Moisturise that oily skin!


With summer on its way, I know that I will find myself constantly repeating over and over again. “Oil is not water, your skin needs moisture even if it is oily, oil and moisture are two different things, so even if you are oily you need to moisturise”.

Our bodies are 80% water, which is why we need to drink water to keep the body hydrated. Drinking large amounts of water will enhance skin health, but will not hydrate the surface of the skin. So even if you drink lots of water, you still need to moisturise your skin!

When someone has oily skin, they automatically want to remove it by washing their faces till they strip away every oily drop. By doing this, they damage the skin’s ozone layer known as the acid mantle, causing their oil glands to jump into action to produce more oil to protect it. Oil glands are like a bunch of really lazy workers, they do as little as they can until the alarm sounds – this is you cleansing your skin with a stripping cleanser –  then they jump into action and pump out more oil.

If you pop a hydrating moisturiser onto your skin straight away after you cleanse it, they relax as they know that the acid mantle is now protected, and they go back to sitting around doing nothing.

The problem is, that most people when they have oily and or problem skins, will go to great lengths to strip the oil off their faces. The oil glands start working really hard to protect the skin, and then the skin gets stripped again, and then the oil glands pump, and the skin gets washed and on and on and on it goes.

Meanwhile, all moisture is lost from the skin. The skin becomes red and dehydrated as there is no more moisture left on it thanks to the over cleansing. Blackheads are able to flourish as there is no acid mantle to protect the skin from bacteria. The skin becomes so inflamed, that it starts to thicken to protect itself. Think the bottom of your feet. When you are a baby they are soft and smooth, or look at someone’s feet who always wears shoes and lives in a cold climate – soft white and smooth. Then look at someone’s feet who always walks barefoot, who does not moisturise  or exfoliate their feet. The skin has become thickened and hardened to protect itself.

The skin does this to your face as well.

I often find myself face to face with clients who have used chemical peels and or microdermabrasion to smooth out their skins. They clear up their acne and control the oil, but their faces are like the soles of their feet – thick and course. Actually they are worse than their feet as their faces are also red.

So how do you manage oily skin?

I understand in summer that washing your face with a foaming cleanser is a must, it just makes you feel so much fresher! So do this at night time, cleanse twice if you have been wearing makeup and if you work in the city. But straight away afterwards apply a oil free moisturiser, or a facial gel. Around the eyes apply a eye cream or gel as this area will become extra dry when using a foaming cleanser.

Avoid all cleansers which contain glycolic acid, as this will really strip the skin. If you suffer from congestion (clogged skin) blackheads or acne, salicylic acid in your cleanser will really help clear your skin up. If your skin is clear (just a few small pimples or blocked pores) avoid any cleansers designed for problem skins as you actually do not have one. If you start using products for problem skins when you just have a spot or two, you will end up giving yourself a problem skin as you will strip your acid mantle (skin’s ozone) allowing bacteria in. Just stick to a gentle foaming cleanser or a hydrating foaming cleanser.

Unless you wake up with your face dripping in oil, I recommend you massage your skin with clean hands under the running water of the shower, or wash your face with a clean face cloth over the sink. Then wipe your face with toner to remove any left over oil and sweat. Do not spray the toner on your face, wipe your whole face with a cotton pad sprayed with toner – this way it will wipe all unwanted oils off.

Then apply a hydrating gel or moisturiser. If you want to use a product that contains sunscreen, only use one that contains zinc oxide. It is natural, non toxic, and is what is known as a physical block out. This means it a) blocks the sun from your face by reflecting it physically, and b) means it is not penetrating your skin and irritating it. Also zinc oxide is good for soaking up unwanted oils and healthy for the skin.

Mineral makeup powder is a better way to protect the skin from the sun as it contains natural sunscreens and if it is a good one, it will also hydrate the skin as well as soaking up unwanted oils.

Basically it all comes down to hydration. When the skin is well hydrated, it is protected, and the oil ducts will not produce more oil than necessary. Some people have dry skin as they have lazy oil ducts, others have oily skin. Those of you with oily skin will be the envy of your dry skin friends as you age, as your oil will keep your skin younger and smoother for longer.

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