Conversations with Sephora employees tend, in my experience, to go one of two ways: a quick point in the direction of a particular product, or a full-blown conversation about my specific needs. In the case of my recent visit – which like so many visits was done out of habit more than necessity – I happened to mention how oily my skin becomes. “Oh,” the employee said, “What it sounds like is you’re drying out your skin. You need to hydrate it.”
I was surprised. True, I have a couple of products that are particularly drying, but I’ve gone to great lengths to protect my skin. I use an oil cleanser! I use a moisturizing toner! I use a serum and a moisturizer and I will very often use an overnight mask to replenish the oils in my skin!
As evidenced by my previous posts, I’m a skeptic by nature, and I was never more skeptical than when I was led to a bottle of straight-up, 100% argan oil. The Sephora employee assured me that people had thanked her for saving their skin with this recommendation, and while my eyebrow was circling the ceiling, she expounded on her logic: dry out the skin, skin produces more oil to compensate. Ergo, oily skin. Pop on a little argan oil after toning but before serum, replenish the oil, skin no longer so oily.
I was still skeptical. But also as evidenced by my previous posts, I’ll try anything as long as it has some backing, and applying oil to the face has shown to help even people with oilier skin than mine.
Josie Maran’s 100% Pure Argan Oil comes in two formulas: a regular and one aptly called Light. I purchased a small bottle of the Light oil for $20; the full-size bottle retails for $60, and the Value size is priced at $120. I’m fairly confident this is a product they could put in a sample size if you’re looking to try it, but skincare samples are tough to gauge. It usually takes a few days, sometimes weeks, to begin seeing the effects.
I was instructed to rub one drop of oil between my hands and then press the oil into my skin. Again, this is after applying toner but before applying serum. I stick with my cheeks and the direct centre of my forehead. I’ve moisturized other areas on my face before and ended up with the worst breakouts.
It’s tough to gauge how, exactly, the oil is impacting my face. My skin appears dewier at best and straight-up oily at worst. However, I haven’t noticed fresh breakouts in the areas where I started applying the oil. If anything, I’ve noticed my skin has a happier, healthier glow, a glow that walks a fine line between, “She’s naturally radiant!” and, “She might want to see a dermatologist about her oil production.”
I will admit to having (at the very least) slightly unrealistic expectations. I like the look of matte skin, which is to say I like the look of dry skin, which is to say that I like the look of unhealthy skin.
Which is to say I’ve been conditioned to adhere to unrealistic beauty standards to the detriment of my own body.
Wow, this got deep.
While wearing make-up, I’ve always noticed that my forehead tends to look glossy after only a few hours of wear. This is while wearing medium-coverage matte foundations, and I have tested them with face primers and setting powders. It’s no surprise that I returned home from my first day back at work with a glossy forehead, though it definitely feels oilier than usual. No new breakouts to report, but I’m not loving the layer of oil I’m wearing, and I don’t think that’s my adherence to unrealistic standards of beauty talking. I think it’s too much oil.
My options from here on out are to stop applying oil to my forehead or to keep going and see what happens. I’m leaning more towards the latter, since, again, skin sometimes needed a little while to totally adjust to new elements of a make-up routine. Maybe this is the hump I have to overcome before my skin recalculates its oil production? Maybe it’ll be fine in another week?
Or maybe this is my skin’s way of telling me to use less astringent products so I don’t have to press argan oil into my face. Well, if that’s the case, all I can say is maybe my skin should stop getting acne at thirty.