Summary of the issue

Causes of oily skin

Do you experience shiny skin over the whole face, numerous imperfections and make-up that doesn't last all day? If all this applies to you, you probably have oily skin. What causes oily skin? Can it be mitigated? Good news: the answer is yes!

Hormones: the main cause of oily skin

Hormones: the main cause of oily skin

The origin of oily skin is sebum: secreted by the sebaceous glands located just under the skin, sebum is used from birth to protect the skin from external aggressors by covering it with a light oily, protective film. In puberty, the skin starts to produce more sebum due to hormones. It becomes shiny, greasy and the pores that drain sebum often become blocked. This causes the skin to suffocate. Imperfections can then appear: spots, blackheads or acne, or even all of these at once! This phenomenon affects both girls and boys and can last into adulthood. 

“Sometimes, during the day, my oily skin takes over and I have to blot the oily areas regularly to prevent my skin from getting shiny. I use a bit of tissue, but the best is a small piece of tissue paper as it’s very absorbent.”

Pauline, 33 years

Other causes of oily skin

Oily skin isn’t only related to the hormonal changes that take place during puberty. There are other factors involved, starting with heredity: ask your parents if they had oily skin when they were younger, too! 
Also be mindful that your environment and lifestyle can explain why your skin is shiny: pollution, stress, diet, smoking and alcohol seem to have a strong influence on the skin's balance. So beware of any excess...
The quantity of sebum also changes according to the temperature and the seasons: one degree more increases the production of sebum by 10%! This is why the skin is more oily in spring and summer.

Everything you need to know about aggravating factors


Oily skin isn’t all bad!

If oily skin produces too much sebum, should we try to eliminate it completely? This is a bad idea: sebum is part of the skin's hydrolipidic film. It acts as a shield against external aggressors, helping to protect the skin against them. For this reason, it’s best to try and regulate sebum production with the right products. Another piece of good news is that oily skin is thicker than dry skin and more resistant to skin ageing. The first wrinkles appear later in oily skin - so that's one advantage, at least!

The right steps to care for oily skin

The right steps to care for oily skin

Cleansing, moisturising, make-up... Oily skin has specific needs, especially if it's also prone to blemishes. A good rule of thumb is to choose products that are gentle, non-comedogenic, and of course suitable for oily skin. If they are too aggressive or stripping, the skin will react by producing more sebum. The cure would then be worse than the disease! You'll get the best results with gentle, regular skin care treatments. 


Oily skin care ritual

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