All my life I've had combination skin, hormonal acne, and persistent dry patches that made it nigh impossible for foundation to look good. It's been a major point of self consciousness, and the condition of my skin really prevented me from feeling good about myself without makeup. After doing research I realized I was using an intense cleanser that was sapping my skin dry and the moisturizer I was using was super strong to combat that. The combination of harsh dryness and excessive moisturizing was leaving my skin in an absolute state of disarray.
It is really easy to go overboard on products -- especially those that can do more harm than good.
I switched to an extremely gentle cleanser (Philosophy's 'Purity Made Simple') with a silicone exfoliating brush and started using gentle oils to moisturize afterward. Today it's been rainy and I'm stuck inside so I figured I'd share with you guys what oils I use in case you were interested!
You'll need: a base oil, a nourishing oil targeted to your issues, and a glass bottle with a dropper to pour into. I use jojoba oil as a base because it closely matches the sebum your skin produces. It is NOT noncomedogenic, many people claim it is, but it is widely known to play nice with acne prone skin. While it is sold as an oil it is technically a liquid plant wax. This makes it very stable and less likely to go rancid than other oils. Yes, these things can go rancid. Never had it happen personally!
The nourishing oil I chose is tamanu oil (aka: beauty leaf oil -- seriously) and it is known for it's skin healing properties. It is reported as antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and high in antioxidants. Common uses for it include treatment in reducing scarring, stretch marks, rashes, and eczema. This is perfect for me because even when my skin is without acne I still have scars from years and years of being an anxious skin picker. It's a terrible bad habit and I've only recently kicked it.
An amber glass bottle with a dropper is my favorite way of storing the mixture. The dark color keeps the oil protected from light, and the dropper allows you to measure out how much you want to use easily.
You'll want to fill your bottle 2/3 of the way with your carrier oil. Make sure you have paper towels handy in case you spill anything -- oil can be a little bit of a pain to wipe off of surfaces!
Fill the remainder of the bottle with your nourishing oil. Tamanu oil is really fun to look at when you pour it out: it's BRIGHT GREEN! Whenever I make my oil concoction I feel a little bit like a potions master or alchemist. You can, at this point, add a few drops (~4) of skin-friendly essential oils. I left this out of mine because I find that the two on their own does the job for me, but you can always explore options such as lavender, rosemary, or lemongrass.
Separation between the two oils is normal. Shake your bottle gently before use and keep in a cool dark place. There you have it ... your own homemade face oil! This isn't some miracle that makes breakouts go away completely, but I've found that if my skin decides to be a bit of a jerk it makes the bad days come and go quickly. The blemishes are smaller, less inflamed, and they heal much faster than they used to. My pores are clearer and my skin produces less oil in general throughout the day. The redness from my scarring appears to be reduced after extended use. My skin is an even texture throughout and my dry patches are now smooth and soft like the rest of my face!
I tend to use ~3 drops after thoroughly washing my face both in the morning and the evening. The reason why I use a bottle with a dropper is because you can EASILY get too much oil on your hands and then you turn into a greaseball. Use in moderation: a little goes a very long way. I massage it into my skin for around 1 minute. In the mornings I remove excess oil with blotting sheets, but in the evening I let the rest sink in overnight to nourish my skin while I sleep.
You may feel oily at first, and you may get an extra zit here and there, but that's usually the case whenever you change something in your skincare regimen. Give your skin time to adjust. It goes without saying, though, if the oils really don't work for you simply discontinue use and go back to your favorite products!
Jojoba Oil from Desert Essence (available in health food stores)
DISCLAIMER: None of the information in this post has been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Remember to spot test anything you use on your skin to test for allergic reactions. Know your skin, know your ingredients, and do your own independent research beforehand. Don't use anything you don't feel comfortable with.