Caring for problem skin
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What causes problem skin?

Oily and combination (oily in patches) skin occurs when the sebaceous glands produce an excess of sebum, usually as a result of hormonal changes. While sebum protects skin, too much can cause blocked, enlarged pores. When these blocked pores become infected with bacteria, cysts, spots and acne develop. While true acne requires medical treatment, daily use of the Natural EssenceTM range will help regulate sebum output and clear away bacteria.

Aren't spots for teenagers?

As acne is triggered by hormones called androgens that enlarge the sebaceous glands, it is usually associated with adolescence, when both boys and girls undergo large hormonal shifts. However, adult acne is also fairly common. Stress and a bad diet can trigger hormonal imbalances, plus make-up and poor cleansing routines can cause pores to become clogged.

Why, despite regular cleansing, is my skin always oily?

Over-cleansing is a common mistake. The temptation is to scrub away that oil - but that makes the problem worse. "You trigger the sebum pump," says Sh'Zen aromatherapist consultant Tertia Marriott. "The sebaceous glands sense the surface of the skin is dry so go into overdrive to replace a protective layer of sebum." The Natural EssenceTM Cleansing Purifying Wash gently clears away impurities without stripping moisture, and contains Almond Oil to nourish skin.

Won't exfoliating aggravate bad skin?

Exfoliation is the key to a radiant complexion, but it does need to be done without aggression. Never overscrub skin, and avoid areas that are inflamed. The Natural EssenceTM Clarifying Exfoliant contains walnut kernels and fruit acids to slough away dead skin cells, as well as Grapeseed, Almond and Aloe oils to protect and heal skin. If you are suffering from a bad breakout, Tertia recommends you apply it as you would a mask. The fruit acids will deep clean pores, but you won't aggravate inflamed skin with the manual action of the walnut kernels.

Is a toner really necessary?

Yes. It removes the last residue left by your cleanser, exfoliant or mask and optimises the benefits of your moisturiser. The Natural EssenceTM Balancing Toner also soothes skin and helps control excess sebum. Plus its fresh scent is a boon for the spirit and will help lift your mood.

Do I need to moisturise if I have oily skin?

Most definitely - moisture is vital for all skin types. Failing to nourish oily skin can often exacerbate problem skin in the same way over-cleansing does - the sebaceous glands sense surface dryness and so actually increase oil production. The Natural EssenceTM Matifying Day Cream SPF 30 provides skin with all the hydration it needs while controlling excess shine for a clear, matt complexion. It also has an SPF of 30 to help protect skin against sun damage.

Surely an oil will make my skin more oily?

No - a facial oil such as the Natural EssenceTM Skin Life Oil is actually the best possible product for oily skin. Oil repels water, so the best way to dissolve excess oil is to use another oil. Plus, oil molecules are generally fairly small, so they are quickly absorbed and penetrate deep into the dermis to work their magic. And, as they leave the skin feeling sufficiently nourished, they can convince the sebaceous glands to ease up on sebum production.

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