The Root of Oil Evil: Top 7 Causes of Oily Skin

May 18, 2017 • Look Good / Skincare

Are you perplexed by your shiny complexion that persists, no matter how thoroughly you cleanse? Here are the most likely reasons.


If your mom or dad have oily skin, it’s likely you will have inherited the trait. Oily skin can be passed on through your genes, as having larger sebaceous glands that produce excess oil is a hereditary attribute that can be handed down the family tree.



Humidity and hot weather tend to stimulate the secretion of sebum, leading to more oil on the skin. Conversely, in arid or cold climates, skin can dry out, causing oil glands to go into overdrive to compensate.



If your skin is looking shiny, the last thing you want to do is over wash your face using harsh products. Scrubbing too hard with washcloths, other abrasive tools or with coarse exfoliators will strip the skin of moisture, causing glands to overproduce oil – that’s why gentle cleansing is so important.



Oral contraceptives and hormone replacement medication can cause an increase in oil production, and acquiring oily skin is one of the possible side effects associated with taking certain kinds of steroids. Many medications can also cause dehydration that leads to a production of excess oil.



It’s important to always use skincare products that are appropriate for your skin type, are of a high quality and are labeled as either oil-free or noncomedogenic. For example, if you use a product for combination skin or dry skin when your skin type is actually oily, you can either dry out your face, causing more oil production, or use a product that is too greasy. Poor-quality cosmetics tend to be harsher, damaging the skin and making the sebaceous glands pump out more oil.


Hormonal Changes

Hormones and oily skin seem to go hand in hand. Androgens are the hormones mostly responsible for oil production, and sometimes they can fluctuate, stimulating an increase in sebum production. This often happens during puberty, just before menstruation, during pregnancy and during menopause. Stress and illness can also prompt extra hormones to be released, and with those hormones comes more oil.


Poor Diet

It may be difficult to not indulge in foods that contain sugar, refined carbohydrates and dairy. But be warned – tasty as these foods may be, consuming them too frequently may lead to overactive sebum production and the greasy sheen that accompanies it.


Prevention or Treatment?

If your oily skin is caused by diet, makeup and over washing, there are several things you can do to prevent your oily skin from reoccurring.  However, outside factors we have no control over, such as hormones, genes and environment, may just as likely be the causes as well. If prevention is not an option, there are many ways you can treat oily skin, and take the next step towards attaining the complexion you desire.

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24 responses to “The Root of Oil Evil: Top 7 Causes of Oily Skin”

  1. Luis says:

    Aboogley boogley!

  2. […] before we dig in, this information comes courtesy of and their article on The Root of Oil Evil: Top 7 Causes of Oily Skin. So please visit and […]

  3. Am having too much oil on my face what can I do to it

  4. Laniya harbin says:

    i wash my face with 2 acne products day and night but my skin is oily when i wake up
    and i don’t want to exfoliate my skin to often because they say your skin can age

  5. darla martin says:

    well at least people with oily skin tend to look younger than their dry skin it’s a long term blessing in disguise. I’m 64 and wake up each morning with a glossy oil sheen on my face even though I slept with Retin A or acne creams. I may break out but my skin on my face is wrinkle-free
    but not so for my friends with dry skin..

  6. Lily says:

    Oily skin is such a pain. I have acne and oily skin so its impossible to get rid of my acne . I try and cover up with makeup but because my skins oily it wipes of majority of my makeup and its so stressful

  7. Maggie says:

    My dad is so oily he says it’s because he runs so much. He read that eating bananas help your skin be less oily. He eats a banana everyday but it never seems to help. What can he do?

    • carly says:

      Hi Maggie, This may be due to genetics as your dad seems to lead a healthy lifestyle however recommend these tips to him as it may help him to combat the excess oil.

  8. Kim says:

    Just recently dealing with oily skin for at least 6 months n don’t know y never had it before I’ve got a few health problems don’t know if there the cause or not or if it’s something else that’s causing the problem can U please help me as it’s very frustrating dealing with it .

    • carly says:

      Dear Kim, Thank you for your post! This could be caused by changes in Hormones or general health. It’s always best to consult your dermatologist or GP if such changes happen suddenly to be assured. I hope this helps.

  9. fithungama says:

    Thanks a lot for this beneficial website

  10. Steven Prisk says:

    I’m a 55 year old man. I never had such a problem with my face , neck, ears , scalp and i think my entire body creating so much oil. 10 minutes after washing i begin creating oil . I feel that i have tried every way with no success . I have been under tremendous stress and anxiety that is not going to stop for a long time . It’s very uncomfortable, what possibly can i do ? I have spent over $500. On acne products.

    • carly says:

      Dear Steven, Thank you for your post and sorry to hear of your struggles with the excess oil. In this case, we would recommend contacting your local GP or dermatologist to see what is the route cause of the excess oil produced. We hope this helps and wishing you all the best.

  11. Ted says:

    I’m a 65 going on 66 Male. The palms of my hands are always greasy and have been for several years. What causes this?
    Thank you

    • carly says:

      Hi Ted, This could be a case of hormonal changes but to be sure what the actual cause, it would be best to see your local GP to confirm this and help provide treatment. Good luck and hope this helps 🙂

  12. Karan patel says:

    Thanks for sharing this amazing information.

  13. Rutuja says:

    Oily skin is such a pain. I have acne and oily skin so its impossible to get rid of my acne.

    • carly says:

      Hi there! Please note that there are a lot of remedies for treating oily skin and a lot of acne treatments you can do at home, that really work. We have also been posting about the acne diet and we have an article on ways to unclog the pores. Check them out and give it a try! Kind regards 🙂

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