Oily skin and pimples are an everyday problem for many people. A precise definition is very difficult, however, because everyone has a different feeling for clean and impure skin. Some people already find slightly oily skin annoying, others understand it to be more of a characteristic that is present in acne.
In technical jargon, oily skin would mean overproduction of sebum. Sebum (Technical term: sebum) is produced by the sebum glands and acts as a natural protective film for the skin. Excessive production is called seborrhea.

Pimples, on the other hand, are known in technical terms as Comedones. These are clogged sebum follicles that empty their whitish contents when they are pressed. This is not pus, but sebum and horny cells. Pustules can also be viewed as pimples. These skin conditions are inflammatory and contain pus. The distinction between comedones and pustules is only relevant for the dermatologist. Both look the same to those affected.

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Read more on this topic at: Oily Skin - What To Do?

Causes of Oily Skin and Pimples

The Cause of oily skin having pimples is a so-called Seborrhea, this is excessive sebum production by the skin. Sebum mainly contains skin oils, which is why the skin usually appears shiny in these areas.
The sebum is produced by the skin's sebum glands. These are located on the hair follicles and are stimulated to produce sebum by various factors, including the hormone level.
High concentrations of the hormones that are mainly responsible for the expression of male sexual characteristics, namely androgens, lead to increased sebum production and thus to oily skin. This mechanism is also one of the causes of the oily skin in acne.

In women, the complexion often deteriorates in the week before menstrual bleeding. This is also due to hormonal causes.

In the case of acne, one continues to play Cornification disorder The skin plays a big role in the development of pimples and blemished skin.As a result of this disorder, the sebum glands clog and blackheads develop.
The increased content of fats on the skin favors the multiplication of bacteria, which in turn promote the development of pimples and blackheads. Many other factors that could be involved in oily skin and pimples are discussed, such as climate, diet or the use of certain medications. Many medications, such as glucocorticoids, some psychotropic drugs, androgens and anabolic steroids, and some antibiotics, can cause oily skin and pimples.

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The influence of diet is controversial. It is often difficult to establish a connection.
Genetic factors play a role in the development of oily skin and explain why it affects some people more and others less.
Impure skin can also result from improper care or poor hygiene.
A common cause of blemished skin is makeup residue that isn't removed. It is very important to remove make-up at the end of the day, as otherwise skin blemishes can occur. That too regular cleaning of makeup applicators and brushes must not be neglected.

Relationship Between Diet and Oily Skin

Diet is a very controversial topic when it comes to oily skin and pimples.
Small fluctuations in the complexion are quite normal and everyone experiences them in their life: Sometimes you just have a few small pimples. These then quickly evaporate again.
However, some people suffer from regular and more severe blemishes. Such skin symptoms are called acne.

Read more on this topic at: Acne Diet; Oily skin from diet

However, the influence of diet is highly controversial. Some sources see a connection between a particularly high-fat, simply put "unhealthy" diet.

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Others do not see this as the cause; because the definitive scientific evidence is missing. Rather, it is an interplay of the most varied of factors, including hormonal, climate-related and genetic factors, that lead to an oily complexion with pimples.
The consumption of fatty foods, dairy products or chocolate is therefore not the direct cause of oily skin.

Ultimately, therefore, no clear recommendation can be made. If you personally notice that the complexion of your skin deteriorates after eating various foods, you can try to leave them out.


Blackheads are uncomfortable for many people. In technical terms, they are called Comedones and occur in particular with acne.
But people without pronounced acne also have small blackheads. They are most often found in the so-called T-zone, which consists of the forehead, nose and chin. Blackheads are clogged sebum follicles. Excessive cornification clogs the follicles and blackheads arise.
A distinction is made between open and closed blackheads. Closed blackheads empty whitish contents when pressed from the outside.
Open blackheads appear as black dots on the face. This is because the horny plug in the blackhead oxidizes and appears dark on contact with oxygen.
Blackheads can also appear all over the face with oily skin and are then perceived as very annoying by most of those affected.
There are several ways to remove blackheads. Probably the most hygienic option is to have it removed by a dermatologist or a trained beautician, which makes sense especially if there are a lot of blackheads. In domestic use, peelings can help against light blackheads.

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Find out more about the topic here: Blackheads - Causes and Treatment

Large pores

The skin type and the texture of the skin is to a large extent dependent on the Disposition. Unfortunately, one cannot influence the disposition or genetic makeup. Whether or not the skin tends to have an oily complexion and large pores is also largely determined hormonal fluctuations.
Certain fluctuations in the skin's appearance are therefore quite normal and often disappear on their own after a short time.

In principle, large pores arise from the fact that the ducts of the sebum glands in the skin are widened by increased sebum production and excessive keratinization. With some people this is more the case, with others less. However, with good hygiene you can counteract these skin processes somewhat.

Make sure to remove make-up and remove residue from your skin before going to bed. Even people who do not put on make-up should clean their skin from the “day residues” in the evening. However, the jungle of products on the market often makes it difficult to find the right one for you. It is best to seek advice from a dermatologist.

Products with fruit acid content or sage and Witch hazel can help cleanse the pores. However, people with sensitive skin should be careful with products containing fruit acids - these can also irritate the skin


Oily skin is shiny and also feels slightly greasy. In the field of T-zone (Forehead, nose and chin) there is a slightly oily skin on almost everyone.
If it is severe, however, other areas of the face, such as the cheeks or temples, are also affected. Blackheads also occur, which can appear as whitish small hemispheres or as typical blackheads with a black point in the middle.

Diagnosing oily skin and pimples

Oily skin and pimples are per se not a disease and therefore do not require a diagnosis. Whether a diagnosis like that acne depends on the extent of the skin symptoms and the age of the person.

Mild acne affects around 90% of teenagers. Through the hormonal fluctuations in puberty that is also quite normal. In the case of severe imperfections, however, treatment with a doctor is necessary.

The appearance of very oily and blemished skin after the age of 30 speaks for a rather moderate to severe severity of acne and is diagnosed and treated by a dermatologist.

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In addition, with real acne inflammatory skin symptoms occur. These can be small red nodules, pustules, or even abscesses.

In severe cases, the skin symptoms appear not only on the face, but also on other parts of the body. For example, a pus pimple can appear on the shoulder, back and chest. Severe acne can also leave scars.

Treating oily skin and pimples

For blemished skin and pimples, care with cleansing skin products can help if they are mild.

Such products usually contain fruit acid or other plant substances that are naturally acidic. These include, for example, sage and Witch hazel. You can remove excess sebum and dead skin cells and thus counteract the formation of blackheads and "pimples". However, one should pay attention to the tolerability, since cosmetic products are not tolerable for all skin types.
Pharmacy products are preferable to purely commercial “beauty products”. If the blemished skin is more pronounced or if there is real acne, a consultation with a dermatologist is recommended. General practitioner therapy may be necessary.

For acne, various creams with ingredients such as azelaic acid or benzoyl peroxide are used, which clean the skin and have an anti-inflammatory effect.

Light antibiotics are also used for therapy. In women, the use of an anti-androgenic contraceptive can improve the complexion. Regarding diet, no recommendations can be made.

Read more on this topic at: Home remedies for pimples; Home remedies for acne- that works best!

Creams for oily skin and pimples

There are many different creams on the market that are thought to help against oily skin and pimples. Unfortunately, the reality is often that in the jungle of products only a few are really useful.
But how do you find out which products really help?
First of all, you should stay away from commercial products if you have really severe blemishes. Consult a doctor for a professional assessment of the condition of your skin.

In the case of acne, the skin must be treated with compatible and effective creams and products that are not available in the drugstore. These creams contain azelaic acid or light antibiotics, for example.
Often retail creams are very greasy and would even worsen the complexion. If you only suffer from occasional, slight blemishes and are looking for daily care for your skin, the use of creams that contain water is recommended.
Consistencies like the Nivea cream, which almost everyone has, are definitely too greasy. Continue to watch out for ingredients like fruit acid, or sage Witch hazel.

Read more on this topic at: How to Get Rid of Pimples

Duration of oily skin and pimples

Oily skin and pimples occur mainly in the 11th or 12th year of life and are most pronounced in puberty. The problem usually disappears between 20 and 25 years.
These are mostly very mild forms of the acnewhich around 90% of young people experience and which are completely normal due to the hormonal, pubertal fluctuations.
Even in adulthood, slight blemishes, pimples or oily skin occur every now and then and are dependent on genetic, hormonal and many other factors. In a slight form, this is also quite normal.
Long-term strong impurities in the sense of a acne however, require therapy. However, it is not possible to specify an exact duration, as it is a recurring process.

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The forehead, like the nose and chin, is one of the skin areas that tend to suffer from oily skin and pimples. This is because there are a particularly large number of sebum glands here. These sebum glands produce the fatty sebum that prevents the skin from drying out.
The production of sebum is stimulated by hormones, namely androgens. Therefore, sebum production is subject to hormonal fluctuations and is particularly high during puberty. An increased sebum production is called seborrhea. The skin is then greasy and shiny. The development of blackheads and pimples is favored.

Oily skin and pimples in men

On average, men are more likely to have oily skin and pimples than women. This is due to hormonal causes.
Men have increased levels of androgens in their bodies, which stimulate sebum production, causing oily skin and clogged pores.
Androgens are hormones that are responsible for the expression of male sexual characteristics. Men are therefore particularly affected by oily skin during puberty, as the hormonal fluctuations are particularly large in this phase.
Women also have androgens in their bodies, but the concentration is not as high as in men, which also explains certain differences in skin texture. Ultimately, however, other factors such as genetic traits, climate, use of certain medications, and skin care conditions also play a role in the development of oily skin.

Oily skin and pimples in women

Oily skin and pimples are an uncomfortable issue for many women. Some are more affected, others less. To a small extent everyone suffers from slightly oily skin and a pimple here and there is also quite normal.
However, there are women who tend to have more oily skin and lots of pimples. Real acne is less common than in men, but it is still common. One of the reasons for this is that women have lower levels of androgens in their blood compared to men. As a result, the skin does not tend to overproduce sebum and the overall appearance of the skin is less oily.

However, genetic factors also play a major role in the appearance of the skin. Furthermore, climatic, diet-related and other external factors, such as taking medication, are given a certain value in the development of oily skin.

Women prefer to experience oily skin and pimples the week before menstruation. This fact is also due to hormonal causes. In addition to the general measures for blemished skin, women have the option of improving the complexion with an antiandrogen pill such as cyproterone acetate.
These counteract the androgens and thus lead to reduced sebum production in the skin. Furthermore, it is important, especially for women, to remove make-up thoroughly before going to bed in order to cleanse the skin well and counteract impurities.

Blemishes in pregnancy

During pregnancy, the complexion of many women improves a lot. The skin acts thanks to the increased Progesterone and estrogen levels rosier and plumper. However, there are also women who suffer from blemished skin during pregnancy. Hormonal fluctuations are to blame. With very oily skin and annoying pimples, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist.

The process can be counteracted with the right care products and thorough cleaning of the skin. Avoid products that have a very dehydrating effect, as they tend to increase the production of sebum to combat the drought. The skin can be sensitive to such products. Mild cleansing products and moisturizing skin creams are recommended. Exfoliating can also help rid the skin of dead skin and excess sebum.

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