Oil Up: The Application of Natural Oils For Skin Care
Yuck! Who wants to put OIL on their face?!
The idea of it sounds completely counterintuitive and goes against the advice of most of the reading you've done on proper skin care. If your face is already oily as it is, adding more gunk to the mixture is not an idea that you relish. That's a thing that hippies do.
But wait. Read on with an open mind. I'm a big skeptic when it comes to things like this, so I'll tell you about my experience with oils.
I was one of those poo-pooers just a couple of years ago. I suffered from adult acne and sensitive skin. I decided to try to go natural one day and dove into researching recipes for face washes and moisturizers that included essential oils catered to my skin's specific needs. I was both excited and trepidatious about what the results would be. All of the recipes that I was finding included adding oils. Not just tea tree oil for its antibacterial properties, but tablespoons of jojoba oil or sweet almond oil (depending on skin type). I opted for jojoba oil for my face because they said it was good for oily skin and those prone to acne. I decided on the almond oil for my body wash, because I tend to be dry everywhere else. Little did I know, that decision would keep my skin happy and healthy for the past three years.
Oils for Oily Skin?!
Your pores produce sebum, an oil designed to help to protect your skin from dehydrating, and provide a protective barrier against external toxins. Sometimes your sebaceous glands go into overdrive and produce too much, leading to that shiny complexion that tends to clog pores and cause acne.
There are multiple things that can contribute to that. Genetics and hormones play a role. A hot, humid environment stimulates sebum production. Washing your face with too much gusto can strip your skin of too much moisture, causing the glands to kick in and try to make up for it. Other external factors can kick in, too, like a poor diet, medications, and poor choices in skin care and cosmetic products.
I chose to use jojoba oil for my oily, acne-prone skin because it helps to regulate your oil production by tricking your skin into believing that it already produced enough. This oil is really similar to your natural sebum, so it helps to control and re-balance your oil production. According to healthline, it has a ton of beneficial properties, including anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, antiaging, wound-healing, and moisturizing.
My skin cleanser recipe contains 5 teaspoons of jojoba oil in a 4 ounce bottle of cleanser, along with other essential oils (tea tree, lemon, lavender, frankincense, and peppermint) chosen to help cleanse and balance my skin. Get this: My moisturizer is simply straight-up jojoba oil with essential oils (lavender, frankincense, and peppermint) added to it. Yes, I moisturize with nothing but oil! The results were almost unbelievable! My historically oily skin became balanced (like, NOT oily), and the acne cleared up. I get a single, random pimple or blackhead here and there, but they're few and far between.
I'm a believer!
By the way, jojoba oil is great for all skin types. If you think you're not ambitious enough to mix your own recipe, look for quality, scientifically-driven products that incorporate ingredients proven to be effective. Try Calysta Labs Calming Anti-Acne Serum. It uses a blend of retinoids and natural antioxidants, as well as healing ingredients. Some highlighted oils include coconut oil, jojoba oil, and neem oil.
We'll look at some other top oils for beneficial skin care.
Coconut Oil In Skincare
You could go on all day reading about the benefits of coconut oil. It's almost a miracle oil. It's great for hydrating everywhere you need moisture. According to David Colbert, M.D., a dermatologist who has studied the skin benefits of oils, "Coconut oil is packed with nourishing fatty acids, which help to keep skin cells moist and strong by minimizing water loss." It's naturally antibacterial and antifungal, and works as a fabulous makeup remover!
Neem Seed Oil
Neem oil contains many ingredients that are extremely beneficial to skin. These include fatty acids, limonoids, vitamin E, Triglycerides, antioxidants, and calcium. It can act as a moisturizer. That, coupled with its anti-inflammatory properties, can help conditions like eczema and psoriasis, which are exacerbated by dryness. It's able to quickly and effectively penetrate the outer skin layers. The powerful antioxidants protect the skin from environmental damage.
Rosemary extract is a potent natural antioxidant for combating skin aging, with an amazing ability to scavenge free radicals and stimulate cell renewal. It has the ability to kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses on the skin, making it ideal for use on problem skin affected by dermatitis, acne, eczema, or psoriasis. It's also known to promote healing and improve skin circulation.
Olive oil is rich in many vitamins, including those especially beneficial to skin: A,D, E, and K. That means it has great antioxidant properties, able to prevent or reverse damage from ultraviolet radiation. While it's known to moisturize and hydrate skin, it also has antibacterial properties, making it useful for decreasing acne symptoms. Use it as a moisturizer after washing, especially after you've been out in the sun.
Lavender oil is one of the few aromatherapy oils that can be used undiluted on the skin. It is great for delicate and sensitive skin. It's been shown to help speed skin cell replacement and has antiseptic qualities. In their book "Milady's Skin Care and Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary," Natalia Michalun and M. Varinia Michalun note that oily and acneic skin benefit from lavender-oil infused products because they inhibit bacteria. It is also very useful for its antioxidant properties to help prevent and reverse oxidative stress.