From Oily Skin to Normal – My Skincare Journey
I thought I’d write this blog post about my own skincare journey and how I got my skin to a place of confidence. Skincare can be a confusing place and the market is growing rapidly, it can be quite overwhelming! If I can help someone by telling my journey and what worked for me then that’s great!
Before I started L’Elu Skincare I had some pretty severe self-esteem issues when it came to my skin, I was really self-conscious and would compensate by wearing excessive amounts of makeup. My skin was red, extremely oily through the T-Zone yet dry and flaky around my chin, sides of nose, cheeks and mouth, I had a lot of bumps/closed comedones, breakouts, BULK congestion, my pores looked MASSIVE and I was having way too many fine lines appear for my age.
I’d get professional facials constantly with zero improvements, and all the beauticians promised miracles if only I used their salon specific products – so I handed over crazy amounts of money, with no results.
I’d cleanse my skin multiple times a day in an attempt to get rid of the oil and congestion, using “clarifying” & “purifying” type foaming cleansers until my skin felt squeaky clean (terrible I know ☹). Then came the mattifying moisturisers and primers loaded with silicones, the clay masks, pore strips and the spot treatments, full coverage matte foundation and lots of powder, which I’d have to reapply multiple times throughout the day.
Every day I’d cop comments such as “Are you sick? You don’t look well” “Why are you so sweaty?”, “Wow your skin is so shiny and greasy!” People don’t mean to be cruel (I hope!), my skin was just in really bad shape and that was obvious.
I live a pretty healthy lifestyle, drinking around 3 litres of water a day, exercise, eating more than enough fruit and vegetables, limit my dairy, gluten and sugar intake to “treats” only, barely drink alcohol unless it’s a special occasion and am very focused on gut health.
Eventually I realised what I was doing to my skin topically wasn’t working, so I started to research how and where these skin issues actually originate from. After literally months of reading conflicting information there were two things that stood out to me:
- Linoleic Acid (Omega 6). A deficiency in certain types of fatty acids in the skin can result in excessive sebum (oil) production, acne, appearance of large pores, premature ageing and redness. Sound familiar? That’s everything I was experiencing! Oily combo skin is producing excessive amounts of Oleic Acid and lacking in Linoleic Acid. By achieving a balance of the two it is possible to reach a place of normal oil production, reduced or no acne, pores appear smaller, less redness, and delayed signs of ageing. Linoleic Acid has a great ability to deeply penetrate the skin, making all the gorgeous antioxidants and beneficial ingredients reach even further. It’s able to penetrate the pores, break down the build-up (oil dissolves oil) and dislodge it, whilst cleansing, moisturising and providing essential nutrients to the skin. Pores appear smaller as they are cleaned out and nourished instead of dirty and dehydrated (it’s important to remember you cannot change the size of your pores, they’re genetic and do not change size. You can however change how they appear). Linoleic acid is non comedogenic which means it will not clog pores but instead can treat breakouts and prevent future acne. Oils that are high in Linoleic Acid are hemp seed, rosehip, evening primrose – all of which are featured in L’Elu Oily/Combo Skin Facial Oil.
- Oily skin is dehydrated skin, and often has a damaged Stratum Corneum requiring hydration (water). The Stratum Corneum is our outermost layer of the epidermis (skin) and made up of corneocytes (pretty much dead, keratin filled skin cells). This layer acts as a barrier against everyday external aggressors such as pollution, extreme weather, sun exposure etc. and plays a key role in keeping the skin hydrated, functioning optimally and looking its best. When the Stratum Corneum is damaged, this results in all the ailments I listed above.
So, looking at those two things, and looking at what I was doing to my skin it was easy to see I was literally doing the opposite of what my skin needed! I was constantly stripping my skin of water and oil in an effort to reduce the oil production, breakouts and congestion. But my skin was actually severely unbalanced, damaged and VERY thirsty! To be in optimum condition skin needs both hydration (water content) and moisturisation (retaining water).
Following this lightbulb moment, I drastically changed my skincare routine. I’d been using multiple acids both AM & PM, retinol daily and mattifying moisturisers. Looking back now I cringe at was I was doing to my poor skin when it was in that state! Into the bin went anything with bad alcohols, silicones, harsh ingredients, mechanical exfoliators (100% against mechanical exfoliants!!) or intense actives. Chemical exfoliation came to a pause (I LOVE chemical exfoliation don’t get me wrong, but to repair my skin I stopped for about a month). My skincare did a 360, chasing hydration instead of mattifying and purifying.
Then I purchased a heap of oils from some really great brands and whilst I did enjoy them to begin with, I really struggled to find something with just the ingredients I needed. They all seemed to have fillers, perfumes or essential oils that were just there to make the product smell good, a lot were really comedogenic and high in oils I knew weren’t helping my skin (hello coconut oil!). I just wanted something with ingredients my skin needed, without ingredients that were just there to make the product smell or look good. This is how L’Elu started, I won’t go into detail about this as it is featured in my other blog (Meet the Creator) already, but I began formulating my L’Elu Skincare, Oily/Combo Skin Facial Oil based on what I had learnt about Linoleic Acid. This is my absolute Holy Grail, I know 100% it played a major role in fixing my skin.
I formulated this oil to be really high in Linoleic Acid, with the necessary nutrients that my skin type required and nothing unnecessary. When I (finally) settled on the ultimate formulation, I saw results in just over a month. I had decreased redness, my pores drastically changed in appearance, my breakouts vanished (seriously), and I had this beautiful glow instead of the tired congested skin I was used to.
Below I will list my current skincare routine, which I am 100% happy with and will not change for the foreseeable future. I of course use products other than just my L’Elu Oil (I am a skincare junkie after all!) and I’m more than happy to mention those brands as they did and still do contribute to my skins journey. I really believe in honesty and acknowledgement, just because other skincare brands might be my “competition” doesn’t mean I won’t give credit where credit is due ?.
I’ve reached a place where I am truly happy with my skin. I still of course experience the odd breakout along my jaw, which I put down to working at a desk all day and always resting my face on my hands (big no no!), I do it without noticing – it’s something I am working on ok! But these breakouts never last more than a couple of days, even if I pick (again, big no no!) I find the products I use on my skin help to cleanse and heal them without scarring. So, enough rambling, let’s get to the good stuff!
My Current Skincare Routine
- I wash my face a moist microfibre cloth in the morning – no cleanser, I gently take the flannel to my face and wipe over, removing anything I applied the night before, and all the dog fur I accumulate overnight (haha)
- Pat dry with a clean flannel
- Spritz a decent amount of hydrating toner/mist
- Hydrating moisturiser
- 1-2 drops of L’Elu Skincare Normal Facial Oil
- I do my first cleanse by massaging with a balm or oil cleanser, remove with damp microfibre cloth
- Second cleanse with gel or milk cleanser (I don’t do foaming cleansers! They’re too stripping!), remove with microfibre cloth
- Gently pat dry with a clean flannel
- Spritz facial mist/toner
- Whilst still damp from the mist I apply Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel (Favourite of mine!), I take this up under and above my eyes also. I haven’t found an eye cream I like yet, I find they all leave me with milia (little bumps under the skin)
- Moisturiser, again I take this under and above my eyes – sometimes I mix my oil in to my moisturiser
- Another good spritz of facial mist, because the B-Hydra contains hyaluronic acid I really like to get that hydration mixed in
- Full dropper of L’Elu Skincare Normal Facial Oil which I press into the skin and then perform a facial massage. I don’t take my oil under or above my eyes as oil “travels” it will get into your eyes and believe me, it’s not fun!
I take all my skincare down my neck, décolletage and hands. These are all areas that show ageing first, remember prevention is your best cure ?
Twice a week at night I will use Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum. Although this is marketed to use during the day I don’t like how it looks on my skin in the day time. I love this stuff and think everyone can benefit from a good Vitamin C serum.
Once a week at night I will use an acid, I only started using this again once I felt my skin was in a healthy place, balanced and hydrated. I use Biologique Recherche Lotion P50, this is my HG acid and I’ve tried A LOT of acids.
I don’t really wet my skin during my routine. This is because of something called trans epidermal water loss. Where the skin will actually become further dehydrated with the more water you place and leave on your skin. As the water on your skin evaporates, it will also draw out water content from your skin. Hence why I use moist microfibre cloths and pat my face dry immediately.
I used the L’Elu Oily Combo Skin Facial Oil for a good year, and then I thought hey, I’m really content with my skin now! I didn’t feel like I fit into the category of oily/combo anymore! So, I thought I’d try using L’Elu Normal Skin Facial Oil, and it’s worked wonderfully for me. I never thought I’d see the day my skin could be classed as normal! Whilst the Oily/Combo Facial Oil will FOREVER be my Holy Grail, I do predominantly use the Normal Facial Oil now.
I am currently formulating a hydrating facial mist, balm cleanser, second cleanser & moisturiser. I am SUPER fussy with ingredients and formulations so it’s taking me a little while. It took over a year of researching, trialling, reformulating all of our oils until I arrived in a place confident enough to sell product I created. You’ll be the first to know once they’re ready 😉
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out. Until next time, Nomes xx.