation & Application- Take either yogurt or butter milk and massage your face gently. Then rinse off with lukewarm water. You can additionally add gram flour to further hasten the oil absorption properties (but many people are allergic to gram flour hence be very sure before using it).


  • Almond Honey Scrub: Blend a few almonds with honey. Massage this paste softly on your skin. After 10 minutes, cleanse your face with lukewarm water. 
  • Oatmeal & Aloe Vera Scrub: Mix some oatmeal with freshly extracted aloe vera. Rub gently on your skin. After 10-15 minutes, cleanse your face with lukewarm water. (Do not rub too hard or scrub for a longer time, in case you have acne problem, as this can aggravate your currently irritated skin.)


You can keep fuller’s earth or multani mitti/gram flour or besan/ clay as the base of your face packs. Then depending upon your skin concerns you can add active ingredients eg- lemon, papaya, licorice, turmeric for pigmentation.  Aloe- vera, green tea, cinnamon for wrinkles. Tea tree oil, neem, honey for acne.

  • Apple Facial: Peel an apple & cut it into small pieces. Rub these apple pieces on your face. After one hour clean your face with lukewarm water. This will make your skin oil free & glowing.
  • Lemon juice, Honey and Milk Pack: Mix a tablespoon of lemon juice with half a spoon of honey & a tablespoon of milk. Apply this paste on your face and leave it on for 10-15 minutes before washing it off with lukewarm water.
  • Egg-white Mask: Mix one teaspoon of honey with an egg white and stir well. Then add just enough flour to make a paste. Apply the mask to your face, avoiding the eye area. Let it dry for about 10 minutes; then wash it off with lukewarm water.
  • The famous Clay Mask: Clay masks remove dirt, makeup, dead skin cells, and other impurities from the skin while tightening pores, giving you a cleaner, more refined skin tone. Mix rosewater or plain water to fuller’s earth or clay to make a paste. Apply for 10-20 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water.
*Disclaimer : Result may vary from person to person.