Updated: Dec 9, 2019
PROBLEM: Your face looks like you’ve just stepped out of a Swedish sauna…during the depths of midwinter.
SOLUTION: Treat with oil!
If your sebaceous glands are over-producing oil, it’s because your skin is being stripped of its acid mantle.
The acid mantle is an acidic (pH 4.0-5.5) layer of sweat and oil that protects our skin from infection and drying out. When this is stripped due to the use of harsh alkaline (above pH 7.0) cosmetic products or over-exposure to UV rays, and other toxins, the acid mantle is undermined and leaves our skin open to harmful bacteria. It is these bacteria which cause spots and other infections. In a bid to protect itself, our skin produces more oil and thus the cycle of ‘bad’ skin begins.
In the Western world we are obsessed with cleanliness, which for the most part is a good thing, but believe it or not our skin does not like to be too clean!
Over-cleansing strips the skin of its natural oils and leaves the dermis open to infection. When we over-cleanse or exfoliate, we are essentially removing the protective acid mantle and inviting bacteria into the dermis. This action is counterproductive to our skin health and triggers a vicious cycle of stripping the skin of its natural protective oils, resulting in our skin fighting to protect itself by producing more oil. We then encounter recurring skin problems that are exacerbated by harsh chemicals in commercial skincare products advertised to treat the condition we are trying to fight.
The solution to this problem is to stop over-cleansing! We only need to cleanse our skin ONCE a day - in the evening - to remove the grime of the day without disturbing the acid mantle. This is practically unheard of in Western culture, as most of us feel the need to cleanse our skin in the morning, as well as in the evening. Overnight our skin is in restorative mode, and the last thing it needs is to be attacked with hard water and chemical overload first thing in the morning.
Resist the urge to cleanse your face in the morning, and you will see the quality of your skin improve overnight. In the morning, I recommend waking your skin up with splashes of cold water, followed by a few drops of facial oil to keep your skin hydrated throughout the day. See how to apply here.
SUMMARY: Counterintuitive as it may seem, the best way to treat oily skin is with pure plant and seed oils. Don’t be scared of using oils; used correctly, oils are the best source of nourishment and natural protection for our skin.