Let’s face it: our appearance relies heavily on our nose, and an oily nose does us no favors. It’s annoying, but there are reasons why it’s happening (you’re not alone!) and there are ways to get rid of it.

Looking for an oily nose fix? We consulted Dr. Steve, our founding dermatologist, and we've collected a treatise on oily, greasy noses, why it’s happening and how to fix it.

If you struggle with oily skin overall - check out our post: Oily Skin…..

In this article, you'll learn:

  1. Why the nose is the oiliest part of your body
  2. How to get rid of "oily nose" syndrome
  3. Why is your nose oily when you wake up?
  4. How to get rid of oily pores on your nose
  5. If retinol can reduce your nose’s pore size
  6. The answer to: "When I squeeze my nose pores, white stuff comes out. What's the deal?"
  7. That oil on your nose can start a fire — for real.
  8. How Geologie can help with your oily nose

Q: Why is my nose oily, while the rest of my face is dry?

Dr. Steve’s Answer: The nose is unique because of the following reasons:

    • Sebaceous glands: Men have more of these oil-producing glands than women do. And in the T-zone – forehead, nose, cheeks and chin – they’re larger in size than anywhere else on your body, which means the "T" signifies Trouble.
    • Pore size: If you have oily skin, your nose may produce considerably more oil because your pores are naturally larger than other pores on the face.
    • Combination skin: For many men with an oily nose, it’s frustrating because the rest of their face might be dry. Combination skin Here's a blog article that explains in great detail why guys are so prone to oily skin.


Q: Why is my nose oily when I wake up?


Dr. Steve: When you’re asleep your skin loses water. This prompts the sebaceous glands to work with sweat glands to make the sweat more lipid, film-like, and not so easily lost during perspiration. That’s why you see a thick oil buildup in the morning.

Q: How do I get rid of an oily nose?

Dr. Steve: Fortunately there are many things you can do to control an oily nose.

      • Salicylic acid: The acid part of the molecule does the heavy lifting, dissolving some of the intracellular “glue” that holds skin cells together. This acid breaks down skin debris and oil that clogs the pores. Find a great salicylic acid face wash, it’s a game-changer for an oily nose.
      • Retinol: Retinol modulates and reduces the amount of natural oil that your body produces. By reducing the oil, the resulting dryness will help control acne. A strong retinol night cream can fix that oily nose.
      • Niacinamide: Like retinol, this ingredient helps regulate the amount of oil the sebaceous glands produce to keep your skin from getting too oily. It’s also an anti-inflammatory, which helps with acne, among other things. The eye cream has niacinamide, which works in tandem with the night cream.
oily nose

Q: How do I get rid of oily pores on my nose?

Dr. Steve Answer: First thing, the size of your pores is a genetic thing, and it’s not really possible to shrink pore size. They can be dilated and constricted for a very brief period of time with alcohols and topicals that dry the skin, but as a durable effect pores cannot be made smaller.

When I say this to my patients, they say “Then can I get tighter pores?” A lot of times what tighter pores means is actually just cleaning out your pores. When you have dark junk in the pores, the pores are quite visible. What can’t be made smaller can however be made less noticeable, and you do this by cleaning them out.

Use retinol to control the oil and salicylic acid to exfoliate — they’ll literally clean out the pores. They’ll soon become less visible, because the coloration of the pores will more closely match the coloration of the skin.

You can find both products in the Essential Acne set.

Q: Can retinol reduce your nose’s pore size?

Dr. Steve: No. Retinol definitely affects oil production, that's why there's a dryness when you initially use retinoids. It definitely affects keratinization — the issue around acne formation. They break up comedones, which makes pores more obvious to see, but they don't affect the actual pore size. That’s what God gave you.


Q: When I squeeze my nose pores, white stuff comes out. What’s the deal?

Dr. Steve: That’s sebum. People with large pores on their nose who produce excess sebum will often squeeze it out. I don’t recommend it because you can do damage to the skin if you do it overzealously. It’s the same reason why you should not pop your zits.

oily nose

Q: Is it true that your nose oil can start a fire?

Dr. Steve: It’s true. Sebum consists of triglycerides, free fatty acids, wax esters, and squalene. All of these are flammable-wax esters — what wax candles are made of.


How Geologie can help your oily skin


Go personalized! Take our skincare quiz for a personalized skincare routine just for you and your oily skin.

Want something quick and easy? Try our Oil Control Routine. Our exfoliating salicylic face wash teams up with our oil free gel moisturizer to hydrate your skin first thing in the morning.

Not ready for a full routine? A good place to start is with our best selling Salicylic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser 2-Pack. The primary active ingredient is 2% salicylic acid – is an ace exfoliator that combats acne and oil, reduces inflammation, and promotes healing.

Still not sure? Browse our entire catalog of skincare products for oily skin.



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