Beauty, Uncategorized

Death by Moisturizer

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Does your brain still hurt from the past few posts?  I know, too much math will do that to you. Since the past few posts still may be digesting we will talk about something light today.

Since the weather is changing skin will be changing as well (if you aren’t chronically dry), and I’ve learned the hard way that  skin can be pretty finicky.  When I was in high school I had oily skin. Seriously oily skin. Oily to the point that I probably could have fried something on my face outside in the summertime. I really liked blotter paper, but I would go through it so fast I started taking toilet seat covers out of public restrooms to stash in my purse whenever I needed to blot my face (don’t judge me). All of that oil started changing, though, when my thyroid started to become under active during senior year. After temporarily medicating my thyroid, my skin stayed mostly normal to oily throughout college. After graduation I started noticing my skin becoming more dry, and all my thyroid symptoms came back. I was put back on medication and my skin turned into the flunkin’ desert. At that point, I had to switch moisturizing tactics. I started to use moisturizers with more emollients. That helped for a while. Slowly and steadily my face got dryer and dryer. I then started using creams, then lotions, then serums, and then ALL of them together. At one point I was using at least 6 moisturizing items at one time prior to makeup application. No matter what I tried, though, I always envisioned the Wild West song and tumbleweeds every time I looked in the mirror.  My face started looking older. I was at a complete loss.

One day I just decided to put my wickedly mad research skills to use, as I began to wonder if there was such a thing as too much moisture. I also began to wonder what would have made my skin change gears so drastically.  It turns out a couple of different things were happening, and to understand it you have to understand the difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin. Yep, there’s a difference.

To keep it simple, dry skin lacks oil (doesn’t produce it correctly). Oil is needed to help lock moisture in. Dehydrated skin lacks water.  You can have dry, dehydrated skin or you can have oily, dehydrated skin. Dry skin is a skin type, and therefore probably permanent. Dehydrated skin is temporary and can be corrected.  Usually dehydration comes from the weather changes, not drinking enough water (Bobby Boucher would be pissed at you), drinking too much alcohol, too much UV exposure, etc.

When skin starts to feel dry, the first thing people tend to do is reach for the moisturizer.  I was doing just that.  The problem, is you have to make sure you get the right moisturizer for your skin type, and you have to do a little homework to decide what is right for your face. The problem with using too much moisturizer is that:

  1. Your skin can become dependent on it. It certainly won’t produce oil the way it should, and it becomes lazy and dull.
  2. Too much moisturizer actually begins to suffocate the skin cells. When skin cells suffocate, they die.  When they die, you begin to look like Emperor Palpatine.
  3. If you have oily, dehydrated skin you can actually be clogging your pores and creating more issues for acne, etc.

I know I wasn’t paying much attention to what my skin was telling me, I just wanted relief.  After researching, I  started  a new skin care regime (only the 10th that year) and noticed my “dry” skin was actually looking oily by mid-afternoon. Ironically, this new routine I started was using far fewer products than I was used to.  I was also drinking more water.  Now, I would classify my skin as being combination rather than dry.  Here is how I tweaked my products.

  1. I read ingredient labels carefully. I looked for face washes and products that had little to no alcohol in them.
  2. I looked for humectants such as glycerine, and emollients, such as oil and lipids (stearic acid)
  3. I had to find a face wash that was more of an oil or milk, as anything else made my skin tight
  4. Started using more “natural” products
  5. Swapped my medium coverage foundation for  tinted moisturizer or CC cream (so my skin could breathe)

Right now, these are the products I am using

Dr. Hauschka cleansing milk is what I use to wash my face. I follow it up with witch hazel and rosewater to finish removing makeup.  I spritz with the Rosewater & Glycerin and let dry (this is my FAVORITE product of all time, by the way). Usually that’s all I need to do at night. If I feel the need to put something else on my face, I tend to put a few drops of jojoba oil on my skin. In the morning I splash my face with water, spray with the Rosewater and Glycerin, apply the Andalou facial lotion (doubles as a very light moisturizer and sunscreen), and apply my Juice Beauty tinted moisturizer. I set with a facial powder to keep coverage. It’s easy and far fewer products than I used to use.  The Rosewater & Glycerin spray is my holy grail, though.  The glycerine actually pulls moisture to my skin and it stays comfortable all day long.

By the way, if you are wondering why you see me using glycerine and glycerin it’s not a typo. Both refer to propane-1,2,3-triol. There’s your science nugget of the day.

For all you oily skin brothers and sisters, you should be using moisturizer too!  Excessively oily skin is usually the skin’s way of trying harder to moisturize itself. You could actually be a bit dehydrated. You should make sure you are using a moisturizer that is non-comedogenic and lacks oil as an ingredient. Look for something water based, such as a gel.

Do you have dry skin? I’d love to hear in the comments below!  Also, if you have very dry skin I’d be happy to share with you the products I use when my face is more dry/dehydrated than normal.

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