Men everywhere are used to seeing oil on their faces—after all, it’s a natural thing.
Sebum, an oily substance produced by sebaceous glands under our skin, is meant to help keep our skin moist and supple and resist drying out under the heat of the sun or from dry air. Sometimes, however, our skin produces too much sebum, and that becomes problematic.
Too much oil on your skin will lead to a host of problems. We begin to look oily and greasy, and our faces start to feel thick and heavy. The oil traps dust and dirt in our pores, causing them to appear larger than they are. Worse, blackheads and pimples appear as a result.
Fortunately, by following a basic but proven effective skincare routine, men will be able to manage oily skin issues without spending a lot.
What Causes Oily Skin For Men?
Before you can deal with oily skin properly, you need to understand what causes it. There are a number of factors affecting our skin’s production of sebum for men, but below are the more common causes.
Hormones are one reason why males have oilier skin than females. This is because testosterone plays a huge role in sebum production. When testosterone gets converted into DHT or dihydrotestosterone, it causes sebaceous glands to produce more sebum.
Sebum is a natural skin moisturizer. When our skin gets exposed to the sun’s harmful rays, it automatically responds by producing more oil to hydrate and lubricate itself. This is why we tend to have oilier skin when we do things under the sun.
Our skin reacts to the varied levels of humidity in the air. When it’s particularly hot and humid, the skin also produces more oil to protect itself.
The food that we eat contributes to the production of sebum in our skin. Consuming sugar, carbohydrates, and dairy products in excess can lead to overproduction of oil. If you want to reduce oil naturally, the first you need to do is consume less of these types of foods.
Did you know that stress also contributes to sebum overproduction? When we face high levels of stress, our bodies produce extra hormones to help us deal with the pressure. These hormones, in turn, cause our sebaceous glands to produce more oil.
Wrong skincare habits
Failure to take proper care of your skin can lead to excessive oiling. For example, washing your face too frequently, using the wrong cleanser, or avoiding the use of moisturizer will prompt your sebaceous glands to produce more oil as a defense.
Moreover, understanding your skin type can help you decide what kind of product to use. Here’s a quick rundown on the common skin types:
- Normal skin does not have negative reactions when skincare products are applied.
- Dry skin appears reddish and flaky in certain parts, especially during cold and dry weather.
- Sensitive skin has certain reactions to skincare products.
- Oily skin looks shiny or greasy at times. This skin type needs a proper skincare routine to control excess oil production.
As such, it’s worth noting that there’s no one-size-fits-all skincare product. This is because not all skin types are the same.
Finally, know that you, individually, might be predisposed to produce more oil simply because of genes. If any of your parents had overactive sebaceous glands and you inherited that trait, chances are you’ll face oily skin problems, too.
Best Skincare Routine For Men With Oily Skin (Morning)
Men with oily skin don’t need extra treatments to control its production. All you need to do is observe a couple of essential skincare procedures. Here’s a quick look at them:
Step 1: Wash your face using a gentle face wash
First, wash your face in the morning using a gentle face wash specially designed for men. This face wash should ideally contain vitamin C, the nutrient that helps regulate the oil production.
Plus, remember to wash your face using warm water—just make sure it isn’t hot water since that can dry out your skin. Warm water helps you remove dirt and excess oil properly.
Step 2: Use a toner
This is optional, but you should apply toner after you wash if you can. Toners are great at removing dead skin cells and hydrating the skin deeply. They are even best used for oily skin, as they help reduce the size of your pores (leading to less oil produced).
Toners also help prepare your skin for what you need to do next: moisturize.
When applying your toner, pay attention to the area around your eyes. You can use under eye masks to help hydrate these areas so they will look good.
Step 3: Apply your moisturizer
After cleaning and the optional toning, the next step is to apply moisturizer to your face. Choose one that’s oil-free so that your skin won’t feel, well, oily! A moisturizer can keep your skin hydrated throughout the day without triggering excess sebum production.
Step 4: Put on some sunscreen
Lastly, don’t forget to apply sunscreen, especially if you’re leaving the house. A good sunscreen lotion serves as a protective barrier, safeguarding your skin from the drying effects of the sun’s UV rays. This will also prevent your skin from producing too much oil.
If the moisturizer you used already has SPF with it, then there’s no need to apply an extra layer of sunscreen on your face anymore. Apply some sunscreen in the middle of the day, too, if you’re planning to spend a lot of time under the sun.
Exfoliate once a week
Exfoliate once a week to remove anything that gets clogged in your pores, such as oil, dirt, and dead skin cells. This helps remove any build-up that cannot be removed by washing and applying toner. It also prevents more serious skin concerns, such as acne, from appearing.
That said, do not exfoliate more than twice a week. Doing so will strip your skin of its essential oils and healthy skin cells, causing irritation and damage. Frequent exfoliation will even force your sebaceous glands to produce more oil, adding to the problem.
By spending a few minutes doing all of these steps daily, you will be able to gain control over the oil secreted on your skin. These will help you avoid having a shiny and greasy appearance and give you the confidence you need to face challenges daily.
Men’s Night Skincare Routine for Oily Skin
As the day winds down, there are still some things you need to do to complete your skincare routine for oily skin. In fact, we’d argue that these steps are more important than your morning routine, as we will be focusing on getting the day’s grime off your skin.
Step 1: Wash your face
Never forget to wash your face properly before hitting the sack. Surveys have shown that not a lot of men do this, and they end up seeing breakouts of acne or pimples on their faces when they wake up.
Washing your face before sleeping removes the excess oil and dirt that accumulated during the day. Again, remember to use warm water so that your face doesn’t dry out.
Step 2: Use a toner
If you haven’t applied toner in the morning, you can apply it in the evening after you wash your face. Doing so gives your face a much-needed deep clean and pore unclogging before you sleep. It will also help your moisturizer penetrate your skin better.
Step 3: Apply moisturizer
Lastly, you need to apply moisturizer so your face remains hydrated and oil-free as you rest. Some moisturizers are specially formulated for use in the evenings and can only work their wonders during bedtime.
Skincare Tips For Men With Oily Skin
The steps outlined above are necessary to maintain healthy skin oil levels. However, these are not the only things you can do to help you deal with oily skin. Here are some additional skincare tips:
Use the right face wash
Avoid using bath soap when washing your face. While these are strong enough to remove sweat and dirt from your body when you take a bath, they contain ingredients that can be harsh on your face, stripping it off all the natural oils that keep it hydrated. Instead of grabbing that bar soap, get a bottle of face wash.
There are many kinds of face wash available in the market today, but if you have oily skin, it’s best to go with foaming cleansers with gentle ingredients. These cleansers effectively remove excess oils and dirt without leaving your skin feeling dry, tight, or uncomfortable. The ideal choice would contain Aloe Vera leaf juice, which effectively hydrates your skin as you wash.
As a bonus, foaming facial cleansers are also great at cleaning skin under facial hair. So, if your skin is oily and you are sporting a beard and/or mustache, these are perfect for you.
Avoid picking your face
Next, resist the urge to pick on the blemishes that could grow on your face, even if you follow a strict skincare routine. It could make things worse.
Picking acne, for example, could allow bacteria to enter the wound and worsen its condition. It can also leave unsightly acne scars, which you want to avoid. If you absolutely cannot resist the urge to tinker with your pimples and acne, don’t pick on it with your fingers or fingernails—use an acne patch. Don’t forget to wash your hands before doing so as well.
Use oil blotting paper or powder
If you’ve followed the steps in the morning and find your face shiny in the middle of the day, don’t fret. You can use blotting paper and facial wipes to remove excess oil or apply blotting powder to remove the shine. Just make sure to avoid doing this excessively to retain a healthy amount of sebum that can moisturize your skin naturally.
Vitamin B and C
Consuming a diet rich in Vitamins B and C can help naturally regulate your sebum production. You can get these from natural sources such as vegetables and fruits. Alternatively, you can take multivitamins and supplements to ensure you have enough.
Use a facial mask
Just to clarify, when we talk about a facial mask, we’re not referring to the surgical masks we wear during a pandemic—we mean a different type of mask designed to address excess oil on your entire face. You can use these masks around twice a week to clear away build-up, excess oil, and potentially harmful bacteria from your skin. As a bonus, they can also help improve your skin’s tone.
Shaving isn’t just about getting rid of your beard or mustache. It’s also a quick exfoliation session and effectively removes dead skin cells in the areas where the razor passes. It also helps prepare your skin for post-shave skincare treatments, such as moisturizers and after shave products.
Apply after shave
After shaving, products are made to calm and hydrate your skin after shaving. When choosing an after shave, look for those with aloe, shea butter, and other moisturizing ingredients like tea tree oil to ensure maximum hydration. Avoid those that contain alcohol and menthol, as these might cause you to feel an uncomfortable and stinging sensation after a close shave.
Avoid overexposure to sunlight
While exposure to sunlight allows your body to produce Vitamin D, which improves bone strength and overall immunity, too much exposure to the sun’s UV rays isn’t a good thing—especially for your sebum production. Avoid directly exposing your skin to sunlight as much as possible, especially if you don’t have sunscreen on. You can wear a cap and other protective clothing when you are out.
The human body produces natural oils designed to hydrate and prevent our skin from drying out in certain situations. Men tend to produce more oil than women and are more prone to problems related to oily skin.
Thankfully, these problems can be solved with a commitment to proper skincare. By following the routines and tips provided above, you should be able to deal with your oily skin problems like a pro.
Can men use women’s facial care products?
Technically, yes, but men’s skincare products are specially formulated to meet your needs. For example, they are not scented and are designed to deal with larger amounts of sebum.
Is it safe to use facial scrub on oily skin?
Yes, but make sure not to do it frequently, as it might cause dryness of the skin and injuries. Exfoliating your skin using facial scrubs will help remove dead skin cells better, revealing fresh, younger-looking skin. Just don’t do it more than twice a week.
Is it OK to use hot water when taking a bath?
Absolutely, as long as you don’t bathe in hot water exceeding 104F (40C). However, we highly discourage you from using hot water when washing your face, as doing so repeatedly can cause dryness and redness of the skin.
Can I use any male skincare product available?
Every skincare product is designed to cater to a specific need and skin type. What works for oily or normal skin might not work for sensitive skin types, and vice-versa. Your skin could even show adverse reactions to some skincare brands.
As a test, ask for a test product when buying and apply it to a small patch of skin on your forearm. If it doesn’t itch or turn red overnight, it’s a product your skin can get behind.
Why should I avoid using bath soap to wash my face?
Bath soaps are designed to remove all oil and dirt from every part of your body. They often contain ingredients that can be considered “harsh” on your face, stripping all its natural oils (which keep it hydrated). Using bath soap on your face can also result in the overproduction of sebum to compensate for your skin’s dryness. In short, it leads to oily skin.