Does your face feel greasy within an hour of cleansing? That's a clear sign of oily skin! Though oily skin people sport a natural glow on their face, excess oil may often lead to blocked pores and acne. This is why we’re here to help.
All you have to do is adopt a skincare routine that helps your skin control its sebum (natural oil) production. So, let’s understand what causes oily skin among men and how you can take care of it in simple ways.
What Is Oily Skin?
Your skin needs a certain amount of natural oil to be supple and moisturized. Your skin type - whether oily, combination or dry, is determined by how much oil the skin on your face produces.
An oily skin indicates excess oil on your face that leaves you with a persistently greasy appearance. Oily skin type commonly occurs when oversized sebaceous glands within your skin produce excess sebum (oily substance made of fats). This makes your skin appear shiny and greasy.
Sebaceous glands are present throughout your skin, except in your palms and soles. These glands start to produce sebum after you are born and the percentage of sebum increases with your age. Sebum primarily protects your skin and hair from moisture loss. However, excess sebum leads to oily skin and results in clogged pores and acne breakouts. (1)
What Causes Oily Skin In Men?
Oily skin may result from both internal and external factors. Read on to identify the underlying causes of oily skin:
Dihydrotestosterone is considered to be a major factor that contributes to oily skin in men. This is because when your testosterone (sex hormone) converts to the potent hormone DHT, it forces your sebaceous glands to produce more sebum (oil).
If you have oily skin, you might have inherited it from any of your parents. Excess oil can mean that you have overactive sebaceous glands, a cause of oily skin and hair.
3. Exposure To UV Rays
Besides aging your skin and increasing the risk of skin cancer, overexposure to UV rays can also boost your skin’s oil production. While sun rays can temporarily make your skin feel dry, it actually activates an injury response in your skin. This triggers your sebaceous glands to secrete more oil in order to help hydrate and lubricate your skin.
4. Weather Fluctuations
Changes in weather can have a direct effect on your skin type. If you happen to stay in places with high humidity levels, you might have oily skin. Hot and humid weather increases the degree of your skin’s oil production.
How Does Male And Female Skin Differ?
Men and women have significantly different skin. The hormone called testosterone determines the masculine characteristics of male skin and gives it a different structure to female skin. While every man’s skin is unique, in general, male skin is thicker, oilier and ages differently.
Men have larger sebaceous glands and enlarged pores. So, sebum production is double in men when compared to women. Therefore, men tend to have oilier skin.
Did You Know?
On an average, male skin is about 20 – 25 percent thicker than women's. Male skin contains more collagen, which gives it a tighter, firmer appearance.
5 Ways Men Can Control Oily Skin
1. Wash Your Face Twice A Day
Cleansing your skin is one of the most important steps of your skincare regimen. To keep your skin healthy and glowing, cleanse your face with a face wash, twice a day. This will not only help your skin to get rid of impurities, dirt and excess oil, but will also prevent your pores from clogging.
Ensure that you use a cleanser that suits your skin well. You can opt for oil control cleansers to remove excess sebum, prevent acne and breakouts. Oil control cleansers also help you to balance the pH level of your skin. You can lather the cleanser on wet hands, gently massage it onto your skin and then wash off.
Use lukewarm water to wash your face. It ensures that your facial cleanser gets the right amount of foaming action, removes enough dirt from the surface of your skin, and balances your skin’s natural oils appropriately.
Cleansers with tea tree oil or peppermint oil have antibacterial properties that can help soothe oily skin. You can try using one if it suits your skin.
You can also wash your face with a gentle soap (free of harsh chemicals) and lukewarm water, depending on your skin condition.
2. Moisturize Your Skin Everyday
No matter what your skin type is, moisturization is a must! Moisturizers attract moisture from the environment and retain it inside your skin, keeping it hydrated and soft. They stimulate ceramide production in your body, preventing loss of water from the topmost layer of your skin.
If you have oily skin, you can choose oil-free, lightweight water-based moisturizers. Use a moisturizer that contains non-comedogenic ingredients (that won’t block pores) like shea butter, neem oil, sunflower oil, sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, etc. Also, go for a lightweight, non-greasy moisturizer to counter your skin’s natural oil production.
Here is what you should look for in your moisturizers:
Ceramides are lipids that help form your skin's barrier and help your skin retain moisture.They play an important role in keeping your skin’s structure strong and healthy.
When your skin lacks a proper ratio of ceramides, its barrier can be compromised. This can cause skin issues like dryness, itching, irritation, and redness. Thus, you can use ceramide moisturizers to maintain your skin’s barrier function for protection against irritants, microbes, etc.
You can find ceramides on skincare labels in the form of ceramide AP, NP, EOP, NG and NS.
Humectants are ingredients that attract moisture from the environment onto your skin. They are typically used in leave-on hydrating products like serums, lotions, and creams.
Glycerin, Hyaluronic acid, Sorbitol and Propylene glycol are some of the common types of skincare ingredients that act as humectants. Choose one that best suits your skin. You can also use natural ingredients with humectant properties like aloe vera and honey.
3. Non-comedogenic Moisturizer:
People with oily skin experience excess sebum production, which leads to blockage of pores. Blocked pores often result in skin issues like acne and inflammation. This is why you need to look for a non-comedogenic moisturizer as they are formulated to help reduce potential blockage of your visible pores.
4. Lotion-based Moisturizer:
Your skin pores may not be able to absorb heavy creams or lotions and will ultimately clog your pores and aggravate pimples. Get yourself a lotion-based, light moisturizer. It penetrates your skin easily, enabling oil control and enriching it with nutrients.
3. Exfoliate Once A Week
Exfoliation breathes new energy into your skin. It removes dead skin cells and resurfaces healthy skin, giving it a fresher and youthful look. Regular exfoliation also prevents bacteria build-up and unclogs pores.
You can exfoliate your skin once or twice a week. Do not over-exfoliate your skin as dryness and inflammation can generate excess oil production. Be gentle to your skin while using an exfoliating cleanser.
If you are using a scrub, make sure to use one that is made up of natural ingredients. You can make simple and effective homemade scrubs using kiwi, oatmeal, coffee, walnut, cucumber, etc.
DIY exfoliating method:
2 tablespoons of ground oatmeal
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon of water
½ teaspoon of honey and olive oil
- Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl till it forms a paste.
- Gently rub the exfoliator into your skin for about a minute
- Rinse off with cold water.
- Use it once a week.
4. Use A Toner
If you have oily skin, use a toner to remove impurities, maintain pH balance of your skin and prevent extra oil secretion. You can use a toner after shaving or cleansing to soothe your skin.
Try to get yourself a salicylic-based toner. Salicylic acid is an effective anti-inflammatory agent that prevents the skin from developing various forms of acne. It also has antibacterial properties that fight acne (3).
5. Use A Face Mask
Face masks are a great way to replenish your skin with antioxidants, keep excess oil in check and make your skin look nourished and radiant.
You can use a face mask once or twice a week to deep-cleanse your skin. You can opt for clay masks to remove excess oil away from your pores. Green clay is said to be the best for controlling your skin’s oil production.
Tips To Manage Oily Skin
- Avoid taking bath in hot water.
- Use a lightweight, non-greasy lotion.
- Avoid scrubbing your face too hard or more than once a week as it can damage your skin’s protective layer and result in dehydration.
- Use non-comedogenic products to avoid acne.
- Eat foods that are rich in Vitamin C like green vegetables and citric fruits.
- Use toners regularly after washing your face.
- Apply clay masks once a week.
- When you’re outdoors for too long, you can use a blotting paper to wipe off excess oil. (4)
Oily skin can be hard to manage. But with the right skincare routine, you can easily control your skin’s excess oil production. Invest in lightweight, non-comedogenic products to keep blocked pores and acne in check. You can also make use of hacks like blotting papers and toners to wipe off the grease from your face. Also, consult your dermatologist and conduct a patch test whenever you start using any new products.
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