Your Oil Free Moisturizer is Congesting Your Skin

Yep, you read that right. Pore congestion is the result of dehydrated skin.

Period. End of story.

But you don’t believe me yet, so keep reading.

Remember learning in science class that our skin is our biggest organ of detoxification? Well, now that fun fact is relevant to your adult self!

When skin is healthy and functioning properly, it naturally releases tiny pockets of puss (AKA whiteheads)–—eww, sounds gross, I know! But it happens naturally and uneventfully to anyone with healthy skin, as a daily part of our body’s elimination processes.

Not only that, bAcid mantleut our skin naturally produces oil as a way to maintain our delicate acid mantle barrier.

The acid wha?? From good ol’ Wikipedia:

“The acid mantle is a very fine, slightly acidic film on the surface of human skin acting as a barrier to bacteria, viruses and other potential contaminants that might penetrate the skin. It is secreted by sebaceous glands.”

When skin is hydrated and soft, our pores release natural sebaceous oil without any problem or issue—maintaining our acid mantle and nourishing our skin with its very own, very precious oil—perfectly created just for you.

Raisin pores = unhappy pores.

But when we over scrub and over cleanse, use astringents, pore tightening masks, oil-free moisturizer, and all the “pore minimizing” products out there…skin gets dehydrated.

When our skin becomes dehydrated, the pore canals dry out like raisins. The sebaceous oil gets stuck, starts to harden, and eventually turns into blackheads.

And when oil gets trapped in the skin, white blood cells go there and create a tiny puss pocket. When these can’t be simply released, they will continue to stay there and harden over time…for years…turning into milia.

Over time, these 2 most common types of skin congestion:

  1. blackheads, and
  2. milia

will each grow independently in size, or make combinations of each other over time:

  • Black heads that can lead to milia pockets underneath or
  • Milia pockets that develop blackheads on top.

Gross. Keep reading for how to fix this.

Dehydrated skin is clogged skin. Clogged skin is dehydrated skin. 

When skin is dehydrated and its precious acid mantle barrier is disrupted, the sebaceous gland goes into overdrive in an attempt to rehydrate our skin. The sole purpose of this oil is to move out through the pores and remain liquid to spread across our skin and prevent water from evaporating.

Scrubs, astringents, pore tighteners….are actually making everything worse. Your skin produces more oil, but the oil can’t get out because the skin is dehydrated and becoming more clogged, meaning skin gets even more dehydrated, initiating more sebaceous gland production…lather, rinse, repeat.

Oil & Water, like PB&J.

The only way to prevent water from evaporating from your skin is to trap it underneath an oil-rich moisturizer. Yes, oil is THE KEY to plump, moist, hydrated, clear skin. What creates moist skin is the right balance between water AND oil.  Both are absolutely crucial to balanced, healthy skin. Oil and water work together like peanut butter and jelly, like the Moon and the Sun, like the bubbles to the hot bath, like the gravy to the mashed potatoes, like a smile to my face, like the wind to the kite…you get the idea!

Oil Skin's Best Friend
Oil is your skin’s best friend!

Oil is not the enemy–—oil is your friend. Yes, even, and especially, if you get breakouts. Part of the reason why you get breakouts is because your skin is actually dehydrated and in sebaceous oil production overdrive.

Repeat after me: “Oil is my friend. Oil is my friend. Oil is my friend.” I’m repeating this because I really want you to get it!

My advice? Go to your bathroom RIGHT NOW and throw out your oil-free moisturizer. Stick to oil-RICH moisturizers, or even (pro-tip here) go into your kitchen and use a fresh (not rancid!) organic oil—coconut oil works GREAT.

Spray some rosewater on freshly, gently cleansed skin and slather a bit of coconut oil or oil-rich moisturizer on. Let it soak in for a few minutes before massaging in thoroughly.

And stay tuned for my future post which goes into detail on the precise, simple skincare steps for healthy, hydrated skin.

(Now, protecting your skin from sun becomes another conversation…I don’t want you running outside in the sun with coconut oil and no SPF!)

Pore – phobia

skin_harmonics_healthy_poresI get asked constantly “How can I shrink my pores?” The conventional beauty industry exploits this fear and spends trillions of dollars every year to keep the shrink-my-pore myth thriving.  Myth? YES. Myth. Don’t sell your pores to the devil… not even one.

Here is the beautiful truth about your pores:

1. Pore size is genetic.

2. The larger the pores the larger the capacity to produce oil. Which is a very good thing! Healthy, hydrated skin is the key to anti-aging and clear skin. When skin is hydrated, dermally nourished, and hormones and intestinal flora are balanced, beautiful, youthful skin is a result.

3. Conversely, hardened oil plugs that get stuck in pores can temporarily (or even permanently) over stretch pore openings. Hardened pores are a direct result of topical dehydration, sun exposure, and lack of new skin cells emanating from the dermis.

4. By now we all are aware that the beauty industry literally Photoshops away the pores from their ads. Which feeds the pore hysteria.

Here is the sad pattern that worsens pore size: Over scrubbing, using astringents (toners), over scraping pores and constant removal of skins natural oils dehydrate the skin. This tells the sebaceous gland to make more and more oil, throwing your skin into over production. This, ironically, creates a vicious cycle of more congestion and enlarges pores to accommodate these hardened plugs.

What is a pore lover to do?

Dermal Remodeling returns the skin’s oil production to its natural genetic setting, clear pore functionality, huge healing and anti-aging benefits of skins natural oils, while creating soft permeable plump skin that ages slowly.

Essential oils and facial skin

skin_harmonics_essential_oilsI absolutely love essential oils! It was my entry into skincare when I was 20.  Yet I have come to the conclusion that most essential oils are too astringent to use on the face. They tend to disrupt disperse the skins natural oils.

There are a few exceptions like rose and carrot seed, blue chamomile, graciously. Myrrh, frankincense, rosewood, sandalwood, vetiver, helichrysum in tiny amounts. These essential oils are hydrophilic – magnetizing water while not interfering with skins natural oils.

Most others including lavender, all citrus, jasmine, ylang ylang, tea tree, geranium, clary sage, fall into the category of disturbing the skins natural oils which invariably starts the the sequence of events of dehydration( crusty skin) and over production of oil.  Reserve these for body, personal scented oils and household cleaning.

I Mist Therefore I Am… NOT hydrated

skin_harmonics_hydrationMisting your skin with water throughout the day will actually de-hydrate your skin. Fact. Here is why:

Hydrated skin is the result of keeping water in our skin. We do this by first generously misting our skin with water and then locking it in by applying a good moisturizer on top. That is the only way to trap the water in and keep our skin moist and fresh. AND you only need to do this in the morning and then repeat the process in the evening.

So misting randomly throughout the day is actually sabotaging your hydration efforts by deleting the protective moisturizing layer! Stop it. Now.

Let’s open our pores…then close them?

skin_harmonics_poresThe truth is I’ve never seen them open or close after 20 years. Not one single pore. Nope. Never. It just doesn’t happen.

I’ve seen pores soften and harden. Yes. I have seen that.

I’ve seen pores that are dehydrated, impacted and enlarged. Yes. Many of them.

Everyone has a genetic pore size. The larger the pores the more oil that is naturally made. This is a very, very wonderful thing! A built in moisturizer to trap water in the skin. Yes, please! Balanced, healthy skin that is hydrated, dermally nourished and protected doesn’t have problematic bacteria or oil problems, or clogged pores.

Love your pores! Free your pores! Stop trying to scrub/scrape them into shape. Stop stripping their protective film and causing chaos for them!

Instead, feed them, water them, protect them with a moisturizer (and NOT an oil-free one. Read this post to learn more). And remove the compacted plugs and blackheads without hurting them.

Love your pores and they will love you back.

Knowledge is Power


I have learned that even the best products that money can buy are AS INEFFECTIVE as the cheapest if they not used properly. Here is what you need to know: No matter what the product, PROPER usage is absolutely crucial to seeing results. Period.

In other words, you can spend a lot of money on products and still not get results! Expensive products are wasted if there is no basic understanding of how our skin accepts nutrients. It is ultimately the deciding factor in the health of our skin.

Dermal Remodeling Method, and dermal delivery of nutrients, has been an enormous breakthrough for our skin.

When using any product, ask yourself:
1. What products am I applying?
2. Why am I using them?
3. How do I properly apply them?

These are the missing puzzle pieces for us as we learn to care for our skin.
Dermal Remodeling Method is the simple and effective cure for a confusing and inefficient skin care regime.

Dermal remodeling offers Knowledge that will keep you from wasting your resources.

Oil and water actually DO mix: Part II

DrySkinI am going to get right to the point here: Oil-free moisturizers are not only the single most useless product being sold but they also shamelessly perpetuate the misunderstanding of our skin. Let me explain…

To begin, your natural oils are NOT what is congesting your skin or causing blackheads. Skin becomes congested when it is utterly, completely dehydrated. Water is incredibly important to both our bodies AND our skin. I will go on to bravely say that it is THE most important thing for the health and luscious vitality of our skin!

The best, most effective way to raise water levels in our skin is to literally trap the water under a barrier of oil, emulsified oil or moisturizer. Without a necessary oil barrier the water will evaporate within minutes. Oil-free moisturizers, therefor, cause serious dehydration in our skin which leads to a long list of things we don’t want like wrinkles, black heads, large pores, oil overproduction, hyper-sensitivity (including sun sensitivity).

OK. Now you know.

Woman showing dramatic decrease in wrinkles before and after Skin Harmonics treatment with Osmosis products

Oil and Water Actually DO Mix

Woman showing dramatic decrease in wrinkles before and after Skin Harmonics treatment with Osmosis productsThe number one thing that skin is craving is water!

It is absolutely crucial to how well your skin actually can BE skin. Water makes a long list of things possible. And the long list is an important one trust me. The only only only way your skin can retain water is by having the right relationship with oil. Shriek. Yes!!!!! Understanding the role of your skins natural oil and the right use of a good moisturizer is the key to unlocking the door to radiant, deliciously hydrated skin.

What makes moist, hydrated skin is the right combination of both water AND oil. The skin needs them both. Oil-phobias set the skin up to be chronically dehydrated. Chronic dehydration creates a long list of things that you don’t want happening with your skin.

In essence: An oil-phobic person is creating blackheads, congestion and wrinkles. All of the products I use are made with natural, wholesome face-feeding, skin-nourishing ingredients BUT without a heavy feel or shiny residue. Period.

Chronic Irritation Can Cause Your Skin to Age Faster

radiant_skinThere have been a lot of studies indicating that inflammation, caused from sunburns, too many chemical peels, strong detergent based products and “glycolic overload” all break down the skin’s lipid barrier, leaving it exposed and vulnerable to irritation and the production of free radicals. If the skin is irritated all of the time, it is an indication of free radical damage, which can change the DNA of the cells and age your skin even faster.

Instead opt for gentle cleansers, and then wash your face only in the evening only if you have been wearing makeup. A warm washcloth followed by skin nourishment and hydration is all you need to have fresh, nourished radiant skin.

Never ever use an “oil-free” moisturizer.  These products will never trap water in your skin AND encourage your skin to increase its oil production creating a confusing & terrible cycle of anxiety. Read Your Oil Free Moisturizer is Congesting Your Skin for a detailed explanation of why oil-free moisturizers can actually cause acne and accelerate aging!