Why Is My Oily Skin Suddenly Dry?

Why is my oily skin suddenly dry? If you have wondered this, learn more in this post.

Oily skin can be uncomfortable, especially during the summer months. When your face is constantly shiny and greasy, it’s difficult to maintain a fresh appearance.

It can also lead to dermatological problems such as acne if you don’t take care of it properly.

With that being said, having oily skin still has benefits, the biggest advantage of people with oily skin is fewer wrinkles and fine lines. This is the reason why some people don’t feel bad about their oily skin, on the opposite, they love it.

However, what if one day your skin suddenly becomes dry? Many people are surprised to see this change, especially when they never had any other dermatological or physiological symptoms before.

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Why did my skin go from oily to dry?

Your skin type may not be fixed. In fact, there are many factors that can change your skin type from time to time.


Each people’s skin reacts differently to the weather. For example, people in humid tropical areas may have an oily skin type. However, when they are exposed to low humidity levels, their skin can become dry much easier.

At the same time, if your skin is used to the cold winter environment where it is dry and windy then when you go to a hot humid country your skin type will become oily quickly because of the humidity.

This does not only depend on the weather but also on your environment. For example, if you work in an office where there is no window and it’s hot all day long then your skin type can go from dry to oily easily.

More: List of Ideal Face Oils for Oily Skin on the Market


The change of hormone levels in our body is another reason why your oil glands can become more active or inactive. This usually happens during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. Thus, women are more likely to experience this condition than men. Therefore, if you notice your skin becoming drier during one of these times, then this is normal.

Skincare/Makeup products

Using new skincare or makeup products when your skin is used to another type of skincare can also change its properties. If you are using too much makeup, it can clog the pores and make them less efficient in producing sebum, which in turn can cause dry skin. However, this condition will not last long because once your skin adapts to the makeup products it will start producing sebum again. However, if you are using very harsh skin cleansing chemicals or detergents then this can cause your skin to become dry too.

So if you have oily skin, make sure you are using products designed especially for your skin type.

More: Can Oily Skin Use Dry Skin Products?


Sometimes the side effect of certain types of medicines can change your skin type from oily to dry. This sounds odd, but it’s true. The most common examples of medicines that can cause dry skin are beta-blockers and antidepressants. Even topical medications for dermatological conditions like acne can cause a change in your skin type. If you notice that your skin is becoming too dry or your acne is getting worse after starting a new medication, talk to your doctor about changing the dosage or canceling the prescription entirely.

So if your skin goes from oily to dry, remember if you are having any medicine. This makes it easier to determine the cause of the problem.

More: Oily Skin After Anesthesia: Is It Normal & How to Treat It?

Foods and drinks

Just in case you don’t know, there are foods/drinks that can change your skin from oily to dry. In this case, it is difficult to know the exact foods that affect your skin type. So, if you want your skin to turn back to its oily state, you may have to change your diet frequently to see if there are foods that can help you.

Stress level

Modern life is full of stress, and some people handle stress better than others. Usually, people who have a higher stress level will produce more sebum in their glands which can cause the skin to become oil. However, there are some cases where stress can make your skin become dry. This usually happens when the stress is too much for you to handle. The reaction of the skin to stress levels is different from person to person, so there is no exact answer to this question. Anyway, stress is not good, so try avoiding it if you can.


Sleeping problems can affect your skin as well. Not only it can make your face look tired and aged, but sleeping problems can also cause dry skin. The reason why insomnia affects the condition of our skin is still unclear. Sleeping too much or too little can cause the skin to become drier or oilier. In any case, the best practice is to have a regular sleep schedule and avoid stress.

The change in smoking habit

It might not sound logical, but smoking can make your skin type go from oily to dry. The reason is that cigarettes contain chemicals that can damage blood vessels and interfere with the production of collagen. This may make your skin drier than usual.

So if you want to have healthy skin, you should avoid cigarettes as much as possible. If you already smoke, try quitting and see how it goes. After all, smoking is not good anyway.


Skin type may not stay the same forever. Usually, oily skin becomes drier as you grow older because of hormonal changes that occur naturally. It doesn’t matter if you are 30 or 80 years old; this may happen.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, so it is best not to worry too much about age because some people can still have oily skin even when they are 60 years old.

More: 5 Common Causes Of Oily Skin That You Should Know

Final thought

While there are many potential causes for a change in skin type from oily to dry, the most common ones are external factors such as skincare products, medicines, foods and drinks, stress level, insomnia, smoking habit, and age. In any case, if you notice that your skin has changed from oily to dry, it is best to try to identify the cause so you can take measures to correct it. The good news is that most of these causes are manageable with some effort on your part. Anyway, changing skin type is not a big problem so don’t worry too much about it.


How long does it take for oily skin to return to normal after sudden dryness?

The length of time it takes for oily skin to return to normal after sudden dryness can vary depending on the cause and severity of the dryness. Generally, it can take a few days to a few weeks for the skin to regain its natural oil balance. Consistently using gentle, moisturizing skincare products can help speed up the process.

Should I exfoliate my suddenly dry skin?

Exfoliating can help remove dead skin cells and promote cell turnover, but it is important to choose a gentle exfoliant and avoid over-exfoliating, as this can further dry out the skin. It is best to consult with a dermatologist to determine the best exfoliating routine for your skin type.

What causes oily skin to suddenly become dry?

There can be several reasons behind this sudden change in skin type. The most common causes include weather changes, the use of harsh skincare products, hormonal imbalances, and certain medications.

How can I know if my skincare routine is causing my sudden dryness?

If you suspect that your skincare routine is causing sudden dryness in your oily skin, try eliminating any new products you have recently added to your routine. If your skin improves after eliminating a product, it may be the cause of your sudden dryness. It is also important to pay attention to the ingredients in your skincare products and avoid those that are known to be harsh or drying.

Can sudden dryness in oily skin be a sign of a more serious skin condition?

In some cases, sudden dryness in oily skin can be a sign of a more serious skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis. If your sudden dryness is accompanied by other symptoms such as itching, redness, or inflammation, it is recommended to consult with a dermatologist to determine if there is an underlying skin condition that needs to be treated.


Halle Jackson
Halle Jackson
My name is Halle Jackson and I am a dermatologist, skincare specialist, and makeup artist. I am also a content writer for TheVenusFace.com. Through my writing, I aim to educate and inspire readers to take control of their skin health and beauty. I believe that everyone deserves to feel confident and comfortable in their own skin, and I am committed to sharing my knowledge and expertise to help make that a reality.