Face Oils! Why I'm Ditching My Moisturiser.
A few years ago, if you had told me to use a face oil, I’d say “Are you serious? I’ve already got oily skin and I don’t need extra pimples!”
Well, that soon changed after some research. Noticing a craze for face oils, and face oil serums I entered the world of oils in doubt and came out the other end formulating something that’s absolutely fabulous. In fact, I’ve ditched my moisturiser because my skin feels amazing and I don’t need anything else.
So how does it work?Let’s delve into the skin science and make sense of it all.
The skin is divided into three layers:
- Epidermis: This is the layer that protects us from the outside world. It keeps out bacteria and viruses from entering our bodies and produces melanin to give us our skin colour.
- Dermis: This layer is where all the exciting stuff happens. Here, the nerves, sweat glands, sebaceous glands and hair follicles do their work and determine the condition of our skin.
- Fat Layer: This layer is just fat which regulates our temperature and acts as protective padding. Might not be much going on here but its purpose is very important.
In the dermis, the second layer of skin, the sebaceous glands produce sebum. Sebum is skin oil with important components such as essential fatty acids, triglycerides, wax, and cholesterol. The sebum functions as a lipid (fat) barrier that keeps the skin soft, retains moisture and makes our skin appear firm and plump. However, if the amount of sebum is reduced, we begin to form wrinkles.
Think of fresh grapes.
Grape skin is firm, plump and packed with juice. In other words, it’s holding in moisture. That’s what healthy young skin is like and the way we would like to keep it. However, if we leave grapes out, they dry up and we get raisins which are wrinkly. The moisture has been lost and it is no longer firm and plump. In the same way, when we age, we produce less sebum that causes moisture loss and eventually, fine wrinkles appear.
So, here’s where face oils come in. They act similar to sebum as they are both lipids (fats). Since their molecular structures are the same, oils and sebum are naturally attracted to each other. They work together in harmony to make up for the lack of sebum produced in the dermis. So you get to keep that beautiful lipid barrier that keeps skin looking good!
I moisturise anyway!
If you’re thinking “hang on a minute! I use a daily moisturiser which basically does what you're saying, doesn’t it?” Kind of true, but face oils perform a lot better. Plus, you don’t have to ditch your moisturiser like me. Using face oil will actually lock in moisture from your moisturiser and enhance its properties. Moisturisers don’t work well by themselves because they don’t contain much oil. The same goes for water-based serums. Water-based ingredients will not attach themselves to sebum. They cannot adequately protect the skin from moisture loss essential for plumped up smooth skin. Oils, on the other hand, are lipophilic, meaning they attract and attach themselves to sebum already present on the skin to form an effective lipid barrier. Since the oils become infused with sebum, the antioxidants and other active agents in the oils are able to penetrate deep enough into the skin to provide optimum results.
What are the antioxidants in oils for?
When the skin loses moisture, due to the reduction of sebum, oxidation occurs. Oxidation is responsible for tissue decay as it is metabolised during oxidation. Some of the signs of oxidation are skin pigmentation, sun damage, age spots and tissue laxity. This can be prevented by using antioxidants. Their function is to remove potentially damaging agents and neutralise the free radicals that cause damage during oxidation on the skin.
However, not all oils are equal.
Plant-based pure oils are a rich source of antioxidants that can target the skin directly. Oils that contain synthetic fillers or chemically processed plant oils tend to be cheaper and less effective. Plant oils have many different functions and are made up of different consistencies so an understanding of what they do helps you make good choices. Simply slapping on some cooking oil is certainly not a good idea!
What if I have oily skin?
Oily skin conditions such as acne are caused by dead skin and sebum forming clumps that block the hair follicles. This provides the perfect conditions for bacteria to grow. The skin will become infected with pimples or acne. Oily skin requires deep cleaning and regular exfoliating to remove the dead skin cells clumped on the skin causing the problem. However deep cleaning also strips the skin of sebum which causes a lot of moisture to escape. The sebaceous glands will become overactive in compensating for the loss of moisture and produce an excessive amount of sebum which only escalates the problems of oily skin. Face oils that include anti-inflammatory agents provide a lipid barrier to stop the loss of moisture immediately after cleansing. The sebaceous glands will naturally calm down, preventing an excess of sebum clumping with dead skin cells.
Initially, using a face oil may feel slightly greasy but over time the sebaceous gland will adjust the amount of sebum produced and the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents will work to clear the complexion and maintain healthy-looking skin.
An exquisite cocktail of oils is usually put together with a lot of thought and research. Once you find one for you, a few drops of high quality, nourishing face oil is skin bliss.
If you haven’t yet tried a face oil then don’t hold back. Go for it. Your skin deserves it!
At Crush N Mix we went all out for our first face oil and produced a fully fledged facial oil serum. Click the picture below to learn more.
Crush N Mix