Oil and water balance – the Skin’s yin yang

Oil and water balance – the Skin’s yin yang

We regularly discuss the need of maintaining a sense of balance in our lives. We strive to balance our diets, our bank accounts, and our schedules. With all of this talk about balance, there is one more item we must strike a balance on, and it is essential; Oil-Water balance.

Thinking of oil and water in one sentence does not come naturally to us. They are incompatible, meaning they will not mix and will naturally separate. Your skin attracts them both, despite the fact that they are opposites in nature. Hydrating and moisturising the skin starts with oil and water. Although the two concepts are frequently confused, they do not mean the same thing and cannot be accomplished in the same way. We can talk about balancing our skin's pH, but that is not the type of balance we are going to cover. Today, we are going to discuss a fundamental equilibrium, which we believe is our water-oil balance.

What are Water and Hydration?

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Water hydrates but does not moisturise the skin, which is perhaps why the term hydration draws up thoughts of water in our minds. Our skin is made up of roughly 70% water, and it does not produce water moisture on its own; instead, it obtains it from the foods we eat. Water is a difficult thing for your skin to hold on to because it is much more likely to leave your skin than to enter it during the day. Our skin's ability to retain water hydration becomes more difficult as we age. We stay hydrated by drinking enough water and eating a well-balanced diet, but our skin also plays an important role. Water-based products are sometimes disregarded in skincare routines, although they are the most effective way to keep your skin hydrated. A hyaluronic acid-based water-based serum is one of the most key items for increasing skin moisture. With its extreme hydration, hyaluronic acid is believed to fill and tighten the skin, reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Our Earth Rhythm 2% Alpha Arbutin – Skin Clarifying Serum Hyaluronic Acid helps to keep moisture on the skin, giving it a plumping appearance. Increased skin cell development occurs when your skin is moisturised and protected. Because your skin isn't struggling for hydration, the recipe naturally results in smoother, plumper skin cells and prevents dehydration.

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Toners are great for adding extra hydration to the skin. While alcohol-based toners may be seen as drying astringents, many toners have the opposite effect. Our Roots & Herbs Hydrating Kashmiri Kesar Toner. Infused with saffron extract and rose, it hydrates and calms your skin down along with giving you a clearer brighter complexion. To ensure that the skin does not become out of balance, it must be kept hydrated. When the skin lacks water, it becomes dry and dull, and it compensates by producing oil. While oil is beneficial to the skin, we are often alarmed by an increase in oil production and respond by overdoing it with skin treatments that cause our skin to return to its dry state. It's a never-ending cycle that can't be fully comprehended unless we recognise the significance of both oil and water.

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What are Moisture and Oil?

Oil in skincare extends back to ancient beauty rituals, and many cultures see it as a luxury and natural indulgence - and with good cause. Natural oils strengthen and maintain the skin’s protective lipid barrier, protecting the inner layers of skin from external factors including environmental hazards like pollution and UV rays, so it’s not only about SPF. Oils also help to soothe sensitive skin and most importantly seal in moisture. Just as water hydrates the skin but doesn’t moisturise it, oils moisturise the skin but cannot hydrate it. Unfortunately, oils lost their high status throughout time and gained a reputation for blocking pores and aggravating acne.

Other variables that reduce oil production include the weather, harsh cleaning, and over-exfoliation. A lack of oil can erode the skin's natural barrier, which protects it from water loss, over time. Thankfully, face oils and oil-based products have become more popular in the beauty world. Oils attract water and give a gentle manner of moisturising and washing the face by breaking up impurities, which is why simply removing makeup and cleansing the skin with water will not suffice. A cream cleanser like our Aminu Do It All Cream Cleanser uses ingredients like Vitamin E, Argan Oil Omega 6&9 and plenty of other essential oils to dissolve dirt and impurities while nourishing and soothing the skin. Facial oils are very essential to include in your routine because they not only nourish the face but also help to keep your moisturiser more effective by sealing in moisture. For strong hydration without a greasy feel, our Ekavi- Adya Balancing Facial Oil contains a mix of 6 essential oils, including Rosehip and Sea buckthorn. Since face oils have gained popularity, many people have begun to replace their traditional moisturisers with them, adding a new step to their beauty routine. A few drops of oil can help to keep water on the skin and seal in important fatty acids, strengthening your skin's protective, moisturising layer and keeping you from becoming dehydrated. Oils, on the other hand, are most effective when combined with water-based treatments rather than in place of them.

What happens when oil and water are not balanced?


Moisture from both water and oil is required for all skin types to function properly and to do anything from the look and feel good to keep us looking younger for longer. The first thing that causes our skin to become dull and ageing, as well as increase ageing and fine lines, is depleted or imbalanced hydration - a lack of either oil or water. Our skin becomes fragile and sensitive when it does not receive enough moisture, whether owing to external circumstances, natural issues, or just the wrong skincare routine. When our skin lacks adequate moisture, it produces extra oil to compensate for the dryness and dehydration. When our skin is out of balance, it is unable to defend itself against these factors and hence cannot repair or protect itself. Let’s break this down!

1. Oily dehydrated and hydrated skin

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Even when there is oil on the surface, oily dehydrated skin is greasy, feels tight, and at times generates flakes on the skin. Seborrheic dermatitis is a name used to describe this ailment. Because of the underlying hardness, the oil on the skin hardens, causing pore congestion. A frequent misunderstanding is that oily skin does not require moisture, despite the fact that they are the skin types that require the most moisture to avoid excessive oil production. To compensate for the absence of water, oil is secreted in excess. As a result, skin dryness might be an acne trigger. Oily hydrated skin, on the other hand, is the actual oily skin that can clog pores and result in acne.

2. Dry dehydrated and hydrated skin

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The water-dry, oil-dry skin type is dry and dehydrated. Hydration is quickly lost in this skin type due to evaporation and/or ageing due to collagen loss. This skin type needs both oil and water. Because this skin is so dry, any blackheads that do appear are difficult to remove. The dry dehydrated kind, on the other hand, is oil-dry and is more common in younger people. Because its surface is dry and requires oil, this skin type has small pores and appears thin, yet it is actually healthy and plump with water.

Both imbalances of oil and water cause rough texture, redness, dry patches, flaky skin, and even acne might occur as a result of this. When these things happen, we panic and may use harsh cleansers, over-exfoliate, ignore our skin, use the wrong products, or do a variety of other things that we think will help but end up causing more problems.

How can you maintain this balance?

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With a skin-care regimen tailored to your specific needs! You may need to make seasonal modifications and use the perfect amount of products to find goods with the right ingredients for your skin type. Too little can keep you dry, while too much might be exhausting. When it comes to skincare, there is no such thing as a "universal" product that will work for all skin types. Instead, consider a skincare equation. 

 To obtain the correct balance of what you're aiming to achieve, use a "serum + toner," "moisturiser + oil," or "toner + oil," anything that works best according to your skin type. The first step to this is to understand your skin type and know what you need.

1. Dry Skin

If you have this skin type, the thumb rule is to use a moisturiser that is very moisturising and has elements like Hyaluronic Acid, which is recognised for its moisture-binding properties and helps your skin attract and retain the maximum amount of water. You can choose to use creams with a thicker texture to help soothe and hydrate your skin throughout the day. Keep in mind that dry skin might cause irritation or acne in certain people, so if you fall into this category, a gel cream or light lotion would be a decent choice as a moisturiser. Hydrating mists are another option for keeping your skin moisturised without having to use a heavy cream.

2. Oily Skin

When it comes to moisturisers, this is one of the most difficult skin types to deal with. "How can I hydrate my skin without it feeling oily and greasy?" is a question we are frequently asked. It is crucial to apply a mild, quick-absorbing cream. Gel moisturisers are the greatest choice for those with this skin type since they deliver the proper amount of hydration in a light, quick-absorbing texture. If you prefer to use a cream, picking one with a thin texture might also aid with absorption.

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3. Combination Skin

You are a member of this group if your skin grows oily throughout the day yet you are not surprised by flaky, dry areas. As someone who belongs to this group, I've tried a lot of various moisturisers. When you're trying to cure your flaky patches, but your oily t-zone doesn't agree with the treatment, causing horrible breakouts, or vice versa, when you're trying to manage the oil on your t-zone, your dry patches don't get enough moisture. The trick is to strike a delicate balance between hydration and oil production by applying a thin, non-greasy moisturiser that is moisturising enough for those dry spots. Light creams with a high concentration of emollients, such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin, have helped maintain the balance of water and oil on my skin, as both of these ingredients are moisture magnets. As long as your skin is adequately hydrated, your body will most likely quit overproducing oil.

4. Normal Skin

Healthy normal skin is a word that describes skin that is well-balanced. Although there is a wide range of healthy skin types, we can fairly conclude that most skincare products are compatible with this skin type. If you are lucky enough to have this skin type, you may have a free pass to try moisturisers in any form - cream, gel, or lotion – as long as they do not irritate your skin. Choosing an all-around cream with adequate UV protection or something that addresses anti-ageing and dullness is the best way to give your skin the shine it needs.

Finally, when it comes to the health of our entire body, including our skin, hydration is critical. The combination of proper hydration (water!) and the use of the right moisturiser is the only way to obtain well-balanced skin. 

-Nishita Tahalramani

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