For Men: How To Prevent & Treat Oily Skin

Written by Aaron Guldager — November 23, 2018

For Men: How To Prevent & Treat Oily Skin

It’s one thing if your skin looks shiny after sweating it out at the gym, but it’s a different story if your face is shiny and oily all day every day. It’s a real bummer, but we get it.

A lot of men deal with oily skin.

But before you get down about it, get this — oil is an essential component of healthy skin, and actually, oily skin tends to age much better than dry skin.

So that’s some good news for you and your wrinkles (or lack thereof) down the road!

The negative to oily skin is, of course, that it can be obnoxiously shiny. Plus, an overproduction of oil (a.k.a. sebum) can enlarge your pores, clog them up, and lead to unsightly blackheads and breakouts.

Why Men Are Prone to Oily Skin

Why does oily skin plague so many men?

First, because men are simply more prone to oily skin than women are. In a report called “Oily Skin: A Review of Treatment Options,” Dawnielle C. Endly, DO, and Richard A. Miller, DO, “Men in general have higher sebum output attributed to higher testosterone levels.”

They go on to say that oil production also fluctuates based on the weather:

“Sebum also varies according to one’s environment and the time of year. Several studies have described an increase in sebum production during the spring and summer and in more humid climates.”

Oil production is also dependent upon genetics (sorry, that’s something we can’t change for you) and skin care habits.

man in white robe applying product to oily skin with cotton pad

You may not have any say over your genes, but your skin care routine is something you can control!

Just because you’re male doesn’t mean your oily skin is a hopeless situation. You may be prone to dealing with shiny skin, but there are plenty of ways to combat it.

Preventing Oily Skin In Men

Maintaining healthy skin in general will go a long way toward preventing excessively oily skin.

You’ll want to keep in mind basic skin-healthy habits, like eating well (less sugar, more vegetables) and keeping your face hydrated with moisturizers and hydrating products like SiO patches.

But for men who deal with a little too much shine, here are a few specific tips to keep your oil production under control.

1) Don’t Wash Your Face Too Often

man washing his face to prevent oily skin

If you’ve got oily skin, it’s tempting to scrub that oil away with a good face wash. And you should be keeping your face clean!

But if you wash your face too often, you can actually do more harm than good.

When you cleanse your face too much (especially if you’re using a harsh cleanser), it dries out more easily and your skin responds by ramping up oil production — exactly what you don’t want.

Keep your face clean by washing it twice per day, but resist the urge to cleanse more often than that!

2) Exfoliate Once Per Week

Everyone should exfoliate once or twice per week, and that includes men.

More than likely, you’ve got an oily buildup on your skin. Using an exfoliant once or twice per week will give you a deeper clean and help to remove that buildup and any dead skin cells.

However, more is not always better! Just like the rule for washing your face, don’t overdo it when it comes to exfoliation. Once or twice per week — and no more.

3) Don’t Skip The Moisturizer

If you’ve never given much thought to moisturizing, now’s the time to do so. You might think that you don’t need to use a moisturizer because you have oily skin, men.


Oily skin is not the same as hydrated skin, and hydrated skin is healthy skin. Find a moisturizer made specifically for oily skin and apply it after each face wash.

(Tip: If you’re already in the habit of using moisturizer and you’re looking for more, the next step in effective skin care is incorporating an eye cream into your routine.)

man wearing SiO for Him patches to help prevent men's oily skin

To amp up your moisturizing game even more, try SiO patches. These ultra-hydrating patches are designed specifically to keep your face healthy and happy. They’re medical-grade silicone patches worn while you sleep, giving your skin a moisture boost overnight.

Plus, that extra moisture will tighten your skin, leaving you with fewer wrinkles in the morning. Win-win.

4) Use The Right Aftershave

man using a mirror to shave his face

Put your shaving routine to work for you.

Some aftershave products can be too greasy for your skin, so you’ll want to make sure you aren’t using an aftershave that’s contributing to your oil problem.

Check the ingredients to avoid adding another layer of unnecessary oil onto your skin.

5) Eat Skin-Healthy Foods

raw salmon, olive oil, tomatoes, and other healthy foods on prep board

What you put into your body has a lot to do with what happens on the outside of your body.

The foods you eat can have a big effect on the amount of oil in your skin or the acne that shows up on your face.

A healthy-skin diet means fewer refined sugars and unhealthy fats and more vegetables and healthy fats and proteins, like fish, olive oil, and avocados. Dairy is another skin-trigger food that you may want to avoid.

6) Wash Your Pillowcase

If you’re getting serious about your oily skin, men, you’ll want to think outside the box of skin care.

When you lie down for a good night of sleep, the oil from your face ends up on your pillow. Sleeping week after week on the same pillowcase means you’re also sleeping on layers of oil and bacteria.

Buy a couple of extra pillowcases, and try to change your pillowcase once per week. Give it a good wash before using it again.

man sleeping with head resting on his arm and hand

Speaking of sleeping, another easy way to care for your skin overnight is by wearing SiO patches. They’re easy to use, they work while you sleep, and they can be reused up to 10 times.

Just take them off in the morning and put them back on at night before going to bed. Waking up to more hydrated (but less oily), handsome skin is as easy as that!

Treating Oily Skin In A Pinch

No matter how careful you are with your skin care, you still might deal with oily skin thanks to your gender or genetics. When you’re out and about and feeling greasy, there are three things to keep in mind.

1) Don’t Touch Your Face

Your hands aren’t the cleanest part of your body, so when it comes to your face, it’s better not to lend a helping hand.

By touching your face, you’re just spreading around the dirt and oil. This is not good news for the oil that’s already on your face. Plus, the spread of bacteria can trigger a breakout.

So keep your hands off your face, guys!

man standing outdoors squinting with hand on his forehead

2) Don’t Wash Your Face As An Immediate Oil-Fix

As we mentioned earlier, washing your face might help you feel clean and oil-free at the moment, but the pleasure is short-lived. In the long run, you’ll just end up producing more oil.

Keep your eyes on the prize and resist the urge to wash your face more than twice per day.

3) Become Friends With Blotting Papers

Washing your face isn’t the best way to get rid of mid-day oil — instead, you’ll want to use something called blotting papers.

You can buy packages of these magic sheets and keep them on hand at home or stick a couple in your wallet for an on-the-go oil fix.

Made of absorbent material, these little helpers soak up the excess oil on your skin, leaving you feeling (and looking) less greasy. Just dab them on the oiliest parts of your face, throw the paper in the trash, and move on with your day.

Healthy Skin Is Handsome Skin

Even if you’re destined for oily skin, with these expert skin care tips, you can be on your way to less-greasy skin in no time.

Remember to wash and moisturize twice per day, exfoliate once per week, and pick up a couple of easy-to-use products, like blotting papers and SiO patches.

man in white t-shirt smiling widely while displaying the "okay" gesture with one hand

Get ready to say hello to healthier and younger looking skin.


>oily skin men