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Why Does My Makeup Look Oily After A Few Hours?

  • Post category:Makeup
  • Post last modified:May 22, 2024
  • Reading time:14 mins read

Many people struggle with maintaining a fresh, matte makeup look throughout the day, only to find their face looking oily and shiny after a few hours. This common issue can be frustrating, especially when you’ve put effort into your makeup application. Understanding the reasons behind this problem and learning how to address it can help you achieve a longer-lasting, flawless finish. This article will explore the causes of oily makeup and provide practical tips to keep your makeup looking fresh all day.

Causes of Oily Makeup

Skin Type and Sebum Production

One of the primary reasons for oily makeup is your skin type. People with oily skin naturally produce more sebum, the oily substance secreted by sebaceous glands. Sebum is essential for keeping the skin hydrated and protected, but excessive production can lead to a shiny, greasy appearance. This excess oil can break down makeup, causing it to slide off or look patchy.

Environmental Factors

Environmental conditions, such as humidity and temperature, can significantly impact how your makeup holds up throughout the day. High humidity levels can cause your skin to sweat and produce more oil, leading to makeup breakdown. Similarly, hot weather can increase sebum production, making it challenging to maintain a matte finish.

Improper Skincare Routine

A skincare routine that doesn’t address your skin’s specific needs can contribute to oily makeup. For instance, skipping moisturizer or using the wrong type of moisturizer can cause your skin to overproduce oil to compensate for dryness. Additionally, not cleansing your skin properly can leave behind excess oil and impurities, which can interfere with makeup application and longevity.

Incorrect Makeup Products

Using makeup products that are not suitable for your skin type can exacerbate oiliness. Oil-based foundations, heavy creams, and dewy finish products can make oily skin look even shinier. It’s essential to choose products labeled as “oil-free” and “non-comedogenic” to prevent clogged pores and excess shine.

Over-Application of Products

Applying too many layers of makeup or using excessive amounts of powder can lead to a cakey appearance and increased oil production. Your skin may react to the heavy layers by producing more oil, causing your makeup to break down faster.

Tips to Prevent Oily Makeup

Start with a Clean Slate

Begin your makeup routine with a clean face. Use a gentle cleanser specifically formulated for oily skin to remove excess oil and impurities. This step ensures that your skin is a fresh canvas for makeup application.

Use a Mattifying Primer

A mattifying primer can help control oil production and create a smooth base for your makeup. Apply the primer to areas prone to oiliness, such as the T-zone, to keep shine at bay. Look for primers that contain ingredients like silica or clay, which absorb excess oil.

Choose the Right Foundation

Opt for a foundation that is oil-free and has a matte finish. These foundations are designed to control shine and provide long-lasting coverage. Avoid dewy or luminous foundations, as they can make oily skin look even shinier.

Set Your Makeup with Powder

Setting your makeup with a translucent powder can help absorb excess oil and keep your makeup in place. Use a light dusting of powder on oily areas, and avoid over-applying, as this can lead to a cakey appearance. A finely milled powder works best for a natural finish.

Incorporate Blotting Papers

Blotting papers are a quick and effective way to manage oil throughout the day. Gently press the blotting paper onto oily areas to absorb excess oil without disturbing your makeup. This method helps maintain a matte finish without adding more product to your skin.

Use a Setting Spray

A setting spray can lock in your makeup and control shine. Look for a mattifying setting spray that is designed for oily skin. Some setting sprays can be applied before and after makeup to create a barrier against oil and humidity.

Hydrate Your Skin

Even if you have oily skin, it’s crucial to keep your skin hydrated. Dehydrated skin can produce more oil to compensate for the lack of moisture. Use a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer to keep your skin balanced and prevent excess oil production.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Skipping Moisturizer

Skipping moisturizer can lead to increased oil production as your skin tries to compensate for the lack of hydration. Always use a suitable moisturizer for your skin type to maintain a healthy balance.

Using the Wrong Products

Using products that are not formulated for oily skin can worsen the problem. Avoid oil-based and heavy products, and opt for those labeled as “oil-free” and “non-comedogenic”.

Over-Applying Powder

Applying too much powder can make your makeup look cakey and can cause your skin to produce more oil. Use a light hand when applying powder and focus on areas that tend to get oily.

Not Prepping Your Skin Properly

Proper skin preparation is essential for long-lasting makeup. Cleanse, tone, and moisturize your skin before applying makeup to create a smooth and balanced base.


Dealing with oily makeup can be challenging, but with the right techniques and products, you can achieve a long-lasting, matte finish. Understanding the causes of oily makeup and implementing the tips provided can help you maintain a fresh and flawless look throughout the day. Remember to choose products that suit your skin type, prep your skin properly, and use blotting papers and setting sprays to keep shine at bay. With these strategies, you can enjoy a beautiful, oil-free makeup look all day long.


How do I keep my makeup from getting oily?

To keep your makeup from getting oily, start with a clean, moisturized face and use a mattifying primer. Apply a long-wear, oil-free foundation and set it with a setting powder. Use blotting papers throughout the day to absorb excess oil without disturbing your makeup. Finish with a setting spray to lock everything in place.

Why is my face so oily after 2 hours?

Your face may become oily after 2 hours due to overactive sebaceous glands, which can be influenced by factors like genetics, hormonal changes, stress, and environmental conditions. Using the wrong skincare products or over-cleansing can also trigger excess oil production as your skin tries to compensate for dryness.

How to keep makeup matte all day?

To keep makeup matte all day, use a mattifying primer and a long-wear, matte foundation. Set your makeup with a translucent setting powder and use a setting spray designed for oily skin. Throughout the day, use blotting papers to manage shine without adding more product.

Why does my makeup look dull after a few hours?

Makeup can look dull after a few hours due to oil breakthrough, which can cause makeup to separate and lose its vibrancy. Additionally, environmental factors like humidity and pollution, as well as dehydration and lack of proper skin prep, can contribute to a dull appearance.

What are the common causes of oily skin?

Common causes of oily skin include genetics, hormonal fluctuations, stress, environmental factors like humidity, and lifestyle choices such as diet and skincare habits. Over-cleansing or using harsh products can also lead to increased oil production as the skin tries to compensate for dryness.