Oily Skin Overview

Oily Skin and Pores

Your pores do two basic things: They allow you to sweat and they secrete oil. Neither one may sound appealing, but they're both important. Sweating allows you to maintain a healthy body temperature, and oil protects your skin [source: Bouchez].

Oil, or sebum, is produced by sebaceous glands and secreted through pores. When this process goes smoothly, sebum not only lubricates your skin, but it also removes dead skin cells and other irritants from your pores. However, when your body produces excess sebum, it clogs your pores, and this can lead to blackheads and blemishes [source: Gordon].

If you have large pores, you probably also have oily skin -- studies show that bigger pores often secrete larger amounts of sebum onto the skin [source: Roh]. You can't change the size of your pores, but you can make them less noticeable, and there are ways you can control your oily skin [source: Vinakmens].

Keep reading to learn how to get rid of your oily sheen.