Why Skin Oils are the Ultimate Environmental Protector
To really protect your skin from environmental aggressors, you need to form a barrier.
That barrier should not suffocate the skin beneath, but instead work to hydrate and nourish the deeper dermal layers, whilst shielding exposed areas from free radicals and damage.
Our experience taught us that the best formulation to achieve this delicate balance was oil based. Even if you have greasy or acne-prone skin, a skin oil will help maintain hydration, inhibiting the over-production of sebum and bringing more balance to the skin’s texture and appearance.
If your concern is signs of ageing, facial oils are particularly apposite. As we get older, we produce less of the essential oils we need to keep our skin looking plump, fresh and nourished. The result is areas of thinner looking skin, dryness, irritation and lines and wrinkles. This can start as early as your mid-twenties.
The answer is to look for an oil with small molecules; good candidates are Argan and Squalene, which are big enough to provide surface cover, whilst being small enough to offer deeper hydration to the skin.
Argan oil is prized for its ability to provide moisture to the skin as well as being rich in vitamin E and specific acids that work to protect the skin from free-radicals and the signs of ageing caused by environmental damage. It provides a light barrier to attacks from pollutants with larger molecules that damage the skins natural protective barriers.
It’s not just a pretty face, how your oil is packaged matters. Ours is housed in a dark violet bottle, which far from being just an aesthetic choice, is critical to preserve the integrity of our blend. Exposure to light or heat can damage the oil and reduce the efficacy of the active ingredients.
Finally check your oil’s ingredients. Anything that has water in the first few ingredients (listed as Aqua) will be diluted and difficult to get any real benefit from.
Oils for Day
The daytimes are when our production of sebum's and oils are at their most active so you need additional ingredients that work with the natural oils to maximise the benefits to your skin throughout the day. Urban Protect Day Oil is the jewel in the crown of our daily range, due to its unique blend of actives.
Firstly, we maximise the benefits of the anti-oxidants in the Argan oil we use, with the inclusion of Vitamin C and pure Gold Flakes.
For daytime use, the Vitamin C works to increase levels of Vitamin E and anti-oxidants vital in tackling environmental aggressors. It also inhibits the production of too much melanin, so is ideal in the treatment of discolouration. Finally, it’s an antioxidant, working to fight free radicals and protecting your skin from further damage.
Secondly, as shared in our piece Pure Gold: Why This Precious Metal is a Skincare Miracle, the Gold Flakes are there for much more than decorative purposes. Gold has been found to promote an electron transfer in the skin system, leading to improved blood flow and increased nourishment. It effectively works as a coat of armour to deflect environmental aggressors and allow the skin to focus on healing itself. This protection allows a fast return to healthy turnover, leaving it looking younger and with an improved glow.
Oils for Night
During the night, your skin does its best work rejuvenating itself and cell turnover is maximised, so dead skin cells are discarded. This makes it the ultimate time to take advantage of exfoliating ingredients like Glycolic Acids and Retinoids.
However, it’s also when sebum production is at its lowest, and your skin loses more water, in a process called trans epidermal moisture loss, partly because we’re naturally hotter at night, and so a deeply nourishing moisturiser is crucial.
As we rest, we also hope that our cortisol – stress - levels drop. Skin that is less stressed is more receptive to the benefits of active ingredients and recovery from the day’s challenges, and the ingredients in your night oil should be reflective of that. By choosing purifying and actively soothing ingredients you minimise inflammatory skin reactions that cause signs of ageing and conditions like acne and rosacea.
Like our day oil, Urban Protect Night Oil is made with low molecular sized Argan Oil, but with the inclusion of a next generation Retinol to encourage cell turnover and reduce fine lines. Evening Primrose soothes inflammation and works to settle skin stress, while Rosehip and Vitamin tackle discolouration, puffiness, and help eradicate lingering pollutants from the day.