Friday, June 8, 2018

Oily skin and frequent cleansing: Good or bad?

My skin is so oily, I feel like I constantly need to wash my face during the day. Is this good or bad for my skin?

The answer to your question depends on what you are washing your face with and also why you feel the need to cleanse it throughout the day.

Washing your face in the morning gets the residue off your skin from the six to eight hours you were asleep. Even though all you were doing was essentially lying in bed all night, you were still eliminating sweat and toxins from the skin—albeit at a reduced rate compared to during the daytime. In order to start the day off right, you want to clean your face, just like you brush your teeth.

Regarding cleansing at night: you have a whole day’s worth of accumulated toxins—sweat, debris from the air, and possibly makeup. This has sunken into your pores throughout the day, and you definitely want to wash all of it off.

If in between your morning and evening cleansings you are washing again, you may indeed be washing too much. If you are washing with soap, more than likely it is alkaline, and it will actually strip your skin of all the oil and water, setting up the potential for more oil to be produced by your oil glands to compensate for the loss during cleansing. Can you see how this will immediately set up a vicious cycle? You wash (thinking it is a good thing) yet cause more oil to be produced; so you wash again to get rid of the oil, etc. One of the main things you want to be sure to use is a non-alkaline cleanser. Then hopefully you will not be experiencing the oiliness you are now.

If you have exercised during the day or for some other reason you have done something that has caused you to sweat, by all means wash your face. But if your skin just feels oily, consider changing your cleanser and continue reading to find out other things you can do to curb the oiliness. Sometimes constant washing, especially if you’re using the wrong type of cleanser (an alkaline one), you can set up a situation that makes your skin oilier.

Are you using too much moisturizer? Are you not using one at all? Either way, this can cause you to feel oily. If you use too much cream, obviously it is going to sit on your skin, then mix with your own oil from your face, which can cause you to feel greasy and look shiny or oily. If you didn’t put a moisturizer on at all, again, your oil glands may be overcompensating for the lack of oil on the surface of your skin and pumping out more oil to balance things out.

If you have true oily skin (not oil due to improper products causing oiliness), you want to use a light moisturizer formulated specifically for your skin type. In some cases, moisturizers for oilier skin can help inhibit oil production and even help to break down the oil sitting in your pores. This is especially true for products containing essential oils. They are natural lipid (oil) solvents and help to balance the oil being secreted by your sebaceous (oil) glands.

Finally, foundation can definitely make your skin look and feel oily by midday. If you do wear foundation, consider switching to powder—loose, not pressed powder. Mineral makeup (see link below) may be a good alternative to foundation as well.

To summarize, check the pH of your cleanser and make sure you are using something that is non-alkaline or acidic on the pH scale. Don’t use soap; this will simply increase the oiliness of your skin. Be sure to cleanse morning and night, and in between if you have sweated. Don’t use too much cream on your face, but do use some type of moisturizer to help keep your skin from becoming dehydrated. And consider not using foundation or switching to powder.

For more information, see: