Monday, September 8, 2014

Using dry skin products on oily skin—STOP THE INSANITY!

The following is a case where knowledge really is power.

A client came in for a facial, complaining of congestion all around her nose and cheeks. She had experienced this for over a year and was unable to get any clear answers as to what might be going on with her skin. During the treatment, I asked what had changed in her life a year or more ago—especially with her skin care routine. She did change skin care products right around then, but she didn’t feel this was the problem.

After looking at her skin, I agreed that it was indeed congested. I really felt it was product-induced rather than a problem with too much oil production. Why? The pores were clogged in a way that just didn’t seem consistent with overproduction of oil from within. Her skin had a spongy quality to it, like it was getting too much moisture. It looked puffy and felt oversaturated.

My client admitted to using too much product when she moisturized and that she’d previously switched to dry skin products. She was doing this because her skin felt “dry,” although she wasn’t oil-dry just dehydrated. These two conditions can feel the same (“My skin feels dry.”) but the treatment, whether for true-dry or dehydrated skin, is not the same. Minus the congestion and current problems, her skin was normal or normal to oily. My recommendations were: 
  • Step one: stop using so much product!
  • Step two: start using products for combination or normal-to-oily skin (her skin type)
  • Step three: exfoliate and use a clay mask as often as possible. Two to three times per week would be a good start, and then once a week after the congestion has diminished
Exfoliating will help remove accumulated surface dead skin that can make skin feel dry. Clay can greatly improve the condition of her pores, helping to clean out the superficial debris and keep her pores from enlarging.
This client did what many people do—she treated her normal to oily dehydrated skin like true-dry skin by over-moisturizing. Understanding the condition of your skin—specifically the oil content of your skin—is crucial to treating it properly.

I see this over and over again: A client like this one thinks because her skin feels dry she actually has true-dry skin. And in many instances that just isn’t the case. Hopefully you’ll read information here and on my website and have a better understanding about the difference between dry and dehydrated skin. Then, after applying this knowledge, you can enjoy the benefits of proper skin care.

My client’s skin, by the way, has dramatically improved. After switching to a more appropriate moisturizer for her actual skin type as well as using less product, the spongy quality to her skin has all but disappeared. And the congestion she was experiencing has been cut in half at least.

This misunderstanding between true-dry skin and dehydration is something that keeps coming up with my clients—and their problem skin. Sometimes (not always, of course) the problem is misinformation. For more information and clarification on this important subject see: