Every now and then, I encounter people who profess that they have oily skin types and are interested in oil-free products that I offer.  Here is the narrative that typically ensues. It is a myth that if you have oily skin, you must avoid oil-based products. I repeat.

It is a myth that if you have oily skin, you must avoid oil-based products.

Let’s think of the oily skin type.  Skin types are largely determined by genetics, age, and hormones, then further influenced by climate, diet, exercise, hygiene habits, and products used.  The skin’s sebaceous glands secrete an oily/waxy matter, called sebum, to lubricate, waterproof and protect the skin.  Sebum is an essential component of our skin’s natural barrier to outside elements.  When someone has oily skin, the sebaceous glands are overactive, producing an excess of sebum.  When the excess of sebum combines with dirt and dead skin cells, it can clog the skin follicles and become pimples.

I remember when I was hitting my stride in puberty, my face was constantly slick, and I was trying everything under the sun that was ‘made for oily skin types’.  There were wipes, soaps, scrubs, and pimple creams galore.   Sure, I think that adolescence had a hand in my overactive glands, but no one told me that in my relentless removal of oil, I was sending a message to my sebaceous glands to produce even more sebum.  The best thing to do for your skin is to help it find the right balance of oil (sebum) and moisture (water).

oil and water

Olive oil floating on water | Photo by Martin Cooper on Flickr

Oils such as Almond, Kukui Nut, Jojoba, and Olive have different molecular compositions of fatty acids that can be nourishing for oily skin in different ways.  Almond oil can be helpful in regulating sebum production as its composition is very similar to that of human sebum.  Kukui Nut oil is easily absorbed by the skin and is soothing for sunburned or chapped skin.  Jojoba oil (actually a wax) is also a great choice because it too is chemically similar to sebum, penetrates the skin well, and leaves no oily residue.  Olive oil is also extremely kind to the skin as it is a great conditioner and contains various antioxidants (vitamin E, polyphenols, phytosterols, and hydroxytyrosol) that are helpful in protecting the skin cells from free radical and sun damage. These are just a few examples of skin nourishing oils, but of course there are many more.

It takes a while to know which ones really make your skin glow, so don’t despair if you don’t find the right fit straight off.

Blendily currently offers the following carrier oils and oil serums in the online shop:

Further Reading:
Benefits of Olive Oil for Skin | Global Healing Center

Skin Benefits of Jojoba Oil | Live Strong

Almond Oil Benefits for Skin | Live Strong

Kukui Nut Oil Benefits | Annie’s Remedy

Should you swap your moisturizer for face oil? | New York Magazine