What is oily skin?

The medical term for oily skin is seborrhoea.  This is defined as excessively oily skin caused by overactive sebaceous glands and can affect women and men alike. This process can occur on your face, scalp, chest and folds of your skin including underarms and breasts.

If you have oily skin, it can feel unpleasant and heavy on your skin causing you preoccupy yourself with your appearance.  Oily skin can also get dirty quicker than normal skin does. When you have oily skin, your makeup may be hard to apply and even feel like it runs off during the day. Some people with oily skin can get greasy, scaly and red patches of skin, known as seborrhoeic dermatitis. Oily skin can also lead to acne.

Oily skin is the result of overproduction of sebum from sebaceous glands. These glands are located under the skin’s surface and are ‘the factory’ that makes the oils of your skin. This skin condition affects many teenagers and can be triggered by hormonal fluctuations and genetics. Adults are also susceptible to oily skin due to hormonal changes.  Sometimes it’s just due to your genes.


What are the symptoms of oily skin?

Symptoms of oily skin often occur on the face and can include:

  • A greasy or shiny appearance
  • Persistent or occasional breakouts of pimples
  • Enlarged and clogged pores, blackheads and whiteheads
  • Skin that appears to be rough and/or thick.

If you have oily skin, it can be hard finding makeup that will stay on your face throughout the day. When the wrong type of makeup is used, the sebum can interact with it and create a different consistency to the one you desire. We can help you choose the right makeup for your skin type and condition.


Why does oily skin occur?

As there are numerous causes of oily skin, it’s possible that your oily skin is due to more than one cause. Our team of dermatologists and clinicians specialise in treating skin conditions. We find out why you have oily skin and tailor a plan to treat it.

1 Genetics

If one of your parents has oily skin, there’s a strong possibility that you too will have overactive sebaceous glands.

2 Your age

Oily skin tends to affect those that are under the age of 50.  This is thought to be mostly due to different hormones acting on your sebaceous glands.  Over time you may ‘outgrow’ your oily skin. As part of the natural ageing process, your skin will produce less sebum due to decrease in collagen production. This will slow down the sebaceous glands. Some people discover that after years of oily skin they get drier skin as they age. A regular evaluation of your skin by our dermal therapist or cosmetic nurse is the best way to ensure you’re using the right skin care for your skin type and condition.

3 Enlarged skin pores

If you have enlarged skin pores on your face, they may produce more oil. Your pores can become larger if you have weight fluctuations or are prone to skin breakouts.  Read more about enlarged skin pores on our website.

4 Using the wrong skin care products

Some people experience oily skin because they are using the wrong type of skin care for their skin type and condition. If the moisturiser you use is too heavy for your skin, your face will appear to be oily. We can help you choose the correct skin care products for your skin condition.

5 Too much exfoliation or cleansing

When you have oily skin, it makes sense that you want to wash and exfoliate your face very frequently. If you do this too much however, you will send the sebaceous glands into an ‘emergency mode’ where they will produce even more oil. We suggest you only wash your face twice a day with our approved cleansers. If you exfoliate and scrub your face too much, you will encourage more sebum to be produced. This can result in skin breakouts and increase any acne you may have.

6 Avoiding using moisturiser

Your skin needs to be moisturised even if you have oily skin. Moisturising your skin is particularly important if you are using acne treatments to prevent the skin drying out. We suggest you choose a non-comedogenic, oil-free moisturiser. We would be more than happy to assist you with finding the right moisturiser for you.


Treatments for oily skin in Melbourne

Oily skin on your face can affect your self-confidence. Melbourne Skin & Dermatology take the time to thoroughly assess your skin care routine and lifestyle to find out what’s causing your oily skin. Once we’ve isolated the causes of your oily skin, we use a combination of topical skin care and cosmetic and laser treatments to safely and effectively treat your dull skin considering your preferences.


Topical skin care for oily skin

Niacinamide is a water-soluble vitamin that is also known as Vitamin B3. It visibly improves uneven skin tone, oily skin and enlarged. Niacinamide plays a key role in regulating your sebum production so your skin looks healthier and more youthful.


The proven antioxidant properties of Vitamin C can also protect your skin from environmental pollution, improve hydration and helps your skin glow with health.


Retinoids (a form of Vitamin A), are an essential ingredient to help restore your skin’s youthful appearance. Using skin care products with retinoids can improve the tone and texture of your skin while promoting a firmer and healthier look.  They dramatically decrease the oiliness of your skin.  The effects of over the counter retinols can take up to 12 months to appear whereas prescription retinoids act much faster.  So be mindful about wasting your time and money purchasing expensive cosmeceutical grade retinols when higher-grade dermatologist level retinoids can give you so much more benefit at a much lower cost.  Retinoids should not be used in pregnancy.


Our skin care solutions for oily skin include:

  • Low dose prescription oral vitamin A-derived tablets used off-label and judiciously
  • Cleansers containing AHA’s and BHA’s
  • Facial creams with high strength niacinamide, prescription strength vitamin A, vitamin C and other anti-oxidants.
  • Prescription cosmeceuticals dispensed from Skin Plus Compounding Pharmacy next door to our clinic


Cosmetic and laser treatments for oily skin

Our cosmetic and laser treatments for oily skin include:

  • RF micro-needling: This skin treatment uses a combination of radiofrequency (RF) energy and micro-needling. By creating heat within the superficial layers of your skin, the RF energy carefully breaks down elastin fibres and old collagen. While this is happening the micro-needling stamp is used to stimulate cell regeneration to repair the skin. This results in a visible reduction of enlarged pores and improves skin texture and tone. Be sure that you are seeing a suitably qualified practitioner using a high-grade RF device rather than a shopping centre service to get the benefit you pay for.
  • Laser Genesis: This medical grade laser technology pulses micro-beams of laser energy into the dermis to stimulate collagen. This improves your overall skin texture and tone.
  • Chemical peels: Our chemical peels include mild glycolic peels to improve and even out skin tone and more penetrating chemical peels for acne.


Melbourne Skin & Dermatology is an all-round high-quality specialist dermatology clinic. We tailor all our treatments to help our patients achieve their goals. Our highly skilled team of dermatologists, dermal therapist and cosmetic nurses are committed to improving your oily skin.

Request your appointment today.

Specialist Skin Services

As an all-round specialist dermatology clinic, we work with our patients to achieve their goals and always maintain professional standards.

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