"Is oil good for skin?" "Is oily skin good or bad?" "Does oily skin mean less wrinkles?" These are all increasingly common questions our estheticians and skin care pros hear every day. While having an excessively oily face may not be great, there are real benefits of oily skin. Keep reading to learn why oil is good for skin.
While you may be tempted to strip your skin of all oil, it's actually a necessary element to healthy skin. Your skin secretes sebum (oil), which combines with the water produced by your sweat glands (or provided by moisturizers) to create an emulsion called a hydrolipidic barrier. This thin film stays on your skin to keep it supple, healthy, protected and balanced.
"The barrier function of skin is a mix of oil and water, which serves to protect the skin from bacterial invasion, environmental stressors and dehydration. When you deplete all of the oil the skin will become dry, dehydrated and reactive." – Rhonda Robb, licensed esthetician and Bioelements educator
Certain factors can cause your skin to produce too much oil, which can throw it out of balance, and cause breakouts and excess shine. When this occurs it's crucial to follow the correct daily routine:
Read about what causes excess oil and the best oily skin remedies here.
Many people over cleanse or use harsh products to dry out their skin. While this may feel productive, it can lead to injury and can cause the skin to produce even more oil.
"When you strip the skin of its entire oil production, you can actually injure skin by dehydrating it, which causes skin to compensate by producing even more oil. That is why when people try to dry out their skin by using surfactants and harsh soaps, they actually create an environment for excessive oil production." – Carol Byrne, Bioelements educator
Slick, shiny skin may be bothersome in daily life, but having oily skin comes with some surprising benefits:
1) Your skin may age slower
Several studies suggest that if you have oily skin, your skin will age slower. This is because the oil provides slightly more protection against external aging factors. If you have oily skin and start using anti-aging skin care designed specifically for your skin type you can prolong aging skin even longer.
2) Your age signs take longer to show up
Not only will your skin age slower, but it will also take longer for your age signs to show once it does. This is because oil acts as a barrier and helps skin retain more moisture than those with a dry skin type, which minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles (1).
3) More protection
The hydrolipidic barrier helps protect skin, which means those with oily skin tend to be better protected against environmental pollutants, UV rays and other stressors. Some studies even suggest that oily skin provides more protection from skin aging free radicals by providing a thicker barrier.
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