Home Skincare Why Is My Face So Oily When I Wake Up?

Why Is My Face So Oily When I Wake Up?

by Gabbi

Beauty sleep is crucial to achieving a refreshed and awakened complexion. Sleep allows our skin to repair itself overnight and create a healthy effect. You may notice lack of sleep or other daily habits can impact our skin heavily when we wake up.

Oily skin is a common skin type that portrays how your skin reacts to certain elements. For example, oily skin types are prone to greasiness, breakouts, or a shiny complexion. However, all skin types may wake up with an oilier complexion.

You may wonder, why is my face so oily when I wake up? Multiple external factors or lifestyle habits can affect our skin. Skipping sleep, avoiding moisturizer, or eating a poor diet can reflect through your skin and make it appear shiny in the AM.

Oily skin types are more prone to overactive sebaceous glands, but any skin type can become dehydrated and start to compensate for a lack of hydration. It can be frustrating initially, but waking up with oilier skin is preventable.

Also, it’s crucial to understand that all skin types may react or heal differently, so seeing a dermatologist can give you the best answer for your skin. Why does skin get oily in the morning, how can you avoid it, and how can you treat your skin?

Which Skin Type Is Most Prone To Waking Up Oily?

It may be no surprise that oily skin types are the most prone to waking up with greasy skin in the morning. Oil is often confused with moisture, but these two elements aren’t the same, and your skin needs moisture even if it’s oily.

According to Medical News Today, “Oily skin happens when the sebaceous glands in the skin make too much sebum. Sebum is the waxy, oily substance that protects and hydrates the skin.” 

Oily skin types may also be more prone to larger pores or breakouts.

Can All Skin Types Wake Up Oily?

Can you still wake up with oily skin even if it’s not your skin type? Yes, all skin types can potentially feel greasy in the morning. This can occur if your skin is dehydrated and the sebaceous glands need to increase sebum production. 

Although dry or mature skin types may be the least prone to waking up oily, combination skin types may appear extra oily around the t-zone area, including the forehead, nose, and chin.

Multiple factors can determine if you wake up with an oilier complexion. 

Should You Worry If Your Skin Is Oily Every Morning?

Thankfully, oily skin in the morning shouldn’t pose much of a risk. You may notice an increase in flare-ups or textural concerns like acne, blackheads, or the appearance of enlarged pores. A few adjustments to your lifestyle can help reduce morning shine. 

However, always visit a dermatologist, especially in extreme cases of oiliness. A dermatologist will be able to treat your skin’s specific needs and establish a solution that’s effective for you. 

It’s also crucial to understand what is causing your skin to produce an excess amount of sebum. 

Why Does Your Skin Get Oily In The Morning? 

So, what can trigger your skin to produce an abundance of oil in the morning? There are a handful of reasons why you may appear more shiny in the AM. One of the first reasons is simply due to skin type and that you may be combination-oily. 

However, all skin types have the potential to get greasy if something in their normal routine is thrown off the tracks. A poor diet, increase in sugar or stress, or lack of a skincare routine can all potentially cause excess shine to appear. 


Another common reason why you produce excess oil is due to dehydration. If the body or skin isn’t adequately hydrated, it can have a greasy complexion. You may think that oil adds moisture, but your skin can still be oily and dehydrated.

Dehydration will trigger the skin to produce more oil or sebum to compensate for the lack of hydration. This is why all skin types need to use moisturizer (we love this one from CeraVe), even if you’re oily. 

Lack Of Skincare Routine

This brings us to our next point; a lack of a skincare routine. Everyone’s skin is different, and one product won’t work for all skin types. So, it’s essential to create an effective skincare routine tailored to your needs to promote a balanced complexion.

A moisturizer is essential, especially at night if you plan to avoid a greasy result in the morning. Using products that agree with your skin must allow it to function at its best.

Sweat & Oil 

What’s the temperature in your room? Do you get relatively hot throughout the night? Sweat is necessary to regulate body temperature, but it can also help you feel more oily in the morning. Also, sweat glands and sebaceous glands work close together.

A sweaty night can also increase buildup on the skin, leading to unwanted textural concerns. However, this can be avoided by keeping the room as cool as possible during the night. 

Overactive Sebaceous Glands

You can wake up looking shiny simply due to overactive sebaceous glands. The sebum, or oil, is the waxy substance that appears on the skin that can make you feel greasy. 

You may be prone to overactive sebaceous glands, or there’s a trigger that can increase your sebum production. Various elements can impact your sebum production, and you can overproduce or under-produce.

According to Healthline, “Hormonal medications often increase sebum production. This includes testosterone, some progesterone, and phenothiazine. Parkinson’s disease has also been associated with an uptick in sebum production.” 

You can always consult a doctor to understand any underlying causes of oily skin. 

Poor Diet

Have you ever heard the saying, “You are what you eat?” Inflammatory, processed, or sugary foods can have a negative impact on your skin. Your diet can even affect the oiliness of your nose, cause your skin to look congested, or promote flare-ups. 

Spicy food may also trigger sebum production.

Healthline states, “these dishes cause blood vessels to dilate and trigger perspiration, increasing the appearance of a shiny, oily nose.”

So it’s crucial to watch your intake of these foods because they can contribute to your oily morning skin.


Stress can also heavily impact the state of your skin. It can be tricky to regulate stress, especially if you’re subconsciously stressed. We know that Cortisol can bring various negative side effects to light, but it can also take a toll on your skin.

According to the FLDSCC, “the stress hormone cortisol leads to an overproduction of sebum (oil) in your skin glands, which causes acne breakouts.” 

Managing your stress may also help balance sebum production. 

Why Is My Nose So Oily When I Wake Up?

Combination skin allows you to have various skin types. Whether you’re oily or combination, you may find that the nose is one of the oiliest parts of the face. The nose can be oily due to sebum production and enlarged pores.

Unfortunately, pores are determined by genetics and can’t change in size. Other common factors that can create an oily nose include humidity, hormones, genetics, or your skincare routine. 

You can take multiple steps to prevent an oily nose, like avoiding harsh skincare, avoiding touching the face, and opting for oil-free cosmetics.

How To Avoid Waking Up With An Oily Face

Sometimes oily skin comes down to genetics. However, you can make minor changes in your lifestyle or daily habits to help regulate sebum production. These tips will ensure you achieve a balanced complexion and minimize shine.

You may need to learn how to adapt certain habits to fit your skin type. In addition, you can also seek help from a doctor if you believe it’s a rare case caused by an underlying health condition. 

Stay Hydrated

The simplest thing you can do for your skin is to stay hydrated. We mentioned earlier that hydration is key to regulating oil production. Also, dehydrated skin can produce even more sebum to compensate for the lack of moisture.

Drinking your daily recommended amount of water or consuming water-rich foods will ensure you stay hydrated and your skin is balanced. You can also invest in a face mist (like this one from La Roche-Posay) that can moisturize the skin without the heavy feeling of a cream. 


Staying hydrated and moisturizing your skin go hand-in-hand. Just like how you keep your insides hydrated, you need to stay moisturized on the outside. It’s a misconception that oily skin doesn’t need moisturizer. 

Without a moisturizer, you can produce even more sebum. An excellent option for oily skin types is gel-based moisturizers (like this matte finish one from La Roche-Posay) because they’re lightweight in texture or find an oil-free cream.

A lightweight moisturizer will ensure your skin barrier is nourished and that your complexion is balanced, so it won’t have to overproduce sebum.

Avoid Over Exfoliation

Exfoliation can be a fantastic tool for oily skin. For example, using a chemical exfoliant like a BHA can help regulate sebum production, unclog pores, and reduce the appearance of breakouts. However, over-exfoliation comes with some risks.

It can create a compromised skin barrier and potentially aggravate flare-ups. Exfoliating a few times a week is more than enough to eliminate dead skin cells so you can achieve a more balanced complexion. 

Salicylic acid is a popular form of BHA that works wonders for oily skin types. 

Switch Your Sheets

Did you know your bed sheets can immensely impact your skin?

Surprisingly enough, sweat, dust, and dead skin cells can easily get trapped between the sheets. This can clog pores, trap sweat, and make you feel greasy in the morning.

You may also want to switch to a breathable fabric like bamboo or satin that will minimize irritation. Also, washing your sheets on a weekly basis, along with your pillows, can reduce the chance of flare-ups. 

Effective Skin Care Routine

It may be time to reevaluate your skincare routine. 

Everyone’s skin will react differently to products, so finding what works best for your skin is essential. The proper skincare routine will maintain a healthy complexion and also protect your skin barrier. It can also help regulate sebum production.

Essential products everyone needs in their routine regardless of skin type are a cleanser, moisturizer, and SPF. Moisturizer is necessary at night to ensure you don’t wake up with an oilier complexion.

It may take some time to find the right products, but you can also consult with a dermatologist. 


Please don’t underestimate taking time to relax. Not everyone will know how Cortisol will impact the skin. However, staying calm or taking time for yourself each day can help lower cortisol levels, which can regulate sebum production.

You may not even be aware of how stress impacts your skin because you can still experience it subconsciously. Relaxation will also provide numerous health benefits besides controlling sebum production.

Balanced Diet 

If you’re trying to remedy morning skin oiliness, try consuming a balanced diet. 

A balanced diet or one high in whole foods will ensure your skin is happy and healthy. In addition, it can balance sebum production, even your complexion, and maintain elasticity.

We’ve mentioned earlier how it’s crucial to avoid various inflammatory foods. This includes spicy foods, processed foods/sugars, and junk foods. Spicy foods can increase perspiration and promote a shiner complexion.

You can start simply by slowly incorporating more fruits and veggies into your diet or take it one step further and see a dietitian for the best skin-friendly foods.

When To See A Dermatologist

What happens if you don’t see a difference in your oily morning skin? It may be time to seek help from a dermatologist if you haven’t found any luck by switching simple lifestyle habits. You may find out it’s due to an underlying health concern.

However, it’s unlikely that oily morning skin will be harmful, but you can always benefit from seeing a derm. A dermatologist can also tailor a regimen specifically for your skin’s needs.

Related Questions

We mentioned that oily skin types are more prone to an oily morning wake-up. However, other skin types may also experience a similar effect. The underlying causes for each skin type can vary. 

Oily skin may produce excess oil due to genetics, but it can also be dehydrated. In addition, other skin types can have more oil when they’re dehydrated too. So, what’s the difference between oily skin and dehydrated skin?

Oily Skin Vs Dehydrated Skin 

Dehydrated skin often refers to a lack of moisture in the skin. Any of the skin types can become dehydrated, including oily skin. It can also be remedied or prevented by investing in high-quality creams or ensuring you keep hydrated.

Oily skin is a skin type, whereas dehydration is a condition. Oily skin produces excess sebum due to genetics, but other external factors can also trigger it. Other skin types are less prone to making oil simply due to genetics.

So, this can explain why all skin types can feel oily in the morning. 


You can wake up with oily skin for numerous reasons. The most common being that you simply have oily skin, or your genetics determine it. All skin types have the potential to feel oily if they’re dehydrated and need to overproduce sebum.

However, all skin types can regulate sebum production by moisturizing the skin, staying hydrated, keeping relaxed, and eating a well-balanced diet. So, always consult with a dermatologist if you ever feel in doubt or need personalized care. 

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