Why I Always Break Out In the Same Place
Jojoba Oil, though an extreme source of frustration, reinforced one valuable point about my face: my skin is not the same all over my face and reacts differently depending on the area affected.
Let me explain.
I have combination skin - I've known this for as long as I can remember. My T-zone can get very oily throughout the day, while the outer edges of my face are dryer, and have smaller pores too. Already, we are discussing different skin types on the same face.
What I didn't know about that is that those areas REACT differently too!
After trying Jojoba Oil for 3 weeks, I found that the congestion I was seeing wasn't all over my face, and I thought this to be really strange.
How was it that my skin was CONSISTENTLY only reacting in certain areas only?
I know that the center of my face is more likely to breakout than the outside of my face. When I had real acne (not cosmetic acne) it was mostly on my cheeks, and I hardly ever broke out on my forehead.
However, now my forehead and my outer cheek and temple areas were the only areas affected negatively by my Jojoba Oil use. The rest of my face is pretty much clear.
This means that the skin on the center of my face is where real acne occurs (acne caused by something other than what I put on my skin). This area is less delicate, less reactive, and less acne-prone to products than the outskirts of my face.
Oddly, the area that's less sensitive has larger pores. You'd think that the larger pores would contribute to a more reactive skin, but no.
When I say reactive skin, I mean reactive to products.
The area that has the smaller pores and is definitively less oily and shiny throughout the day, basically the area of my face with good skin is the area most affected by Jojoba Oil.
By 'affected' I mean that my skin is congested with hard little comedones, it's clogged and bumpy, and the bumps eventually turn into tiny white heads. That's major damage
My forehead and outer cheeks are bumpy when I use Jojoba Oil, and clear when I don't.
Read my article on [Quitting Benzoyl Peroxide] to better understand why I started using Jojoba Oil in the fist place, after
I wanted to simplify my skincare routine, the one to which I owed my clear
I wanted to have a single-ingredient moisturizer instead of a 10+ ingredient moisturizer.
So I tried (Desert Essence) Jojoba Oil.
I now see that specific areas of my face can deal with an ingredient with a 2 rating, whereas other areas cannot.
This was extremely enlightening!
Now I know not to use Jojoba Oil on my forehead, temples, and my cheeks...basically the area of my face bordering my hair.
Tracy Raftl of the Love Vitamin had the opposite experience with Jojoba Oil - where it was able to clear up her stubborn forehead acne but not her chin acne.
As you can see, we all react differently to Jojoba Oil. More than that, different areas of our face react differently to Jojoba Oil.
But what now?
Am I meant to use TWO products on my face just to moisturize properly and to maintain TWO different skin types?
The short answer is yes. For me, however, this solution will be the last resort.
I wanted to simplify my routine, not complicate it. I wanted one moisturizer, not two.
There is another solution I'm thinking of trying.
Argan Oil is rated 0 on the comedogenicity scale, which means that it won't clog pores at all.
Ingredients with a rating of 0 are extremely unlikely to clog any kinds of pores, whereas ingredients rated 5 are likely to clog all kinds of pores.
The only ratings that I really trust for myself are 0 (safe) and 5 (unsafe) because anything that falls in-between can have varying results.
Such was the case with Jojoba Oil. Some people have seemingly 'miraculous' results with Jojoba Oil, whereas I had extremely MIXED results.
I like knowing for sure, instead of having varying results.
So with a comedogenicity of 0, I think Argan Oil might be a safe bet for my entire face and not just the middle part.
But what I really learned is that if I want to test a product, I can apply it to the upper limit of my forehead for two weeks and then I will know conclusively if the product works or doesn't work.
To test my theory that my skin reacts differently depending on the area, I tried this with olive oil one night. I applied it all over my face, and broke out the next day along the edge of my face (3 small pimples on one cheek, and another two on the other cheek) and under my eye, on the delicate undereye area (one inflamed little bump).
Now I know that my undereye area is just as acne-prone as the skin bordering my hair. All these lessons!
The reason I know this was Olive Oil and not Jojoba Oil is because Jojoba Oil has a certain style of white head, they're pretty uniform in size, shape, touch, smell, taste...Kidding. They're small hard comdeones that turn into tiny white heads,
The Olive-Oil-induced pimples were deeper, a little painful to the touch, more inflamed, and bigger. They weren't huge, but they were also uniform and different from Jojoba Oil break-outs. (Pimple detective to the rescue!)
Olive Oil is clearly not an option for my acne-prone/reactive skin.
After my month of Jojoba Oil is up, I'm going to dive into Argan Oil. I'm very hopeful that it might just be the oil I need for my sensitive, reactive, acne-prone skin.
I want my skin to reflect how healthy I have become, and I'd like to find a product that won't be the cause of comedonal/cosmetic acne.
Having skin like mine forces me to be extremely careful with skin care. I can't just rub anything on my face, because it has opinions on the matter to which I have to listen.
I thought about trying skin oils for a long time - the idea of having a single-ingredient moisturizer is that seductive. But after one bad experience with Jojoba Oil I was scared away from oils for SEVEN years. I can't believe I'm trying all this again - but let me, so that you don't have to.
One thing is clear: there's no clear answer about which oil is right for you. Yet.
Take a moment to let me in on your own skin oil experiments and experiences. Is there a skin oil that you love? Is there a skin oil that you absolutely avoid? Have you tried Argan oil?