THE SKIN GUIDE FOR OILY OR BREAKOUT PRONE SKIN
As always, the first thing to know is that everyone’s skin is different. The way our skin reacts is a result of a very large number of factors. These include things like our environment, hormones, diet, water intake, mineral & vitamin intake, environmental exposures, humidity (or lack thereof!), stress, and so much more.
Today we are diving into the realm of oily or breakout prone skin. The main takeaway we want to give you in this article is how to be able to adjust your skin ritual according to the signs our skin give us.
What is oily skin?
Oily skin is an overproduction of sebum, an oily substance our skin needs in order to function properly. Oily skin is most commonly caused from a damaged moisture barrier. The sebum your skin is sending to the surface contains minerals and vitamins that are attempting to repair the moisture barrier.
When oil and bacteria or dead skin combine together, we get our least favorite breakouts.
Oily skin can be caused by a number of factors, and each in turn have their own forms of handlings.
- Damaged Moisture Barrier: Oily skin is most common from a damaged moisture barrier. The sebum your skin is sending to the surface contains minerals and vitamins that are attempting to repair the moisture barrier.
- Over Stripping of your skin's natural sebum oils. Using an entirely oil free, or over stripping skin care routine can cause your skin to overcompensate in sebum production. It’s important to avoid products that contain SLS, or stripping ingredients. If you have zero oils in your skincare routine, consider adding a lightweight facial oil into your nighttime skincare routine.
- Hormonal Changes. Not only during our cycles and puberty, but our bodies continue to undergo major hormonal changes throughout the entirety of our lives. As you go through life, you may find your skin is now producing fluctuating sebum amounts.
- Poor Diet. Sad but true. Dairy, fried foods, salt, alcohol and sugar can be serious skin despair culprits!
- Under Moisturizing. Oily skin is most common from a damaged moisture barrier. The sebum your skin is sending to the surface contains minerals and vitamins that are attempting to repair the moisture barrier. And so it goes, that by having too little moisture in your routine, your skin will continue to over compensate in order to continue its repair.
- Genetics: If your parents have oily skin and you are wondering why you have oily skin, it could be found in your genetics! If that’s the case, you may also want to consider the benefit to oily skin- anti aging! Additionally, you can balance your skin with the foods you eat and your skin ritual to control the oil as you wish.
- Environment: Living in a humid, warm climate or with dust and pollution can clog your pores and lead to breakouts. Making sure you use products with environmental skin protectors that fight free radicals will be helpful! Look for antioxidant rich formulas.
- Pore clogging ingredients: ingredients that clog our pores can cause the skin to try and flush them out with oil production that leads to breakouts. It's important to use only noncomedogenic ingredients (like our Bedouin Elixir Facial Oil) that should never cause your pores to clog. We recommend cross checking all of your skincare cabinets with cosdna.com where you can look up ingredients and skincare products.
- Use a gentle cleanser that doesn’t over strip your skin. Make sure to avoid ingredients that are over stripping to your moisture barrier, like alcohol, synthetic fragrances and SLS.
- Do a sweep for any ingredients in your skincare that is comedogenic (pore clogging). When your skin’s oils mix with dead skin cells, they create bacteria and this can lead to breakouts and acne. The website cosdna.com is a brilliant resource for searching products and ingredients for comedogenic ingredients.
- Do gentle exfoliation 1-2 times per week. Use a gentle enzyme or acid based exfoliant. It’s important not to use any physical exfoliants (like scrubs) as these can get stuck in your pores. People with oily skin tend to also have enlarged pores, so we love a good acid/enzyme based exfoliant!
- Use an astringent toner with Salicylic Acid. This tackles acne which is good to keep in your routine as a preventative measure, even if you don’t have breakouts and just oily skin.
- Try RetinA or Azelaic Acid. Azelaic acid is a skin smoother that clarifies uneven skin whilst targeting stubborn sebum, and RetinA (aka Tretinoin) is the active form of Retinol (vitamin A). RetinA is 9x more bioavailable than retinol, however you usually need a prescription for it from your derm. RetinA or Retinol is known for speeding up cell turnover, which is the most magical anti-aging ingredient. It does also tend to dry out excess oil, so you might like to give it a try!
- Consider cleansing twice a day. When sebum mixes with dead skin cells and dirt from the day, it creates bacteria which can lead to breakouts and acne. Using a gentle cleanser that doesn’t over strip your skin’s moisture barrier can work wonders in giving your complexion the bacterial reset it might need.
- Moisturize: Going without moisturizer is not an option for oily skin. Moisturizing with a lightweight formula is vital to ensuring your skin's moisture barrier is kept intact, and repair can be made.
- Use a balancing, lightweight facial oil: Using the Bedouin Elixir Facial Oil at night can work wonders for Skin Barrier Repair. Over production of sebum is caused by the skin's natural moisture barrier being damaged, and thus requiring extra oils to provide vital vitamins and minerals for skin repair. It is a skincare myth that oily skin should avoid oil!
- Gentle Cleanser (AM & PM)
- Alcohol Free Toner / Beauty Essence Water, with Salicylic Acid (AM & PM)
- Vitamin C / Antioxidant Rich Serum (AM)
- Retinol/Retin-A/Azelaic Acid/ treatment Serum (PM)
- Moisturizer (AM & PM)
- The Bedouin Elixir Facial Oil (PM)
- Sunscreen (AM & reapply as needed throughout the day)
- Eye Cream (AM & PM)
Twice a week, do gentle exfoliation, using enzyme or acid based exfoliants. It’s important to avoid mechanical exfoliation (like scrubs) on oily skin as they can lead to residues getting stuck in your pores leading to further breakouts.
Products with Hyaluronic Acid are great as they leave minimal emollient residue. Serums that contain AHA can be helpful for oily or acne prone skin.
Try drinking Spearmint Tea. It has been known as a miracle worker for aiding to clear acne because of its potential to exert anti-androgen effects on the body. The anti oxidants in spearmint tea kill bacteria and minimize inflammation associated with acne. In a 2015 study by the American Academy of Dermatology, two cups of organic spearmint tea ingested daily reduced inflammatory acne lesions by 25% after one month and by 51% after three months.
A note on Sunscreen:
There are two types of sunscreen (generally speaking). Physical (also called mineral or natural) and chemical sunscreens. Chemical sunscreens work by encapsulating light rays and still absorbing them into our skin, whilst physical sunscreens work by “bouncing” the rays off our skin all together. With chemical sunscreens, the rays will still heat your skin up, which can still trigger melanin production (tanning) and dark spots/aging spots. Most mineral/physical sunscreens are made with a base of Titanium Oxide and Zinc Oxide. These are usually non-comedogenic with the added benefit that these minerals have anti-acne properties overall. So we absolutely recommend physical sunscreens for your skin type. A minimum of SPF 32 is recommended and to be applied 15-30 minutes before going outside, plus to be reapplied every 80 minutes.
We hope you found this useful!
With love and radiance,