- Daily shine
- Enlarged pores
- Blackheads on the T zone
- Pimples and breakouts
Does that sound like you? Then chances are you have an oily skin.
Fortunately the good news is, by implementing a correct skin care routine; you can stop an oily face in its tracks.
Join me for the second article in the series, on how to care for your oily skin.
Skin Science Behind an Oily Face
Before we can begin to treat your oily skin, it’s important to understand a little about why we get oil on the skin.
Our skin contains sebaceous glands that produce sebum, an oil that keeps it soft and supple.
Sadly over productive sebaceous glands, hormonal imbalances and incorrect skin care products, can create a buildup of sebum in the skin’s pores.
This buildup starves the skin of oxygen, which is why an oily face will often look dull and depleted.
Bacteria thrive in these conditions, feeding on the oil which creates the inflammation, creating the breakouts.
The natural reaction is to try to squeeze our spots, but this will only spread bacteria further, creating a vicious circle. That’s why, having a good home care regime is key, if you want to have healthy skin.
Why Harsh Products Cause More Oil
I wanted to take a moment to discuss this topic.
When the skin is stripped of the right amount of oil it requires to function in a healthy way, it attempts to balance itself, by stimulating the nerve endings at the base of the pore.
These nerve endings are connected to sebaceous glands and when stimulated from astringents, they relay a message to make more oil.
When the oil starts pushing through, it may also encounter a clogged pore, bacteria thrive on oil and dead skin cells in the pore, which creates breakouts, pustules, and on some occasions painful, deep seated cystic acne.
This is the reason it is important, to keep your skin nicely balanced, so it doesn’t over compensate on oil.
8 Step to
1. Find the right cleanser. Its really important to avoid stripping cleansers like foaming formulas that contain stripping surfactants, that will leave your skin tight, sensitised and robbed of valuable lipids. These formulas make your sebaceous glands go into overdrive and create more oil; instead look for a gentle, natural formula.
Whilst it may sound counter-intuitive, oil cleansers are a great choice for oily skin types.The oil in the cleanser attracts your skin’s sebum, so you can rinse both away without stripping your face. “Your skin will feel soft and replenished after washing.
Miracle cleanse is a great example, that protects the skin as it cleanses.
2.Toning should not be overlooked: Most people see toning as the boring precursor to cleansing. But the real role of a toner is to balance out your skins pH, really important if you are trying to ward off that daily shine and prevent those bothersome breakouts.
Many toners for an oily skin are formulated with harsh ingredients like alcohols, menthol and camphor, these will only lead to inflammation, and dry your skin further, causing it to produce more oil as discussed above.
Instead look for toners containing gentle ingredients, that will naturally bring your skin into a state of balance.
3. Hydrate your skin to prevent oily secretions. One of the biggest problems I see with an oily skin is dehydration
I notice many of my clients don’t realise, that their skin requires water. When your skin lacks the water it needs to function in a healthy way, it attempts to balance itself by stimulating the nerve endings at the base of the pore, which instead creates even more oil.
Your cells are like fish, they require water to live and without it, your skin will appear oily with an increased chance of breakouts.
4. Moisturise to protect your skin: Some people with an oily skin feel that they should avoid using a moisturiser.
This is a misconception, moisturising is really important to keep the skin’s barrier intact.
The stratum corneum – your outer layer of skin, prevents external irritants like bacteria and environmental toxins, whilst keeping important moisture locked in the tissues.
You don’t need to use heavy creams, an oil free moisturiser like equilibrium balancing gel, will offer your skin all the protection it requires, mopping up excess oil off the skins surface.
A well though out formula will work deep in the dermal layers to regulate oily secretions, instantly absorbing and blocking the cycle of over productive oil glands.
5. Masks act like tint micro sponges: If you have an oily face, you can get some really great results from simple cleansing clay masks.
Fullers Earth is one such clay, when mixed with witch hazel it helps to absorb oil, drawing out impurities and tightening pores.
A mask doesn’t have to be placed all over the face; it can be used just on the T zone, or even as a spot treatment.
If you are interested in learning more about simple homemade masks and their ingredients, the article face mask recipes is a great place to start.
6. Consider the normalising vitamin: Vitamin A
7. Don’t over exfoliate: It’s tempting I know to want to scrub at your breakouts, but harsh scrubbing will only aggravate the problem, allowing bacteria deeper into the skin, which will cause further irritation and inflammation.
I’m not a fan of walnut, apricot facial scrubs, they have sharp edges and cause tiny micro tears in the skin.
Opt for a gentle AHA formula instead, glycolic will flush out the pore freeing your skin from impurities.
8. Don’t pick those zits:I know it’s tempting, but picking at your skin can create a viscous cycle, forcing bacteria deeper into your skin, resulting in scarring and further break outs.
Instead use a spot treatment, like the type that comes with equilibrium, that will naturally break down the build up of bacteria in the pore and help reduce inflammation. You can learn more about this in the following article.
THE NAKED TRUTH
Realistically no two skin types are ever going to be the same, each one has a tendency to react differently to different formulas, which is why customisation is at the heart of my formulas.
So it is just a matter of trial and error, before you find the best products for your particular skin type
My advice, instead of continually over analysing your skin and switching between products, find good, natural products free from stripping ingredients that you are happy with and stick with it,
Most importantly, throw away that magnifying mirror…x