Friday, 23 July 2010

Me and my Oily Skin

For as long as I can remember, I've always had what I referred to as "shiny" skin, which generally culminated around the obvious areas of my forehead, nose, cheeks and chin. When in my teens, I once had a sample of some "Blotting" sheets, but that was really as far as my combating ever went.

Unfortunately, as I've gotten further out of my teens, my skin never seemed to shake-off the "spotty skin" that I had always assumed only teenagers got (thanks to the lovely people in the media!!), but it's only been the past couple of years that I've begun to realise that it's most likely down to the fact that my skin is oily.

Why does Oily Skin cause break outs? Oily skin occurs when our body produces excess amounts of Sebum, due to an over-active sebaceous-gland. As a result, the extra sebum builds up on the surface and blocks pores, meaning that any dirt gets trapped and results in outbreaks of spots. It also causes a build-up of dead skin cells that further clog pores, and generally make skin look dull.

The excess sebum is thought to also be the cause of hair becoming greasy quickly, which is also a common cause of outbreaks across the forehead (especially on people who have a fringe/bangs) and around the hairline.

What can I do to combat Oily Skin? The most common "attack" on breakout is to wash your face lots and lots, but the problem with a lot of products that so many of us use for Spot Treatments (face washes, cleansers, toners etc) is that the majority of them are too harsh for oily skin, and a lot of them end up either drying our skin out, or just pumping copious amounts of oil into our already overly oily skin. Inevitably, neither of these are very good for our skin.

Instead, you want to opt for skin care products that are gentle on your skin, and/or that are oil-free. Your skin is, as you are aware,already oily, so packing it with more oil is not going to do you any favours. A lot people think that using an oil-free product means that you're stripping away your skins natural oils, but you're actually not, because although these products are oil-free, many of them are water-based which is very moisturising, but the moisture is controlled in such a way that your skin gets just the right balance.

So, for your skin care, look for the following things:
Skin Care Products to Try:
  • Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturiser (you can find a Review here)
  • Simple's Clear Skin Oil Balancing Range, including
  • Simple Oil-Free Eye Make Up Remover
  • L'Oreal Paris Perfect Clean Wash with Salicylic Acid for Oily Skin (the Scrublet gets right into your pores, whilst the Salicylic Acid balances the oil).
What Make Up should you use on Oily Skin? Not too long ago, I was under the misconception that I should be hiding my breakouts behind concealer and high coverage foundation, but without realising it, all I was doing was suffocating my skin. But our skin needs to breathe, so smothering it in heavy cosmetics is actually more likely to encourage more breakouts.

If you have your skin care regime whipped and in good shape, you should notice that your skin looks clearer, so opt for lighter foundations that allow your skin to breathe. Your best option, is Mineral Products, but why?

Mineral Products:

  1. Are 100% oil-free, making them non-comedogenic...say hello to unclogged pores!
  2. Generally contain absolutely no harsh chemicals that harm your skin
  3. Are so light, you'll feel like you're not wearing any, and your skin will be able to breathe!

However, despite a good skin care routine, and the use of lighter cosmetics, some women still experience breakouts, and this could easily be down to your brushes.

Every time that you wipe a brush across your face, to apply foundations, eye shadows, blushers etc., the brush is picking up sebum from your skin. The next time you use your brush, that sebum has manifested into bacteria, and in effect you are then transferring bacteria to your skin, which will cause spots.  This is why it is so incredibly important to wash your make up brushes properly.

  • Opt for gentle oil-free products
  • Look for products that are Non-Comedogenic
  • Look for products that contain Salicylic Acid
  • Try mineral-based products that don't contain oils, and are light
  • Clean your brushes regularly
  • Remember that there is no cure, but there is a way to control it
  • Love your skin. People with oily skin tend to wrinkle less!!

NB: Regulars will know that I am not a trained Beautician, all these things are what I have learnt from experience, and might not be suitable for everyone. We're all unique and what works for me, might not work for you. But, as a general rule of thumb, if you have oily skin, these ideas are definitely worth a try!

This post is just meant as guidance in a world full of misinformation.

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