Oil cleansing has been used for centuries and is still used today because of its ability to gently and effectively dissolve and cleanse dirt, makeup, and impurities without stripping the skin of its natural self-regulating oils.
Signs your skin barrier is may be damaged
Almost everything, even water, can disrupt the acid mantle of the skin, which is its first line of protection from the elements, bacteria or pollution. Even water (with its PH of 7) can disrupt it. But the skin is resilient and can rebalance itself within a few hours when left to its own devices.
However, constant use of harsh cleansers can make it difficult for the skin to re-balance itself, leading to acne, blocked pores, flaky, dry and generally unhappy skin.
How harsh cleaners can disrupt the skin barrier
Emulsifiers, preservatives and surfactants in standard cleansers, particularly foaming ones, are just some common culprits that disrupt the skin’s natural barrier and cause further imbalances. They can strip away its natural oils and leave it dry or excessively oily. Natural and water-free oil cleansers are don't contain these potentially disruptive ingredients, so it's a reliable option particularly for sensitive skin.
Repairing the skin barrier
The acid mantle is partly made up of sebum, your skin’s natural oil. Using an oil based cleanser can help the skin barrier to replace its oil content (particularly for dry or mature skin) and balance and repair the acid mantle. Jojoba in particular is a fantastic ingredient to use regularly, because it’s the closest in structure to the skin’s sebum.
Oil cleansing can balance both oily and dry skin types
Oil cleansing balances both oily and dry skin types because it dissolves the daily build up without stripping the skin of its natural oils — allowing the acid mantle to do its job. When the acid mantle s intact, it protects your skin from germs, bacteria and the elements, while maintaining moisture.
Oily skin types can benefit from the deep cleansing properties of oil, while dry skin can enjoy the added hydration and nourishment that comes with oil cleansing. The right blend of oils can help to rebalance the skin’s natural barrier, while also providing protection against environmental pollutants and free radicals.
It’s one of the most effective ways to remove makeup, sunscreen, and other impurities and the same oil (if rich in antioxidants) can be reapplied to protect against environmental pollutants. With regular use on its own or in conjunction with a gentle second cleanser, oil cleansing can help to restore the skin’s natural balance and leave it feeling hydrated, nourished, and healthy.