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Oily skin type

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Photo: Wix

Can you briefly explain how oily skin is a skin type — and what this means?

The term oily skin is technically a marketing term, not a medical term. It is intended to describe an experience where an individual feels as though their skin is always somewhat oily or greasy compared to others. There is a tendency to feel the need to blot the skin of oil and sebum buildup.

Although some people with oily skin may describe a tendency towards frequent breakouts, this is not always the case. Oily skin can be accompanied by flaky skin as well for some, ironically. People with oily skin that also experience flaking in the areas of oil buildup are referred to as having ‘greasy scales". People that have a tendency towards oily skin and acne can have acne-prone oily skin. And there are also those with oily skin and a high number of sebaceous glands that can be somewhat enlarged called sebaceous hyperplasia. For this, the excess oil is a result of excess production in these glands.

While oily skin is a skin type, oily skin can be exacerbated and made worse by certain lifestyle habits, right?

Think of having oily skin as either a result of your baseline oil production stimulated by hormones or an enlarged or increased number of oil glands, or it can possibly be the “reactive” condition. In other words, your skin may produce alter its oil production in response to a trigger, especially hormonal. From a dietary perspective, with restrictive or crash dieting, sebum production may go down while with carbohydrate intake, oil production can increase.

Can someone with oily skin switch up certain lifestyle habits/behaviors and, therefore, experience less oily skin as a result?

Drink green tea: green tea is a known antioxidant that in studies has also been shown to decrease sebum and oil production.

Decrease stress levels with self-care, yoga, and other measures. Stress triggers cortisol levels to increase which can be linked to increases in oil production.

What are some things that could be making your skin more oily?

Not maintaining a good skincare routine. Oil and sebum build up on the skin and need to be cleaned routinely. Taking the time to wash your face at least once daily can help reduce excess oil on the skin.

High carbohydrate diets can trigger an increase in oil production. Consider reducing your carbohydrate intake to help control these levels more effectively.

High-stress levels can lead to increases in cortisol levels which can potentially lead to increases in oil and sebum production. Consider taking the time to review lifestyle choices that can impact your stress levels.


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