Beauty Bullshit: Oil Cleansing Cures Acne

Sorry Oil Cleansing. We're calling Bullshit

Oil cleansing has been given the reputation as being a natural cleansing method for clear, glowing skin.  Cosmetic companies are jumping on the bandwagon and raking in the dough selling face cleansing oils that retail up to $100! 

To be fair, I understand why natural cleansing methods have become popular because acne sucks.  By the time I was 16, I was finishing up my second failed attempt at Accutane and I would’ve stuck my finger in an electric socket if you would’ve told me that would make the pimples go away.  Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for acne and this rule applies just as much to natural remedies as it does to harsh prescription treatments. 

The theory behind oil cleansing is that massaging oil onto your face dissolves oil in the pores. In the world of acne treatments where harsh, prescription medicines and harmful side effects are the norm, the oil cleansing method attempts to cure acne by providing a natural, organic solution for fighting the disease. 

Just because harsh prescriptions don't fix acne does not mean an all-natural method will.  Dr. James E. Fulton says in his book Acne RX, “...if the complex oils in sebum create such havoc in acne-prone skin, then rubbing more oils into the skin is the worse possible thing an acne sufferer can do…”.  

Acne is a multifactorial disease in which genetics, lifestyle, environment, and diet all collide to create a perfect storm.  Even if oil cleansing did work, it would only be addressing a single piece of a puzzle that has many other pieces to it including inflammation, the overproduction of skin cells, and bacteria.  To have long-term success in managing acne, all of these factors must be addressed.  

Beauty Bullshit: Oil Cleansing Cures Acne | AES Blog

So, next time you someone recommends cleansing oil for zits, call Bullshit!

6 Natural Ingredients That Actually Make Acne Worse

6 Natural Ingredients That Actually Make Acne Worse

As a holistic skin coach, I know better than anyone else that treating acne requires an integrative approach.  However, one of the most widespread misconceptions about skincare products is that if an ingredient is natural, it must be good for acne. And why wouldn't someone believe this? Natural ingredients contain a myriad of benefits for the body and mind, why wouldn't they benefit acne too? 

Unfortunately, the follicles of acne sufferers are genetically prone to retain dead skin cells, comedogenic ingredients, and oils whether they are natural or not and the organic properties of an ingredient have nothing to do with it's tendency to clog pores. We recently wrote a blog about coconut oil as a pore-clogging ingredient but here are additional natural ingredients taken from our list of comedogenic ingredients that you want to look out for in your skincare products if you suffer from retention hyperkeratosis, commonly known as acne:

Photo Courtesy of Cottonseed Oil

Photo Courtesy of Cottonseed Oil

1. Coconut Oil

2. Algae

3. Sunflower Oil

4. Carrageenan

5. Argan Oil

6. Safflower Oil

10 All Natural Acne Fighting Tips

meditation can help decrease hormone levels

1. Relax-stress is one of the top acne triggers so get a massage, take a quiet walk, or meditate.  Even just 10 minutes a day can make a difference.  These are not luxuries, these are necessities!

2. Tea tree oil-apply a spot of tea tree oil with a q-tip to pimples.  Tea tree has natural antiseptic and drying properties without the comedogenic ingredients that come in other drying products like most toothpastes.

3. Probiotics-probiotics improve digestion and the elimination of toxins by restoring beneficial bacteria in the gut.  Take live probiotic supplements or eat fermented foods like kimchee and pickled cabbage to get your daily dose.  This is especially important for people who have taken antibiotics which tend to wipe out all of the good bacteria in our systems.

4. Candida cleanse-the candida cleanse consists of cutting out sugars, caffeine, and dairy.  The cleanse helps rids the body of toxins and sugar which is highly inflammatory.

5. Zinc supplements-zinc is an essential trace mineral that studies suggest improves inflamed acne.  Take a zinc supplement such as zinc monomethionine to reduce inflammatory pimples.

6. Sleep-not getting regular quality sleep increases stress levels and triggers hormone fluctuations.  Practice good sleep hygiene by turning off electronics and refraining from stimulating activities 1 hour before bedtime.

7.  Ice!-Applying an ice cube directly to your face is one of the easiest and cheapest acne-fighting tools out there.  Icing reduces inflammation and increases the penetration of your topical acne products.

8. Water-drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day helps skin cells function properly and aids in flushing the body of toxins and wastes.

9. Cut out dairy-dairy contains pore-irritating iodides and high levels of hormones from pregnant cows. Switch to almond/hemp/rice milk instead.

10. Get active-exercise decreases stress which is responsible for triggering the overproduction of sebum. Pick an activity that you love and make time to do it on a regular basis.  Gentle activities like yoga are especially good for fighting stress and promoting emotional well-being.