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Why use oils on your face

October 28, 2017

Our skin naturally produces oil to hydrate, protect and keep our skin healthy. As we age, our skin loses its moisture, produces less oil and lines start appearing.

The top layer of our skin has naturally occurring lipids which form a barrier against dehydration. Damage to this lipid barrier occurs on a daily basis due to environmental factors. So, we need to add these oils back to support our skin. 

Organic plant oils have a fine texture and they are lipophilic, meaning, they love fat. So, when they are applied to the skin, they can pass through our skin and fat layer much more easily than creams and are easily absorbed into the outer layers of skin. Plant based oils are gentle, bursting with vitamins, minerals, omegas, antioxidants and essential fatty acids and when applied, instantly go to work to improve the lipid barrier function.

Face Oil vs Creams

The general perception is that skin care should be oil-free, that it would clog the pores & cause breakouts. As a matter of fact, plant oils are non-comedogenic, meaning, they’re not likely to clog pores and cause breakouts. 

Creams are mostly waxes and water, with a few oils thrown in.! Typically creams contain about 60 - 70% water, so synthetic preservatives and stabilers are added to eliminate bacterial growth and increase shelf life. Natural preservatives are not effective in eliminating bacterial growth, if water is added to the product.

Waxes work by forming a physical barrier to water loss from the outer layers of the skin, thus holding the moisture in. Wax build up may lead to clogged pores, and the wax barrier may also prevent the miniscule oil component of the cream from penetrating. They may appear to work at first, because they help to initially hold in moisture, but as time goes by the wax barrier may prevent oils from delivering nutrients, like essential fatty acids to the skin, and the effectiveness of the cream diminishes. Sometimes other synthetic chemicals are added to facilitate the natural oils to penetrate the skin. Compared to water, wax and synthetic chemicals, natural oils deliver all of the benefits with none of the downside.

Some serums with plant oils also contain additives, so if you are concerned, read the ingredient list.

Pure plant based organic oils are nourishing, hydrating, healing and balancing, no matter what the skin type. Natural, organic face oils are highly effective for hydrating very dry skin, but is also one of the best treatments for oily skin. Scrubs and other chemical treatments strip off your topmost lipid barrier and give you an effect of removing excess oil, but in the process it  also strips all the natural oils, your skin needs to form a protective lipid barrier. So your skin produces more oil to compensate & the cycle continues. A good organic face oil with essential fatty acids, re-stabilises the lipid barrier & restores the oil balance on the skin. Because lipids dissolve lipids, oils actually break up congestion at the source. Some plant oils also have anti-microbial properties that fight break outs if any occurs in the initial stages of adjustment.

How to use oils on face

Oils work best when applied to slightly damp skin, locking in moisture and keeping skin smooth and well hydrated. A little goes a long way when using plant based oils. You probably won’t see immediate results after the first application. But after a while, you will find a noticeable healthy glow as the lipid barrier is replenished. If smoothing oil onto your face sounds daunting, start by adding it to your moisturising cream or lotion.

Organic oils have anti-microbial properties, but is not a cure for skin problems. Consult a dermatologist for persistent skin problems.

* Oxidative damage of human skin lipids. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9421189

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