Makeover Momma
oily skin waking up

Why Is My Skin So Oily When I Wake Up?

I've always had problematic oily skin, but lately, it has gotten so bad I started to wonder why do I often wake up with such an extremely oily face. This fact prompted my research which gave birth to today's article.

The main reason you wake up in the morning with excessively oily skin is due to our body’s natural ability to fight dehydration.

why is your skin oily when waking up

Our skin starts to lose more water towards the end of the day (and during the night), causing our Sebaceous (oil) glands to work in conjunction with eccrine sweat glands to “emulsify” the sweat, making it more lipid and not so easily lost during perspiration.

This is what causes that thick oil buildup in the morning.

The thickening of the sebum can also be caused by a condition called sebaceous hyperplasia ( where the sweat gland is damaged and produces more sebum) or triggered by makeup or some other airborne pollutant.

Oily Skin - Causes, Pros and Cons

The main cause of oily skin are over-productive sebaceous (oil) glands. These glands produce a substance called sebum, which serves as a natural skin lubricant.

Sebum overproduction is mostly caused by genes and hormones, and has little to do with a person’s diet.

Though oily skin is mostly considered as bad, it has its pros and cons. Most noticeable cons of oily skin are:

  • Blemishes
  • Pimples
  • Clogged pores and
  • Dead skin buildup

As for pros, oily skin is less prone to wrinkles and other signs of aging.

How Do You Get Rid Of Oily Skin In The Morning?

I’ve battled excessively oily skin for the better part of my life (and I still do), so believe me when I say I’ve tried pretty much everything when it comes to natural remedies and homemade recipes.

Some of them were more successful than others, but what worked for me was a more gentle approach. When I was younger, I thought that cleaning my facial skin meant rubbing it with a bar soap till it got so tight I thought it would break if I put a smile on my face!

What a fool I was… this just made matter worse because it irritates sweat glands and causes them to overproduce. So, what you end up with is a skin that is even more oily.

A lot of homemade remedies will also have this effect. Using egg whites and lemon mask is undoubtedly one of them. I remember the first time I tried this; it felt so uncomfortable and tight I thought I wouldn’t make it till the end.

Finally, when the mask dried and it was time to wash it away, I ran into the bathroom and started to scrub it off, never to try it again. It left an unpleasantly tight feeling all across my face and made my skin even more sensitive.

What worked best for me was a simple, gentle routine consisting of getting my face wet with lukewarm water, cleansing it and patting dry with a clean cotton towel.

As for cleansing, I’m sure that you already have the preferred product close by. For me, I like Brickell’s line of skincare products for men. Their face wash is the one I love since it smells good and gets the job done. (you can also get it on Amazon, using this link).

Top Tip: wash your pillowcases (change them) regularly!

This is one of the simplest ways you can help your skin, but it’s often overlooked. I like changing my pillowcases at least once a week (preferably two times since my skin is very oily).

What happens is, our skin secretes oil when we sleep, and some of it oozes onto your pillow; I know it sounds gross, and that this fact alone will prompt you to change your pillowcases more often, this is why I brought it up 🙂

Is It Good Or Bad To Have Oily Skin?

I have to be honest here and say I always thought oily skin was my curse... and I hated it for it. To make matters worse, two of my best friends had (and still have) flawless facial skin. Whenever I looked at their faces, I was always reminded of my disgusting oily face.

Over time, though, I got better at managing my oil production (as far as my face was concerned), and things started to look up. My complexion improved and I started feeling better about myself because of it.

The more research I did, the more benefits of oily skin I discovered, and pretty soon it didn’t matter my skin was so oily when I woke up.

For those of you that are in the same boat as me, I’m going to list some of the benefits of having an oily skin that will make you feel blessed you got it:

-    Reduced sun damage – through excess oil can’t replace sunscreen, it helps it do its job just a little bit better as it adds an extra layer of protection against harmful UV rays.

-    Slows down the aging process – oily skin tends to be a bit thicker (compared to the dry skin) so it’s a bit more resistant to direct sunlight, environmental factors and less prone to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. And I’m the living proof of this since people often think I’m lying about my age, they say I look much younger!

-    It keeps you hydrated – this is something I just recently found out! It always seemed strange to me that I would sweat way less when compared to my friends (when we played basketball, for example). I then found out that excess oil my skin produces causes me to lose less moisture, allowing me to stay hydrated longer. That’s a neat little trick I had no idea my oily skin was pulling.

Sadly, it’s not all good news… Oily skin is more prone to clogged pores and the appearance of blackheads (something I also know very well). Which is why managing oily skin can be a bit tedious, but it will be worth it in the end.

Should You Cleanse Your Face In The Morning?

This is one of those hotly debated questions no one can answer with complete certainty. Most dermatologists say that you can scrub your face twice a day, in the morning and just before you go to bed.

As for me, I think twice a day is a bit over the top. Most of the time, I cleanse my face before I go to bed, but on those days my skin feels particularly oily, I will do it first thing in the morning. (if you're looking for a good facial cleanser, you should check this oneout)

It is important to note that there is a growing movement advocating not washing your face at all. According to them, there is no need to wash your face since “you cleaned it the night before” and no environmental pollutants are hurting you during the night.

I will cover this topic in one of our future articles, but you are free to either listen to them or not.

Should You Use Moisturizer In The Morning?

My answer is you most definitely should! Why? I’ll explain in more detail now.

If you’ve read the entire article, you saw that I like to exfoliate/scrub my face first thing in the morning when battling excessively oily skin after waking up.

So, it makes a lot of sense when I tell you I also use a moisturizer to top it off. And as for the exact moisturizer I use… I’m hesitant to tell you since mine might not work for you as well as it works for me.

What I can tell you is to always go for quality and natural ingredients. Though I have more robust, oily skin, I keep close attention to anything that comes in contact with it, from a face scrub, mask, moisturizer, even up to the shampoo I use (as it will inevitably come in contact with my face as I shower).

Another tip I can give you when it comes to using a moisturizer in the morning is to pick one that also protects from the sun, especially in the summer months.

The Importance Of A Good Night’s Sleep For Our Skin Health

OK, I’ve covered some of the basic questions and, hopefully, helping you figure out why is your skin oily when you wake up. But, we haven’t talked about the importance of a good night’s sleep. Which I feel is even more critical. Please allow me to explain…

It may sound a bit corny, but beauty sleep is real and a scientifically proven fact. When we go to sleep, our body goes into a deep, restorative state.

It's like a machine that switches into overdrive during the night, fixing the damage we "suffered" through the day, making sure we wake up fresh and ready to take on new challenges.

But what exactly happens to our skin when we are sleeping?

Our Skin Can Sit Back And Relax

Our skin can, and does, get stressed out through the day.

We've all heard of cortisol; it's a natural hormone which helps our body deal with stress. But, high levels of cortisol, over longer durations can cause:

 - Acne and more intense skin breakouts

 - Exacerbate existing skin problems such as rosacea or eczema

 - Accelerate skin aging process

Skin Cells Regeneration Process Kicks Into High Gear

Deep sleep boosts our natural regenerative capabilities allowing our skin to negate the adverse environmental, stress and other types of damage.

Cell division, which happens between 11 pm and midnight repairs our skin, and this is when it needs our help the most - giving your skin the right nutrients at this precise time will reap maximum benefits.

Skin Is Most Receptive To Skincare Products

Nighttime renewal mode is the perfect time to "hit" your skin with the right skincare, anti-aging, and nourishing products.

Since this is the time when skin is at its most active, giving it that additional boost will make all the difference and make your skin bloom overnight.

Wrapping It Up

As you can see, oily skin is not a bad thing in itself; it has its positives and the negatives. And it’s our job to help our skin as best as we can!

If you have any more questions we did not cover in this article or feel I didn’t help you figure out why you are waking up with an extremely oily face, feel free to let me know in the comments, and I will get back to you as quick as I can.

And if you want to read more about oily forehead, you can read about it here.

Image sources: - Designed by senivpetro, 

Igor Marcikic

I've struggled with acne and oily skin for the better part of my life. Along the way, I've picked up some valuable information, tips, and tricks, which helped me manage my "situation." This website is a way of giving back and trying to help others like me! Enjoy your stay, and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.