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Why is My Skin Shiny but Not Oily?

Everyone's skin is different, but sometimes even when we know our skin type, we can still be confused about what products to use. One day, it’s too dry. The next day, it’s too oily. Then after that, it’s shiny but not oily. This makes selecting the right skincare products tricky! The confusion may result in trying new skincare products that don’t work for your skin, or worse, adding problems that were not there in the first place.

Read on to learn about the factors contributing to why your face is shiny but not oily, and what can you do about it.

Causes of Shiny but Not Oily Skin

Causes of shiny but not oily skin Infographic by Solvaderm

Once you’ve ruled out overproduction of sebum as the reason for your shiny skin, consider other factors that may be contributing to your shiny, but not oily, face - such as over-exfoliation, excess sweat, the wrong skincare and makeup products, or medication. You may even just have naturally glowing skin! Let’s take a deep dive into each possible cause.


Excessive scrubbing strips your skin of its natural oils, causing it to look dry and tight. This tightness can create a shiny effect.

Excess sweat

In addition to sebum, your skin secretes sweat. Once sebum and sweat combine, it forms a gleaming appearance on your skin. Factors such as hormones, medical conditions, emotional health, or environmental exposure can all play a role in excess sweating.

Wrong skincare and makeup products

If you're using skincare and makeup products that are wrong for your skin type, it can cause a shiny and sheened appearance. Each formulation works differently for every skin type. The key is, if you feel like there’s excess grease when you use your skincare and makeup, it might be a good time to switch things up.


Some medications such as acne treatment products can make your skin shine because as products take time to work, they create a new layer of skin cells that appear shiny, and add a sheen when exposed to lights.

Glowing skin

If you have normal sebum production, use proper skincare, and don’t sweat excessively, you might just have a healthy glow that sometimes gives the appearance of shiny skin.

How do you know if you have oily skin?

The best way to determine your skin type is by consulting a licensed dermatologist. They are trained professionals and evaluate you based on your skin texture and common problems.

Another way is by using oil blotting papers. Press a sheet of blotting paper against your skin 30 minutes after cleansing. If you see oil on the sheets then it’s telltale proof that you have oily skin. This is not a substitute for a comprehensive skin analysis run by professionals, but it can help you figure out if you have problems with excess sebum production. 

Ways To Look After Your Shiny Skin

It’s important to remember that your skin’s condition changes, so you shouldn’t worry too much if your face is shiny once in a while. You certainly don’t need to switch to a new routine at the first sign of a shimmer. But if you’ve been dealing with shiny skin for quite a while now, here are ways to look after it.

Don’t over-exfoliate

Exfoliate your face gently to allow healthy new skin cells to grow naturally. There’s no strict rule on how frequently you should exfoliate in a week but it’s best to start with once or twice a week, working your way up from there. If your skin feels uncomfortable, then it’s best to step back.

For a natural polished look, exfoliate your skin with Glowpeel. The powerhouse combination of alpha-hydroxy fruit acids has a powerful yet gentle skin-resurfacing action that reveals a radiant complexion.

Hydrate your skin

If your face is shiny but has a rough texture, you need to boost your skin’s moisture level. A moisturizer will seal your skin with much-needed hydration and create a barrier to protect it from free radicals and outside irritants that might aggravate existing problems.

Turn your excess shine into a healthy glow with the deeply hydrating daily moisturizer Infusoderm. It's a unique, lightweight gel-cream that in addition to replenishing your skin's moisture levels, contains an active extract of cloudberry to nourish your skin from within. The formula's powerful antioxidant properties ensure that skin cells are protected from environmental damage and other harmful factors that delay healthy cell turnover.

Follow a skincare routine

Sticking to a skincare routine can help combat any moisture and hydration imbalances that might be contributing to your shiny skin appearance. Be sure to use gentle yet effective products that match your skin type.

Always remove your makeup before bed

Your excess shine can be a sign of your skin telling you that there’s something wrong with your regimen. Leaving makeup on at night can trap dirt in your pores, hindering your skin's overnight rejuvenation process. By removing all traces with an effective cleanser, you're allowing your skin to breathe and prepare for 'repair mode' before you sleep.

Treating Your Shiny but Not Oily Skin

Treating your shiny, but not oily, skin does not need to be complicated. It does not always mean that your regimen is no longer working but simply that your skin condition has changed due to age, lifestyle, and any other external factors. Only switch things up when the shine no longer looks normal and is starting to create other issues, such as rough patches, age spots, breakouts, and more.

You can trust Solvaderm to care for all your unique skincare needs. We offer scientifically-delivered and expert-studied solutions for every concern with our range of high-quality products that are perfect for every skin type. 


Is healthy skin shiny?

Healthy skin may have a natural shine when sebum production is normal. Additionally, with optimal levels of moisture and hydration, the complexion may appear to have a radiant glow.

Does a shiny face mean oily skin?

Shiny faces do not always mean that your skin is oily. It can even occur in dry skin, particularly if caused by over-exfoliation, excessive perspiration, and use of certain medications such as acne treatment products.

Is shiny skin good?

Shiny skin is good if your skin also feels hydrated and moisturized. If you’re using moisturizer or serums, it can also be contributing to the shiny effects on the skin.

Is shiny skin bad?

Shiny skin is bad if it’s linked to factors such as over-exfoliation, excess sweating, and the wrong use of makeup and skincare products. It’s a sure sign that you'll need to make some changes to your routine before it gets any worse.