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Are Oil Cleansers Good for Oily Skin?

Jan 13, 2022

Skin Care

Oily skin is one of the most common skin complaints, whether you’re a teenager or an adult. Caused by excess sebum, the waxy substance your skin naturally produces, having oily skin can be frustrating and often lead to other dilemmas. For example, it may cause or exacerbate acne and blackheads by clogging the pores. Others may notice changes in their skin like a shift in texture or an uneven appearance, with some areas shinier than others. Oily skin can also sometimes cause dirt and bacteria in the environment to cling to the skin, leading to blemishes and irritation.

You’ve probably tried the old-school routines like astringents, excessive washing, and rough exfoliants, but these methods can often be too harsh and actually aggravate your skin woes even more. Does this frustrating cycle sound familiar? If so, this may sound contradictory, but you should consider actually adding oil to your skin care routine. Many have found that oil-based cleansers are beneficial for their oily skin.

What makes skin oily?

While it may seem like sebum is the enemy, the waxy substance is actually essential, as it’s produced by the skin as a natural moisturizer and protective barrier. If you find your skin is producing too much sebum, this can sometimes be caused by medical reasons like hormone changes, but it more likely means that the equilibrium of your skin is being disrupted.

Whether from your skin care routine or from your environment, oily skin can actually be a sign that your skin is dehydrated. When the skin is stripped of moisture, your sebaceous glands are working hard to restore the protective barrier, so it over-produces sebum. Remember that the skin on your face is exceptionally delicate (especially around your eyes), so we don’t want to completely lose that defense shield; the goal is to achieve balance so that your skin still experiences the benefits of sebum and naturally occurring good bacteria without the side effects of too-oily skin.

Common treatments for oily skin

Like most of us, you may have tried one or more of these treatments commonly used by those trying to combat their oily skin:

  • Excessive washing (more than twice a day)
  • Toners and astringents that contain alcohol or other drying agents
  • Products that include high quantities of Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, or Benzoyl Peroxide
  • Physical exfoliators that scrub and strip the skin
  • Foaming cleansers that use sulfates as a foaming agent

While some of these methods may have given you short-term results, like that tight, tingly feeling that signifies squeaky-clean skin and a matte appearance, they can actually be quite detrimental. At best, those treatments simply won’t be effective, and at worst, they can actually disrupt the microbiome. The microbiome is made up of microbes that promote beneficial bacteria and prevent harmful organisms from colonizing. When that delicate microbiome is disrupted, the balance of your skin is thrown off, leading to dehydration. We’ve now learned that dehydration actually promotes oilier skin; if you’re sick of experiencing this frustrating cycle, it may be time to try an oil-based cleanser.

How oil cleansers work

Oil cleansers work by using specific, non-comedogenic oils found in nature (like Camellia, Argan, Rose, and Grapeseed) to gently attract and break down makeup, dirt, and other irritants on the surface of the skin. Different oils have various benefits, so you should do your research to see what combination of cleansing oils will be most beneficial for your particular skin (and which to avoid). To read more about exactly how these oil cleansers work, check out our previous blog post for a breakdown of the history of oil cleansing, various types of oils and each of their benefits, and tips for how to incorporate the oil cleansing method into your routine.

How oil cleansers combat oily skin

Oil cleansers may seem counterintuitive, but the right oils don’t clog your pores or cause acne, they actually dissolve excess oil and gently cleanse the surface of your skin. Because oil cleansers don’t completely strip the skin of your sebum, they don’t cause the same dehydration as most other cleansing methods, which means your sebaceous glands won’t kick into action and over-produce sebum.

Even better, cleansing oils such as Camellia Oil are great for sensitive skin and are non-comedogenic, so they won’t clog your pores. This means that whether you have oily or combination skin, a Camellia Oil cleanser is gentle enough to not irritate your skin or cause pore blockages, but effective enough to moisturize your skin and reduce that oily shine. An oil cleanser might just be the solution you’ve been looking for to get hydrated and breakout-free skin.

The Verdict: Consider adding an oil cleanser to your skin care ritual

If you’re ready to try something new to combat oily skin, here are some tips for selecting the right oil cleanser for your skin:

  • Look for natural and non-comedogenic ingredients that won’t clog or block your pores and lead to more breakouts.
  • Make sure you find a cleanser that doesn’t have synthetic fragrances, is gentle, and won’t strip your skin or cause further irritation.
  • The purpose of a cleanser is to gently lift dirt, makeup, and other impurities off the skin to be washed away, so look for a product that actually accomplishes this.

Try our Camellia Oil-based cleanser, a great complement to any skin care routine.



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