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How to know if you have oily skin, and why.

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Oily skin is one of the most common concerns that men have when it comes to skincare. It can occur for various reasons, and at different times in your life.

Despite how normal it is, the signs of oily skin aren’t always obvious, and it’s important to know how to tell if you have oily skin before you start to tackle it. We’ve put together a helpful guide so that you know what to look for in the mirror.

The difference between dry and oily skin

Like oily skin, dry skin is a very common skincare complaint amongst men, and it can be just as difficult to identify. While the two issues do have some science in common, dry skin and oily skin are definitely not the same thing, and both skin conditions have a specific way they should be treated. 

While oily skin leaves your face feeling wet or greasy, dry skin feels, well, dry. However, it’s actually possible to have skin which is both dry and oily, which we’ll explain in more detail later.

Why do I have oily skin?

Oily skin is caused by the overproduction of sebum from your sebaceous glands, which are responsible for naturally producing moisture - there can be up to 900 sebaceous glands per square centimeter of skin on your face.

Although your skin has very good reasons for producing oil, too much can become a problem, and lead to other skincare issues.

Now you know what causes oily skin, it’s time to explain what to look for in the mirror. 

Do I have oily skin? - The signs to look for

So how do you know you have oily skin? Although it’s one of the most common skincare problems out there, it’s not always easy to identify, so we’ve outlined the tell-tale signs to look for:

Shiny or greasy skin 

If you have oily skin, you’ll probably notice that your face feels and looks shiny or greasy.

Blackheads and pimples

Because your skin is producing more oil, it can often mean that your pores become clogged, leading to blackheads and pimples.

Less fine lines and wrinkles

One of the upsides of having oilier skin is that it does help preserve your skin - even though too much oil can be annoying. Because of this, you may actually have fewer fine lines and wrinkles on your face.

Large visible pores

When you look in the mirror, it’s worth checking whether you are able to see your pores. Having large, visible pores means that they are likely to be producing more sebum, which leads to oilier skin.

I have oily skin, but my face is dry - why?

Although it may seem odd, you can actually have skin that is both dry and oily. This is often called ‘combination skin’, and it’s actually quite common. You may see that your skin is dry, and perhaps flaky, particularly around your nose or mouth.

Combination skin can often mean that you are severely dehydrated, which can happen even if you have oily skin. While it’s important that you stay hydrated by drinking enough water, you should also be mindful that your skin can become dehydrated by things like sun exposure, alcohol consumption, and using skincare products containing the wrong kind of ingredients for your skin — more on this later.

Is it normal to have oily skin?

Although oily skin can be an annoying issue, it’s actually very normal. Men’s skin is thicker than women’s, meaning that it is much more likely to be oily, and it ages differently, too. 

Oily skin is particularly common in younger men. A study conducted in 1999 showed that oil production peaks during puberty, partly due to growth hormones.

I have oily skin - what should I do next?

Treating oily skin doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. As long as you know the right way to regulate oil production, you can gradually reduce the greasiness and blackheads that come with having oily skin.

Wash your face

Washing your face regularly helps reduce the amount of oil on your skin. 

Pat your face dry

After washing your face as we’ve explained above, pat it dry using a towel, and make sure to do this gently without rubbing your skin.

Lifestyle changes

Although oily skin is largely due to your pores, your lifestyle can also play a role. Stress can cause an increase in sebum production, as can a lack of zinc, magnesium, vitamin B or omega 3 in your diet.

Use the right kind of skincare products

Bottlecode makes choosing the right skincare products easy, from chatting with an expert from the Bottlecode team, to shipping your products straight to your door. Whether you have oily or combination skin, we'll find a solution that works for you.

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