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Let’s face it – we are all greasy. Not necessarily in an unhealthy sense (although that could certainly be explored), but in that our bodies produce oils naturally; from hair and face to body oils being secreted by various systems.
Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
When it comes to our hair’s oils, finding the ideal balance is tricky. Too much or too little oil results in us sporting an unattractive ‘just swam in a vat of olive oil’ look; too little leads us straight down a rabbit hole of spaghetti western-esque tumbleweeding. Balance is key here. Sebum produced naturally by your scalp, is one such natural oil which keeps locks healthy, shiny and nourished. Regular nutrition plans as well as regular washing (but not too regular washing!) are your surefire ticket to hitting that Goldilocks Zone which achieves just enough sebum production; not too much, but just enough.
A Slippery Slope: Why So Much Oil?
At first, your hair may seem oilier than expected. Unfortunately, our scalps can become overzealous with oil production – like an eager intern on their first day at work. Many factors could contribute to an oil derrick appearing: hormone changes, stress, over washing (yes it exists!), or genetics can all increase oil production on your scalp and cause it to pump up oil production levels. This doesn’t indicate anything other than it trying to keep its hair moisturized and protected. Look for shampoos for oily hair until your scalp reaches equilibrium – sometimes it doesn’t know when to dial back on its production!
Facing the Facts
Our own oil story takes an interesting twist as we shift focus from scalp oils to facial skin oil glands which produce sebum (oily substance). Sebum, your skin’s own personalized moisturizer, is no villain but rather an unsung hero in disguise. It keeps it hydrated, supple, and protected against environmental aggressors (such as dust, pollution or harmful UV rays). But when these glands go into overproduction mode – turning your face into an oily disco ball by midday – then things take an ugly turn. Hormonal imbalances, stress levels and diet can increase sebum production to cause clogged pores and breakouts. Never stress over it (it could just make matters worse!), instead find products designed to regulate oil production for an easier experience balancing facial oils. Don’t try and eliminate all oil but simply manage it; your skin has your back no matter what may seem like.
The Other Side of the Coin: Too Little Oil
On the flip side of an oil slick is its opposite, the Sahara: skin that’s dry, dehydrated and desperately searching for some sebaceous relief. When your sebaceous glands take an extended vacation from producing sebum, your face could feel parched as an oasis. Lack of oil leads to tight, flaky skin that’s prone to showing the signs of aging (gasp!). Even wrinkles prefer taking the path of least resistance! Without its natural oil barrier, your skin also becomes more exposed to environmental elements and threats. Before planning a sebum seance, remember this: you don’t have to succumb to flaky despair! Facial products designed specifically for dry skin can provide your skin with what it needs to remain soft, protected, hydrated and – as Goldilocks would put it, aim for balance; not too greasy nor too dry is what’s key here.
The Body Beautiful
Let’s slide down from the face and explore what makes our bodies beautiful. Just as with our faces, our bodies also boast their own oil symphony. Sebaceous glands don’t only benefit one part of our anatomy – they also rule the other parts. Your skin glands play an integral part in keeping it moist and protecting it against external threats. However, sometimes their efforts become excessive, leaving you looking like an oil slick from an old B-rated movie! Conversely, they can underperform and leave your skin looking like the Gobi Desert. Don’t despair though! Finding your body’s happy balance between Exxon Valdez and Atacama Desert should not be difficult! Implement body care products that regulate oil production, leaving your skin looking like a well-nourished canvas. No matter if you wear silk or denim, your skin should always feel happy, healthy and just right – balance is the key here.
From glossy locks to smooth, moisturized skin, life is an oil-soaked journey. However, just like in any well-crafted cocktail, finding balance is key – too much or too little oil could leave you slipping and sliding all over the place. Therefore, appreciate and respect your oils; without them we’d all be dry like desert duds. Let’s embrace our oily selves because without these vital substances there would be nothing but barrenness – nobody would like that!