I recently mentioned on Instagram that I was giving up facial oils for a week and lots of people were interested why. Those who have become familiar with my skincare preferences will know that not using oils for a whole week is a big deal for me.
I have always struggled with moisturisers, primarily because all of those occlusive ingredients wreak havoc on my acne prone skin. I’ve found a couple that work for me, Clinique Moisture Surge Intense and Chanel Hydra Beauty Creme, but they are quite light and I’ve frequently felt like they are not enough. I do also use the Stratia Liquid Gold, which is a light lotion that contains moisturising ingredients and some oil, but again it felt too light to be used alone. So, usually, I would add a drop or two of a facial oil either under or over my moisturiser morning and night, but more recently I’ve forgone moisturisers all together because I just felt like they weren’t doing anything.
Just a little context – it is currently early Autumn here in New Zealand. I find that my skin stays fairly consistent during each season (ie. not overly dry in winter or oily in summer) but when the seasons change my face goes nuts.
So this brings me to late April, the peak of the Summer-Autumn transition. I was mostly using facial oils instead of moisturisers and my skin was feeling dry, dehydrated and uncomfortable. Usually I would have just put this down to the seasonal changes, but I’d started to see articles and comments about how over-use of facial oils can dry the skin and thought that maybe this had something to do with it.
One of the ladies on Instagram had pointed out to me that Jordan Samuel has once told her he does not recommend using an oil without a hydrating serum underneath because oil alone can be drying. I was also reading a lot of content from MOSS Skincare, who recommend not using the oil from their range every day. They also have a great post on using face oils correctly here:
“I DO think there is some truth to overuse (notice I said OVERuse, not merely “use”) of oils contributing to low-grade skin inflammation.
Too much oil use can cause other skin issues as well. It can disrupt the skin’s production of sebum, ironically causing dry skin to get even more dehydrated! It can even cause once-oily skin to dry out too much!”
I decided to set myself a challenge and see how my skin would respond to a week without facial oils. While I still used oil cleansers and the Stratia Liquid Gold (which contains oil) I did not use any facial oils or oil-based treatments (e.g oil retinols) from Sunday to Saturday.
I picked the Chanel for my morning moisturiser and the Stratia for evening.
I have mentioned before that I have quite bad clogged pores on my jawline and cheeks (visible white bumps under the skin, but no inflammation). After the first 24 hours this congestion had significantly reduced.
By day three my skin was seriously lacking the glow I was used to, but it was feeling a lot stronger and the whiteheads which had made it to the surface were a lot harder to extract (sorry, TMI).
The first day of the trial was Easter Sunday, which meant I was also off work on the Monday allowing me to have two make-up free days as a starter.
On day three I was now back at work and wearing make-up which was just awful. I had lots of dry, flaky patches, the make-up wouldn’t go on smoothly and didn’t wear well throughout the day. I reintroduced my Too Face Hangover Primer, which I hadn’t used for a while, and although it helped a little, things were still looking fairly tragic.
On the evening of day four I cracked out my Sunday Riley Good Genes in a bid to tackle the flakiness and uneven skin texture with some gentle exfoliation.
The following day my skin was a lot smoother, but it was still noticeably dry and dehydrated (forehead dehydration lines were out in force!). My make-up went on a lot better thanks to the Good Genes, but the overall finish looked really dull and flat. A few spots were brought to the surface by Good Genes, but overall congestion was still reduced.
On day seven I headed off to a facial with the lovely Clemency Alice, keen to hear what she would think when she looked at my skin.
The first thing she noticed was how dry and dehydrated my skin looked, but said it was to be expected as my skin was likely still adjusting from being deprived of oil and probably hadn’t started compensating with its own oil production.
It’s now two and a half weeks on and I’m proud to say I have kept up my moisturiser use. I am totally in love with the Chanel, which is still my go-to for the morning, and I am using the Stratia Liquid Gold every evening. I have reincorporated my facial oils, but not every day and certainly not twice a day as I was doing. I think my skin has started to balance itself out and is feeling and looking a lot better than it was before I started this trial. Congestion is still quite reduced and my make-up is back to looking good and glowy!
I will definitely keep up this approach and I think I’m going to have to repurchase the Chanel moisturiser – it absorbs really nicely, feels comfortable and just trumps the Clinique for me. I would love to be able to try some of those lovely, rich creams designed for dry skin buy sadly I can’t risk the breakouts!
If you want to read more about this I would definitely point you in the direction of mosskincare.com – as well as that blog post there is some great information scattered throughout the site. This post from You Glow Gal is also a must read.
I’d love to hear if you have had any experiences cutting down on oil use – or any moisturiser recommendations!