If you have oily skin, then you'll know it's not always easy to look after. Perhaps you've already turned to harsh cleansers or mattifying products that don't moisturize, only to realize they're not what your skin needs. With oily skin, it's all about finding a good balance – and exfoliants are often singled out as unhelpful products that can make things worse. And it's true that if you don't choose the right exfoliant, it's quite possibly going to irritate and weaken your skin, and disrupt its balance. With a little help from Absolution, learn how to rid your oily skin of impurities by exfoliating it, but ever so gently...
Understanding oily skin
If you were asked to describe the characteristics of oily skin, one of the first words to come to mind would be sebum. While we need sebum to maintain the hydrolipidic film, which protects the skin and helps to keep it supple, oily skin has too much of this greasy substance. This can result in a dull complexion, shiny skin from the middle of the day, and blemishes. Because sebum is produced in excess, it ends up clogging pores, preventing the skin from being able to breathe properly. The skin's ability to play a protective role and prevent bacteria from entering the body may be compromised. And while the skin certainly plays an immunological role (i.e. it acts as a barrier against external aggressors), it also plays a role in eliminating unwanted substances, such as toxins and impurities that have built up over the day.
In other words, if your oily skin can no longer perform these two roles correctly, both internal and external factors can damage the upper layers of your epidermis. These include pollution, stress, UV rays and lack of sleep. Gradually, dead cells build up on your face and dull your skin's radiance.
An exfoliant is one of the first products you turn to when you want to remove dead cells from your skin. While it may be an essential product for anyone who wants to reveal softer skin that's visibly more beautiful and mattified, it can actually be the enemy of oily skin if you don't choose well. If you listen to what some conventional beauty brands have to say on the subject, you'd be forgiven for believing that oily skin needs to be deeply exfoliated (using a harsh technique) in order to be more beautiful. This simply isn't true. But it doesn't mean you shouldn't exfoliate either!
Exfoliating oily skin: how to do it the right way
What are the benefits?
Exfoliation actually offers many benefits for oily skin:
- it refines the skin's texture;
- it restores radiance and luminosity;
- it stimulates cell renewal (ideal for softening acne scars) and makes skin more receptive to the active ingredients in your usual skincare products.
After exfoliating, the skin is usually better oxygenated and balanced.
What kind of exfoliants should you use?
Just like face masks and moisturizers, exfoliants come in different textures, with different ones for different needs. There are three types that can meet the needs of your skin, and you should make your choice based on how sensitive your skin is.
The best-known type of exfoliant is a "mechanical" exfoliant (often called a scrub), which is made with exfoliating granules and should be massaged over the face with circular movements. There's no doubt about the effectiveness of such products, but they should be used carefully if you have very sensitive skin, as it could be irritated if the ingredients or texture are too harsh. For example, if the granules are too big, they could cause your oily skin to become inflamed, leading to blemishes, spots and microcysts.
An acidic exfoliant (enriched with AHAs or BHAs) is a type of chemical exfoliant. You don't have to massage it over the skin with circular movements to remove dead cells and impurities. Instead, it has a peeling effect, i.e. it encourages the skin to shed its outermost layer. Because you don't have to rub granules over the skin, there's less risk of sensitization.
But the most gentle exfoliant is an enzymatic one. Just like a chemical exfoliant, it contains exfoliating agents derived from fruit enzymes (called proteases) and botanical enzymes that are very gentle on even the most sensitive skin.
At Absolution, we know that an exfoliant doesn't have to be abrasive in order to be effective – and particularly if you have oily skin. We also know that if you exfoliate too often or too vigorously, the result can be the opposite of what you were looking for: excess sebum, irritation, scars that won't go away, etc. Exfoliating gently and less frequently will help to gradually restore the skin's smooth and velvety appearance. That's why we wanted to find a solution to let people with oily and sensitized skin exfoliate without developing a reaction.
Exfoliate your skin the gentle way with La Crème Gommante
Like a gentle workout for your skin, La Crème Gommante is ideal for skin that lacks vitality. It helps to boost cells' elimination and repair mechanisms, reduce minor blemishes, and give skin a radiance boost.
Formulated with granules derived from the fossil shells of diatom microalgae, as well as extracts of Blueberry, Lemon, Orange, Cane Sugar and Maple Sugar, La Crème Gommante is able to exfoliate without damaging the skin because its granules are so fine and gentle. It acts on dark spots and has an instant energizing effect too. The formula also includes Sweet Almond pulp and Hazelnut oil, rich in proteins and minerals, to improve suppleness.
How often should you use it?
We recommend exfoliating no more than once a week, and even once every two weeks if your skin is easily sensitized.
La Crème Gommante can be used as a mechanical or enzymatic exfoliant. Apply to clean, slightly damp skin and wait a few minutes so the fruit acids can eliminate any dead cells. Then there are two options: either rinse it off straight away with warm water, or massage gently with circular movements then rinse off.
So, is it essential to exfoliate oily skin?
Exfoliating isn't the only way to help make your skin look more radiant and beautiful. The most important thing is to have a beauty routine that will match your skin's moods!
La Crème Douce Démaquillante or Le Baume Céleste are ideal as the first, essential step in your routine, and will lift away impurities that have built up over the day.
To remove dead cells in a more gentle and gradual way, you could use the Konjac sponge with Le Nettoyant Pureté. Together, they form the perfect duo to leave skin feeling like new without causing irritation.
Finally, if you want to tighten pores, encourage microcirculation and control sebum production, why not try L’Essence Botanique PURETÉ? This multi-purpose formula was designed to purify the skin, thanks to a blend of carefully selected ingredients that work together in synergy to deliver all their benefits. It's absolutely effective – and absolutely nothing like an exfoliant!