January 28, 2015

Oily Skin, Adult Acne & Hydration

"My oily skin has been really tight and dry lately. I'm using a thick moisturizer at night, but I just can't seem to get relief. I also think I'm breaking out more than usual because of the moisturizer, but I don't know what else to do. ...Am I using the wrong products?"
Simply put -- the key to this issue is hydration. Most moisturizers lubricate the skin more than they actually bind water to the skin's surface -- this is great for skin that doesn't produce enough oil, but it's actually terrible for skin that produces too much oil. 

Oily skin doesn't need more oil! What it actually needs is water.

The sad fact is that about 90% of all available facial, hand, and body lotions clog pores like crazy -- even many of the ones that say "oil-free." 

However, moisturizer is still very much needed (especially for oily skin!) because hydration is a very important part of clearing Adult Acne. 

Skin that is hydrated properly doesn't get backed up with solidified oil and dead skin cells so easily. In fact, that's exactly what a blackhead is -- a semi-solid mixture of oil and dead skin cells. Hydration allows the oil of your skin to flow out and lubricate the surface of your skin without the extra oils, fats, or waxes that lotion for dry skin would provide.

Pores that flow properly are clearer, healthier pores. So what makes a lotion ok for oily or acnegenic adult skin? The key to hydration is an amazing class of ingredients called humectants. The definition of a humectant and what it does is as follows:
"A humectant /hjuːˈmɛktənt/ is a hygroscopic substance used to keep things moist; it is the opposite of a desiccant. 
It is often a molecule with several hydrophilic groups, most often hydroxyl groups; however, amines and carboxyl groups, can be encountered as well (its affinity to form hydrogen bonds with molecules of water, is the crucial trait). 
A humectant attracts and retains the moisture in the air nearby via absorption, drawing the water vapor into and/or beneath the organism/object's surface."
So! What does that mean for us? In a nutshell, a humectant is a substance that attracts water to itself and then binds the water to your skin. This water can come from a water-based lotion or right from the air. 

A few examples of humectants used in skincare products include:
  • Glycerine
  • Propylene Glycol** 
  • Hyaluronic Acid 
  • Urea
  • Sodium PCA

(** No, propylene glycol does not cause cancer, but Butylene Glycol is more often used in my skincare products because it's more gentle.) 

Other than humectants in your skincare products,  we also have to be careful that your skin is not losing too much water into surrounding dry indoor air and freezing cold wind outside. The connection between this and your products is a topic for another post.  :)

Daniela's Handcrafted Papaya-Pumice Clay is a combination scrub-mask that exfoliates your skin in 3 ways... 

Mix with facial cleanser for a refreshing scrub OR! Mix with tea, yoghurt, or any lotion for an exfoliating mask.

Here's how it works:

1) Pumice powder removes a single layer of dead skin cells...
2) Papaya and Pineapple enzymes remove 2-3 more layers of dead skin...
3) Bentonite, Kaoline, and Rose clays further exfoliate, absorb oil, and purify pores.

If you'd like to review your skincare products or evaluate your skincare routine to make sure that it's accommodating to your new health journey, please email me or fill out the Eval by Email® Online Skincare Consultation form for issues with Adult Acne, Rosacea, or Skin Sensitivity. If you're in your 30s, 40s, and 50s and still suffer from adult acne, this service is the answer to your skincare concerns!