Before I began working with Kim I thought that if you had dry skin you needed a better moisturizer and if you had oily skin you needed to be better about removing your make up at night. At the time I had oily skin and just didn't know what to do about it.
Nothing I tried worked.
And now after four years of dedicating my life to non-toxic skincare I have completely balanced, radiant skin and I can explain to you something totally unexpected: the same thing that causes oily skin, also causes dry and combination skin.
The culprit is a bad cleanser. A bad cleanser is one that strips your face of it's natural oils. (Usually made from a synthetic detergent.) We'll get more into that in a bit.
#1 Change Your Cleanser
Everyone is genetically predisposed to make more or less Sebum (naturally occurring oils you skin produces to stay healthy). So when you use one of these synthetic detergent-based cleansers that strip your face of all of it's oils, your skin panics, and either produces too much or not enough oil to compensate (depending on your genes).
The easiest way to identify a bad cleanser is by looking at the ingredients. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is the most common ingredient in bad cleansers. (We wrote a whole article about how it affects your skin HERE). It's a detergent and it's too harsh for your face. In general, anytime you come across ingredients you don't recognize use the Skin Deep's database to look them up. If they're a detergent or a surfactant don't use it. Or go by this simple general rule of thumb: if the ingredients aren't plant-based oils and herbal extracts don't use it. And if you don't see sodium or potassium hydroxide (used to turn oils into soap) on the label it's an oil-stripping synthetic cleanser.
A good cleanser, on the other hand will gently cleanse and hydrate your skin without challenging the pH of your skin. After you use it your skin won't feel "tight" or dry. But rather, smooth and nourished even before you apply a serum or a moisturizer.
When you stop stripping your face with detergents your skin will balance and heal itself in other ways as well.
Now we know a good cleanser is hard to find, but here's what to look for. It should be soap-based. (I know this is scary but check out this article to understand why). And it should be pH adjusted for your skin (~6.2 pH). You may have to email the company to find out the pH of the cleanser you have. (Ours is a 6.2.) And like I mentioned before, the ingredients should be saponified oils and herbal extracts.
Adjust the pH of your skin after exposing it to overly alkaline tap water and nourish it with a nutrient dense moisturizer.
After you get a good cleanser, you want to make sure that you have a toner without any alcohol or astringents (no, don't use witch hazel or Apple Cider Vinegar) and a natural pH in the low 6's. Our toner is 100% Pure Rosewater.
Then you'll want to use a nutrient-rich moisturizer made with oils that have high profiles of naturally occurring vitamins. We really like the Argan, Kukui, Grape Seed, Apricot Kernal, Meadowfoam, and Borage Oil. It's also very important that your moisturizer not have irritating ingredients that will keep your skin oily/dry.
Stop Irritating your skin with cheap ingredients.
Just go ahead and get rid of all the skincare products in your bathroom containing Mineral Oil, Glycerin; Alcohols, Waxes, and nasty emulsifiers and preservatives that you can't pronounce. Every one of these will irritate the heck out of your skin. Cosmetic companies use these ingredients because they are inexpensive (10 cents/gallon) and to extend the shelf life for 2+ years, not because they are good for skin. And they're in everything, so be sure to check your foundations and make-up too.
Everyone, no matter what state your skin is in, can have balanced skin. But you have to stop using the ingredients that irritate it in the first place.
We offer a sample kit with 2-3 weeks worth of our delicate cleanser, rosewater toner, and deep hydration moisturizer. It's great for all skin types- including acne prone skin. Click HERE and use the discount code: NONTOXIC to get it for free.
This is the way to truly balance your skin. Depending on how extremely oily or dry your skin was to begin with it might take a couple of months, or it might be as quick as two weeks.
It's really that simple!