Oily skin is caused and affected by many factors, some of which are completely under your control. Read on to learn whether a lifestyle change could balance your oily complexion.
You never leave the house without your trusted powder compact. You have an unhealthy obsession with blotting papers. And you're always on the hunt for oil-free skincare (which is, surprisingly, not the best choice for your skin type).
If you have oily or combination skin, you've probably tried a multitude of products to help you regulate that telltale shine. You've probably been wondering just what causes greasiness and why your skin appears to be greasier at certain times.
Whether your skin is normal, dry, or oily, you have a certain amount of natural oils (sebum). Dry skin lacks these vital oils. A normal skin type has the perfect balance. Your oily skin produces sebum to excess.
Your skin's production of oil can be affected by many factors, with most of these being caused by hormones. A few common experiences can trigger hormonal changes that lead to an increase in sebum production:
- Sleep deprivation
Hormones regulate everything that happens within the body, from the way you feel to the health of your skin.
Puberty is universal, and more often than not, this is when skin becomes oily. This phase of life is characterised by a change in levels of sex hormones such as:
- Testosterone (an androgen)
It's the androgenic hormones, such as testosterone, that have a direct effect on sebum production. Increased androgen production causes a cascade of reactions that result in increased sebum.
This is why your oily skin type may seem to worsen at times.
Regardless of a person's sex, puberty is a sudden, massive change in hormone levels. Women's hormones are affected additionally by the monthly menstrual cycle.
Testosterone is a well-known androgen, and all women have a low level of this hormone present in their bodies at all times. However, these levels do change. Most significantly, testosterone levels rise around ovulation.
In a similar way, periods of high stress or sleep deprivation alter hormonal levels. Homeostasis, or perfect balance, is upset. The body scrambles to release new hormones that enable us to cope with the new demands being placed upon us. This up-and-down process plays havoc with our hormonal balance.
The bottom line is that life events such as puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and stress can all cause skin to become oily.
One More Trigger of Oily Skin: Diet
Since the dawn of fast food, people in developed nations have gradually become disconnected from the impact that dietary choices have on their body. The truth in that old saying, 'You are what you eat', has largely been forgotten.
The food you consume fuels and nourishes your body so that it can continue to exist and function normally. Food helps you manufacture the right level of hormones and keeps vital organs, including the skin, healthy.
One type of food ingredient has been linked extensively to mood disorders, huge hormonal swings, and even an increase in sebum production. This ingredient is found in over 80% of the choices available to you at your local supermarket and in almost all convenience foods.
The culprit? Sugar!
Sugar is almost pure energy. There's no need for the body to break sugar down, so this substance enters the bloodstream almost straight away. The result is a sugar rush or high.
A healthy body can sense when too much sugar is in the blood. In such a case, the pancreas releases a hormone, insulin, to balance blood sugar levels.
Insulin is released alongside a variety of other hormones that are linked to increased sebum production and pore enlargement. If you've been battling an oily skin type and looking for a cure, eliminating processed sugar from your diet may be the solution you're looking for.
Skincare for Oily Skin
Of course, the final strategy for coping with an oily or combination complexion is to browse the carefully selected products in our oily skincare shop.