In Pt. 1 of this article we discussed how certain products, while often chosen with best intentions, could be stripping our skin and disrupting our acid mantle and barrier function, creating conditions for dry skin and other skin challenges such as acne. In the entire big picture aspect of our life, there can be a time and a place for ingredients that are more active or are designed to highly manipulate the pH levels of our skin. But on a daily basis, I believe it is in the best interest of our skin's health and longevity to choose products that nourish and support, rather than manipulate and strip. In addition to this, I often ask my clients to take a moment and connect with their inner knowing before grabbing a product meant to "fix" something. In that moment of connection, ask yourself, "Am I choosing this product out of fear or out of love?". In my book, love is always the answer that best serves our needs and can transform our lives.
Most of the products I use in the treatment room are oils as they nourish and support our skin like no other. I cleanse with oil, massage with oils, moisturize with oils. For many, the thought of using an oil for an entire routine can be scary. Some struggle with an oily condition and fear that oil will only exacerbate their condition. Some have large pores and fear that oil will lead to more clogging and a proliferation of black heads. Some don't like the silky feeling their skin experiences after an oil cleansing. These are valid concerns. Let's break it down:
Oil will exacerbate my oily condition
As discussed in Pt. 1, oftentimes the oiliness we experience is a condition brought on by our choice of products. Too much stripping of the skin will rob our Acid Mantle of its precious oil. In response, our body begins to produce emergency oil, trying to make up for the lack. In real life, when we are reacting to a state of emergency, we often go into overdrive to try to mitigate the situation. The same goes for our oil glands. The function of our Acid Mantle is to protect so when our system senses lack, oil glands overproduce to compensate. Incorporating an oil as your nourishing moisturizer can go a long way in helping oil glands to stabilize and find balance. Finding an oil that is the right fit for your skin and using it properly, is key. I often recommend blending your facial oil with a hydrating mist to ensure the oil is readily absorbed into the skin. Apoterra makes finding the right fit easy. Oils and mists are categorized according to skin conditions, formulated carefully to contain oils and ingredients that support your skin in its healing and rebalancing.
Oil will clog my pores
Honestly, this can be a valid concern. Some, such as those with advanced acne, might do best to limit their oil use while in the midst of a serious breakout. For others, oil can help. Finding the right oil for your skin type and condition will go a long way in ensuring you and your skin are happy. For most, I recommend staying away from large molecule oils such as coconut oil for both oil cleansing and moisturizing. As mentioned above, combining your oil with a mist will help exponentially increase oil absorption ensuring that it doesn't clog pores. When oil cleansing, using a warm washcloth to remove the "dirty" oil and following your cleanse with a facial cleanser or carefully formulated face soap can go a long way in making your pores happy. I often recommend to clients to use the Double cleansing method, first washing with Apoterra's Vetiver Cleanser, followed by a natural and organic complexion soap like Pumpkin + Wild Carrot or Aloe + Rose Clay, both great for winter. This double cleansing method will also help those who fall into the category of "face feels too silky after an oil cleanse".
As we move into the winter months, this is the perfect time to begin a nourishing skincare routine and put aside those products that are stripping our skin of important oils and protection. External conditions are harsh and our skin needs the extra love and support. Apoterra's entire line has been developed with a "nourish the skin" philosophy at its heart and you can always be sure they are making a loving choice when choosing their products. In part three of my dry skin series I will introduce the best way to fully incorporate oil into your routine as a moisturizer on a daily basis. If you have questions about what product is right for you, reach out, they are always happy to help.
Melanie Herring is a holisting aesthetician located in Brooklyn, NY.