Do oils make your skin break out?

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You may have experienced this – you want to transition to gentle, natural skincare – but your skin freaks out.  Especially when you apply an oil cleanser or serum.  What?!?  I mean, haven’t the greatest beauties throughout time used beauty oils as their secret weapon?

Well, times have changed.  Our beings are constantly being exposed to toxins such as sugar, anti-biotics, stress, environmental toxicity, and harsh skin care – and these factors have upset the balance within our bodies and on our skin which has made us over-sensitive to so many things – including beauty oils.  You are not alone – it is very common for beauty oils (such as argan oil, jojoba oil and rosehip oil) to make your skin worse when you are susceptible to acne.

But it is not because your skin is not made for oils.  Beauty oils have been used since the beginning of recorded human history – their composition is pretty much perfect when it comes to nourishing and protecting the skin.  The reason oils are often not tolerated is because the microbiome is imbalanced, which inflames the skin.

The microbiome is a community of trillions of microbes that lives in your gut and on your skin.

When the microbiome is imbalanced (this is called dysbiosis), there are more pathogenic than beneficial microbes living in your gut and on your skin – and this can lead to inflammation throughout your body.

One microbe that tends to proliferate on your skin when there is a dysbiosis is a yeast called malasezzia – this yeast has been studied extensively and is present in dermatitis and fungal acne.  One of the main food sources of malasezzia is oil, including beauty oils such as jojoba, argan and rosehip oil.

Therefore, if you have an imbalanced microbiome in your gut and on your skin it is possible that oils will allow the malassezia to thrive, which will aggravate your skin, increase inflammation and make clogging and acne worse.

So if you have acne and suspect an imbalanced microbiome, which can often manifest as digestion complaints, it is a good idea to use oil-free products until you can balance your body from within.

The ideal situation is to heal your body so that you are able to tolerate using oils as part of your skincare, because oils are incredibly nourishing and beautifying – and they are an essential part of an effective anti-aging routine.  Another reason to balance your body and heal your microbiome is that dysbiosis is linked to chronic disease and inflammation – something that you want to address ASAP.

So what skincare should you use while healing and balancing your body?

I love using a totally natural skin care protocol, but often you have to repair your skin to the place where you can tolerate it.  As I have already mentioned, our bodies are in an unprecedented state of crisis – we are inflamed and over-sensitive.

We need to calm and heal the body and skin so we can tolerate natural skin protocols that have been used successfully for millennia.

I have worked in a dermatology clinic in Toronto for 12 years, and micellar water and moisturizers designed for extremely sensitive skin are used for dermatitis and fungal acne, because they do not contain oils that feed malasezzia.  Most of these product lines come from France: Bioderma, La Roche-Posay, and Avene.

Totally natural protocol:

Cleansing / Mask: Manuka honey

Moisture:  Aloe Vera gel

Low-toxicity protocol:

Cleansing: Micellar Water (Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water)

Moisture: Oil-free Moisturizer designed for sensitive skin (Avene Tolerance Emulsion, Bioderma Sensibio Light)

What is micellar water?

Micellar water is an old technology from 1913 and it is basically an oil suspension in water. Micelles (oil particles suspended in water) attract dirt and oil from the skin and effectively cleanse the skin without drying it out.  Micellar water was used in France widely at a time when didn’t have plumbing and the water quality was low.

Oil-Free Moisturizer

After cleansing gently, an oil-free moisturizer designed for sensitive skin is critical.  My favourite is Avene Tolerance Emulsion.  It is very light and scores ‘1’ on the Environmental Working Group website.  Another popular moisturizer is Bioderma Sensibio Light – it is a bit heavier than the Avene formulation and it scores a bit higher on the Environmental Working Group website, but is works well with the Bioderma Micellar water.

This combination is used by dermatologists all over the world for sensitive skin and as post-treatment for lasers.  This is a great protocol to use while your gut and skin are healing.

Once your microbiome is in balance you will be able to transition to oil cleansing and using oil serums, which are ideal for nourishing the skin and providing the best anti-aging benefits.

To learn how to balance your microbiome and heal your acne from the inside out for good – check out my 7-Week Clear Skin Program!  It is changing lives. xoxo




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