End The Battle Against Oily Skin

Welcome back to the Snowy Owl Cove blog, readers! We’ve been away for a while working on our new website and a complete revamping of our brand. Stay tuned here for more developments and the rollout of our new look!

In the meantime, let’s keep chatting about skincare, hairstyles and everything in between. One issue that crops up for many of us as the temperatures rise is oily skin that seems to soak up humidity and causes makeup to slide into nonexistence by the end of lunchtime.

While you may be tempted to strip all traces of oil from your complexion with a heavy duty cleanser and minimal moisturizer application, it’s important to first figure out what you’re working with when it comes to your skin. Coming from the jungle-like conditions of the South, I always assumed that my skin was that of a teenager: Oily, prone to breakouts and hard to tame. When flakes and dry patches cropped up due to my diligent use of benzoyl peroxide cleansers and oil free moisturizers, I finally began to reconsider.

Here’s the issue: Dry, combination or even “normal” skin sometimes acts out and produces excess oil when irritated and stripped of moisture. Water levels in the skin allow the organ to stay smooth, even and elastic by facilitating important natural processes, such as exfoliation. If your skin is deprived of moisture, it loses its first defense against sun, wind, cold and pollution, leaving it susceptible to both acne and premature wrinkles. So how do we support our skin’s natural defense systems while keeping oil at bay?

In short, stop battling your skin and start soothing it.

Find a moisturizer that works for you. Our Indian Summer product line is formulated with natural ingredients such as babassu and hazelnut oils that lightly moisturize without leaving a greasy residue. While it might be counterintuitive to add oil to an already oily complexion, remember that these natural ingredients are not the same as the sebum your skin produces.

A light oil will actually help regulate pore-clogging sebum without irritating skin by stripping it of its moisture. Simply pat it onto your skin every morning and allow it to absorb for 3-5 minutes before applying sunscreen, makeup or any other products. While it may take your complexion a few weeks to adjust to your new regimen, you may be pleasantly surprised at how much less grease it produces and how much more quickly it heals itself.

Cut the hot showers short. Sometimes, nothing feels better than the squeaky clean feeling of being fresh out of a long, hot shower. While it may be tempting to cleanse every pore, that scrubbed clean feeling is actually something you should avoid at all costs.

Harsh cleansers and extreme water temperatures can strip away natural, necessary oils from your skin, which in turn becomes irritated and likely to break out. If you walk out of your shower with red skin, rashes or dry patches crying for lotion, chances are you need to be more gentle while bathing. Stick with mildly warm water and keep showers under 15 minutes if possible. Try using a mild oil, such as sweet almond oil, as an in-shower moisturizer after washing with a gentle, soap free cleanser.

Go natural. While there are some very impressive, expensive formulas out there with long, hard-to-pronounce ingredient lists, our philosophy is that natural ingredients are just as effective for skin without many of the side effects of commercially produced skincare. It’s also easier to pinpoint an ingredient that irritates your complexion if you’re only working with a handful of components.

For skin prone to grease, try clay masks, which can help reduce oil without stripping away all moisture. Similarly, egg yolks swiped onto the face and washed clean after 15 minutes provide an easy, quick way to cleanse the skin gently.

To remove unwanted dull skin and keep up cell turnover rate, try mixing honey with cinnamon and then gently rubbing it into the skin to remove oil and dead cells. Just remember to test these treatments carefully at first to determine how much vigor your complexion can sustain.

How do you deal with excess oil in the summer? Do you have any special DIY treatments? Let us know!

 

How To: Beat the Heat Naturally

Depending on where you live, the temperatures lately have ranged from swelteringly hot to downright scorching. Here in Raleigh, the weekend highs soared over the hundred-degree mark, leaving me to soak in the (bath-like) waters of the pool, stopping to occasionally dab the sweat off my brow.

In conditions like this, it seems more or less a fruitless pursuit to apply makeup since it slides off your face with the swiftness of raindrops down your car windshield. You may be tempted to wash your face frequently to rid yourself of excess oil; however, over-washing can actually exacerbate the problem by drying out skin and creating a vicious cycle of oily skin/over-washing/dried-out skin/over-production of oil/oily skin. Is it possible to tame your face in extreme heat and humidity?

Luckily, nature has provided us with ingredients to combat oil gently and effectively without drying and irritating your complexion. Look for the following components in your soap and moisturizer for the summer months ahead:

  • Palm Oil: More than just an everyday vegetable oil, palm oil is rich in the antioxidants vitamin A and E. With natural antibacterial qualities, this oil is able to keep skin lightly moisturized and safe from free radicals that may cause acne.
  • Babassu Oil: Pressed from kernels of a tree in Brazil, this unique oil is soothing, protective and moisturizing. Gentle on skin, it is great for both dry and oily skin since it hydrates without leaving a greasy residue. After application, skin is left with a smooth finish that offers some protection from climate and pollution.
  • Hazelnut Oil: Extremely high in vitamin E, as well as minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium, hazelnut oil works as an astringent to regulate oil levels on skin. Gently tightening pores, this oil is great for humid weather since it keeps skin moisturized without the oily feel.
  • Sunflower Oil: This oil contains beta-carotene, which is reputed to make skin less sensitive to the sun. It can help neutralize free radicals that penetrate skin leading to sunburn and other types of sun damage. Paired with a healthy dose of sunscreen, sunflower oil can help keep your skin moisturized and protected.
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Check out our Indian Summer collection, which is designed specifically to gently combat oil and is perfect for hot, humid weather.