Beauty Myth-busting: Oils vs. “Oil-free” Part 2- Find your Holy Grail oil.

So after our highly scientific experiment of “Find the grease ring on the paper bag”, you’ve concluded that your “oil-free” products have been lying to you all along. They indeed masquerade as “oil-free” products based on a technicality. Now, before we blow this drama out of proportion, let’s evaluate: how has your moisturizer been treating you? If you’re not experiencing breakouts and you’re happy with the performance of your moisturizer, why fix something if it’s not broken? If you suspect that your moisturizer has been the culprit to your breakouts, read on.

Now that we’ve clarified that just about all moisturizers contain oil and/or oil-like fillers, let me point out that this isn’t a bad thing. In the world of skincare, the fear of oil is created by the propaganda that oil = acne. That is simply untrue. If the oil/oil-like filler in question is not comedogenic to you, you can use it to nourish and protect skin from moisture loss and environmental elements. How do you find the right oil for your skin?

Personally speaking, just about all synthetic esters and moisturizers I’ve tried break me out. They tend to leave a heavy residue that feels foreign on my skin. I prefer oils that mimic my skin’s natural oil. Natural oils really strengthen my skin and they’re much easier to wash off. After years of trying different nature-derived oils (and breaking out from some of them), I’ve found that emu oil suits me best. I can use this oil on the most acne-prone areas of my skin and it still won’t break me out. Emu oil has helped my rosacea tremendously while strengthening my skin so it’s less irritation-prone. I apply this under my mineral powder and the 2 products meld together seamlessly on my skin. Emu oil is also rumored to have sun protection abilities. I can’t say enough about this miracle oil. I bought a 2 oz. bottle of emu oil from Garden of Wisdom in January 2010, it’s now October and I still have about 70% left in the bottle!

The one downside of emu oil is that it is not vegetarian friendly. For a plant oil that is safe for most skin types, jojoba oil is a good one to try. My sister swears by jojoba oil and coconut oil for her also acne-prone skin. I’ve also been testing kukui oil once a week to see how my skin likes it. Acne-prone skin types: apply logic and use the oils in moderation. This is not because the oil will cause acne, but acne-prone has a higher chance of breaking out from any new ingredient. When it comes to trying anything new, use product sparingly, track your progress and avoid starting other new products.


Beauty Myth-busting: Oils vs. “Oil-free”- What is better for my skin?

Having been acne-prone, I am all too familiar with the acne-prone mentality. For the longest time, “Is this oil-free?” was my skincare-shopping motto. I avoided "the O-word" in my skincare and cosmetics at all costs. However, through searching and researching for my ideal skincare regimen, my knowledge on oils has been revamped forever. I can no longer imagine an “oil-free” skincare routine. Read on to find out why.

Ok, here’s the thing. In the United States, when something states “Oil-free” on the bottle, it does not mean what you think it means. It is simply telling you that the product is free of animal, plant and mineral oils. Sounds great on paper, but the reality is: many “oil-free” products feel thicker and greasier than non-“oil-free” products. Why? Well, to ensure that “oil-free” moisturizers still have a nice moisturizing texture and finish, skincare companies use synthetics esters and waxes in lieu of animal, plant and mineral oils. Often times, these fillers look, act and feel just like oils. And just as often, these fillers are comedogenic whereas the some of the aforementioned oils are not.

Here’s a trick to try: take your “oil-free” moisturizers & foundations and liberally dab them on a brown paper bag (the lunch-sack variety will work). Leave the bag at room temperature for 12-24 hours. When you check the bag again, you may see oily rings around the products. These tell-tale rings are the esters and waxes in the product, they soak through a paper bag as well as any greasy lunch!

Gasp! what do I do now? Stayed tuned for Part 2 of Oils vs. “Oil-free”, coming soon!

Image courtesy of sheenasays.com (amazing blog, go check it out!)