Why Your Oily Skin Needs Moisture Too
Your skin is your largest organ and is made of layers, three to be exact: the epidermis, the dermis and the subcutaneous. The interactions between these layers are complex, and contribute to the body's regulation of its immune system. The skin also serves to maintain moisture in, move waste out, and protect you from the elements. Like any other part of the body, skin needs hydration to be healthy and to function well. Skin loses moisture through transepidermal water loss, or TEWL. This is most significant in inclement weather, dry climates, times of stress, or when exposed to chemicals or pollutants.
TEWL is impacted by both the body's health and the external environment. As the body loses moisture, skin cells dehydrate and the skin dries out and cracks, which creates even more moisture loss. When skin is not well hydrated it creates more oil, or sebum, to try to increase hydration, but this can block the pores and cause acne. Moisturizing improves hydration by trapping water in the epidermis before it can evaporate, which can moderate sebum production in your oily skin.
How Moisturizers Work
Moisturizers slow the skin's evaporation of water and add water into the dehydrated skin cells, thus increasing overall hydration. There are three types of moisturizers that function in different ways. Occlusives stay on top of the skin, coating it and trapping water in; emollients get beneath the skin's surface and fill in cracks that form in your skin; and humectants attract moisture and promote the development of more natural protection processes. The best time to apply moisturizer is when your skin is damp, such as after showering or washing your face, because it encourages that water to absorb into the skin. All moisturizers have water and some type of greasy, waxy, or oily substance that makes it stick to the skin and trap the water so that it does not evaporate. As a secondary benefit these beauty products provide an additional layer that can assist the skin in its natural functions of protecting the body from pollutants and UV radiation. Many of these skin-care products are petroleum based, like vaseline which is an excellent occlusive. Some are more holistic and made with natural ingredients that are specifically put together by dermatologists and chemists for use in a beauty routine. Most have additional features that work to promote other aspects of skin-care, such as UV blockers or anti-aging compounds. It can become overwhelming to try to determine the best moisturizer for you because there are abundant options, including products specifically formulated for oily skin, unless you know how to sort through the options.
Choose Healthy Skin with the Right Moisturizer
Petroleum jelly aside, which is not recommended for oily skin, most moisturizers are in cream, gel, lotion, oil, or ointment form. Any moisturizer should feel good when applied to the skin, not sting or cause irritation, inflammation, or dryness. Dyes, fragrances, and preservatives will often cause these reactions. Oily skin will work best with oil-free moisturizers that are light-weight and feel non-greasy to the touch.
Typical ingredients that you will see in skin-care products made for oily skin can be intimidating if you are not familiar with them. Glycolic acid, which doubles as an anti-wrinkle agent, is also found in anti-aging peels. Hyaluronic acid, which is great for hydration, and is very light-weight, is promoted by many beauty magazines and dermatologists as a skin-care must have for oily skin. Niacinamide, otherwise known as B3, is frequently promoted as a supplement for metabolic health. Topically applied, it absorbs sebum and may help to promote the growth of collagen and improve other epidermal functions. Retinol is derived from vitamin A and is most well known for fighting wrinkles and age spots. Salicylic Acid, included in many face washes, is effective at cleaning oil out of the pores. Each of these can be found on the labels of many skin care products, the best of which balance cutting edge science with plant-based natural and organic extracts such as aloe vera and jojoba.
Hydrated Skin Is Beautiful Skin
While oily skin stays more hydrated than many skin types, and on its own can help to hide signs of age longer; it can lose its luster when exposed to the elements or stress. The wrong moisturizer can exacerbate this and cause blemishes to form. The right moisturizer, on the other hand can manage that oil and make you glow.
Cutting through the noise and finding the right moisturizer for your oily skin does not have to be difficult. Finding a product that will give you multiple benefits and translate into clearer, softer, firmer, and more luminous skin than you would otherwise have is the goal. Look for skin-care that is created by a dermatologist and is non-comedogenic (will not block pores). The best ingredient combinations are potent and effective, allowing you to have your most beautiful skin.