Ask The Expert: Is it okay to use oil instead of moisturizer?
Oils have become a skincare obsession over the past few years. Unfortunately, this trend has been at the expense of healthy skin.
At our holistic skin care clinic, in the last few years, it's become common to hear that oil is the only skin care product a first-time client is using. This may be cost effective but unfortunately, it’s not effective for achieving beautiful, healthy skin.
Here’s why that trendy oil is just not enough: Oil can only penetrate the top layer of skin. That top layer does need attention via moisturizer and perhaps an oil, however, the lower dermal layer is where all your precious collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid lives. This layer is where skin health starts and only a properly formulated, nutrient-rich, water-based serum can reach and support it.
If your skin is particularly dry, you’ve just had an intense skin treatment, or if you’re going to be exposing it to harsh conditions, when skiing or snowboarding, for instance, then you would add a layer of oil after your serum, and before your moisturizer.
However, you can’t simply substitute an oil for a moisturizer because they do different jobs. Oils nourish, while a properly formulated moisturizer will both nourish and protect. Oils penetrate deeper into the top layer of skin than a moisturizer. They are great to use a couple of times a week or for a little more lipid support. However, the vast majority of oil users are applying oils too frequently, leading to congested skin and the appearance of enlarged pores. Worse, they are often using oils instead of moisturizer, leaving their skin unprotected.
Your moisturizer is for more than just hydration. Think of it as sealing and protecting the skin from day-to-day environmental stressors. Moisturizer is especially important in the colder months when we’re repeatedly going from harsh outdoor elements to warm indoor temperatures. The constant temperature changes can cause the skin barrier to break down. Our skin barrier relies on moisturizer to protect it and keep it strong.
Remember the golden rules of the three layers of hydration system: First, use a hyaluronic-acid rich, water-based serum, then an an oil such as Nurtured Replenishing Oil (a couple of times a week and only if your skin is particularly dry), followed by a well-formulated moisturizer. Follow this protocol (including a physical SPF when you’re headed outside) and you’ll enjoy a lifetime of beautiful skin.