What causes oily skin? There can be several factors:

1. Genetics. When oily skin runs in the family, chances are that every member will have larger sebaceous glands that produce excess oil. Any skin that’s genetically oily is more likely to include clogged pores and breakouts.

2. Overuse use of skin care products. In the quest for younger-looking, smoother, clearer skin, patients may overcleanse, overexfoliate, or scrub with too much pressure.

3. Seasonal changes. A rise in heat and humidity during spring and summer can cause skin’s oil production levels to increase. In contrast, when the air becomes dry in winter, skin can get dehydrated, and excess oil may occur when it overcompensates for what’s missing.

4. Medications. Hormonal birth control and hormone replacement medications can cause an increase of oil production. Likewise, virtually any medication can cause dehydration and lead to a production of excess oil when skin overcompensates for the lack of oil.

5. Use of incorrect products. For example, if a patient uses a cleanser for oily skin when they has combination skin, their skin will become over-stripped of the oil it needs. It will then produce even more oil in response to compensate.

6. Hormonal changes. In women, fluctuations of hormone androgens throughout life (i.e., pregnancy, peri- and pre-menopause) can kick sebaceous glands into high gear.

7. Stress. In response to stress, the body produces more androgen hormones, which leads to more oil production.

8. Sun tanning. Tanning is BAD for reducing oil. In fact, although it may temporarily dry out the skin, it actually triggers an injury response, which causes the sebaceous glands to surge production of oil in order to protect the skin’s surface.

How do you treat oily skin?

It is important to cleanse the skin both morning and night with a cleanser containing either a glycolic, salicylic, or another beta hydroxy acid. Pads medicated with any of the previously mentioned oil-cutting acid ingredients are another option to incorporate into your regime. When it comes to moisturizer people with oily skin often make the mistake of skipping this step when in fact oily skin still needs to be moisturized to look and function at its best. It’s best to look for an oil free moisturizer with antibacterial properties.

Know your skin!
It’s important to be aware of how your skin varies so that you can adjust your regimen accordingly. A cleanser with glycolic acid or beta-hydroxy acid might be just fine every day during the summer but beneficial only now and then during the winter. Balance and knowing how to use these ingredients at the right time is important since overusing these products can cause skin to dry out which will cause a counterintuitive cycle of over production of sebum to make up for the lost oils in the skin.

Professional in office treatments that are effective in treating oily skin include salicylic peels which kill acneic bacteria and unplug pores, as well as physician strength glycolic peels such as our 70% glycolic based Refinity Peel which deep cleans the pores, helps to reduce acne, and helps smooth rough skin. As with any skin condition and it’s treatment, it is important to stay on a regular regime both at home and professionally to yield the best long term results.