Shine On…Just Maybe Not Too Much

oil

Oh, oil.

You can be a dry skin type’s best friend by creating an ethereal glow and an oily skin type’s worst enemy causing us to look like one hot mess.  While oil is a natural substance found in our skin that helps keep skin supple, too much of it can cause problems such as acne and blackheads.

Aside from genetics, there are other factors that can contribute to less than a desirable amount of oil production.

Causes

Genetics, of course

Yup, you can thank your ancestry for this one as skin types are determined by your genes.  There is a chance however, that your skin type may change with age.

Hormones/Stress

There is a reason why the majority of breakouts occur when you are a teenager.  Your sebaceous glands (glands that are charge of producing oil) are typically dormant before puberty, and spring into life after puberty. Hormones at this time are also raging out of control.  The adrenal glands produce testosterone in women, thereby increasing sebum production.

Continual chronic stress also increases hormone levels and also increased sebum levels.

Environment

Heat and humidity increase oil levels.  Individuals who work in kitchens or laundry mats or who live in hot and humid places can often find an increase in oil.

Harsh products/Not using a moisturizer  

Excessive drying of skin or not moisturizing the skin may cause the sebaceous glands to overcompensate by producing an excessive amount of sebum to replace the moisture lost.

Solutions 

Although you can’t really reason with genetics, figure out what your triggers are and read these options available to help keep sebum at bay.

Relax and slow down if stress seems to be the issue.  Take a small amount of time out of your day/night (even if it’s only one minute!) for yourself and do something you enjoy. Exercising, reading, meditating, and aromatherapy can work wonders.

Hydrate!  Humectants, which include glycerin, sorbitol, hyaluronic acid and sodium PCA, attract water (not oil) to the skin and cinnamon bark, borage seed oil, wheat germ oil, niacinamide, zinc glucanate, caffeine, enantia bark, yeast extract, horse chestnut and biotin can regulate oil production with regular use.

Stay balanced! Using a pH balanced cleanser, something that is NOT soap, can help keep you from over drying the skin. Cleansing your skin about twice a say should suffice, or you run the risk of over drying the skin as well. Those who have acne may want to be careful about over using ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, which although can be great for acne, can also be very drying.

Nutrition  Zinc can help regulate oil glands.  Zinc rich foods include oysters, crab, liver, mushrooms and spinach.

Other Blotting tissues, using oil-free makeup, and certain primers can also keep shine to a minimum.

If you have oily skin, what product do you swear by? 

 

 

What the Milia?

milia

If you’ve ever examined your skin and noticed tiny, white hard bumps that resemble sesame seeds, most likely you have a skin anomaly known as milia.  No need to panic though. Milia aren’t harmful, they’re just more of a complexion nuisance, and boy, are they stubborn!

Milia are usually found around the eyes, cheeks, and forehead and occur when oil, debris and dead skin cells become trapped beneath the surface of the skin.  Although they resemble whiteheads, milia won’t go away easily because they don’t have an escape route, meaning they’re not in the pores but rather ‘stuck’ under the outer layer of your skin. Therefore, trying to extract them yourself is NOT recommended since you can damage surrounding tissue and cause scarring.

So what options are available?

First, let’s examine the common culprits. Milia can be genetic and can also be caused by using too-rich ingredients such as mineral oil, lanolin, and isopropyl myristate.  If milia are prevalent around the eye area, make sure your eye cream and/or makeup remover is free from these ingredients.

Now, on to the treatment.  Thoroughly cleansing your face at night (read: more than just splashing your face with water) can help keep them from forming.  Mild exfoliation (enzymes are great for this!) and using a serum or cream with either hydroxy acids (lactic, glycolic, or salicylic) or retinol can also help.  If this solution doesn’t work (and frustratingly, it often doesn’t) or you want faster results, visit a dermatologist or esthetician where they can remove milia with a lancet.

Do you have milia? What treatment worked best for you?

 

 

 

The ‘E’ In Healthy Skin

Vitamin E

Dry and aging skin need not despair!  Vitamin E is excellent in smoothing away fine lines and wrinkles while keeping skin supple and providing a radiant glow.

Have oily skin? There is a silver lining to all that shine.

Read on to find out what vitamin E can do for you!

Who: Vitamin E

What skin conditions it can help: Aging.

Where it’s found: Foods high in vitamin E include vegetables, oils, seeds, corn, wheat germ and egg yolk.

For topical uses look for: Vitamin E, Tocopherol, Tocotrienols, Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopheryl Linoleate, Tocopheryl Succinate, Tocopheryl Nicotinate.

Why it’s important: Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, an antioxidant that quenches free radicals and is instrumental in wound healing.  It’s also the most abundant antioxidant found in human skin; however, it declines with exposure to UV rays, pollution and age.

How it affects the body and skin: Vitamin E is needed to prevent muscle weakness (atrophy), loss of muscle mass, abnormal eye movements, vision problems and unsteady walking.

Topical use of vitamin E smooths skin, prevents moisture loss (excellent for dry skin!), and can reach living cells, therefore increasing the effectiveness of sunscreen. Studies have shown it to reduce sunburn cells after UV exposure- but this isn’t a free pass to subject your skin to sunburns!

Vitamin E is naturally delivered to the skin’s surface through sebum (oil), providing nourishment for the skin, and could be a possible reason why oily skin types age better.  Combined use of vitamin E and vitamin C enhances these effects.

Have a favorite vitamin E product?  Do share!

Happy Tuesday!

Disclaimer: The contents on this website, and any related links, are provided for general informational purposes and should NOT be considered medical advice. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read here. Please consult a healthcare provider if you have any questions about a particular health condition.