Why is my skin always oily halfway through the day no matter what?

You probably don’t want your skin looking shiny, but oil is not always a bad thing. Oil produced by your skin (also known as sebum) is part of your skin’s natural hydrating and protective process. But oil can be frustrating, especially when it mixes with dead skin cells and other debris to cause acne. Perhaps you’re wondering, "Why is my face always oily?" Or maybe you notice that afternoon shine reflecting in a window and think, "Why is my nose so oily at the end of the day?" This guide will include tips and tricks to prevent, deal with, and counteract excess oil on your skin throughout the day.

What causes oil on your face?

Even if you don’t have generally oily skin, most people experience more oil around the t-zone – that’s the area on your forehead, nose and chin. It’s one of the most common high-oil spots on our bodies due to its higher concentration of oil-producing sebaceous glands, which, left unchecked, can lead to that end-of-day shine. On top of this, the t-zone also produces lots of sweat throughout the day, which can create a humid environment where acne can thrive. But don’t worry, there are things you can do to help counteract excess oil.

How to stop an oily face during the day

One of the most common misconceptions is that scrubbing away oil by washing your face will lead to less oil on your skin. But what actually happens when you remove all the oil from your face, is that your skin produces significantly more oil to prevent itself from drying out. The harsher the soap and the more you wash, the more oil your skin will produce to keep up with its hydration demands in order to protect its barrier.

The best strategy to prevent an oily appearance on your face is to use a gentle wash. Avoid harsh scrubbing and over-washing. Stick to a soothing cleanser like the Ultra-Gentle Cleanser from the ProactivMD® 3-Piece System. It’s carefully balanced to allow for twice-daily use to help wash away dirt, oil and debris without stripping your skin of its vital moisture.

How to counteract oily skin

The next factor to focus on when dealing with oily skin is your moisturizer, which serves as a thin layer of protection so your skin doesn’t feel the need to produce extra oil for protection. We recommend a powerful, anti-shine option like the Ultra-Hydrating Moisturizer in the ProactivMD® 3-Piece System. It’s specially formulated for oily skin to help alleviate dryness and maintain your skin’s moisture barrier without a glossy or shiny look.

Another common misconception is that oily skin doesn’t require moisturizer. In reality, not moisturizing can lead to your skin producing more oil, just like with over-washing. By giving your skin the proper hydration it needs with a good moisturizer, you actually decrease the amount of oil it needs to produce to maintain healthy skin.

Remember to apply sunscreen every morning. Sunscreen may have a bad reputation among people with oily skin due to the oily look it can give you, but there are oil-free, non-comedogenic sunscreen options. It’s important to consider that not applying sunscreen can lead to sunburn or dry, irritated skin, which can cause your skin to produce more oil to offset the dryness. Even if you’re genetically prone to have oilier skin, with proper skincare products and hygiene habits, you can stop the cycle of excess oil.

Always be sure to use oil-free and noncomedogenic makeup products, which shouldn’t clog your pores.

Finally, if you need to quickly deal with an oily and shiny face, you can use blotting papers (or even paper towels in a pinch) to help soak up some of the excess oil.

The bottom line

If the question is, "Why is my face always oily?" the answer can be any of several factors, from over-washing, to scrubbing too hard, to lack of moisture. For skincare routines that fight oil from multiple angles, find the Proactiv® acne treatment system that’s right for you so you can be on your way toward healthy, balanced skin.