Why My Skin Loves Oil
My teen years were full of harsh drying astringent toners, oil removing wipes, and powerful face washes all designed to help remove the oil that was causing my breakouts...you know, besides the fact that I had an excess of hormones since I was a teenager and my liver was not processing them all so my body responded (like a normal body does) by having breakouts. Yes, diet affects breakouts because it effects the efficiency of your liver.
Face palm. Oh wait, I can't touch my face, that will get oils from my hand on my face and then I will breakout! AHHHHHH
Well, fuck that.
As it turns out, your skin needs a layer of oil (called sebum) to be healthy. It makes sure that our skin stays supple because dried out and cracked skin can give harmful bacteria (like staph) an entry into our body. Think about how our hands can get really dry from washing them too much, from too much wind exposure...and how they crack and bleed. Those crack are an open door for bacteria.
Now, while your face may not crack and bleed like your hand. An imbalance in the sebum can lead to more issues. MORE bacteria getting into your pores. MORE redness, MORE dryness. And by constantly stripping the natural oil off our faces, we are telling our bodies they need to make more (because it needs it)...that is where "oily" skin problems can stem from.
Then, once our skin slows down its sebum production, which is during menopause for women...later in life for men...it still needs oil to remain healthy.
Additionally, because we have a layer of fat under the top two layers of skin (the epidermis and the dermis), applying "fatty" oils can actually help our skin age better. Wrinkles are caused by loss of the fat in the hypodermis layer of our skin.
When this information finally clicked in my brain...after years of using harsh cleansers, followed by trying not to use anything....I started creating my own products to use on my face.
Natural beauty products, especially those with deeply nourishing and high quality oils, can be very expensive. I could never have afforded some of the oils I was looking at, especially because I would have to keep buying that same bottle over and over and over again. I couldn't do it.
So I went and bought a variety of oils to make my own. Initially these did cost more than just buying a bottle of the products I was looking at but I knew that I could make months of what I needed from this, keeping the cost low. Many of the herbs I was going to use I already had because I had been using them for other health needs.
Before I started using oils on my skin, my lupus rash was quite apparent. I had rough looking skin and broke out very easily (breakouts are tied to the liver as well), dark circles and small under the eyes. This was after years of using nothing, just splashing my face with water if I felt like I needed it.
Here is my routine:
Rose-Neroli Toner - this uses hydrosols to gently remove surface dirt while soothing the skin. I use a reusable cotton round to apply this to my face. There are NO essential oils in this product.
Natural Beauty Facial Serum - My favorite!! I use 5 drops of this in my hand and gently apply it all over my face. It is deeply nourishing with many fatty oils, including Castor oil and Rosehip oil.
Green Tea Under Eye Serum - pretty self explanatory, Avocado oil is rich in fatty acids and the green tea bring brightness with its caffeine. My next batch (due to be ready in January) will contain Arnica as well.
Rosehip Facial Cleansing Oil - when I shower (because I only shower 1-2 times a week...so that I don't wash away too much of the oil!), I use about a dime size of oil in my hands and, well, wash my face with the oil. I splash warm water to slightly rinse it, and then pat my face dry (even if I am still in the shower).
The only rule I have now is not to rub my eyes because it can actually break some of those delicate blood vessels around the eyes and make dark circles worse. This means that I have to stay hydrated and give my eyes plenty of rest from the computer.
Do I see a difference?
Absolutely. My lupus rash, I had figured, would never go away. I don't have full blown lupus, but it was a pre-lupus state until my blood tests showed a remission a few years ago. It has hung around slightly but once starting my oil regimen (and no, I don't take any fatty acids supplements), I went away. I was shocked. My dark circles started lightening as well, even though one of the reasons there are there is from some diet issues I am in denial about. My skin could tolerate being in the wind without burning, which is extremely important this time of year here in Missouri.
And it didn't take long to see these changes...and its not just my face. I have had multiple customers absolutely loving these products. I have seen the changes in person (I sell at the farmers market in the summer) and I have been sent pictures! I have kept my prices as low as I could so that people can take care of their skin.
It is all too easy to feel self conscious when we feel our skin doesn't look that great...both men and women...why not nourish it and love it?
You can find these products in our Etsy shop, Raven & Oak Herbals, right now (November 2017). The next batch of products won't be available until January because all my infused oils take 6-8 weeks to infuse and I want to make sure that my customers get fresh, high quality products free of preservatives.