For ages, the cardinal rule of skincare has been that oil-based cleansers are bad for your complexion. Turns out that rule has gone the way of the high-carb diet.
As scientists learn more about the interconnected nature of the bacterial environment of our bodies and our immune systems, they are making new discoveries about both our gut biome and yes, our skin biome. You’ve probably heard a lot about the balance of beneficial and harmful bacteria in your digestive system, and the surprising ways these bacteria affect our overall health. It turns out that the ecosystem of bacteria living on your skin, otherwise known as the skin biome, plays a role in the formulation of acne and other skin conditions.
Another key part of the ecosystem of your skin is its lipid layer. This fatty layer has an important job: keeping your skin moist so that it can prevent invading pathogens and pollution from entering your body. Moist, hydrated skin is the best immune barrier. It keeps your skin in balance. In contrast, dryness provides a potential opening in the skin for harmful bacteria to enter.
Is Facial Cleansing Oil Right for You?
One thing we know for sure: dermatologists now believe that oil-based cleansers can play a beneficial part of your skincare routine, nourishing your skin in ways that other facial cleansers fail to do. If you’ve been wanting to try a facial oil cleanser but don’t know what kind of oils might be right for you, begin with considering your complexion type and your skin’s needs.
If you have acne or oily skin, you may worry that an oil-based cleanser will make your face greasier or inflame acne. Those are valid concerns. In fact, some oils can clog pores and cause acne. That doesn’t mean that facial cleansing oils are wrong for you. It just means that you need to choose the best oil cleanser for your skincare needs.
What is The Comedogenic Scale?
Comedogenic refers to the likelihood that a product you put on your skin will clog your pores and cause you to break out. The comedogenic scale ranks cosmetic ingredients from 0 to 5, based on their proven ability to clog pores. A high number on the scale indicates that an ingredient is most highly comedogenic. Anything ranked as a 2 or lower is considered non-comedogenic, or unlikely to clog pores.
The comedogenic scale can be slightly deceiving, however. While a heavier oil may be pore-clogging for someone with oily skin, it might be perfect for a person with dry skin. Just like we choose lighter or heavier lotions and creams based on our skin type, cleansing oils should also be chosen to meet our skincare needs.
Most oil-based face cleansers are oil blends. Carrier oils, which serve as the base for an oil blend, might be too heavy on their own, but when diluted with other oils the overall blend can be non-comedogenic. Cosmetic companies blend oils not just to even out their viscosity, however. Oils are also combined to make use of their unique therapeutic qualities and benefits for your skin.
Do-It-Yourself Oil-Based Cleansers
You may have read some blog posts that explain how easy it is to make your own facial oil cleanser. Just mix one-part olive oil and one-part castor oil, and you have your own inexpensive oil blend. What bloggers often fail to mention is that “homemade mixtures are more concentrated and have more side effects, such as irritation and increased risk of pimples – exactly the opposite of the desired effect,” Michele Farber, M.D. told theklog.co. Using these thick, concentrated oils to take off eye makeup can be particularly irritating for delicate skin around the eyes. Dermatologists report seeing more patients who use DIY oil blends or straight coconut oil breaking out with milia, or small keratin-filled cysts that look like little white bumps on the skin. Coconut oil is a 4 on the comedogenic scale, which means it has a fairly high likelihood of clogging your pores and leading to a breakout.
If you’re still attracted to making your own oil blend, do your homework. Make sure that you use non-comedogenic oils, and be sure to patch test any blend before you apply it to your face or use it around your eyes. Consult your dermatologist if your homemade cleanser causes breakouts.
The Best Face Oils for Every Skin Type
In addition to cleansing your face of dead skin cells, dirt, and pollution, face oils are great makeup removers. They can even remove waterproof mascara. Here are some beneficial oils for every skin type:
- Oily Skin: People often use overly drying products on their skin to reduce oiliness. This can cause a rebound effect, where your skin produces even more oil to compensate for the dryness. Oils with an astringent quality, such as geranium, rosemary, lavender and tea tree oils will help balance the skin’s oil production. Lighter carrier oils like jojoba and squalene benefit oily complexions.
- Dry Skin: Nourishing, moisturizing oil blends that include oils like olive, avocado, sweet almond and castor oil benefit dry skin.
- Normal Skin: Focus on a blend of moisturizing and refining oils to balance the complexion.
- Acne-Prone Skin: Castor oil, geranium, rosemary, lavender and tea tree are all refining oils which reduce inflammation and the help combat the bacteria that cause acne.
- Sensitive Skin: Those with this skin type need to be careful of fragrance and the essential oils which may cause a reaction. Sensitive skin can also be dry, so be sure to take those needs into consideration as well.
- Combination Skin: Castor oil is beneficial for all skin types due to the moisturizing properties of ricinoleic acid. Combine this with astringent oils to combat oiliness, and a lighter carrier oil to prevent breakouts.
- Mature Skin: Choose oil blends that contain vitamins E and C for their collagen-boosting properties. Olive oil is high in vitamin E and rosehip oil is high in vitamin C.
A non-comedogenic oil with beneficial properties for all skin types, BeautyGARDE Clean Cleansing Oil contains castor, geranium, olive, rosemary and vitamin E oils. It’s infused with tiny rosebuds for their vitamin C and an intoxicating scent that relaxes while it soothes your skin. Castor oil, rich in ricinoleic acid, has potent anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial benefits, and it’s rich in nourishing monounsaturated fatty acids. Vitamin E oil and the vitamin C in our rosebud elixir contain powerful antioxidants which are the building blocks of the collagen in our skin. These antioxidants encourage cell turnover for bouncy, fresh skin.
If you’d like to learn more about cleansing oils, please read the other articles in this series:
- What is Facial Cleansing Oil and Why Should I Use It?
- How To Oil Cleanse - A Complete Step-by-Step Guide
- What is the Oil Cleansing Method, And Why You Should Try It
- The Ultimate Guide to Oil Cleansing for Acne-Prone Skin