Oily skin is relatively easy to recognize; it has large pores, shines and is prone to blackheads and impurities.
But what if the skin feels dry, tight and flaky in places at the same time?
Then it is most likely the so-called ‘dehydrated fatty skin’.
You can recognize dehydrated fatty skin by the following features:
- Is oily and feels dry at the same time
- Pores are clearly visible
- Greasy scaling on eyebrows, around mouth and/or nostrils
- Prone to blemishes and blackheads
As the name suggests, the skin is oily but lacks moisture, which is why it feels ‘dry’. The lack of moisture is due to the fact that the skin barrier is disturbed, i.e. more permeable and the (transepidermal) water loss is increased.
The cause of a disturbed skin barrier lies in a lack of important skin fats.
Now you’re right to ask yourself: How can it be that oily skin lacks fats?
Not all fat is the same: sebum vs. barrier lipids
When we talk about oily skin, we mean increased sebum production. Sebum is formed in the sebaceous glands and released through them to the surface of the skin. There he forms together with Sweat & co. the acid mantle or also called the hydrolipid mantle.
But in the skin, or more precisely: in the skin barrier, there are also fats, so-called lipids, which form a water-repellent layer. But these are partly different fats than those that occur in tallow.
Because not all fat is the same. But let’s look at it in detail:
The composition of sebum varies from person to person, but looks something like this:
- Triglycerides (43%)
- Waxes (23%)
- Fatty acids (14%)
- Squalene (15%)
- Cholesterol (4%)
(Triglycerides are often used as a skin-identical fat base in creams. Squalane oil is also a very popular care oil because it is a natural component of the acid mantle , is extremely well tolerated and does not promote impurities.)
The lipid structure of the skin barrier consists of:
- Ceramides (40 – 50%)
- Fatty acids (15%)
- Cholesterol (20 – 30%)
Cholesterol and fatty acids are found both in sebum (on the skin) and in the lipid layer of the skin barrier (in the skin).
What is not contained in sebum, however, are ceramides . A super important lipid that plays a key role in maintaining an intact skin barrier function.
Even though oily skin produces a lot of sebum, it may lack ceramides. This means that the skin barrier becomes more permeable and transepidermal water loss from the skin increases. The result: your skin is tight, sensitive, feels dry despite the oil film and flakes in places (especially around the eyebrows, nostrils and mouth).
How do I care for my dehydrated oily skin?
With dehydrated fatty skin, there is an excess of sebum on the skin, while there is a lack of ceramides in the skin.
Skin care for dehydrated fatty skin should ideally look like this:
- A mild gel cleanser
- A peeling with glycolic and lactic acid
- A serum with niacinamides
- A cream with ceramides
Step 1: A mild gel cleanser
No matter what skin type you have: thorough and gentle cleansing is the foundation of good skin care. If you have dehydrated oily skin, it’s important to remove excess sebum without drying out or irritating your skin. So use cleaning with mild surfactants, without irritating substances and pay attention to a pH value of 5.5, which preserves the natural acid mantle.
Step 2: A peeling with glycolic and lactic acid
Fruit acid peels help to loosen calluses so that the sebum can drain away better and no impurities arise. You also swap greasy shine for a wonderful glow.
Lactic acid also promotes ceramide synthesis and is therefore good for an intact skin barrier function.
Step 3: A serum with niacinamides
Niacinamides regulate sebum production, improve your skin’s moisture balance and promote ceramide synthesis. A true all-rounder for dehydrated, oily skin!
Step 4: A cream with ceramides
It can sometimes make sense to keep your skin oil-free. However, if the skin is tight and the skin barrier is disturbed, you should not forego light care. Ceramides as an active ingredient in skin care strengthen the skin barrier and ensure that water loss is reduced in the long term.
Also Read: Oily Skin: This Is How You Recognize It!