Why you need to oil balance your skin
Every person's skin is different, and there is no 'one size fits all' approach to skincare. You have little control over how much oil your skin naturally produces, as this is largely determined by genetics and hormonal fluctuations within the body.
Environmental pollution, hot and cold weather conditions, heating systems, internal health, frequent travel and wrong skincare routine upset the oil balance which further weakens and sensitises the skin. While everyone has some level of natural oil content on their skin, certain skin types can be oilier than others. Skin produces oil naturally and needs oil moisture for strength, elasticity, and to function properly. When your skin lacks oil, it turns dry.
There are also exaggerated versions of major skin types, like dehydrated skin, sensitive skin, problem skin with pimples, rash or acne, ageing skin or hydrated skin. These types are due to their oil balance. In a normal to dry skin, the oil glands are less active, while in a normal to oily skin, the oil gland is more active. The imbalance in oil gland activity can lead to skin problems. That is why skin care aims to achieve an oil balance.
During extreme weather conditions in summer and winters, oil production slows down while some habits, like using chemical based soaps, shampoos and beauty products, over-exfoliating, or using too many beauty products can also strip necessary oils from the skin.
People with normal skin are lucky, because their skin is balanced. In other words, it is neither oily, nor dry. There is a balance between the oil and moisture of the skin. A balanced skin has a soft velvety texture and colour glows under its translucent surface. Beautiful as it may be, a normal, balanced skin also requires daily care. Skin care is according to skin types, which fall into four major categories…normal, dry, oily and combination.
Knowing your skin type is the basis of regular skin care, so that we can select the products according to the individual needs of your skin. There are problems which are typical to skin type and dealing with them has become an integral part of modern skin care.
As already mentioned, in oily skins, the sebaceous (oil-producing) glands are over-active. They produce more oil than the skin needs, giving the skin a greasy look. The excess oil also enlarges the pores, which gives the skin a coarse texture. The pores can get blocked with hardened oil, leading to blackheads, pimples and acne. Specialised cleansing routines are very necessary for oily skin, so that the pores remain unclogged and problems like blackheads and pimples are prevented. The flow of sebum (the skin's natural oil) increases during times of glandular activity, like during adolescence. Hormonal imbalances can upset the oil balance. By taking daily care of the skin with products that reduce oiliness and restore the skin's normal pH balance, the oil balance can be achieved. The pH balance is the acid-alkaline balance of the skin. Similarly, if the oil gland activity is less, the skin is unable to hold moisture. The result is that the skin lacks both oil and moisture and becomes dry. A dry skin tends to acquire visible ageing signs like lines and wrinkles prematurely. It can also become sensitive and suffer from rough red patches. Therefore, the daily routine should include nourishment of the skin, with cream. It should be applied and massaged on the skin for a few minutes. The oils will help the skin to hold moisture. Make sure that the skin is never short of moisture. it is important to apply moisturiser to keep your skin hydrated to protect your skin from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. Use sunscreens and protective creams during the day. Reapply them if necessary. Choose oil-free, water-based makeup. This way the skin's oil-moisture balance can be achieved. Let us bust this popular myth that oily skin doesn't need moisturisation. For oily skin, opt for a light, water-based moisturiser—a night cream preferably.
Wash your face regularly to help sweep away excess oil, dirt and other debris that can become trapped inside your pores and lead to acne breakouts. Avoid touching your face regularly as it can spread dirt, oil and bacteria from your hands to your face. Only touch your face with clean hands when you're cleansing, moisturising or applying sunscreen. Oil makes skin cells become sluggish, so dead ones don't come off the face as easily. These sticky cells can end up clogging pores. An exfoliating treatment once a week will help to cleanse the skin pores.
A healthy diet and lifestyle are also important if you want your skin to be balanced. If the system is congested, it reflects on the skin. Keep the system cleansed by including fresh fruits, raw salads, sprouts, wholegrains and yogurt in your daily diet. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of fresh water daily. Add the juice of a lemon with honey to a glass of water and have it first thing in the morning. Maintaining the oil balance of your skin is something that can be done internally as well by eating foods that have minimal oil content.