Thursday, January 7, 2010

Does Oily Skin Need Moisturizing Too?

Faces That Produce Oil

Many women write to me about how oily their skin is and want to know if they can skip the moisturizing step to their skincare regimen before applying their mineral makeup.

The answer to this perplexing dilemma is "no..... skin always needs to be moisturized, especially oily skin." However, this answer is simplistic and I find myself needing to elaborate to help them understand the benefits of moisturizing even oily faces.....and that is what has prompted me to write this article.

The word oil in any context on an ingredient list can send shivers down ones' spine if they struggle with always trying to correct the over production of sebum. Well, fear not because certain oils in skincare products are not the enemy to oily skin....and will become your skins' new best friend.

Although it sounds contradictory to apply a moisturizer to oily skin, especially one that may contain oils, except it actually will help reduce sebum production and give skin a better texture. Most women who think it makes the oily skin worse or increases their acne, which is typically a side effect of oily skin, simply need to understand this concept and to retrain their thinking of what a moisturizer really is. Oily skin also tends to be thicker than normal to dry skin types, with larger pores. Their faces can literally look like an oil slick within an hour or so after washing.

Also, they think cleansing is the only answer.....and this is great for removing excess oil, debris and grime from the face, but over cleansing will strip the skin whereby creating the cycle of the face producing more oil to compensate.

Moisturizing the face is not just for normal to dry skin types, but is for all.

What Is A Moisturizer

First off, when our face produces oil, it is not the same as hydration of the skin and in many cases can be linked to hormonal changes. That is why as we mature and then finally go through menopause, oil production is reduced, our skin becomes drier and our skin thins. Although it isn't as prevalent as in the past, oily skin can still be a problem, just not to the degree as when we were younger.

A moisturizer increases water content in the skin and prevents further moisture loss when infused with natural humectants. These will attract moisture from the air keeping skin moist and supple throughout the day. Moisturizers also smooth skin and will actually aid with skin cell turnover, especially those that have natural fruit acids. Pore clogging sebum is thicker, attracts dirt and debris, allowing skin cells to become occlusive causing the endless battle with acne. Also sebum is the food for acne bacteria, so keeping it to a minimal is a good thing.

By slowing evaporation of moisture on the face, sebum producing cells shut down, and when using certain types of organic oils which mimic our own sebum, your skin will produce less and less until such time as you can enjoy an entire day without the oil slick or at least to a much lesser degree.

Bottom line oily skin is not hydration but a reaction to a lack of it. And if you are using acne products which tend to exacerbate this condition by drying the skin, causing flakiness and tightness, then the endless cycle of cleansing and treating never ends to fight oil production and everything else is a band-aid.

Treating The Oily Skin Type

Believe it or not, women can complain of having oily skin, yet they claim their skin feels tight and uncomfortable. Now you would think with oily skin, it would feel more lubricated, but again, oil is not moisture and oily skin does not make skin smooth and supple. Women with oily skin can also be sensitive, irritated, and experience stinging conditions when using some skincare products. Though it is rare, sensitivities do occur in women with this skin type.

Typically in these instances they are using acne treatments either within the moisturizer itself (Glycolic Acid AHA, Salicylic Acid BHA, Retin A, Benzoyl Peroxide, Accutane, Pro Activ) the list can be endless, or they use them as stand alone products after they cleanse. These only serve to dry the skin further, cause peeling and excessive flakiness, and keep the face in constant state of inflammation, only making acne worse.

But I can't Stand The Heavy Feel

Yes....certain moisturizers can feel too heavy to someone with oily skin. Certain emollients (mineral oil, lanolin, paraffin, dimethicone, cyclomethicone, anything siloxane, petroleum derived ingredients, castor oil) will cause occlusion of pores and make a moisturizer feel like you are smearing buttery grease on your face. These ingredients are too heavy for any skin type and are not necessary to achieve protection from loss of moisture. Some also can be irritating to sensitive skin such as the silicone oils and lanolin and be quite occlusive....perplexing to me, I see some of these same ingredients in skincare that is recommended for acneic skin...huh?

There are lighter weight moisturizing emollients such as cold pressed plant oils (avocado, coconut, grapeseed, jojoba (actually wax ester), olive, tea tree) which work to perfection without leaving a greasy feel, are readily absorbed into the dermis layer and also possess natural humectant properties including that of vegetable glycerin. The added benefit of plant oils is they also contain natural sterolins and sterols for anti-inflammatory effect and possess antibacterial, anti-fungal and antioxidant properties for an overall holistic healing experience, leaving pore clogging and irritating synthetic chemical ingredients in the dust.

In fact Jojoba Oil mimics our own natural sebum, restores pH balance to the skin and is excellent at dissolving pore clogging sebum whereby reducing acne breakouts. This miracle oil, after only a few minutes, is completely absorbed and leaves skin with a velvet texture, and it is why it is in our Evening Rose Veil and our Mineral Makeup Foundations.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil stands alone as a face wash for dissolving excess sebum and grime and softens blackheads, supports the skins' acid mantle, and since it is non-occlusive, it assists in allowing skin to breathe. Wonderful addition to skin creams!

The problem perceived with using certain emollients and synthetic emulsifiers in commercially prepared, mass marketed formulas, is they are used in the incorrect combination and they can actually make skin feel drier. So there is this battle raging on your face with your skin trying to compensate for the drying effects of one ingredient while another is trying to moisturize, whereby an oily face occurs.

By using botanical ingredients such as Jojoba, Avocado and Olive oils, they simulate the fatty acid profile, squalene, and wax esters of your natural sebum, but without clogging your pores. The best part is, they not only do not disrupt skin function, but work in tandem with your skins natural functions while also working to soften, soothe and hydrate the skin continuously.

Now with the benefits stated and you still are unsure, when applying an organic moisturizer to oily skin, you can reduce the amount you put on due to the high concentrations of these plant takes so little for an optimal effect. They are much lighter in texture so they are quite easy to disperse on the skin and can be thinned to just using a scant portion.

Example ~ our skincare products we recommend a pearl size or less for entire face, neck and decolletage. You can thin the cream further, not only by applying to a moistened face (which is preferred for optimum moisture retention on skin) but by reducing it to as small as a pea size and move quickly across the skin thinning out the texture. This will give a very light weight feel to the extreme, yet will go far at sustaining moisture, reduce dryness, and keep skin from producing excessive levels of sebum.

Keep That Moisture Coming

Additional humectants on top of natural humectants found in some plant oils, are added to skin creams to keep skin moist throughout the day. Some examples are Sodium PCA, Glycerin, Propylene Glycerol, Honey and Hylauronic Acid.

Even if you live in a dry climate, spritzing with moisturizing sprays or distilled water throughout the day will go far to bringing additional moisture to the skin where the humectants are ready and waiting to hold it there for a time.

Reducing Oily Skin And Clearing Up Acne

When using moisturizers and other skincare products that are infused with plant extracts, plant oils, fruit acids and plant distillates, you have a winning combination for dealing with skin problems, fighting aging, not causing acne and improving overall skin texture. These ingredients create an unsurpassed synergetic blend (working in unison) of a highly effective skincare regimen for all skin types, and will go far at improving oily skin, whereby acne which is the side effect, should also improve. We also don't add water to our emulsions like so many others, but Aloe Vera Juice to supplement our skincare formulas.

Sensitivities will also reduce when products are eliminated with skin drying ingredients and the stronger AHA's (glycolic acid) and BHA's (salicylic acid). Natural fruit acids are alpha hydroxy acids also and work well since when used everyday, whether in our cleanser, toner or serum will have a cumulative effect and will maintain an exfoliated skin. Also cleansing with the use of our Microfiber facial towels can be far gentler and replace the need for stronger products which create further irritation.

Women Ask About ONATI: Which Skincare Regimen For This Skin Type
  • Honey Foaming Cleansing Gel ~ will not dry out or strip skin, is detergent free as we use gentle surfactants derived from coconut and fruit sugars, and helps maintain pH levels along with providing a protective layer to the skin through the use of Honey.
  • Perfect Balance Facial Toner ~ provides light moisturizing properties, balances pH, tea tree oil for even the occasional breakout, and has natural fruit acids for gentle exfoliation of skin. Not to be confused with a drying astringent which will strip skin of its' delicate acid mantle.
  • Calm and Refresh Face Cream ~ very lightweight moisturizer and is infused with natural plant oils, and plant extracts for helping with acne and their scars, fights free radicals, calms stressed facial tissue and never feels feels more like a light lotion in application.
  • Vitamin Rich Facial Serum ~ Alternative to cream if one can't wrap their mind around putting skin cream on their face...this is extremely lightweight, it is a serum not a cream, and can be used as a very light moisturizer for oily skin. It is loaded with natural humectants and antioxidants, also possesses gentle fruit acids to assist with exfoliation of skin.
  • Grecian Secret Body Souffle ~ Although this is a head to toe cream, its' texture is whipped light and fluffy and moisturizes without greasiness. And Extra Virgin Olive Oil only is ideal for soothing acne, is rich in sterols and is a natural humectant. Depending on usage and following directions, it is also very economical! It comes in 3 delectable scents made from an aromatherapy blend of essential oils and unscented for extremely sensitive skin types.
Remember, for lighter weight moisture when using any of our creams, the more damp the skin is, the further the product will go. This should finally answer the question that has been a source of confusion for those with oily skin type.

Glad to be back at writing, I think I went through withdrawal there.

Wishing everyone a great weekend and the best in 2010!

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