What Does It Mean When Your Skin Is Oily?

Now that dewy skin is officially back in style, many were shocked to learn that facial oil is actually a good thing! For those of us who grew up powdering our noses and thinking that excess oil was the only cause for acne, the idea of accepting facial oil seemed preposterous. Today, people are rapidly ditching the matte surface look and opting for a more natural, oily palette. But, if you're noticing tons of oil even after you wash your face, there may be a few reasons for its appearance.

Healthline explains that each pore sits above a sebaceous gland that hydrates and moisturizes your skin. This is especially important for those of us who live in colder climates with dry air — these glands help keep your skin glowing throughout the lower temperatures. The skin naturally produces these oils as a response to a lack of moisture. Of course, there's a fine balance to this oil, meaning that too much can clog pores and too little can leave your skin devoid of hydration, Self explains. Plus, the weather can impact the level of oil as well — humid climates lend themselves to a higher level of moisture in the air which can translate to a shinier face. Adjust your skin care routine on high-humidity days to best offset your oily palette.

If, no matter how many blotting papers you use, you can still feel a layer of oil on your skin, it could also be due to genetics, Healthline reports. 

Washing your face too much could be to blame

Much like the rest of your body, your skin has a built-in mechanism that regulates its level of moisture. Healthline explains that if you're finding your skin to be especially oily, you may be failing to give your cells enough hydration. Skimping on lotion and overwashing can often be the main culprits behind your shiny face. Indeed, Melanie D. Palm, M.D., tells Self, "Overwashing your skin may feel like a short-term solution for removing the oil slick from your face, but in reality it is providing feedback to your skin that the oil is being stripped. In response, your skin thinks that this oil needs to be replaced, which results in over production of oil and irritation from overabundant cleanser use."

Thus, when you skip your lotion or double up with an oil-fighting cleanser, your skin will further react to the lack of hydration by creating more oil. Additionally, over-exfoliating can strip your face of the nutrients that it needs to hydrate itself. The same effect rings true here as well, the skin can respond by producing even more oil, according to the outlet. 

When you adjust your skincare routine, however, don't expect to see results overnight. Healthline reports that it may take between a month or two to see a shift in your skin's appearance. Just opt for a gentler routine that hydrates well and doesn't go overboard on exfoliants, toners, and cleansers.