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How many oily, acneic patients do you have that say they want “oil-free” products? Even if they notice the word “oil” in the product ingredients, they won’t use it. It is very important to understand the difference between beneficial oils and potentially pore-clogging oils to be able to educate your patient on exactly how they can improve their skin.

The majority of breakout-prone consumers use products that are ethyl alcohol-based; this type of alcohol strips the skin, creating a tight feeling and making them believe they are stopping their glands from producing oil. Yet, by stripping the skin of its natural oils, they are actually creating an environment that causes increased sebum production to make up for the loss, therefore creating even oilier skin. It is not necessary to avoid all types of alcohol, though. Cetyl alcohol is actually a gentle moisturizer.

Studies have shown that the skin of those with acne are deficient in some essential fatty acids (EFAs). Although necessary to skin health, the body cannot produce EFAs, so adding oils that are rich in EFA to the regimens of those with acne is typically beneficial. In the absence of these EFA the skin will instead produce sebum, which irritates the skin and makes breakouts worse. EFA-rich oils to look for on ingredients lists are: borage, evening primrose, flaxseed, soybean and rose hip seed.

Some oils are beneficial for the treatment of overactive sebaceous glands, like jojoba seed oil, grape seed oil, marigold oil, orange peel oil and grapefruit peel oil. Reducing oil production is not often what people think about as a function of a topical oil.
Marigolds, courtesy of www.abundantlifeessentials.com.

Marigolds,
By using these oils, we trick the skin into thinking it has enough sebum, therefore causing it to produce less.

Jojoba seed oil is one of the most important oils in controlling sebum production. It is composed of liquid wax esters and closely resembles our natural sebum. As a result, topical use helps to control sebum production. It also has the ability to dissolve and remove excess sebum.
Grape seed oil has a high concentration of polyphenols, as well as the essential fatty acid (EFA) linoleic acid. It is used frequently as a light occlusive agent. This oil is beneficial for acne patients because of its EFA content.
Marigold oil is known for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
Orange peel oil helps to increase circulation and decrease breakouts by assisting in the release of toxins through perspiration.
Grapefruit peel oil is an astringent, antiseptic and detoxifying agent that is very effective in fighting bacteria.

These are only a few natural oils that can help patients with oily, breakout-prone skin.

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