Is ‘oil-free’ beneficial to your skin?
Skin naturally contains certain oils, which have important functions in maintaining skin health and protecting it from the external environment. These oils essentially act as a barrier, blocking the penetration of bacteria, and preventing dehydration by reducing water loss and increasing water retention by the skin. In this way, natural oils help to keep the skin feeling soft and supple, as well as looking young and healthy.
Many skin creams contain lipids and oils which mimic the action of these essential oils; as we age, our skin produces less of these essential oils, and replacing them is one of the most important ways to look after your skin. Natural oils applied to the skin, or oil containing creams, help to retain moisture by supporting the natural oil barrier.
Some people however are prone to oily skin; this is when the sebaceous glands become over active, resulting in a shiny face, and skin problems which may include blocked pores, enlarged pores and acne. While these issues are troublesome, oily skin is less prone to wrinkles and other signs of aging, so there are some benefits!
If you have oily skin, an oil-free moisturiser can be beneficial. It is a myth that oily skin doesn’t need moisturisers; on the contrary, oily skin needs moisture and not hydrating oily skin will only lead to increased oil production as the skin tries to compensate. Using an oil free product will ensure your skin is hydrated without worsening the problem. It is equally important for those with oily skin to use sun-screen, as sun damage will again only exacerbate the problem. An oil-free moisturiser which contains sunscreen may be a solution.