Why Does Oily Skin Need Moisturiser? [Myth-Busting]

by | Myths, Oily skin

Myth: Oily Skin Doesn’t Need Moisturiser.

Do you have what dermatologists called an oil well in the desert syndrome? It is a syndrome that describes when the skin is both oily and dehydrated at the same time – just like an oil well in the desert.

One of the common skincare myths on the Internet is that moisturisers can make oily skin more oily, hence the belief that oily skin doesn’t need moisturiser.

In this article, we are going to debunk this myth and explain why even oily skin needs a moisturiser.


All Skin Types Need Moisturiser.

To put it simply, all skin types (yeah, you heard it right, ALL skin types) need moisturiser as part of the daily skincare routine, because moisturiser provides both hydration and moisture that is needed for healthy skin.

From a structure’s point of view, our skin is made of 3 major layers. From the outermost to the innermost, we have epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous fat layers.

Embedded in the middle or dermis layer are tiny glands called sebaceous glands. These oil-producing glands are super important, because they make our skin smooth, soft and water-proof.

But of course, when these tiny glands go overdrive and we end up with oily skin, which is prone to suffer from acne. But on the other hand, oily skin tends to have fewer wrinkles; so it is not all bad for an oily complexion.

Oil On Our Skin Offers Us Protection.

Because oil (or sebum, if you want to be scientific) on our skin protects us; if we have an oily complexion, it simply means our skin has a strong barrier fending off undesirables such as pollutants. This is another benefit that dry skin doesn’t get to enjoy.

However, many people confuse skin oil’s protective property with hydration. It’s important to recognise that while oils on the surface of our skin prevent moisture from escaping, they don’t provide hydration – only water hydrates.

Oil protects, water hydrates.

So this means our skin can be both oily and dehydrated at the same time – the oil well in desert syndrome. This is precisely why even oily skin needs regularly hydrating.

In fact, when an oily complexion doesn’t get hydrated, those sebaceous glands in the dermis layer will work even harder to produce more sebum in the hope to retain whatever little amount of moisture has left in the skin.

This is why oily skin can get more oily when a moisturiser is not used. Instead of asking if oily skin needs moisturiser, the real question is what kind of moisturiser does oily skin need?


What Kind Of Moisturiser Does Oily Skin Need?

The best moisturiser for oily skin is a moisturiser that is actually more of a hydrator than a moisturiser. Yes, yes, this can be confusing, but the easiest way to understand this is to choose a skincare product that contains high levels of hydrating ingredients.

So consider a skincare product that

  • has a high water to oil ratio: For example, a light and non-greasy lotion that is made of a large amount of water or hydrating ingredients such as aloe vera.
  • includes water-attracting humectant ingredients such as glycerine, which work to retain moisture a little bit longer.

Of course, adding a floral hydrosol in your skincare routine, for example, also helps add another source of hydration to the skin. For oily skin, consider using lavender hydrosol or witch hazel hydrosol.

So instead of avoiding moisturising, make sure to look after oily skin is to hydrate properly with the right type of moisturiser.

We hope this article has made choosing your skincare a little bit easier. Do you have a question or two about natural skincare yourself? Send us your questions and let us pull our collective brainpower together and help answer the question. 

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