Oils have always got a bad rap when it comes to acne. Whether it is in food or oils in skin care for acne. If you have acne you are always advised to look for products that are oil free. Oil free moisturisers and oil free face washes have always been held in high esteem by acne sufferers. Since it is assumed that acne is caused by excess oil, oil has never been a big part of any skin care routine meant for acne prone skin.
In this post however I’m going to show you how you can use oils in skin care even when you have acne. I’m also going to tell you why it is bad to banish all oil from your skin.
Why is it that people with acne are often asked to stay away from using oil on their faces? This is because it is generally assumed that acne is caused by excess oil. This is not really true. There are people who have oily skin who do not have acne. There are also people with dry skin who have severe acne. Acne is caused by a buildup of sebum i.e oil in the pore, when the pore is blocked by dead skin. This sebum is secreted by the sebaceous glands in the skin. It is nothing to do with any oil or anything that is applied on the surface of the skin.
The first instinct when you have acne will be to scrub your skin constantly so that you can remove the oil. However if your skin looks oily, that oil on your skin that you see, can’t do you any harm. In fact it protects your skin. The oil that comes on the surface on your skin has already passed through your pores. The only time it can cause acne is when it is in the pores. Once on the surface it is TOTALLY HARMLESS.
Why You Should Not Try To Dry Out Your Skin
Drying out your skin in order to get rid of acne, can be one of the most damaging things you do to your skin. Now this goes against what you’re trying to do and that is clear your skin of acne so that it looks good. There are lots of ways to dry out your skin all of which are equally bad.
- Washing with harsh face washes meant for acne
- Using benzoyl peroxide
- Using salicylic acid
- Washing your face more than once or twice a day with soap
Sometimes these methods are sadly recommended to us by dermatologists. I used them too. In fact I used them till my face got red and sore. Quite the opposite result from what they all promised.
My journey with using oil in my skin care started with OCM or Oil Cleansing Method. It was when I found that my face wash was leaving my face dry, itchy and red. It was not helping my acne at all. I figured out I would try OCM one day and if it created problems I would stop. After a week of no problems, I continued to do this on a regular basis and actually ditched my regular face wash. Today it has been 3 years of no face wash and my skin has never looked better. I even started using coconut oil as a moisturiser and I still have no breakouts that have been caused by it.
What Oils to Use
There are 2 types of oils to consider. One is an essential oil and the other is a carrier oil. Essential oils are very strong and should never be applied directly on the skin. They should always be mixed with a carrier oil.
Best essential oils for skin care and for acne prone skin are tea tree and lavender. Carrier oils are oils like olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba, rose hip oil, avocado oil, sweet almond oil, evening primrose oil and castor oil. All these can be used directly on your skin without a problem.
You can also check out the best oils for acne prone skin here.
Why You Should Try Using Oils in Skin Care
Oils are very versatile and can be used as moisturisers, cleansers and makeup removers. You can use the same oil if you want to, for all 3 things. That one bottle of oil can double up as a lot of things. Oils make for great moisturisers. In winter if your favourite moisturiser does not seem to do anything for you, oil can make a great substitute. It will actually soothe dry and itchy patches.
Oils also make for great deep cleansers for your skin and this is a great thing if you have acne prone skin or clogged pores. Oil can actually remove the sebum plugs that block your pores. Essential oils like tea tree oil can help heal acne while rose hip oil can help with scars.
Do Not Try This if
- You have active acne that are broken or inflamed
- You have cuts or open wounds on your face
How You Can Use It
Using oils in skin care for the first time can be scary. More so if you have acne and have always been told to go oil free. Here are some tips to help you incorporate oil into your skin care. When you start out, start with carrier oils like olive, avocado or coconut oil. Initially use it only in the evening. If you live in a hot, humid climate it is better that you only use oil in the evenings.
- Start out by using a drop of oil in your face mask. Rose hip oil will do wonders for scars while coconut or avocado will soothe red inflamed acne.
- If you are using a face wash mix a drop of oil with it.
- To use as a moisturiser mix a drop of oil with plain water or rose water and apply to damp skin.
- Add a drop to your preferred moisturiser.
- Add 2-3 drops of oil to a coin sized amount in your body lotion.
- To remove makeup use a cotton ball soaked in oil and then use your normal face wash
Do this once in 4-5 days so you give your skin time to get used to it and see if you have any adverse reactions. Basically this time period gives you time to observe how your skin is reacting to the oil.
Once you are fine with this you can move on to Oil Cleansing Method and incorporate oil in your daily skin care. You can even make your own oil blends with essential oils that are suitable for your skin type and its problems.