Oily Skin: If You've Got It, Love it!

We’ve all asked ourselves which kind of skin we have- Am I dry or oily? Combo or just normal? What is “normal” anyway? Most of us fall in the “combo” category, and it’s important to know that each type is indeed normal! We all have a unique level of sebum (natural oil) production, as well as size & activity level of the pore. These differences make us unique from our neighbors and are the primary reason why working with a skin expert in a one-on-one situation yields the best possible results. As a skincare practitioner and long-time acne sufferer, I find myself discussing “oily” skin fairly often, and more often than not, the client is frustrated with this particular trait. Oil can distort makeup, create shine, clog pores, and create an overall icky feeling. While those may all be totally true, there is a HUGE upside to having some slick in your skin!

First thigs first: Protection from the sun. The first line of defense from the elements (sun, wind, cold, heat) is something called the “Lipid Barrier”. Lipid is a synonym for liquid fatty substance (yum). This layer of natural skin oil is what stops the environment from sucking all of our moisture out of us via a process called “TEWL” or Trans-Epidermal Water Loss. Those of us with a bit more oil experience fewer rashes, burns, wrinkles, and UV-induced skin damage because we had a bit more natural protection. This cumulative extra protection translates to much healthier, well-preserved skin in the later years. If you have a grandparent or someone who is over 60 but seems to have no wrinkles, it’s a guarantee they had oily skin back in their hay day.

But what about the increase in breakouts from having oily skin? It’s true that oil can almost always lead to acne or create a more acne-prone environment- that is, until you zero in on the perfect regimen for your unique skin. Using the right type of exfoliator for your type of skin and lifestyle will magically control your acne without stripping your natural moisture level- this is the sweet spot! The ideal skin regimen will vary, but the result will be shine control, balanced skin moisture, reduction in clogged pores, and smoother, radiant skin. Some folks just need a scrub a few times a week, others every day. Some of us need a scrub and an exfoliating serum, some just a serum and a salicylic toner (for example). Play around with your regimen until you achieve balance, and don’t be afraid a little glow!

Bottom line: Proper exfoliation is the name of the game! Don’t curse your oily skin, just know that it’s got your back and will keep you looking younger & radiant in the long run!

You have better things to do than battle breakouts, so let’s get started.