The perfect moisturiser for oily skin
If I had a pound every time someone with oily skin asked me why do they have to use moisturizer if their skin is so oily or what moisturizer should they use…
To be honest I was the first one avoiding the moisturizing step years ago. I didn’t want to grease my skin up more than what it already was. As I grew older and read more and more about skincare I realized using moisturizer is essential to prevent wrinkles and fine lines. However, no matter what I bought (cheap or expensive, from the pharmacy or the supermarket) I would end up having spots. That’s when I decided to go natural and avoid the ingredients I didn’t know what they were and other synthetic ingredients like silicones, alcohol, parabens, EDTA or PEGs. My skin got so much better in those days, my blackheads were almost gone, my spots were so much healthier looking and so infrequent I thought my skin recovered completely so I went back to the cheap flashy looking supermarket moisturizers… wrong!!! I had to start from zero again. That time I made significantly more research and didn't take my skincare for granted. This is what I want to share with you today.
First of all let’s talk about skin types. There are three basic skin types: combination, oily and dry skin. Then we have what is called skin conditions. They develop over time and apply to all skin types, leading to the many combinations that make everyone’s skin unique: acne, aging, dehydrated, pigmentated, etc. So someone that has oily (excess of oil) skin type can also suffer from dehydrated (lack of water) skin. You need to know your skin well in order to find the best skincare routine for you.
Oily skin is a condition that develops due to overactive sebaceous (oil) glands, producing a lot more oil than normal skin type. This makes it look shiny and thick. Pores look enlarged and bacteria gets trapped in it.
Hot and humid climates tend to increase the oil secretion. Additionally, oily skin problems can be aggravated by the misuse of skincare products. There is a tendency to dry the skin either through the use of soaps or through the excessive use of astringents or scrubs disrupting the barrier function of the skin.
Oily skin can be classified into two subcategories: oily (without water deficiency) and oily dehydrated (with water deficiency). Often, those with oily skin tend to use drying, dehydrating ingredients in an effort to feel ‘’less oily’’. The end results in skin that feels flaky, rough and scaly. The usual thought when this type of condition is to self-diagnose as dry skin type and purchase products for dry skin (rich in oils). As the skin already has enough oil, these products only aggravate the oily condition and result in blemishes, blackeahds, etc. It is not unusual for individuals with oily skin to conclude that they do not need a moisturizer because they have oily skin. Thus it important to remember that oiliness comes from the oil glands, and water from the spaces between cells. An oily skin needs oil-free moisturizers rich in water-attracting ingredients to maintain suppleness and moisture.
Care of oily skin requires through yet gentle cleansing morning and evening.
It is important to keep oily skin clean (see post about cleansing oils and, yet to be published , double cleansing method) and hydrated with appropriate cleansing and moisturizing. Exfoliators that also provide moisture to the skin, such as AHA (see my post about alpha hydroxy acids) or BHA are recommended.
As pharmacist and skin addict, this is my recommendation for a basic oily skincare:
1. Double cleansing: start with oil cleansing and finish it with salicylic acid (BHA) gentle cleanser.
2. AHA gentle toner with astringents like green tea or witch hazel to reduce pore size.
3. Serum. Avoid oleic acid (olive oil, macadamia, marula, etc) ingredients. For oil skin type I love serums with rosehip oil, hemp oil, chia oil, sunflower oil… These are rich in linoleic oil which help to repair the skin barrier and recover the natural hardened oil washed off in step one without leaving your skin greasier. I like to use oil serums in combination with anti-oxidants such as vitamin C during the day and retinol or bakuchiol (see my post about it) during the night.
4. Oil free moisturizer rich in water attracting ingredients such as hyaluronic acid or glycerin and anti-wrinkles actives like coenzyme Q-10. They must also have botanical anti-inflammatory ingredients (eg bisabolol) to help reduce the blemishes size quicker and reduce the skin redness. Other actives that help with this skin type are niacinamide, probiotics, charcoal, etc.
5. Twice (or more) a week face mask targeted for oily skin (with matcha, charcoal, bentonite, green clay, etc)
6. Once a week exfoliant (avoid using your AHA toner that day)
Remember our skin is a combination of our genes and the environment we live in (contamination, lifestyle, climate) so don’t get upset if your skin is never 100% free of blemishes. It might be your hormones, stress, etc. It will pass. Just be gentle with your skin, have patience, and keep researching. One day you will have your dreamed skin, believe me.