Facial oils are a scary thing. Most of us are terrified of any skin care product that contains oils, especially if our skin is already oily. The fear is that the oils in our moisturiser, cleanser, toner, will make our faces even more greasy and cause extra breakouts or just a horrible build up. The "oil free" options make us think, "oh, well that must be good then, no extra oils to the face." Even just the thought of using a facial oil freaks us out. We're inclined to think that we need to use products that will get rid of the oils. No oils = no breakouts, right?
Actually, putting oils on oily skin is very good for it, better even. It's completely justified to think the extra oils may cause more breakouts - oils are what causes breakouts in the first place. But, in fact, the oils could be the key to reducing breakouts whilst also keeping the skin soft.
Oils on the skin are caused by overactive sebum glands underneath it. They are your personal moisturiser, they are always with you and ready to give you nourishment when they think you need it. The glands will produce oils when they feel like the skin is too dry. As a bonus, the oils on the skin act as a barrier to protect the skin from the harshness of the outside world. The dryer your skin is, the more oils it will produce, and thus our cycle continues. We use products that get rid of the oils and the skin reacts by producing more. Funny how that works.
Using any product that contains a natural oil, adds a little bit of it back into the skin moisturising and nourishing it. This act alone makes the glands think, "oh, cool, there's already some oils here so we don't need to produce any more." The need for oils is no longer there because you have already done that by adding your facial oil yourself. Your glands calm down, and you get to control your oil balance - now isn't that the goal. This also helps to control blemishes as well. Pimples happen due to excess oil build up - the oils held in your sebum glands. By adding the oils yourself, the sebum glands won't have to work so hard and, therefore, won't have that build up that causes nasty breakouts. Win-win.
But, what kind of oils are best?
The tricky part is finding a product that works best. If an oil is too thick, it can clog your pores, suffocate them, and force your sebum glands to work double time. Plus, it can feel gross to have a build up of grease that won't wash away.
In the case of facial oils, the best product is thin and a little more on the watery side. It contains multiple oils including vitamin E and fruit extracts (coconut is a great bonus) and can wash away easily, leaving little to no residue. Any oil that includes, "wash away with a damp washcloth after a few minutes" is a great one to go for rather than an oil that wants to stay on the skin. Although, you can simply wipe away the excess anyway.
Oils in moisturisers, toners and cleansers are a little different. The best ones don't leave any residue, but they usually only use a small amount of oil anyway. The oils in these products are just an extra boost of moisture to replenish the skin.
Of course, it depends on your skin as to whether or not you can use facial oils daily - it may backfire and cause more pimples if used too much. It's a good idea to start slowly when using oily products by using it every second day or once a week. If your skin is used to products that are oil-less, you'll need to slowly tame your skin to learn how to handle the new products so it doesn't freak out and cause flare-ups. By slowly introducing an oil, you get to control your own skin.
Photo by Sheree Grace