Dealing with your skin type: Oily Prone Skins

It’s not always easy to live with an oily prone skin. You constantly find yourself digging for powder to conceal, what you feel is an unattractive sheen. Most men aren’t even confident enough to dab some oil control on, leaving them with a visible problem. But it’s not just the sheen that comes with the oily skin. Often, your oily skin leads to clogged and enlarged pores, break outs and even cystic acne.

Lucky for you, we will share with you some “life-saving” info on what causes it, how you can deal with it, do’s and don’ts and some expert advice from our doctors.

Why your skin is Oily

It is important to note that all skins should be a little oily. It is your body’s way of moisturising your skin and protecting it’s integrity. However, problems start to arise when your oil producing glands overproduce. There are many contributing reasons to why your skin can become oilier over the years. The most predominant one is genes. If your mum or dad or even grandparents had oily skin types, the chances of you developing one is significant. There are also other factors that come into play, like:

Hormonal changes

An increase in hormones can increase your sebum activity in the skin. This applies to women and men going through puberty, menopause or even when taking extra testosterone for muscle building. Your body needs a balance and a disruption in this balance can cause irregularities.


Stress (emotional and physical) can result in an increase in production of the stress hormone, Cortisol. This can then result in an increase of sebum activity due to irregularities in hormone levels (as stated above).

Environment factors

Pollution compromises our skin by breaking down the integrity of its barrier function. This loss of barrier function and protection of your skin can lead to an overproduction in oil by your sebaceous gland as it tries to protect the skin.

Lifestyle (foods and exercise)

Oily and unhealthy diets; not showering or washing up directly after exercise (emphasis on DIRECTLY); being on the phone to much; not changing your bedding (especially your pillow cases) often enough; are all contributing factors to oily skin. The dirt in all the above scenarios can clog your pores leading to an excess production of sebum in your follicles, resulting in (you know by now) oily and acneic skin.

Pore-blocking skin care

When you look at your homecare (cleansers, serums, creams and make-up), you need to make sure to avoid comedogenic ingredients like Vitamin E, enriching oils, heavy creams etc. These are meant for dry skin, and even if some of the other ingredients in the product could help to calm and sooth your skin for reduced oil production, the extremely nourishing ingredients may just irritate the sebaceous glands even more.

How to treat your Oily Skin

When dealing with an oily skin type, the first reaction is always to scrub and wash your face until it looks dry and feels squeaky clean. This only makes things worse. If you over stimulate your skin with scrubs and washes, it kicks into a high oil producing gear. You then scrub more, your skin produces more oil and the wheel just goes faster and faster. See where I am going with this? Balance and moderation is important in everything you do for your oily skin.

Here are some Do’s and Don’ts for oily skin types:


  • Use a breathable/mineral foundation. Brands like DermaQuest Liquid Foundation were designed to allow your skin to breath while providing coverage, protection and soothing properties.
  • Take a Zinc and/or Vitamin C supplement as these have healing and strengthening properties.
  • Use active products like a salicylic acid serum or retinol. This regulates the cell turnover of your skin and will decrease follicle build up. It also kills the acne producing bacteria. Consult a practitioner before using such products.
  • If you tend to sweat more during the day, especially in summer time, make sure you keep calming and nourishing cleansing wipes in your purse or car. This will help to control your oily sheen.
  • Eat healthily as it will help regulate and balance your hormonal levels.


  • Don’t use harsh soaps and cleansing wipes that strip your skin of oil. This leaves your skin compromised to further bacterial infection and dehydration.
  • Don’t pick and poke your acne, you will only make it spread leaving your skin oilier and potentially with scars.
  • Avoid touching your skin regularly during the day as it can block your pores.
  • Don’t over stimulate your skin by using too many products or doing too many abrasive treatments like scrubs. It only leads to increased oil producing activity.
  • Avoid oil based creams and sun screens as these can clog your pores/follicles thus increasing the oil production in your skin.

5 Essential tips from our doctors for your oily skin:

  1. Use a high quality, non-stripping cleanser – Dr Jenni Irvine
  2. Get your hormones tested as you might be suffering from Polysystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) – Dr Jenni Irvine
  3. Don’t smoke. Smoking decreases the Vitamin A activity in your body, an essential vitamin for keeping your sebum production balanced – Dr Martelize Brand
  4. Use a lotion or gel type moisturiser that will be light on the skin but effectively nourishes, calms and soothes for a balanced skin. Hyaluronic Acid based products are great as they retain moisture NOT oil – Dr Xen Ludick
  5. Drink lots of water. A hydrated skin, is a healthy skin – Dr Martelize Brand and Dr Jenni Irvine


It is easy to become disheartened when you read all the factors that can cause or worsen your oily skin conditions. Just remember, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Book your skin assessment with us today!




Written by: Danike Bouwer

Edited by: Dr Jenni Irvine

©The Aesthetics Centre April 2017


*Results may vary per individual on all treatments and products. **The testimonials given are those of the clients and pertain to the results that they obtained and that each individual's results and opinions will still vary. ***The information on this website and specific page is not meant to diagnose any condition or provide conclusive treatment options for a given condition. The final decision on such treatments can only be made after a full history is obtained in person and a physical examination is done as part of a consultation in person. The information contained in this communication is confidential and may be legally privileged.
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