How I overcame my phobia of facial oils
For the longest time ever, beauty oils were my sworn enemy. I was conditioned to believe that my skin type and any kind of oil would get along like chalk and cheese. Growing up with an oil mine combined with acne-prone skin meant that applying any form of oil was a skincare homicide waiting to happen. And that's the mythical rule, right? Oily skin is only happy when it's robbed off its oil - which in hindsight, was an even worse crime I could commit.
Circa 2008, hormones were raging high and so were my sebaceous glands. This meant my skin would get oily within a couple of hours after cleansing –– the higher the temperatures soared, the shinier my complexion would get. And boy was it shiny!
More oil meant more acne –– or at least that’s what I assumed. Ignorance wasn’t bliss in this case, because my misinformation also prevented me from using hair oils, cleansing oils, and moisturizers (unless prescribed by a dermatologist) for a long, long time.
Dousing my face in salicylic-heavy cleansers and oil-sucking face masks seemed like the best option. I mean, fighting oil with oil was counterintuitive, right? I really wasn’t doing my skin or my acne any favors. But it didn’t change the fact that the thought of applying oil (or anything remotely moisturizing) on my face still sent shivers down my spine.
While 16-year-old me thought that the tight feeling on my face meant that I was doing right by my skin, as I write this, the 28-year-old me can’t help but bow my head down in shame. Here’s how I overcame my fear of facial oils.
Step 1 - Admitting my ignorance; age 19
The first step towards fixing my cruel fate was to accept my ignorance. Repeat after me, ‘oil is good for the skin, no matter what your skin type’. By using a face oil or a moisturizer, you are preventing your skin from overproducing oil, which often results in congested pores and acne. The key is to find a balance by providing the skin with the right amount of oils.
Step 2 - Starting small; age 20
It took me a while to realize that the skin needs some oil to retain its health. It took me even longer to accept it into my life sans any hesitation. I began facing this fear by moisturising my face at night with a slightly heavy ‘oil-free’ moisturizer. I looked like a greaseball, but it was a great way to condition my brain to believe that I wouldn’t wake up to a pimple and its entire family camping out on my skin. And when it worked, I slowly doubled my PM moisturizer to work in the AM as well.
Step 3 - An oil that doesn’t feel like an oil; age 25
My curiosity was piqued when one of my favorite skincare brands launched a lightweight facial oil. A thousand reservations popped up in my mind, especially when I was on the cusp of ending my battle with adult acne. But, I didn’t let that hold me back. That’s when I finally faced my fear...face first. It surprisingly worked way better than I expected –– plus, it didn’t leave me reaching out for a blotting tissue every 15 minutes.
Step 4 - Going big; age 28
For three long years, this lightweight oil and I seemed to have a mutual understanding, until I was enticed by the beauty benefits of face shaving. However, my trusty oil wouldn’t be able to assist me with this one. Enter squalane oil –– the oil that put an end to all my fears. No breakouts, no oil-slick skin, just a smooth, hydrated, and healthy face. Surprise, surprise, and just like that a 10-year marathon with face oils finally crossed the finish line.
Beauty oils have developed a bad reputation in the skincare world. They’re probably the most misunderstood product out there. You can fight oil with oil –– and I am a key witness to that. It’s all about picking the right kind, the right amount, and applying it in the right manner. And if it feels too heavy, you can always blot it down a notch. Remember, even if you’ve got blemish-prone skin that tends to grease up faster than a pizza pan, you need oil in your life (and on your skin!). Take it from me and don’t learn it the hard way.
Tatiana Dias’ skincare journey began all thanks to her long standing battle with acne. Then on, she learnt to be comfortable in her own skin, yet give it all the TLC possible — and that’s what started her serious love affair with beauty writing. She’s written for magazines such as Femina, ELLE India, and Vogue India.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this journal are those of the authors and are for information purposes only and not medical advice. Further, they do not reflect the opinions or views of Aminu Wellness Pvt Ltd or any of its directors. Any content provided by the author(s) are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone, or anything.