Hello my Amber babies and a warm welcome to the latest and greatest addition in this ongoing blog, How to Stop Oily Skin & Acne in its Tracks! Now this is something a lot of people struggle with and trust me, solutions aren’t as simple as washing your face a few times a day. Some people truly struggle with chronic oily skin and breakouts, and I’m here to give those of you some peace of mind in knowing you’re not alone. So what knowledge do you need to arm yourself with in this ongoing battle?
It Might Be Genetics
Ah, good old genetics. It’s responsible for our height, eye color, and facial structure to name a few, but did you know that genetics can play a factor in the quality of your skin?
In fact, some genes bless us in all the wrong ways when it comes to our skin by having our face overproduce dead skin cells, which in turn causes clogged pores and acne. On the other hand, genetics can have our skin overproducing sebum, a main culprit of oily skin, which can also clog pores and manifest breakout after breakout.
Your Skin Has a pH
Nature has a balance to everything and our skin is no exception. The pH level of skin refers to the alkalinity/acidity ratio that keeps our skin mechanisms running smoothly and without distress. For us, this pH level runs at about 5.5. Tamper with this sensitive balance and it’s a recipe for disaster and breakouts.
So how can you maintain your skin’s pH? Take a look at the products you’re using. Did you know that most cosmetic products run higher on the alkalinity scale? (8-10 pH) Higher alkalinity means less acidity and it’s a little-known fact that this very acidity in your skin protects you from bacteria and infections. Less acidity translates to a higher chance of irritation and stubborn blemishes. Using products that throw this acidity off-balance could be an issue. Then again, make your skin too acidic and you’ve got yourself ingredients for excessively oily skin and acne.
What’s in Your Tap Water?
It’s common knowledge that not all tap water is created equal. Chemicals, toxins, additives, even harsh minerals can all be taking a toll on your skin and hinder your skin’s ability to balance your pH. Consider investing in a reverse osmosis system for your water or if this is too pricey, try faucet filters or jugs of spring water for your morning skincare routines.
Products, Products, Products
I can’t stress enough how much of an impact products have on your skin. This includes soaps, cleansers, lotions, makeup, wipes, and more.
Main rule of thumb? Products containing boric acid (banned in the EU and Japan) are a big no-no (highly acidic), as well as antimicrobial (bacteria destroying) agents like triclosan and triclocarban, since these rid your skin of healthy bacteria that protect your skin and keep your pH in check. Always check the labels on products and research, research, research.
You Are What You Eat
Your diet affects the quality of your skin more than just on the surface. In fact, high intake of salts and sugars have their own effects on your skin. High salt intake causes dehydration, which triggers your body’s natural response to fight this dehydration with oil production.
And as far as sugars go? High sugar intake results in the production of a pesky peptide hormone known as IGF-1, which again, boosts sebum production, leading to oily skin and acne.
Properly Wash Your Face
Everyone has their own method to washing their face, but there are a few pitfalls to avoid here to ensure you’re washing properly:
- Use lukewarm, not hot, water. Hot water dries out skin and can strip you of natural oils and good bacteria.
- Stop harsh scrubbing. Harsh scrubbing causes irritation and may make your acne worse and cause further redness and blemishes.
- Use a gentle cleanser. No harsh chemicals, no wildly alkaline or acidic products. Use gentle ingredients that give your skin the tender love and care it needs.
- Pat your skin dry. Rubbing with a towel or cloth can cause irritation and even make your skin lose elasticity from prolonged habits.
- Don't wash your face more than once daily. Pro tip? Skip morning face wash and try double cleansing at night to boost your skin's properties and rid of excess oils.
Avoid Fragrance at All Costs
There’s plenty of debate on fragrances all over the web, with some sources claiming fragrance causes hormonal interference, irritation, and even cancer.
I encourage you to do your own research and make the choice that’s best for you. However, from my personal experience, I avoid fragrance like the plague! Fragrances are highly toxic, they only serve to mask the smells of other chemicals, and can pass from the skin into the bloodstream, where it can have negative effects within your body.
Even worse, manufacturers aren’t required to list fragrance ingredients in their products. Yikes. This is alarming for those of us with already sensitive skin, recurrent acne, and overly oily skin. These harsh ingredients could be tampering with our pH, and further damaging our skin in irreversible ways.
For those with oily skin, this may seem counterproductive, but if you have oily skin, this means that the body is trying to overcompensate for a lack of moisture it believes it’s experiencing. Therefore, properly moisturizing is key to really reducing sebum production and get your skin’s pH back into true balance and harmony.
There are a variety of reasons that could be contributing to oily skin and acne, but when it comes down to it, it’s all about balancing our skin’s natural pH levels and avoiding products, ingredients, foods, and elements that could be doing more harm than good to your precious skin.
I hope this helped and I encourage all of you to do more research and continue to find new and innovative ways to attain perfect skin and that flawless complexion! Good luck my Amber babies and I’ll see you in the next post!