Why Using Oils and Balms is Bad for your Skin - Beach Beauty Bar and Acne Clinic

Why Using Oils and Balms is Bad for your Skin

Why Using Oils and Balms is Bad for your Skin

Step away from the face oil!

Do you want clear skin?

It’s doing you more harm than good. Balms and oils are a popular skincare fad these days but they’re bad for your skin. There are so many home hobbyists due to COVID who have become their own skincare experts and it seems that every skincare line has its own new oil or face balm promising clear skin results. Many of these products claim to add an increased moisturization and healing effect to the skin.

But in actuality, using straight oils on your face is the equivalent of over watering or drowning a plant.

Companies that create face oils and balms make sure they get you with a product that smells great and feels luxurious, but the question you need to be asking is, are they actually doing anything for you? A Cosmetic chemist spends less than 10 hours on skin science in their schooling. The job of a chemist is to formulate a stable product. It is not their job to know skin science in depth. This is where the breakdown happens.

First, a little science about balms and oils

Balms are anhydrous products. That’s science speak for, “Not containing any water”. The targeted audience for face oils and balms tends to be older clients. This is because aging skin is typically missing moisture, collagen and elasticity. It’s a common misconception for one to think that oil will moisturize skin – when in reality it’s doing the exact opposite. Using oils and balms on your skin creates a low grade inflammation reaction.

Inflammation = Aging.

Our skin requires 3 things in balance to maintain our skin barrier

  • Fatty Acids
  • Cholesterol
  • Ceramides

When you apply just oil to the skin you are setting up the skin barrier to break down even further, because it needs all 3 of these things to be maintained. Our stratum corneum lipids have a balance & ratio where they are able to keep the skin intact. When you alter that ratio the result is an impaired skin barrier. It’s because of this reason you shouldn’t be using oils and balms as a moisturizer.

You cannot moisturize your skin with a face oil or balm

Think of the skin as a brick wall with your skin cells representing the bricks, your lipids [fats and oils] represent the mortar.

Skin oils [that your face naturally produces] are critical to maintaining the barrier and minimizing water loss, which is essential for healthy, hydrated skin and for preventing outside chemicals and irritants from entering the skin.

Moisturizing with an oil is like sitting in a car while it’s raining and expecting to get wet: It will never happen. To understand even further, imagine a product that actually moisturizes — a lotion — and its three major umbrella ingredients: humectants, occlusives, and emollients.

Humectants are ingredients that draw water (from the air and from the lotion) into skin and in turn, hydrate skin cells. The most popular and effective humectants are glycerin and hyaluronic acid.

Our answer for overly dry skin is Moisture Boost serum followed by a spritz of Skin Dew or Stay Calm toners.

Emollient ingredients soften skin. Occlusive ingredients trap humectants and emollients onto your skin, so your skin can stay hydrated and soft throughout the day.

Now here’s the important part: oils can function as an occlusive and as an emollient, but never as a humectant. They put a sealant on your skin by coating the top layer. This is different from pulling in water and hydrating skin.

The bottom line on oils and balms

If you have acne or acne prone skin we would recommend you stay away from facial oils all together. Those larger fatty acid molecules can clog skin pores causing more breakouts. My clients who have oily skin to begin with usually can’t stand feeling like an oil slick and would rather die than add more oil to their skin.

Although I don’t recommend oils for people with oily or acne skin, I do believe if you have these skin types you still need moisturizers. Especially because people with these skin types typically use other products with more drying ingredients. Check out our post Moisturizer Helps Clear Acne.

No one’s skin is the same and we all react differently to different ingredients – there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to skincare.

We are open for in-clinic and virtual appointments if you’re ready to get clear!

New skin beginnings are waiting for you at Beach Beauty Bar & Acne Clinic. If you are breaking out after trying a new face oil or after being clear for some time, schedule an appointment with us so we can identify what may be triggering your flair ups. There is always a reason for breakouts and we’re here to help you.

Cheers to clear!


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