It seems uninteresting to oil your face when most of us do not want to look "oily" – especially if we already have accidentally oily, acne-prone skin or combination skin. But that does not stop companies from seemingly making new face oils every week.
They usually smell great and feel luxurious, but are they really doing something for you? Experts say the answer depends on both the oil and the skin.
Yes, your skin is already oiling.
And it plays a really important role in keeping you hydrated by protecting the outer skin layer. And this is how it works:
One type of oily substance that you probably already know about is called sebum, which is excreted by the sebaceous glands of the skin and contributes to noticeable greasiness on the face. However, there are also other lipids (fats and oils) produced by cells in the stratum corneum the protective outer layer of the skin, which acts as a primary protection of the skin against water loss. Together, the oils that are produced by your skin soften the skin layers, seal the hydration and protect against allergens and pathogens by keeping the stratum corneum in tact.
Every oil is hydrophobic, including the oils produced by your face. which means that they prevent water from leaking. And that in turn keeps your skin hydrated. "Hydration is really a function of the water balance, so oils help maintain water in the environment and prevent water from leaking out of the environment," says Tyler Hollmig, director of the Department of Laser and Aesthetic Dermatology at Stanford Health Care. opposite SELF.
"I can visualize the skin as a brick wall whose skin cells are the bricks and lipids [fats and oils] that make up the mortar," he explains. "Skin oils [that your face naturally produces] are critical to maintaining the barrier and minimizing the impact Loss of water that is essential for healthy, hydrated skin and to prevent chemicals and irritants from entering the skin from the outside. "
Without natural oils, your skin is used to dry.
Think of it as yours Skin cells are like bricks and the oil is like mortar? Well, without the oils that forms your skin, the bricks can separate, which allows water to escape from your skin (a process known as transepidermal Loss of Water and Fluffiness Many people have dry skin because their skin does not naturally produce enough oil to soothe the outer skin layer that maintains hydration in the body.
However, if your skin is greasy, this is because your skin is producing too much oil (sebum).
But of course it's not always that easy. The use of hard skin care products (such as some acne products) can either dry out the skin or even cause the skin to be produced in response to dryness more explains the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) . "People with oily skin tend to think that a moisturizer will aggravate the problem," says Joel Schlessinger M. D., board-certified dermatologist from Omaha, Nebraska, opposite SELF. "However, neglecting skin hydration is a key component in the production of excess sebum."
And then there are people with combination skin, which means that they are both dry and greasy. Basically, any could use some kind of moisturizer . Whether or not an oil helps moisturize your skin depends on your skin type and oil.
What are facial oils exactly?
Facial oils are instantly everywhere and they have a long history in skin care. In fact, the ancient Egyptians reportedly used as early as 4500 BC. Chr. Oils in cosmetics. But what do facial oils actually do?
The basic idea is that an oil is applied to your face to replenish the natural oils that your skin produces (or does not produce) to moisturize the skin and help repair it. The barrier that this moisture holds. Depending on the type of oil – jojoba, passion fruit, coconut, argan, tea tree, etc. – the oil can naturally have other supposed benefits, such as anti-inflammatory or antioxidant properties, but these are bonuses. The biggest benefit an oil brings is the moisturizing benefit.
How do moisturizers work? There are three main ways in which a moisturizer can increase the level of water in your skin.
First, moisturizers such as glycerine are commonly found in moisturizers and actually give water back to the skin. John G. Zampella, assistant professor in the Department of Dermatology of Ronald O. Perelman at NYU Langone Health, tells SELF. They can attract and attract water molecules into the skin. These are naturally moisturizing. Interestingly, oils usually do not fall into this category.
The other types of moisturizers are emollients (used to soften and strengthen the outer layer of the skin by filling the spaces between the skin cells) and occlusive agents (which act similarly) sealants to retain water). In general, oils fall into the categories of occlusive and emollient, Jeremy A. Brauer New York dermatologist, says SELF.
"Most of the oils that are applied to the skin create more of a protective barrier on the surface, rather than actually penetrating the skin," agrees Dr. Rainer. Hollmig too. Although oils are moisturizing and can indirectly increase hydration of the skin, they are not technically hydrating.
The key factor here is the size of the fatty acid molecules that make up the oil. If they are too large to overcome the skin barrier, they sit up and act as an occlusive device. If they are small enough to get through, they may be able to penetrate deeper layers and strengthen the stratum corneum. Researches for example show that jojoba oil and argan oil can actually help to repair the skin barrier.
In addition, some oils have other benefits, such as anti-oxidants or anti-inflammatory properties, which could be beneficial for certain skin problems. Whether or not oil is the best choice for this problem is another question.
Various facial oils claim to combat various skin problems – and it's not always about hydration.
"Many of these oils have a problem like a new variation of the week every week," says Dr. Zampella. "There is a new oil that someone is constantly trying on the skin, so there is not much data to say that this definitely works for this or that."
There are some oils that we know more about than others. he says. It has been shown, for example, that tea tree oil has some antibacterial and antifungal properties that may be useful in acne and seborrheic dermatitis, SELF, previously discussed . And rosehip oil is often touted as antioxidant .
Although the greatest benefit you could achieve by using an oil would be moisturizing, some oils are marketed as other benefits. But not every single oil product has been explored – and your skin is not likely to recommend tea tree oil or rosehip as a first-line treatment, for example, a salicylic acne medication or topical retinoid in clinical trials and they proved act in a particular formula.
Oils may appeal to some consumers because they are touted as " natural " or as more accessible, whatever a dermatologist has recommended. Of course, these are good reasons to use a product. However, when we talk about the treatment or treatment of specific skin diseases, there is almost always a product whose research or clinical trials are reviewed by other experts.
"Why should you choose an oil of unknown concentration (19459179)? Something if one had [use] something whose concentration is known? "Says Dr. Zampella. You do not necessarily know if it will be effective and you are not aware of the potential dangers of being applied to your skin.
"Because we are dealing with cosmetic products – not drugs – it is difficult to know which of the two The patient is actually getting her skin on and how she will react," says Dr. Hollmig. "This is especially important for oils that have been shown [certain products] to cause allergic skin reactions in a specific part of the population." ( the oil in the poison ivy causes its characteristic rash, says Dr. Zampella. Therefore, patients with sensitive skin or known allergies to botanical ingredients should be extra cautious when using an oil. As a reminder, just because something is natural does not mean that it is inherently safe.
You should know the following if you want to try a facial oil.
Like any skincare product, oils are not for everyone. That does not mean that they are not worth trying. However, when looking for an oil that is tailored to your skin type, there are some general points to keep in mind.
For dry or dehydrated skin: Dry skin most likely benefits from the use of facial oils. "Dry skin often results from the loss or disruption of its barrier function, which, when intact, effectively encloses water," Dr. Brauer, which could be a product of over-washing, too strong a scrub or simply does not produce enough natural oils. "The use of oils acting as occlusive agents helps to prevent water loss," he says.
However, the most effective way to rehydrate dry skin is to drink enough water throughout the day. And even for people with dry skin who use facial oil as a moisturizer, another moisturizing product may be needed, depending on how effective and occlusive the oil is.
For oily or acne-prone skin: "I would say, as a general rule for people with acne-prone or oily skin, it's probably not what you want to do when you put on an oil Put your face, "says Dr. Zampella.
That is, facial oils are not completely blocked for people with greasy or acne-prone skin, says Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, to SELF. But you have to decide carefully. We know that certain oils such as Tea Tree Oil can help to reduce acne and inflammation Zampella. (But there are other products that may be more effective in treating acne and we know more about it, such as salicylic acid and retinoids.)
So, if you want to try it and you feel it helps, that's in Order. Dr. Zampella says. "Not only do we have no clinical trials [for every single product on the market] but each one's skin is a bit different," he says. But it's worth talking about the options in advance to make sure you're using something that does not cause any further problems, and that you're not overlooking any other option that may be better for you.
That is, if you use an oil or not, make sure your skin is moisturized (with a facial oil or some other kind of moisturizer). This is just as important for oily skin as it is for dry skin. can actually help to reduce the greasiness . It is also especially important if you use rough, drying acne products, as we mentioned above.
In addition to the other products you use, Dr. med. Schlessinger Persons with Oily Skin Using a Moisturizer (Probably None)
For Sensitive Skin: People with Sensitive Skin Must Look for Certain Ingredients That May Lead to Irritation Like Tea Tree Oil If you have sensitive skin, Dr. Zampella perform a patch test on the inner arm before applying facial oil.
If you feel confident in using the product, you may worry about choosing facial oils depending on your skin color. If the sensitivity of your skin is caused or aggravated by dryness the use of an oil may even help to soothe the skin by improving hydration.
As usual, the best place to answer your questions is your derm.  Not all oils are made equal. And since most oils have not been thoroughly studied, we do not know much about what the individual oils do or how they are best used. "With so many new and fashionable ingredients on the market, we honestly have no data to show that many of these products offer therapeutic benefits beyond moisturization." Draftsman
That's why it's important to do so much of your own research before you can use a new oil or a new product, and contact a certified dermatologist who can give you recommendations on how to use your skin best to take care of.