Why is My Face So Oily When I Wake Up?
When you wake up, what’s the first thing you think of? For many of us, our initial thought is, “Is it Saturday? Please let it be Saturday”. Then, when we realise that it is, in fact, still only Tuesday, our thoughts turn to what we have to get done before the day has even started. Packed lunches, school runs, exercise and ironing are usually the name of the game.
But if your first thought in the morning is to question "why is my face oily when I wake up, "how oily is my skin” or "why is my nose so oily in the morning", then you’re not alone.
Many of us struggle with oily skin during the day, causing us to appear shiny and if we wear it, for our makeup to slip off by lunchtime. However, oily skin at night time leading to an oily face when you wake up, is also an issue for lots of us.
So, what causes oily skin at night and how can we manage things if our face is oily upon waking? Are there things we can do in a nightly skincare routine to try to avoid a build up of oil as we sleep and are there other things we’re doing that are making things worse?
Here’s the Sönd guide to taking care of oily or combination skin at night with skincare products designed for people with oily skin.
What Causes an Oily Face?
Everyone's skin is naturally oily. Even those with dry skin. Why? Because skin, especially facial skin, will go through a process of sebum production, every single day.
That is, everyone's skin produces oils naturally, that keep it hydrated, supple and soft. The main oil produced by the skin, deep within the oil and sweat glands of the pores, is a substance called sebum.
Sebum is a wax like substance produced by the sebaceous glands that is essential for healthy skin. It helps to protect the skin from dehydration (all skin will also lose water, we secrete sebum to help minimise this water loss) and forms part of the protective layer of the skin, defending us against invading toxins and pathogens.
We all produce sebum, the problem is, some of us produce too much of it. When our glands produce more than a fine layer of sebum things may become a problem - our skin becomes oily, causing shine and problems with our makeup staying put for the day.
But an excess of sebum can also cause the pores to become blocked, trapping dirt, dead skin cells, stale makeup, bacteria, pollution and oil. This can then cause spots and acne breakouts - a familiar addition to having oily skin is also having acne prone skin, the two skin conditions often going hand in hand.
So, that's an intro into oiliness in general, but what about oil on your face first thing in the morning? What happens to make your skin so oily while you're sleeping?
What Causes Oily Skin when We Wake Up in the Morning?
At night, we tend to sweat and have our faces pressed up against our pillows for eight hours, which can cause excess oil production.
In addition to this, our body loses more water as we sleep (which is why it's so important to make sure we're drinking enough water throughout the day, especially of we live in a hot environment). When the sweat we produce overnight mixes with sebum in the eccrine glands in the pores, the result is oily skin when you wake up.
Top tip - to reduce overnight sweating, make sure that your bed linen, pillow cases, duvet and pillows, along with your pyjamas if you wear them, are made of 100% natural, breathable materials such as cotton, linen, bamboo and hemp. Synthetic fibres such as nylon and polyester might be cheaper, but they're non-breathable and will make the body's sweat production go into overdrive - especially so if you're menopausal.
Why Do I Have Oily Skin in the Morning and My Partner Doesn't?
Oily skin caused by the skin's production of too much sebum can be down to a number of reasons. This can be due to hormones, primarily. When we’re going through puberty, pregnancy or the menopause, our hormones become a bit erratic.
This hormonal imbalance can cause a rise in the male sex hormones called androgens, that are present in both biologically male and female bodies. A rise in androgens then triggers the release of more sebum, causing oilier skin.
Other causes of oily skin include our genetics - if our parents have oily skin, then the chances are, we will too - certain foods and being in a sweaty or humid environment.
So if you're prone to oily skin and your face gets shiny and feels greasy during the day, you're also likely to notice your face get oily overnight meaning that your skin will also be oily when you wake up. If your bed partner's skin is less oily when they wake up, their skin may well be less oily in general than yours.
Also, if our body is in a state of acidosis, that is, we consume an acidic diet high in animal fats, sugars and processed foods, our skin will work to expel the toxins and metabolic residues caused by such a diet, at night.
During the day, our organs are too overloaded by eating an acidic diet that they become too inflamed to carry out these processes. This then creates an abundance of sebum on the skin when we wake up.
Therefore, eating an alkaline diet, rich in alkaline vegetables, whole grains and plant proteins, will also help to reduce oiliness in the morning.
How to Help Avoid an Oily Face in the Morning
If you’re prone to oily skin, it's important to remember that it isn't necessarily down to your skincare practices. People with oily skin tend to think they're doing something wrong. But as we covered above, excess sebum production is usually down to something we can't control.
Here’s some top tips that will help your skin feel less greasy when you wake up each morning…
Wash Your Face Before Going to Sleep
To reduce oily skin round the clock, you need to wash your face twice a day - once in the morning and once in the evening, and each time ideally it should be a double cleanse.
Double cleansing is the process of using two different cleansers to remove dirt, makeup, cellular debris and excess oil. It might sound like a bit of a long winded skincare routine, but honestly, most skin types will benefit from double cleansing.
The idea is to use an oil based cleanser followed by a water based cleanser or face wash. We go into more detail on how to double cleanse here. Doing so will make sure your pores are clear, and will be less likely to have excess oil hanging around before you’ve even gone to bed. (Your evening skincare is just as important as your daytime routine.)
A gentle, plant based oil cleanser, such as our Rebalance & Reset Cream Cleanser will help to gently attract oil based dirt and makeup without stripping the skin of it’s natural oil. Then, follow this with a gentle water based, natural face wash to wash away pollution and environmental toxins.
Use a Clay Face Mask at Night to Avoid Waking Up with Oily Skin
Clay face masks are taking the world by storm at the moment, because this simple ingredient is pretty awesome at absorbing sweat, dirt and excess oil from the skin. What’s more, it does this without upsetting it or stripping away the oils the skin still needs to keep it supple.
Our Purifying Clay Face Mask is made using bentonite clay which is known for gently removing impurities from the skin, and for having a mattifying effect. An intensive detox for your skin, it leaves behind cleaner, clearer skin less prone to pore blockages, acne breakouts and excess oil. Use it once a week to help keep your oily skin under control.
Night Skincare for Oily Skin: Don’t Ever Skip the Moisturizer
It can be tempting, if you have oily skin, to avoid using a moisturiser, especially at night. After all, with oily skin, isn’t the skin already moisturised enough?
Sadly not. After cleansing, all skin types need to have the moisture put back into their skin. Without moisturiser, the skin can become dehydrated. This then causes the skin to produce more sebum to compensate, and we all know what that means - oily skin!
So make sure you always moisturise before going to bed. Experiment with different types of moisturiser, as you may need a slightly less heavy night time moisturiser if your skin is particularly oily.
The Sönd Overnight Replenishment Night Cream is packed with nourishing plant based oils and is suitable for all skin types, including oily skin.
Using Oils to Stop Your Face from Getting Oily...
Oils?! We hear you say! I can’t use oil on my oily skin! But we beg to differ. Because not all oils are created equal.
Gentle, plant based oils, as opposed to heavy oils such as mineral oil which is produced as a by-product of the petroleum industry (urgh), are very beneficial for the skin. Even excessively oily skin.
This is because they’re lightweight enough to penetrate deeper into the skin where they can nourish and support it. Unlike mineral oil which is heavier and tends to sit on the surface of the skin, potentially blocking the pores and causing spots and acne outbreaks.
Stop Waking Up with an Oily, Greasy, Shiny Face with Sönd
We’ve got all of your skin care needs covered, with our simple range of alkalising skin care products. They’re all free from mineral oils and chemical nasties, and have been developed with stressed out skin in mind.
Whether oily, acne prone, sensitive or all three, our skin care range made with skin supporting silica salts is about to become your skin care regime of choice, we just know it!
This article is not meant to treat or diagnose. Please visit your doctor for advice about any health concerns you may have.