The oil our skin produces is also known as sebum; it’s secreted by our sebaceous glands. Together with moisture, sebum is an important part of our skin’s protective barrier, the acid mantle. But there’s a whole range of things which can throw the balance of our acid mantle out of whack and trigger a cycle of problems for your skin. One of these is our pH, which we’ve talked about on The Edit previously. Another is stress. For the example below, we’re going to take a look at chain of events stress can initiate in your skin, but it’s important to keep in mind that stress isn’t a necessary ingredient for this to occur! (More on that a bit later.)
Stress = your adrenal glands produce more of a hormone called cortisol
Cortisol = your skin produces less hyaluronic acid and more sebum
Less hyaluronic acid = your skin becomes dehydrated
Dehydration = your skin tries to compensate by producing more sebum
Less hyaluronic acid + more sebum + more sebum = hello breakouts
Breakouts = you’ll probably try to strip the oil from your skin with harsh products
Stripping oil = an impaired acid mantle
Impaired acid mantle = trans epidermal water loss (further dehydration) and undesirables getting to and irritating your skin
Irritations to the skin = breakouts and maybe even sensitivity
Breakouts and sensitivity = you stressing over why your skin is “so bad”
As you can see, it’s a vicious cycle. But it doesn’t have to be! By getting your skin’s hydration and oil production back in balance, you can break the cycle and take back control of your skin! Let’s take a look at dealing with each of these factors.
The oil factor
The standard industry response to oily skin is to strip the oil away. But when we strip away the oil, we damage the acid mantle, leaving the skin unprotected and at risk.
Our Clear Skin Daily Face and Body Wash contains Willowbark and Vitamin B3, which work to reduce excess oil, while Salicylic Acid controls the flow of the oil, reduces inflammation and removes dead skin cells. It also contains natural antibacterials Tea Tree, Eucalyptus and Thyme to keep bacteria which can cause acne in check. All without stripping the skin and ensuring its delicate pH is kept in balance; phew!
The dehydration factor
Because oily skins can feel almost ‘wet’ thanks to the sebum they are secreting, many people with an oily complexion mistakenly skip moisturising, thinking it will only exacerbate things. However, as we can see in the flow of the scenario above, addressing dehydration could actually help to break the cycle. Who wants to put a heavy moisturiser onto an already oily skin though?
Let us introduce you to our Clear Skin Daily Hydrator Gel. This oil-free hydrating gel packs a real punch on the moisture front, but ensures you won’t be left feeling as if you have an even bigger oil slick than usual all over your face. This lovely, light-textured gel also contains Tea Tree, Eucalyptus and Salicylic Acid, so it will target your active blemishes while providing that mega dose of hydration. #winning
What about my active blemishes?
While controlling your oil flow and addressing any underlying dehydration will definitely help to reduce breakouts on your skin, there will always be those times when blemishes appear. Our Clear Skin Blemish Control Gel is the perfect antidote for these unwanted spots. It contains the natural antibacterials synonymous with this collection, along with Salicylic Acid and Niacinamide to break down the pimple, reducing inflammation, infection and its size.
I have oily skin, but I’m not stressed, so this doesn’t apply to me, right?
While our example above does include stress as the starting point for this cycle, by no means are we saying that this will only occur if you are stressed! There are many different things which could set off this chain of events. Overly alkaline products which put your skin’s pH out for starters. But it could be even be triggered by the ageing process alone due to your skin’s production of natural hyaluronic acid dropping away, meaning your cycle of problems began at step three.
The long and the short of it is it doesn’t really matter what the starting point is; if your skin becomes dehydrated, it will likely begin to overproduce sebum, fuelling these issues. You don’t have to just accept that as your reality though!
Of course, it’s also important to acknowledge the existence of true oily skin. Even if your skin is hydrated, it will continue to overproduce sebum because that’s just its thing. Thanks to its ability to regulate the flow of oil in your skin, the Clear Skin collection is ideal for those with true oily skins too.
The Clear Skin collection
Alpha-H’s Clear Skin collection was created specifically to help address the fact that breakouts, congestion and acne don’t discriminate; they can affect any age and gender at any point in life. Each product in the collection features a blend of nature and science, bringing the best of both worlds to produce real results. That’s not just our opinion either! Niall Horan loves this collection and declared it ‘the only one that works’. And no we didn’t pay him for it. #justsaying
I need more help with my oily skin!
If you are still unsure as to which products could help with your oily skin, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us; we love helping our #alphaholics! Submit a consultation card, or request a live online skin consultation to get personalised advice from one of our highly trained therapists.