What Are the Common Causes of Oily Skin?

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  • Written By: Nick Mann
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 23 September 2019
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Oily skin is the result when the oil glands are overstimulated and end up over producing. This creates problems with the complexion which can be aesthetically displeasing. The causes of oily skin are numerous, and sometimes multiple factors can contribute to the problem. Some of the more common causes include heredity, diet, stress, hormones, cosmetics, soaps and weather conditions.

Heredity is often one of the biggest causes of oily skin. Some people are simply more genetically predisposed to this problem than others. For example, many Caucasian people of Mediterranean descent naturally have more oily skin than people with lighter skin.

A poor diet is another of the major causes of oily skin. Consuming large quantities of things like chocolate, fried foods, fats and sugars can play a big part in the oil glands over producing. Also, not consuming enough fruits and vegetables can cause an individual to miss out on nutrients and vitamins that reduce oil production.

Stress is a negative stimulus that can also lead to overly oily skin. Worrying and tension is taxing on the body in many ways, and greasy skin is often one result. These emotions can interfere with the oil glands' functioning and increase oil production. Usually, altering one's lifestyle and making time to relax will minimize the appearance of oily skin. Meditation can also be a helpful solution.


For some people, hormone levels are one of the causes of oily skin. When hormones become imbalanced, the body can experience many changes. One result can be the overstimulation of the oil glands. This is a problem that is rather difficult to change, and often patience is the only solution.

Certain cosmetics may also create oily skin. Many of these products contain unnatural chemicals that end up clogging pores. Often, minimizing makeup application or changing to more natural cosmetics will help solve the problem.

Soaps and other skin care products that are high in harsh chemicals can also cause problems. They sometimes end up changing the skin's natural complexion, making it more oily than it would normally be. One possible solution to this is to replace unnatural products with more natural or organic ones.

Another of the common causes of oily skin has to do with weather conditions. Sometimes hot weather can play a role in the oil glands over producing. When a person sweats profusely, this can also lead to oily skin problems.



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