Troubleshooting Oily Skin: What causes it? And how can plant-derived ingredients help?

Troubleshooting Oily Skin: What causes it? And how can plant-derived ingredients help?

Oil Production & Your Skin: Factors that Contribute to Excess Oiliness + Our Top Tips for Finding Balance

When we discuss oil and the skin, it’s important to start by clearing up a common myth. Contrary to what many big brands and advertisers would have you believe, oil is not your skin’s enemy. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

The truth is that the natural oil (sebum) produced in the sebaceous glands of your hair follicles plays an important role in the composition of healthy skin. Oil - or sebum - is part of what makes up the skin’s natural protective barrier, keeping your epidermis moisturized and more immune to external stressors that can damage or age this amazing organ.

However, you may be wondering, what if your skin produces too much oil? This is not uncommon. As it turns out, a number of things can cause your skin to go into overproduction mode and begin producing too much sebum. When this happens, you’ll be quick to notice because the skin will feel slick, appear shiny and can be more prone to acne breakouts.

So why does this happen? And what can you do about it? Here’s what you need to know:

What causes excess oil production?

The amount of oil our skin produces is largely determined by genetics, which is something we have no control over. Having oily skin is a skin type characterized by large pores all over the face and overactive sebaceous glands that produce excess oil consistently (figure 1).

That said, all skin types can experience overproduction of oil from time to time, for various reasons, including hormones, stress, lifestyle and environment. All of these factors can cause the body to become out of balance and the skin may react as a result.

Additionally, skin that has been stripped of its natural oils or hydration (or both), due to dry climate, aging or use of too many aggressive skincare products, can also react by producing more oil (figure 1). This is your body’s way of compensating to protect itself and a good sign that your skin is feeling depleted.

Dos & Don’ts for Dealing with Excess Oil

For addressing oily skin, dermatologists and skin experts recommend the following:

  1. DO wash your face every morning, evening, and after exercise with a gentle cleanser. Avoid strong face washes, as these can irritate or dry the skin and trigger additional oil production.
  2. DO apply moisturizer daily. Even if you have oily skin, it is still important to apply moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated. Look for oil-free, water-based moisturizers and makeup.
  3. DON’T sleep in your makeup. Always cleanse or even double cleanse at night after a day of wearing makeup and/or SPF products.
  4. DO use blotting papers, if your skin gets oily throughout the day. For best results, simply press the paper against your face gently and leave it on for a few seconds to absorb extra oil.
  5. DON’T touch your face throughout the day. This can spread dirt, oil and bacteria from your hands to your face, so only touch your face with clean hands when applying or removing products.

Plant-Based Ingredients that Promote Balance

As you may have already guessed, choosing the right ingredients for your skincare can be a crucial part of combating excess oil production. The good news is that there are a number of amazing plant-based ingredients that we love for treating the skin when oil production is an issue.

In particular, botanical oils like squalane and jojoba are wonderful because they mimic the skin’s natural oils, allowing the skin to cease overproduction. Other great ingredients include: aloe for its skin-soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, alpha-hydroxy acids and fruit enzymes for gentle exfoliation, and hydrators like hyaluronic acid, which work to improve water retention and barrier repair without clogging pores (meaning they are non-comedogenic). These ingredients can help promote balanced and healthy looking skin when used correctly.

Who is skincare for? And who is a balance of oil in the skin beneficial for?


We would like to take a moment to mention that despite certain outdated and unwarranted stereotypes, the skin is an organ like any other and needs to be taken care of. This includes both men and women. Healthy skin is in! 

Other Important Things To Know

At Picasso Skin, we believe in approaching the skin holistically, with clean, plant-based ingredients that promote healing, hydration, balance and better overall skin health for all. For targeting excess oil production, here are a few of our favorite products:

  1. Pumpkin Pineapple Enhancing Peel 
  2. Peptide Moisture Illuminator


Although many people struggle with an over production of oil, it's important to know that there are many options available to combat and control this common issue. Taking proactive measures such as washing your skin, using gentle exfoliators with fruit acids and alpha-hydroxy acids and moisturizing regularly will go a long way. In addition, plant-derived ingredients, such as those found in many of our products including our vegan sourced hyaluronic acid and jojoba oil found in Picasso Skin's Peptide Moisture Illuminator are wonderful options to balance many peoples' overactive sebaceous glands and large pores. There are many more options including - but not limited to - squalane (not the animal-derived form) that are also found in our products.

Lastly, as always mentioned, it is also important to note that despite the presence of excess oil, those who struggle with this skin type are still beautiful people. Everyone is perfect the way they are no matter who they are or where they come from. Everyone is deserving of the best, so please, take care of yourself, including your beautiful skin. You deserve it and you are worth it.

We hope you have enjoyed the 5th article of 7. Please stay tuned for the next:

Next Article: How to deal with dull looking skin.

As usual, please feel free to comment below...looking forward to your responses.



Important: Always remain patient when undergoing any skincare routine. It may take weeks to months and even up to 6 months for some users to see very significant results when using over-the-counter products. We are not doctors or dermatologists and our advice is based off of scientific research, our own experiences, available and reliable literature, safety analysis and our customer experiences. Our recommendations are for informational purposes only, so always contact your dermatologist before using any product or starting a skincare routine of any kind. We are always here for you as we are a company who truly cares about our clients satisfaction. Please do not hesitate to contact us for any questions you may have. 

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