The Truth about Using Face Oils

It seems that almost every time I turn around, a client is telling me how they use a face oil to hydrate their skin and combat anti-aging.

I'm not sure where the messaging came from, but the truth is - this couldn't be farther from the truth.

Oils are anhydrous - meaning they don't contain any water.

Typically, oils are made up of a blend of oils, waxes and maybe some esters. The claims that these types of ingredients would be increase hydration or just doesn't make any sense.

When you get to the science of it, these products are actually not doing a thing to hydrate your skin, are most likely causing inflammation and are, therefore, majorly impairing your skin's barrier (you know, the part of your skin that not only helps you look beautiful, but also helps to keep you safe and healthy!).

All of this, in turn, is more than likely attributing to faster aging.

So, essentially, oils - when applied directly to your skin - are doing exactly the opposite of what you want them to do.

But why?

Well, friends. It's rather simple from a skin perspective.

Our skin requires three elements to maintain the balance of our skin barrier.

1. Fatty Acids - think hyaluronic acid

2. Phospholipids

3. Ceramides

If a product or a combination of products (aka a skincare routine!) lacks these elements or you add too much of any one of the elements, you will find the skin barrier breaking down because the ratio of these three elements has been altered.

When you change the ratio, you change the skin's natural function and cause it to act accordingly - which means you will see a breakdown in the way it works.

Think about it this way. You need food, water and sleep in order to properly function as a human being. And you need them in certain amounts.

If you alter any one of those, things start going awry.

You could try to then throw exercise in (which I hear is supposed to be good for you!), but if everything else is off, exercise probably isn't going to help.

It's essentially the same thing that's happening here.

The benefit of any oil you might be putting on your skin will be null and void due to the damage happening on your skin's barrier.

And, again, remember - oils are anhydrous.

Oils nourish and can provide certain "moisturizing" benefits when used in the right way and if they're the right oil, especially something like Jojoba Oil, Hemp Seed, Grapeseed, Vitamin E or a combination of these.

They are an occlusive. They can help to lock in moisture.

However, they cannot hydrate your skin on their own.

How to properly use oils

Add a facial oil to your already balanced skincare routine as the very last step to lock in the moisture from your other hydrating skincare products.

Be sure to speak with your Esthetician before making any changes to your routine, so  you don't disrupt the balance and cause irritation, inflammation or aging.


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