Updated: Dec 6, 2020
I have struggled with acne in my early 30’s. And I know how annoying and painful it can be to not only your skin but your confidence too. I have been to Dermats, tried oral medication, ointments, been through the drill of Accutane, Tretinoin, Benzoyl Peroxide, Azelaic Acid, Topical Anti-biotics like Clindoxyl, etc. All this does help, but it’s not permanent.
Inspite of all this, the ‘Aunt Acne’ will come back in probably a worse form- Big, enlarged, cystic, and painful Acne. Yes, it's sad, but true! There is no permanent cure for Acne! Harsh, right? I know it sucks. But there is always a way to keep your skin healthy and alter your lifestyle. Yes! A Lifestyle and diet change is a major game-changer for people like us. Watch out for my next post on ‘Diet Modification to fight Acne’. But what can we do with our skincare regime? Read on…
In order to get started with a healthy skincare regime, it’s imperative for you to understand the importance of Hydration. Whenever we get a zit, we want to run away from oils and do everything to keep the skin dry, right? But that’s the wrong approach. When our skin is extremely dry, it will cause our sebum production to actually go on overdrive, since it will desperately try to provide our skin with more moisture. And this will lead to clogged pores and more Acne. But you might think if this is true, why do I break out, even more, when I apply oils? It’s likely because you aren’t choosing the right oil. You need light, non-comedogenic oils that are high in linoleic acid and low in Oleic Acid content.
Wait, that was a bouncer, right? Let me simplify it for you.
All of us who have Acne prone skin has a low Linoleic Acid content and high Oleic Acid in our sebum. Linoleic Acid, also known as Omega- 6, belongs to one of the two essential fatty acids, which means that the human body cannot synthesize it from other food components. The deficiency of this component indirectly clogs our pores and leads to acne and breakouts. Therefore incorporating topical linoleic acid to our skin is very healing and will also prevent future break outs. They help rebuild and preserve the natural skin barrier. Also, just FYI, people who have Dry Skin, usually have higher Linoleic Acid content and low Oleic Acid in their sebum, therefore they can safely use thicker or heavier oils that have a higher Oleic Acid content.
Understood? Now let’s get on to which oils have high Linoleic Acid content and can be safely used for Acne prone skin:
One of my all-time favorites is ‘carrier oil’ like Hemp Seed Oil, Watermelon Seed Oil, Safflower Seed Oil, Poppy Seed Oil & Red Raspberry Seed Oil. All of these oils have a high linoleic acid percentage (between 55 to 70%) and a low oleic acid percentage (between 7 to 12%). They are dry oils, which are lighter more fluid, less ‘oily’, and rapidly absorb into your skin, leaving it moisturized yet non-greasy. They don’t ‘sit on top’ of your skin, but actually penetrate really well. Our skin is habitual to absorb “oil-soluble” ingredients rather than “water-soluble” ones, as they don’t penetrate deeper. Another important factor to consider is that these oils have a Comedogenic score/ rating of '0'. Now this means these oils are safe and will not clog your pores and cause breakouts.
There are other fantastic oils like Grapeseed Oil, Rosehip Oil, Maracuja Oil, and Evening Primrose Oil, which also have a high linoleic acid percentage but have a Comedogenic rating of 1 or 2; which makes them slightly unsafe for Acne prone skin. Any oil, which has a comedogenic rating of 3 to 4 should not be used for Acne prone skin. Such oils are heavy, thick, highly emollient, like Coconut oil, Almond Oil, Tamanu Oil, Marula Oil, Wheatgerm Oil, Castor Oil, Carrot Seed Oil, Brazil Nut Oil, Argan Oil, Avacado Oil, & Mineral Oils (these oils are fantastic for Extremely Dry, Mature skin, with no Acne issues).
Also, remember to always go for 100% cold pressed oils instead of expeller pressed or CO2 extraction process. Because cold-pressed oils are processed at lower temperatures, does not alter the properties and nutrients of the oil; than the other methods that use heat or high temperatures or chemicals to extract the oils from the seeds.
Also, ensure that you stay away from absolute/ essential oils derived from flowers or leaves. These oils are extracted by steam distillation process and are heavily fragrant. Oils like Lemonpeel, Lemongrass, orange, lavender, Rose Absolute. These oils can cause irritation and redness. One amazing oil- Tea Tree Oil, is also an essential oil, but this has fantastic anti-microbial properties. It is a strong oil, and therefore shouldn’t be applied directly onto the skin. However, when mixed with the right kind of carrier oils, with the correct ratio, it can do wonders. This oil should however be avoided by people who have extremely sensitive skin, as it may cause redness. Otherwise, it has soothing, calming, anti-inflammatory properties.
In a nutshell, when purchasing oil, check for these properties:
Type of Oil – should be Carrier Oil
Linoleic Acid content- should be above 55%
Oleic Acid content – should be less than 12%
Comedogenic Ratio – should be '0'
Extraction Method – should be 100% cold pressed
Fragrance- should have no ‘artificial’ fragrance
And while I was researching all this, our skincare industry majorly lacks one such product that has all these amazing, safe, and effective oils. Most brands put too many oils/ ingredients in one little bottle, to perhaps justify the cost or even confuse customers. It is rare to find oils which have all the above categories ticked and are chemical free + cruelty free. I recognized that gap. And this is what paved my way to formulate an oil which I would want to use. SUPERLUNARY FACIAL OIL - An oil, which is safe and won’t clog your pores. It has Hemp Seed Oil, Watermelon Seed Oil, and Tea Tree Oil (miniscule ratio). We have consciously kept the ingredients short and simple. You may give this a try. It is Handmade, Artificial fragrance free, Chemical free, Cruelty free and 100% Natural. Click on this link to shop now: https://www.herbisbotanicals.com/product-page/superlunary-facial-oil
Which are your favorite Oils to treat Acne? Do leave your comments/ suggestions and ask me anything about your skincare concerns pertaining to Acne and Skincare oils.