The Truth about Oily Skin

Ahhhh. The dreaded oily skin.

Lots of people have an oily skin type and those people are often frustrated by it, but I'm here to help you really understand what’s going on with your oily skin and why it might not actually be the worst!

Oily skin happens when the sebaceous glands in the skin make too much sebum (aka oil). Sebum is the waxy, oily substance that protects and hydrates the skin. Sebum is vital for keeping the skin healthy and soft. However, too much sebum can lead to oily skin, clogged pores, and acne.

Oily skin is usually caused by genetics or hormones.  You’ll notice teens, pregnant women, menopausal women and other hormonal imbalances will cause oil. 

However, contrary to popular belief, oil is not the enemy and drying out your skin's oil will only make it worse. There are two MAJOR upsides to having oily skin.

First, those with oily skin tend to have more moisture (not necessarily the same as hydration. we’ll talk about this in a minute) in their skin, making them less prone to premature wrinkles.  

And second, regular use of a skincare routine specific to keeping your skin barrier functioning properly while combating hormonal issues is the answer to keeping your skin under control! And an easy one since ETHYST® Skincare is formulated to do just that!

Alright friend, let’s dispel some oily skin myths.




While cleansing is essential, there’s a big difference between ridding skin of impurities and aggressively stripping it of its natural oils.  When the latter happens, oily skin overcompensates for the oil lost by producing more!

Instead of kicking your sebaceous glands into overdrive, stick to a daily regimen of cleansing morning and night with a non-comedogenic, non-foaming, gentle cleanser like ETHYST® Clarity Cleanse.

Exfoliate weekly using a gentle duo like SkinScript’s Glycolic Cleanser and  ETHYST® Energy Cleanse to slough away dead skin cells on the skin's surface without damaging, tugging, or tearing at your skin. 


While it may seem logical to assume oily skin doesn’t need a coat of additional moisture every day, that's far from the truth. All skin needs hydration, regardless of whether it’s oily.  Oil does not equal hydration (Remember, I said we’d talk about that later!). If you do not hydrate oily skin properly, it will create more oil in an attempt to protect itself.

Additionally, the skin oil process and the skin hydration process are two totally different processes. And both are needed for healthy skin and maintaining the skin barrier properly.

Overall, friends, there are pretty much three non-negotiable parts of a skin care routine. Cleansing, moisturizing and using sunscreen. No matter your skin type,  you aren’t exempt from those three crucial steps.

And quite frankly, you shouldn't be basing your skincare routine on your skin type because skincare products aren't really truly made for your skin type. The terminology used around skin type in skincare marketing is just that; marketing. An easy way for skincare companies to sell products to people who don't have as much skin science knowledge as a professional.

If you’re in the market for a moisturizer formulated to keep the skin processes functioning well and attributing to good skin health, try ETHYST® Daily Ritual 24/7 Moisturizer. In addition to providing daily hydration, the Daily Ritual Moisturizer is full of jojoba oil (which is systemically made up like your skin's natural oil and helps to regulate your skin), hyaluronic acid giving tons of hydration back to the skin, aloe a skin soothing agent that helps minimize inflammation and irritation caused to the skin barrier resulting in clear, healthy skin and a strengthened skin barrier function.  

VIP side note:  The skin’s barrier function is what stands between us and the outside world.  It’s the mechanism, by which, we are protected from irritation and TEWL (transepidermal water loss).  If the skin’s barrier does not function properly, it truly doesn’t matter what skincare you use on your face.  It won’t work well.


Sadly, this is not true. Blotting papers only remove excess surface oil temporarily. That surface oil will return and no permanent changes in oil production will occur as a result of using them. 

And in reality, they have some pretty nasty down sides. For example, people often keep them in their purse and pull them out when needed (meaning their not always clean).  Then, you might find yourself accidentally touching your face during use and if your hands aren’t clean, here’s just another way you could be transferring additional dirt and oil to your skin.

If you feel you must use them, make sure they are housed in a container that is cleaned daily and you have hand sanitizer or the ability to wash your hands accessible.



Claims have been made that a high-fat diet is to blame for oily skin, but there’s not enough research to fully substantiate those claims. That might be good news for Taco Tuesday, but before you get too many tacos (wait… is that a thing?!) consider this: 

If you notice your skin looks less than perfect after you’ve consumed lots of high fat meals, greasy foods or sugary snacks (vacation, anyone?), cut back and see if it makes a difference. Talk to your doctor or a nutritionist about how you can eat healthier, drink more water and incorporate more fruits and veggies. Not only will you feel better but, it can have incredible benefits for your skin.

Incorporating herbal supplements and vitamins into your diet may help too!



Sunscreen gets a bad rap as being heavy and greasy (which can mean disaster for oily skin), but today’s formulas are quite the opposite of what they once were.

First things first, don’t use sunscreen made for your body on your face.  It is not made for the skin on your face and can cause loads of issues. The skin is really different on our face then the rest of our body.  There is a reason why products are specifically made for your face.

Daily sunscreen is a must year-round.  No if, and’s or buts about it, so the key is to find one that suits your oily skin. This way, your skin is adequately protected from harmful UV rays that can increase the risk of skin cancer and prematurely age skin while also steering clear of causing any more problems for your oily skin. 

Until the ETHYST® Sunscreen is ready to go, I recommend the Earth Harbor SPF 30.  Not only is it not heavy, it is EVERYTHING a sunscreen should be.  It’s a natural, non-nano zinc oxide formula that provides chemical-free broad spectrum UVA & UVB protection. Plus, it's reef safe and vegan.  Pretty amazing, right? 



In many ways, oily skin and acne go hand-in-hand. That’s because excess oil on the skin’s surface is more likely to clog pores and when mixed with dirt, dead skin cells, impurities and bacteria (and possibly hormones!), it fosters just the right environment for blemishes to prosper (read about that in our blog post about maskne). However, acne isn’t guaranteed to pop up just because you have oily skin.  There are many factors that come into play with acne, including hormonal changes, stress, and touching your skin with dirty fingers. 

Taking good care of your oily skin and avoiding acne triggers will help to ensure you see less blemishes.

Want to know more about how to maintain your oily skin? Check this out.

Book a Skin Health Transformation Session here!