Let’s talk about acne. My sweet readers, brace yourself because it is going to be a long post. As promised on Instagram, I have decided to do a round-up of face oils and serums suitable for oily skin and efficient in healing and treating blemishes and inflammations. I am not a dermatologist nor a skincare expert, I still have breakouts (skin does not magically clear up after puberty and turning 18…). In fact, I had clear skin throughout my teens, it is in my early twenties that I experienced adult acne linked to hormonal imbalance. Now after a lot of trial and error, I am getting better at controlling inflammation since I have found what works for my skin and what I should avoid at all cost.
After years of using face oils, I can attest that:
1. oils are compatible with oily skin
2. not all oils are created equal
3. once you find the ones you love, it’s hard to go back to cream moisturizers.
4. don’t switch oils after a few days (unless you get a bad skin reaction of course). Consistency is key for a balanced complexion.
Eyes are the mirror to the soul, skin is the mirror to your gut.
First and foremost, let me highlight the importance of taking care of your physical and emotional wellbeing. A balanced and wholesome “diet” (not a restrictive diet, but one that is nourishing and rich in nutrients) has a positive impact on hormonal balance, and subsequently skin health. As soon as I start eating more sugar, my skin reveals it, clearly not keeping my dirty secrets safe haha. Same applies to physical activity and stress control. Moving your body will keep cortisol levels normal and contribute to a clearer complexion.
If you’re interested in literature that covers beauty on a general level, I highly recommend the book of Nadine Artemis (founder of Living Libations) Renegade Beauty. It’s an enlightening read, providing valuable tools towards self-care in a raw and natural way. While products can help soothe an inflammation they can’t go to the core source, it’s a mind/body synergy that has to operate. If you’re able to make some little changes in every aspect, you’ll see some fantastic results.
The oil-demonizing days are over. Many studies attest that oils are beneficial for acne-prone skin. The best carrier oils to fight acne are the ones that are light and contain a high amount of linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid which won’t clog the pores. Linoleic acid-rich oils can help fluidify the sebum so it can easily flow out of our pores and reduce breakouts. Pick oils with a low comedogenic rating (0 being the lowest likelihood and 5 the highest) and packed with anti-inflammatory, balancing and cell-regenerating benefits. While I tend to follow the comedogenic rating list, there are always exceptions to the rules – as well stated by Celestyna, the founder of Moss Skincare. She has an extensive knowledge of acne and skin health. Her line is known for treating problematic skin. I found her post on “comedogenic” ingredients and why there’s no such thing as a “definitive” list of clogging oils (here), particularly enlightening. These are some of the excerpts I find relevant.
“Even ingredients that are not typically comedogenic can become so by a person’s own unique skin chemistry.” (…) “Formulations matter a ton. A formula is not just a sum of its parts—ingredient combinations can turn a comedogenic ingredient into a noncomedogenic ingredient and vice versa. Same thing goes for ingredient percentage – a comedogenic ingredient included at a smaller percentage can easily become harmless and non-comedogenic. ” (…) Also, the method in which an ingredient is extracted and processed plays a role. The source and the quality and purity of the raw material can also affect its rating. “Remember, your skin is unique and will respond in its own way to all ingredients and products, even those that the manufacturers SWEAR are non-comedogenic.”
While working on this post, I did research the properties, benefits and “comedogenic” potential that ingredients have. Numerous articles do refer to the “comedogenic scale”. I have chosen to incorporate it for info purposes, but like Celestyna Moss said, each skin might react differently. One can have a reaction to a low comedogenic ingredient and vice-versa. Formulation is key.
Without further ado, here are the oils and serums which worked for my oily and blemish-prone skin. I highlighted the ingredients that are specifically effective to help clear up clogged pores and balance oil production as well as ingredients with various benefits (protective/brightening/soothing) that remain suitable for oily skin.
Oils and Serums that work their magic on all skin types:
Rosalena Rock & Rose Face Oil:
A brand dear to me, everything they do is made with utmost care. Rock & Rose is an amazing energizing/brightening skin nectar. Although it may be feeling rich at first application, it’s seamlessly absorbed, thus revealing a glowing and nourished complexion.
TOP INGREDIENTS: PUMPKIN SEED OIL, ROSEMARY OIL – Pumpkin seed oil is rich in zinc and selenium which are two minerals recommended to treat acne. PSO fights acne-causing bacteria and prevents scars without clogging pores. Naturally high in enzymes, it gets rid of impurities and dead cells and help reduce acne and pimples. Rosemary oil has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that reduce eczema, dermatitis, and acne. It also re-hydrates and tones skin while smoothing fine lines.
OILY-FRIENDLY: prickly pear seed, evening primrose, grapeseed oil – Evening Primrose Oil has high levels of Omega’s 3, 6 & 9 to improve skin tone. Grapeseed oil is high in linoleic acid with a comedogenic rating of 1. Light and swiftly absorbed, it reduces inflammation, redness, and accelerates the healing of acne while keeping skin supple and hydrated.
Ingredients: Safflower Seed Oil**, Pumpkin Seed Oil**, Evening Primrose Seed Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Prickly Pear Seed Oil, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), Ubiquinone (CoEnzyme 10), Rosehip C02 Seed Extract**, Rosemary Leaf Extract**, Patchouli Leaf Oil**, Sweet Orange Oil**, Rosa Damascena (Rose Otto) Flower Oil**, Jasmin Absolute Oil**, Pelargonium Praveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil**, Farnesol*, Geraniol*, Limonene*, Linalool* *naturally occurring ingredients ** organic
For the full article on all the oils that Liz, recommends and features in this trailblazing article, head over to this link: