Managing Oily Skin at Home

Oily skin is a result of excessive sebum production from the sebaceous glands, a common dermatological concern.

The condition is deeply rooted in genetics and hormonal fluctuations and usually results in acne, shiny complexion, and enlarged pores.

However, properly understanding the skin and following the right care regimen can go a long way in managing it and improving skin health and appearance.

Sebum and Its Role in Skin Health

Sebum is an oily substance that manages skin moisture and protection. It comprises triglycerides, fatty acids, wax esters, and squalene.

Produced through holocrine secretion, where sebocytes dissolve to release sebum, it travels up the hair follicle to the skin’s surface. While it’s important, an overproduction can result in oily skin and related skin issues.

Hormones and Sebum Production

Hormonal activity, particularly testosterone, can influence sebum production. Its levels spike during puberty, increasing sebum production and declining with age.

There is a constant and urgent need for having skincare regimes that complement different life stages and hormonal fluctuations.

Excessive Sebum Production

Sebum has its benefits, including moisture retention, UV protection, and antioxidant transport.

It also has anti-inflammatory properties and supports the skin’s immune defense by fighting off harmful bacteria.

It’s an excessive sebum production that can clog pores, leading to acne and an unwanted, greasy appearance, and therefore needs some work.

While at-home remedies can help in excess production, they don’t address the root cause, for example, hormonal imbalances will need the guidance of a dermatologist and may even need prescription medicines and other treatments.

At-Home Management Strategies


Controlling oily skin requires the basic cleansing of your face twice daily with a gentle cleanser.

This routine should be followed every morning, every night, and after intense physical activity. Do not use face washes with harsh chemicals or actives in the morning if your gym session is in the day, use them after the gym session.

Make sure you don’t wash more than 2 times a day as overwashing can irritate the skin and paradoxically increase oil production. Use soft, circular motions during cleansing to avoid aggravating the skin.


It may appear to make things worse but moisturizing can control oil production. You just need the right moisturizer, friendly for oily skin.

Dry skin triggers overproduction of oil as a compensatory mechanism. Go for a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer (it can include sunscreen if you don’t have one in your regimen otherwise), apply it every morning to balance and protect your skin.

Blotting Papers

The rule of not washing your face more than 2 times can be hard to follow, which is why blotting papers can be a quick help throughout the day to absorb excess oil.

Make sure to use a dabbing motion. Do not wipe. Do not dab at the same place with a used part again avoid spreading oil across the skin.

Additionally, minimizing facial contact with hands can prevent the transfer of oil, dirt, and bacteria, which exacerbate oiliness and acne.

Clay Masks

Clay masks are beneficial for drawing out excess oil from the pores, leaving the skin clearer and less greasy.

Research supports the use of clay combined with jojoba oil masks for reducing acne lesions when used two to three times weekly over six weeks.

Green Tea

Green tea, known for its antioxidant properties, also offers benefits for oily skin. Applying a 3% green tea emulsion can significantly cut down sebum production, with noticeable results after consistent use over 60 days.

Creams and Gels

For skin that’s not just oily but also red and flaky, mild hydrocortisone cream can soothe irritation, redness, and scaling. For acne, you can go for the popular Differin Gel after speaking to a dermatologist.

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