How To Balance Your Skin’s Natural Oil & Water Levels

Routine 101

How To Balance Your Skin’s Natural Oil & Water Levels

By Janell Hickman

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There are numerous iconic duos, but in the skincare world the only one that matters is oil and water. The caveat? One is produced naturally (oil) and the other relies on internal and topical solves (water). The key to balance here is making sure you aren’t depleting your skin or forcing it to overcompensate. Over time, a lack of natural oil can compromise your skin’s natural barrier to defend against further water hydration loss. Are you recognizing a cycle here?
The Difference Between Dry and Dehydrated Skin

At first glance, it seems like these skin descriptors can be interchangeable. In short, not exactly. Dehydration is a skin condition and occurs when your skin lacks water. Dryness, however, is a skin type and occurs when your skin lacks oil. Regardless of skin type or condition, you need proper water content. A good tip here is adding a hydrating toner to your oil to help with penetration.

It might seem counterintuitive to acneic or oily skin types, but a lack of moisture can actually make things worse. Habits like over-cleansing, using harsh active ingredients (think retinols, salicylic acids, and benzoyl peroxide), and skipping moisturizer can exacerbate the issue and actually increase your skin’s oil production.

The Importance of Water Moisture

At the end of the day, our skin is an organ on the outside of our bodies. And when it lacks water moisture, it’s dehydrated. Our skin doesn’t produce water content other than sweat. Instead, it only receives it from water put into our bodies and water-based moisturizers put onto our skin.

Your skin only retains about 20% of the nutrients that you put into your body, so even if you are drinking a gallon (or two) of water per day, your skin is the last thing to receive any of that hydration. Thankfully ingredients like hyaluronic acid, honey, and aloe found in products like toners, serums, or moisturizers help retain water.

The Importance of Oil Moisture

Many people (including some of our clients!) consider themselves to be a combination skin type because of an oily T-Zone, but a lack of oil may actually be the culprit.

To minimize oil, it seems natural to scale back on moisturizing. But that’s actually the opposite of what you should do.

In turn, your skin starts to overproduce oil in all of the areas it can produce it, leaving you with crepe paper-like skin with oil happily sitting on top of it. Essentially, your skin is so dehydrated that it forces itself to produce its own oil with the hope of rebalance. #Mindblown.

But before you reach for just any oil, you have to take your skin type into account. For example, oils like jojoba, grapeseed, and safflower are skin-friendly because it mimics what our natural sebum feels like IRL. And, yes even those with acne can benefit from using them. Those with super dry or mature skin may have better luck leaning towards heavier oils including rosehip, coconut, caraseed, argan, or shea butter.

Find a Moisturizer That Works for You

We won’t debate you on this, but we daresay finding the perfect moisturize might be one of the trickier tasks. You have to ask yourself a variety of questions including: What ingredients work with your skin type? Does the moisturizer last all day long? Do you like the feel of it? To name a few. Our Skin Quiz is a great starting point to teach you about your skin type and condition, how to care for your skin, and how to confidently pick products that work for you.

Choosing the Right Products

According to Heyday Skincare Educator, Chrissy Carrano, when it comes to skincare there isn’t really a “universal” product that all skin types will respond to. Instead, she suggests thinking about a skincare equation if you will. For example, combine a “serum + toner” or “moisturizer + oil” or “toner + oil” to strike the right balance of what you’re trying to achieve. Here are a few recommendations to get you started on your duo:

This Balancing Serum

Stress from everyday life to environmental factors like air pollution can throw your skin for a loop. This gentle serum helps restore balance to skin freak outs by reversing dehydration and irritation via ingredients like beet root extract, sodium hyaluronate, and copper PCA.

This Hydrating Toner

Opting for a hydrating toner (rather than an astringent) will boost product penetration, so your serums oils, balms, and creams, can seamlessly absorb deeper into your epidermis. This one in particular includes nourishing marula oil and restorative evening primrose to block dehydration, congestion, and future breakouts.

This Multitasking Oil

Dry and mature skin types might find themselves reaching for facial oils more often than not, thanks to age-defying and brightening benefits. Pai’s formula in particular features a high concentration of essential nutrients designed to boost your skin’s natural overnight regeneration process.

This Expert-Approved Mist

There’s a reason that our Skin Therapists love this facial mist trifecta of stone crop juice, calendula, and glycerin. Together, these hydrating ingredients nourish, heal, and most importantly moisturize the skin.

This Soothing Moisturizer

Those with sensitive skin will love the soothing capabilities of Calendula to quickly calm down inflammation and dilated capillaries. Plus, the luxurious creamy texture is a daily treat.

Your Skin Is There To Protect

Remember, the main function of your skin is protection. If it’s out of whack, the ‘good stuff’ seeps out and ‘bad stuff’ is absorbed. Keeping your skin balanced helps make sure you maintain the glowing, dewy complexion you deserve.

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