Oily or combination skin: how it looks and how to care for it

Presence of enlarged pores, excessive sebum production, tendency to develop acne... Do you recognise yourself in this description? Then you probably have oily or combination skin.

Oily skin is very easy to recognise as what identifies it is an excessive production of sebum, a natural oily substance produced at the level of the hair follicles that has the function of making the skin soft and moisturised and protecting it from external agents such as pollution, wind and sunlight.

Oily skin: characteristics

Oily skin can be classified into different categories, each with specific characteristics. Let's discover the four main ones together:

  1. Oily skin: characterised by the presence of a greater quantity of sebum than normal, particularly concentrated in the T-zone (forehead, nose, chin).
  2. Seborrhoeic oily skin: characterised by the production of excess sebum that clogs the skin pores, thus causing the well-known 'enlarged pores'. To the eye, it has an irregular, rough and uneven appearance.
  3. Oily or asphyxial skin: can be recognised by the presence of comedones (which create whiteheads when closed and blackheads when open). Blackheads occlude the hair follicles, preventing sebum from escaping and moisturising the skin. This is why asphyxial oily skin usually appears dry, with a dull complexion and the presence of impurities.
  4. Combination skin: due to a different functioning of the sebaceous glands depending on the skin type, this skin type has areas where the skin is oily (T-zone: forehead, nose, chin) and areas where it tends to be dry (usually cheeks and eye contour).

Oily and combination skin: the causes

There are many reasons why the skin can produce excess sebum and, therefore, be oily/combination. Here are a few:

  1. Genetic factors: in most cases, oily skin is hereditary. Therefore, if our parents or relatives have already struggled with this type of skin, it is likely that we will too. 
  1. Hormonal imbalances: internal physiological factors related to hormones are often the cause of excessive sebum production. For example, men tend to have oily skin because of higher levels of testosterone. In addition, again due to hormonal imbalances, transient phenomena of increased sebum production may occur during the teenage years.
  1. Excessively humid and hot climate or polluted air: especially in summertime, the skin tends to appear oilier and greasier not only because of more intense sweating. As a defence against external agents, the skin may also react with an excessive production of sebum, which acts as a protective layer.
  1. Unsuitable cosmetics or too frequent cleansing: using products that are not suitable for your skin type can cause skin changes. For example, using a product based on vegetable oils may make the skin too oily, or too frequent scrubs and exfoliations may cause the skin to react with an excessive production of sebum.
  1. Unhealthy diet: fats or foods with a high glycaemic index are not recommended. Better to consume lots of fruit and vegetables, rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C and E, and prefer foods rich in omega 3 and 6, such as fish and dried fruit. Another tip that cannot be missed is to drink water regularly, which, thanks to its moisturising action, allows for a radiant, plumped and fresh complexion.

What to do?

What are the right treatments for oily/combination skin? As we noted above, the different types of oily/combination skin require an in-depth analysis of the causes and consequently an appropriate treatment. Following predefined routines to the letter, which do not take into account the particularities of your skin, could lead to a worsening of the situation and to skin hypersensitisation, discomfort or the appearance of further imperfections.

The first thing to do, therefore, is to delve into different beauty routines and products to discover those that best suit your skin's needs. Discover the skincare routine for combination or oily skin by Sendo!