Article by Ranae Pritchard
Do you have oily skin care issues? Let me share with you a little secret: everyone, at some point, deals with oily skin. Why is this important to you? Because knowing that secret will save you money and guide you to solutions that give better results than standard oily skincare products. This article reveals how to use that secret to your skin’s advantage.
Curse You, Hormone Scum!
The first thing you need to understand to apply that secret is how you got oily skin in the first place. Under the surface of your skin are microscopic sebaceous glands responsible for secreting fats and dead cells onto the surface. These secretions are actually good for your skin in the right amounts. They protect your skin from dehydration and other environmental irritants.
In order for your glands to produce those essential oils (called sebum) your brain sends a message via a specific hormone (DHT). The DHT hormone delivers the production order, and Voila! Healthy, balanced skin.
Sadly, sometimes your body makes too many hormone messengers. The glands over-deliver and you’re left with an oily sheen, rather than a healthy shine.
You can lay the blame of these workaholic DHT hormones at the feet of…
* your parents (genetics) * your age (puberty) * your gender (pregnancy, menstruation and the birth control pill all cause fluctuating hormones) * and your location (hot, humid climates encourage more DHT messages for increased secretions)
The excessive skin oil provides a smorgasbord for the hungry bacteria living on your face. They start a party, and you’re left to clean up the leftover splotches and zits. That’s how oily skin leads to embarrassing breakouts (at any age) and unattractive blotches.
So what can you do about it? Are you doomed to hide behind your hair? Are you cursed to powder your face every 10 minutes?
A Balancing Act
Developing an oily skin care regimen that works is really simple, once you understand how to walk the tight-rope of “too much” and “not enough.” As mentioned above, you need oils on your face. Using harsh products will strip your skin and encourage flakiness. Your body will attempt to counter-balance, (called “reactive seborrhoea”) by over-producing oil the next day. And isn’t that counterproductive to our oily skin care goal?
Oily skincare products that make your skin feel taut and dehydration are also working against you. The upper layers of your skin will shrink. This restricts the natural oil flow through your pores, which creates blockages (aka blackheads) and breakouts. You are looking for the perfect ying-yang balance. You need to find an oily skin care plan that effectively dissolves the excess sebum (oils) on your skin, kills the bacteria lurking on the surface, and then replaces the perfect amount of natural oils to leave your skin hydrated, healthy, and happy.
A Three-Pronged Attack
1. Wash Well…But Not Too Well
I know this sounds odd, but it is possible for a person dealing with oily skin care issues to wash too much. Too much washing will stimulate your skin to produce more oil. Your skin needs oil, remember? If you continually take it away, your body will naturally regulate itself to produce more. Plan on washing your face 2-3 times a day, max.
Not cold, not lukewarm…hot is just right. Hot water dissolves skin oil better than lukewarm or cold. Don’t give yourself burns (that’s not good oily skin care either!), but a nice warm wash will give you a great oh-so-fresh feeling.
2. Die Bacteria, Die!
Remember that bacteria that lurks on the surface of your skin and eagerly awaits to feed on the oils on your skin? Kill it with a good antibacterial cleanser. Specifically, use a cleanser with a natural form of Vitamin E (known as Alpha-tocopherol).
Choose a cleanser that uses only natural ingredients (plant oils, extracts, etc.). Don’t choose a cleanser with alcohol, that will only dry out your skin and start the “reactive seborrhoea” process mentioned above.
3. Soothe Troubled Skin
Finally, soothe your trouble skin with a gentle moisturizer. Many people will tell you to choose oil-free moisturizers. Really, you should choose synthetic oil-free moisturizers. Remember, you just washed away all your natural oils. You’ll need to replace them with other natural oils, to prevent your DHT hormones over-stimulating your oil glands again.
So, choose products with natural Grapeseed or Avocado oils. Both ingredients have powerful antioxidants and provide a healthy dose of plant-based Vitamin E.
A Secret Revealed…and a Penny Saved
Remember the secret I told you at the beginning of this article? You know, everyone, at some point, deals with oily skin. It’s time to look behind the curtain of “Oily Skincare Products”, and reveal…a big, FAT…nothing. That’s right. Spending additional money to purchase those “designed for those with oily skin” products is a complete waste of your hard-earned money.
How do I know this? Simple reasoning reveals the answer.
We’ve already determined that oily skin is a result of hormonal changes. If this so, than the slightest change in DHT hormone will result in excess oils being secreted. So dry skin in the winter is oily in the summer, or dry skin on Tuesday is oily on Thursday, or dry skin at age 14 is oily at age 40.
This means that unless your skincare product isn’t balanced, your skin (and your complexion) won’t be either. You need to find a natural product that’s tough enough to deal with your skin’s occasional temper-tantrums (oily, flaky, breakouts, etc.), but gentle enough to maintain the delicate oil-ratio your skin requires.
If you have oily skin care issues, your task will be to find a product that is good food, not just good chemicals. A balanced product (for oily and dry times) will give you equally balanced (and gorgeous) skin. I’ve struggled with oily skin in the past. To peek over my virtual shoulder and see what worked for me, visit my website hyperlinked below.
About the Author
Ranae Pritchard is passionate about balancing “effectiveness” and “good for you” in skin care products. She believes beauty is more than just skin deep. What you put on your skin is just as important as what you put in your mouth.
Learn more about how to choose good-for-you (and effective) skin care products at her website, http://www.naturally-perfect-skin.com