Figuring our how to balance oily and combination skin can be a mindfield. Combination and oily skin can be prone to breakouts, wether it is an occasional hormonal pimple, something stress related or a manifestation of an internal unbalanced. Most of the times it is a combination of all of these and a very personal scenario. It is important to look at all factors when treating your skin. However today, I will be sharing how to promote balance in your skin using topical treatments. I will be looking at benefits of Linoleic Acid and where you can find it in nature and skincare.
When I was working on Harmony Bloom Oil formulation, I was battling my unbalanced complexion and adult acne. This blend is a fruit of my labour as I studied Organic Cosmetic Science and tried to tackle my sudden adult acne outbreak at the age of 25.
I was desperate to formulate a product that will topically help me to deal with excess oiliness, congestion and painful breakouts. So I spent a lot of time researching ingredients and learning about more skin and functions. In the meantime, I was digging into the root cause of my breakouts and discovering the power of holistic health and working with functional medicine professional.
I discovered that to balance combination, oily and acne-prone skin you need to balance its deficiency of an essential fatty acid called Linoleic acid. This acid, also known as, polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid, is a vital component of sebum – oil your skin naturally produces. This deficiency can clog your pores and lead to breakouts.
The deficiency of Linoleic acid occurs when too much sebum is produced. The sebaceous glands produce extra sebum with excess Oleic acid instead, resulting in skin’s imbalance.
Research have found that replenishing your skin with Linoleic acid rich oils topically will help to balance the complexion. This is thanks to Linoleic acid being much thinner than Oleic acid. Therefore, it is able to emulsify the hardened sebum, preventing future breakouts.
Great sources of Linoleic acid are: Hemp, Rosehip, Safflower, Evening Primrose all of these are a major constituents of Harmony Bloom Oil. There are many other oils that are rich in Linoleic including Grapeseed, Poppy Seed, Sunflower seed.
Normal and drier complexions will benefit from Linoleic acid as well. Because it possesses anti-inflammatory and skin regenerative properties. Essential fatty acids have a particular role in structural integrity and barrier function of the skin. They help with with moisture retention, reducing Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL). For dry and sensitive skin, I usually suggest using these oils in combination with balms or creams containing richer butters such as Shea, Mango or Cupuacu. These butters will also form a protective film on the skin and further improve the condition of drier complexions.