In the winter, I see many more cases of dry skin. Outside, the air is cold and dry. Indoors, the air is heated, making it dry as well. The dryness in the air pulls moisture from anywhere it can, even if that means your skin. This results in a condition called Trans-epidermal water loss. Basically, it means dehydration, or a loss of moisture (water) in the skin. When your skin doesn't retain adequate moisture, the surface is unprotected and becomes easily irritated, itchy, more prone to acne, dermatitis and exacerbation of rosacea. The natural enzymes in the skin, whose job is to self-exfoliate, don't function well without moisture. When the skin cells don't exfoliate well by themselves, it causes dead skin buildup (which blocks your pores and causes irritation), flakiness and dullness.
Many of my clients are surprised when I advise them to use a facial oil on their skin, especially for trans-epidermal water loss in winter. The common wisdom is such that oil is the problem for all that ails you when it comes to skin. Common concerns include -
- Why should I use an oil? Isn't moisturizer enough?
- Will it clog my pores causing acne?
- Will it look greasy?
- Which kind should I use?
Facial oil vs. facial moisturizer
All moisturizers are a blend of water and oil. The ratio of water to oil determines the richness of the cream - more oil means richer cream, more water means a lighter cream or lotion. Oils applied over damp skin are able to trap water within the skin, allowing skin to remain hydrated more intensely and often for longer periods of time. They are a great carrier for vitamins and herbal nutrients that feed the skin, support collagen growth, soothe redness, and fight acne. Oils vary in weight and texture; some feel lighter than others.
Facial oils and acne
Did you know that acne can often be helped by oil? It seems counter-intuitive to many of my facial clients, but oil is of great benefit to help those with acne. Skin with an inadequately protected barrier is more prone to acne. Oily skinned women can have clear skin; dry skinned women can have raging acne. There are some oils that are particularly helpful to acne, such as tea tree oil (as effective as benzoyl peroxide), neem oil (anti-inflammatory) and tomato seed oil (lycopene in tomato seed is a nutrient that helps control acne). There are some oils that may cause clogging because of the size of their molecules, a prime example being coconut oil. Coconut oil is a lovely antibacterial oil, but not always helpful for those with acne because the larger molecules tend to block pores. Jojoba, which is technically not an oil at all (its a fatty ester), is recognized by your skin as sebum, and is readily accepted, blending well into your skin.
How to Use an Oil
An oil is not a replacement for a condition-specific moisturizer and should be used as part of a skin care regimen that is designed to address your specific skin care concerns. Using only oil can result in an exacerbation of skin problems because the condition you're trying to address is usually multi-dimensional. Treating only with oil is usually an incomplete solution. To prevent or counteract dryness/dehydration, consider adding a drop or 2 of an oil that is the weight and texture you like into your moisturizer. Mix the oil thoroughly into the moisturizer dollop (don't just add it to the moisturizer jar), then apply to skin, massaging in well.
Which oil is right for you? Contact or visit me so we can discuss your needs and preferences. Call 917-596-9535 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
calm: massage & skincare for women
Tips for Calm Living
Health and beauty through massage and organic skincare