Harsh Skin Care Products Worsen the Problems of Oily Skin
However, using these harsh products seriously dehydrates the skin,
and makes the situation worse. While oily skin does present special
problems, hydration is a skin care basic regardless of your skin type.
What causes the problems with oily skin? Oil in the skin is
called sebum, and is produced by the sebaceous glands. It is a natural
and vital process that makes the skin supple. When the sebaceous glands
are over-productive, the skin becomes too oily, which enlarges the
pores. As skin cells die and rejuvenate, the combination of dead skin
cells, naturally-occurring bacteria, and the excess oil then clogs the
pores, causing acne, pimples and blackheads.
Harsh skin care products increase the production of each element
in that combination. They irritate and dehydrate the skin, which
results in a dry, flaky layer of dead skin cells to add to those that
occur naturally. They remove the protective barrier from the skin that
keeps out harmful bacteria, thereby increasing the bacteria population.
And they strip off the natural oils, signaling the sebaceous glands to
produce even more oil to restore the natural balance. You now have a
worse situation than before - your pores are larger, clogged with more
debris - and the skin becomes inflamed, which then leads to more
blackheads, pimples and acne. It's a vicious, never-ending cycle.
What is the remedy? Keeping your face clean and hydrated is the key.
1. Wash your face two or three times a day with a mild, pH
balanced soap to exfoliate the skin and prevent dead skin cells from
accumulating. It's important not to wash more frequently, as that will
actually encourage more oil production. The cleanser you use is very
important - anything that leaves the skin feeling dry or taut shrinks
the upper layers of the skin, which prevents oil from flowing through
the pores and causes blockages. Heavy cleansing creams also block the
pores. The best products to use are pure soaps with no artificial
additives. Oil-based soaps are best, as they are capable of dissolving
some of the excess oils on your skin.
2. After cleansing, use a mild astringent such as lemon, lime or
cucumber juice. If you need something a little stronger, try witch
hazel. Stay away from harsh astringents. A mild clay masque, such as a
mixture of equal parts green clay and honey, can also be used a few
times a week. Leave it on for 15 minutes, then rinse well with lukewarm
3. Keep the skin hydrated, and protect it from outside
irritants. A good shielding lotion will accomplish both. It locks the
moisture in, and forms a barrier against environmental pollutants,
while keeping the pores open and the oil flowing.
Using this skin
care routine will stop the never-ending cycle, make your oily skin more
manageable, and may even help the underlying causes.