I honestly never thought that the balance of linoleic acid to oleic acid in carrier oils would be one of the major components to healing and balancing my acne prone skin. I used to spend over $100 a month on all natural skin care products, and I was always looking for the next best product or routine to create consistent clear results. At the time I was using exfoliants, “gentle” acid peels, expensive blemish serums, facial brushes, and the marketed skin care regimen of cleanse, tone, moisturize, treat, and protect. This regimen needed five different products, was time consuming, and extremely costly.
My skin had good days, then bad days which would come with a major setback of scars from each breakout that lasted much longer than the “good skin” days. I also wore foundation and concealer daily to hide the imperfections and scars that resulted on this elaborate skin care regimen. Regardless of using natural makeup, I didn’t enjoy feeling dependent on makeup to look and feel presentable.
This lasted for years with inconsistent positive and negative results. When I finally embarked upon simple DIY skin care which I share throughout Minimalist Beauty, I still had not learned about oils high in linoleic acid for acne prone skin. I did have some improvement using simple DIY skin care, yet nothing compared to the improvement I have seen over this past year using only oils high in linoleic acid.
My Journey with High Linoleic Oils
After learning about oils high in linoleic acid, I decided to omit using ALL beauty products with oils and butters high in oleic acid and ONLY use products and ingredients with oils high in linoleic acid. I felt that this would be the best way to fully know if this was scientific nonsense or truthful. You can read about oils high in linoleic acid in this article.
In essence high linoleic acid softens and dislodges hard sebum in the skin which would create acne and clogged pores. Most acne prone skin is deficient in linoleic acid. Using oils high in linoleic acid creates the needed balance for healthy acne prone skin.
After over a year of only using oils high linoleic acid exclusively for my face, hair, and body, I have watched my skin continue to improve while also needing to do less to maintain my skin’s progress. At first I was oil cleansing twice a day with an oil high in linoleic acid using a microfiber cloth. Later on I was only oil cleansing in the evenings and rinsing with water in the morning then moisturizing. Now I oil cleanse every other evening or as needed then moisturize, and I use a cotton pad with distilled water to cleanse my face then moisturizing with a high linoleic oil in between full oil cleansing sessions. I share the details of how I oil cleanse here.
Although I have tried different high linoleic oils with good results, organic pumpkin seed oil is what I use to cleanse and moisturize with, and I am never without it. I also love organic rosehip seed oil as a moisturizer which I wrote about here. Rosehip seed oil is high in linoleic acid and although not considered good for acne prone skin, no one really discusses the oleic/linoleic acid balance needed for acne prone skin.
Simple Skin Care & Makeup-Free Envy
I used to envy anyone who only washed their face with water and had clear skin thinking they were the lucky ones with good genes. I also envied women who looked beautiful without makeup, never wore it, and the freedom that they had because of it. All of these negative emotions definitely didn’t help my skin, nor did it make me feel better about myself. I just had much more to learn about my health and healing my skin.
The reason why some can only wash their face with water is because the acid mantle of their skin is intact and functioning in a healthy way. Our skin has the ability to heal and balance itself under the right conditions. Many commercial cleansers, toners, peels, and exfoliants disrupt this natural balance of the skin’s acid mantle, therefore needing other products to create a false sense of balance for your skin. Products geared towards acne prone skin are usually the harshest creating more damage than good. Your skin also becomes extremely dependent upon these products to maintain its appearance if it is even working at all. Improper pH balance in commercial and even natural products and ingredients can also create skin imbalances in the skin’s acid mantle.
The Healing Process
It has taken me over a year to fully heal my skin’s acid mantle so that I could wean myself off of oil cleansing twice a day to once every two days or so and to feel comfortable not wearing makeup. This organic and colorless BB cream has really helped with not wearing foundation or concealer daily. I have used this organic BB cream for a few years now, and when I desire a more polished look its light reflecting minerals give the skin a beautiful finish.
I feel that foundation specifically is kind of misleading because although it visually perfects your skin, it also creates an unhealthy dependency where your skin does not look good without it. That’s a whole new article though. Restoring the skin’s acid mantle to a heathy state while weaning yourself off of extensive skin care and tons of makeup is completely possible if that is something you would like to do. Your skin has the incredible ability to heal and balance itself. It just takes time and knowledge.
Having consistently clear healthy skin was something that was extremely important to me, so I took on the exclusive high linoleic journey and feel like I have finally come full circle. I did notice somewhat immediate results using only high linoleic oils in my beauty regimen, yet it still took time to allow my skin to heal and it still is improving. It doesn’t happen overnight. You can read how I cleared my acne and acne scars as it wasn’t just using oils high linoleic acid that did it alone.
What has been your long term experience with oils high in linoleic acid for those who have been trying this with me?
(Image by Dawn Michelle)