Close up of post-acne, scars and red pimples on the face. Oily skin and how to manage it

Oily skin – is it really that bad? Pros, cons and how to manage it.


Oily skin is a common condition that affects many people worldwide. It is characterised by an excess production of sebum, which is the natural oil produced by the skin’s sebaceous glands. It can be beneficial in some ways, such as providing natural moisture and protecting the skin from external factors. But it also has downsides that can lead to acne and other skin issues. Here we explore the pros and cons of oily skin, ways to manage it, and recommended skincare regimens.

The Pros and Cons of Oily Skin

Pros of Oily Skin

  • Natural Moisture. Oily skin tends to produce more sebum, which is the skin’s natural moisturiser. This helps keep the skin hydrated and prevents dryness and flakiness.

  • Delayed Signs of Ageing. Oily skin tends to have more natural lubrication, which can help delay the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The excess oil can keep the skin plump and youthful-looking.

  • Sun Protection. The extra oil on the skin’s surface can act as a barrier and provide a level of sun protection. However, it’s important to note that this is not a substitute for proper sun protection measures such as sunscreen.

  • Fewer Moisturiser Requirements. Since oily skin already produces more oil, you may need less moisturiser than people with other skin types. This can be convenient and potentially save you money on skincare products. However, you should still moisturise – especially after washing your face. If you don’t it can lead to an overproduction of oil.

Cons of Oily Skin

  • Breakouts and Acne. One of the most common drawbacks of oily skin is the increased likelihood of breakouts and acne. The excess oil can clog pores, leading to blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, or cystic acne.

  • Shine and Greasiness. Oily skin often has a shiny or greasy appearance, especially on the forehead, nose, and chin (known as the T-zone). This can be frustrating for some individuals and may require frequent blotting or mattifying products to reduce shine.

  • Makeup Challenges. Oily skin can make it more difficult for makeup to stay in place. The excess oil can cause foundation, concealer, and other products to slide off or break down more quickly, requiring touch-ups.

  • Large Pores. Oily skin is often associated with enlarged pores. The excess sebum can stretch and clog the pores, making them more visible. This can contribute to an uneven skin texture and make it harder to achieve a smooth complexion.

  • Skincare Balancing Act. Finding the right balance in skincare can be a challenge for those with oily skin. Over-cleansing or using harsh products can strip away too much oil, leading to increased oil production as the skin tries to compensate. On the other hand, using heavy or greasy products can exacerbate the oiliness.

It’s important to remember that these pros and cons of oily skin may vary from person to person, and everyone’s skin is unique. Additionally, proper skincare practices and a healthy lifestyle can help manage the challenges associated with oily skin.

Managing Oily Skin

While oily skin has pros and cons, managing it requires a combination of lifestyle changes, skincare practices, and potentially prescription treatments. Here are some tips to help manage oily skin:

  1. Wash your face twice a day: Washing your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser can help to remove excess oil, dirt, and impurities from the skin.
  2. Avoid harsh skincare products: Harsh skincare products such as toners and exfoliants can strip the skin of its natural oils, which can cause the skin to produce even more oil to compensate. Look for gentle, non-comedogenic products that are specifically formulated for oily skin.
  3. Use blotting papers: Blotting papers are a quick and easy way to remove excess oil from the skin throughout the day without disrupting your makeup.
  4. Avoid touching your face: Touching your face can transfer dirt and oil from your hands to your face, which can contribute to acne breakouts.
  5. Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help to flush toxins from the body and keep the skin hydrated from within.
  6. Follow a healthy diet: Eating a healthy diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help to promote healthy skin.
  7. Use prescription treatments: In some cases, prescription treatments such as isotretinoin (Roaccutane), antibiotics, and topical treatments may be necessary to manage oily skin and prevent acne breakouts.

Skincare Regimens

A daily skincare regimen should include the following steps:

  1. Cleanser: Use a gentle, non-comedogenic cleanser to remove excess oil, dirt, and impurities from the skin.
  2. Toner: Apply a toner that is specifically formulated for oily skin to help balance the skin’s pH and remove any remaining impurities.
  3. Moisturiser: Use a lightweight, oil-free moisturiser to hydrate the skin without clogging pores.
  4. Sunscreen: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to protect the skin from sun damage.

A weekly skincare regimen for oily skin may include the following steps:

  1. Exfoliation: Use a gentle exfoliating scrub or enzyme mask to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores.
  2. Mask: Apply a purifying mask that is specifically formulated for oily skin to help absorb excess oil and impurities from the skin and minimise the appearance of pores.
  3. Spot treatment: Apply a spot treatment to any active acne breakouts to help reduce inflammation and prevent further breakouts.

A monthly skincare regimen for oily skin may include the following steps:

  1. Professional facial: Consider getting a professional facial once a month to help deep clean and detoxify the skin.
  2. Chemical peel: Consider getting a chemical peel once a month to help exfoliate and unclog pores.
  3. Microdermabrasion: Consider getting a microdermabrasion treatment once a month to help improve the texture and tone of the skin.

Prescription Treatments

In some cases, prescription treatments may be necessary to manage oily skin and prevent acne breakouts. Here are some commonly prescribed treatments:

  1. Isotretinoin (Roaccutane): Isotretinoin is a powerful oral medication that is used to treat severe acne. It works by reducing the production of oil in the skin.
  2. Antibiotics: Antibiotics are prescribed to help reduce inflammation and kill bacteria that contribute to acne breakouts.
  3. Topical treatments: Topical treatments such as retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid are often prescribed to help unclog pores, reduce inflammation, and prevent acne breakouts.


In conclusion, oily skin can be a frustrating condition to deal with, but it can be managed with the right skincare regimen and lifestyle changes. By following a daily, weekly, and monthly skincare regimen that is specifically formulated for oily skin, you can help to reduce excess oil, prevent acne breakouts, and promote a healthy complexion. If your case is severe, talk to your dermatologist about prescription treatments that may be right for you. We hope you’ve found this article about the pros and cons of oily skin helpful!

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