If you notice your face getting oily after a clean shave then you are not alone. Oily face is a common complaint among men who shave regularly and the greasiness usually gets worse during the warmer weather. Naturally, men produce more oil on their faces compared to women. But why does the oiliness become worse after a clean shave?
Oil secretion is a normal process of the skin and faces of men secrete more oil compared to women in order to coat the hair of the beard. But when we shave, we remove most parts of the hair from the skin right to the skin surface. Now that no hairs are present on the skin the secreted oil doesn’t have anything to coat, so it starts to spread on the skin making it appear greasy. Another reason for excess oil production after shaving can be because when you shave you wash away most of the oil from the face and this triggers the body to produce more oil because healthy skin has to maintain a level of oil on our face at all times.
While oily skin is not abnormal, an overly oily face can lead to clogged pores because the oil doesn’t have anywhere to go once you have shaved the hair. Not to mention that the excess oil can make the skin seem shiny and attract dust and pollution quite easily especially during warmer weather. But there are some habits men have that might be causing their face to produce too much oil and in this article, we will discuss the causes of an oily face and how to prevent your face from being oily.
What factors increase the chances of getting an oily face after shaving?
Most of the time an oily skin is caused by some bad habits of men while other times it can be due to hormones that are produced inside the bodies of men. Below are some of the most common causes of oily skin in men who shave regularly:
- Using an Alcohol-based shaving product: Using an aftershave with alcohol in it can dry your face out after you apply it which will cause the oil-producing glands in your face to produce more oil to keep the skin from drying and this can result in overly active sebaceous glands.
- Shaving too often: Believe it or not, there is such a thing as shaving too much. If you are shaving every day it will cause you to irritate the surface of the skin as a new fresh layer of skin is exposed to irritants each day and it can also make your skin thinner, making it prone to damage resulting in oiliness.
- Inflammation of sebaceous glands due to close shaving: If you like to get an extremely close shave it can result in inflammation of sebaceous glands and cause the gland to produce excess oil which can turn into a bump on the skin filled with excess sebum.
- Scrubbing your face too roughly after a shave: Scrubbing your face too much can also leave the skin dry as all the oil is washed off from your face putting your sebaceous glands into overdrive to make up for the lost oil. This results in your face getting too oily right after you are done the shaving.
- Shaving can disturb the pH levels of your skin: Your facial skin has a specific pH level which it maintains using a combination of amino acid, lactic acid, and fatty acid. Most shaving creams have a very high pH level that can be as high as 10 while the pH level of your face should be around 5.5 pH. So using shaving products with a high pH can damage the acid barrier that your skin naturally has causing it to get dry and produce more oil.
How to prevent skin oiliness for men?
Luckily overcoming an oily skin after a shave is not very difficult and here are some simple ways men can keep their skin oil-free:
- Stay away from high pH skin products: When you go shopping for your shaving supplies and other skincare products try to go for products that are made from natural ingredients because they are easier on the skin and don’t have a high pH level like chemical-based products. Similarly, it is wise to go for face washes that contain natural antibacterial ingredients such as tree oil to clean your skin without overly drying it.
- Avoid washing your face too often: Washing your face once in the morning and then in the evening is more than enough to keep it clean. Because if you wash your face too often you are stripping your face from its natural defense, that is, the oils it produces to form a protective layer. Since the skin needs these oils to stay protected, your face will keep producing more and more oils until you stop washing them away. So while it is important to keep the face clean, you should avoid overdoing it to stay oil-free.
- Avoid eating oily and processed foods: Your diet plays an important role in your skin health. The more bad oils you are putting inside your body the more oil your skin will produce. So adding organic food items in your diet and getting rid of processed ones can reduce your skin’s oiliness significantly in a short period of time. Similarly adding more fruits and vegetables in your diet can help in balancing your skin’s pH and prevent skin irritation resulting in healthy oil-free skin.
- Use oil-absorbing paper to soak up excess oil: You can keep your skin oil-free by keeping oil-absorbing rice paper handy and wipe off the excess oil gently whenever your face starts to feel too oily. Be careful not to wipe too hard because the idea is to only soak up excess oil and not dry up the skin from oil completely. Over time your skin’s oil production will drop to normal levels and you will no longer need rice paper.
- Keep your skin moisturized: This is a no brainer! Your skin is producing excess oil because it thinks that your skin has dried out. So keeping your skin nice and hydrated is going to keep the oiliness at bay. Sometimes dehydration can also cause skin dryness so drinking plenty of water can do the trick and keep your face moisturized.
- Don’t touch your face too often: It is tempting to touch your face to see if it is getting greasy or not if you have oily skin. But doing this can transfer oil from your hands to your face and make the skin even greasier. Not to mention that if your skin pores are already blocked from excess oil, touching your face without washing your hand can transfer bacteria which irritates the skin and this can cause a breakout.
- Use a face mask specifically designed for men: As we mentioned earlier oily skin is often accompanied by clogged pores and other unwanted particles that your oily skin is bound to attract. Therefore using a facemask designed especially for the skin on men cannot only clear up any clogged pores but also get rid of excess oil without completely drying the skin off.
Is having an oily face a bad thing?
If you have an oily face then chances are you want to get rid of it as soon as possible but oily skin is not necessarily all bad and it certainly has its perks. Some benefits of having oily skin are as follows:
- Free moisturization for your skin: Oils secreted by our face may annoy us but they keep our skin hydrated by forming a thin layer that locks in the moisture of our skin and prevents the moisture from evaporating and leaving the skin dry.
- Natural protection from the sun: While it is still recommended to wear sunscreen when going out in the harsh sun, oily skin is better at protecting itself from the harmful rays of the sun compared to dry skin. Moreover using sunscreen on oily skin can increase the sun-blocking capabilities of sunscreen leaving our face more secure from the sun.
- Skin oil contains antioxidant abilities: Studies have shown that oil secreted by our skin’s sebum glands contain antioxidant properties that protect our skin from oxidants and other harmful elements present around us. Basically, the oil produced by our skin acts as a defense mechanism and keeps our skin safe from attacks from dangerous free radicals.
- Keeps the skin looking younger: If you have oily skin then you are less likely to develop wrinkles and fine lines on your face at an early age. The reason why oily skin ages better than dry skin is because sebum secreted by our skin helps keep the skin well lubricated and elastic and keeps away fine lines and wrinkles in the process.