Understanding The Shift
Perhaps the most important, yet relatively unknown piece of the puzzle regarding oily skin is The Shift. The Shift is described in at least one key NIH study, and observes a specific change in sebum composition between someone with normal skin, and someone with oily, acne prone skin.
The Shift tells us that oily skin isn't just more sebum, it's sebum with different characteristics than those with normal skin. This is vital information for anyone attempting to treat oily skin topically, because it shows while we may be able to influence the amount of sebum we produce, topical treatments haven't yet been able to influence the composition of our sebum.
Understanding the shift, however, gives us hope for a more complete solution - if we are able to look past a topical only approach. By understanding what mechanisms internally influence the shift, we can seek to control it, and eventually reverse it. Reversing the shift may be our best hope to overcoming oily skin permanently.
This site is documenting our ongoing search for reversing the shift, and overcoming oily skin for good.
The Shift Is WHY Oily Skin Is So D*MN Frustrating
If you're reading this, you can probably tell me in great length why oily skin is so frustrating. The most frustrating part for many is the inability to solve the puzzle. Overcoming oily skin came into perspective when I learned about The Shift. To wrap your head around the shift, imagine an internal mechanism that, like a switch, turns on a process in your body that produces the thick, sticky oil known to those with oily skin. When your body turns on this process, you have oily skin. If it's off, you don't.
Now imagine the process, for you, is always on, pumping out sticky, thick oil, of which the aftermath is a host of skin problems, like acne and clogged pores.
Now think about this - conventional skincare can't turn this process off. It can lessen the amount the process runs by controlling what triggers it, which in turn lessens the amount of oil you experience. This will help with treating the symptoms of the aftermath (acne, etc.), but, turning the process off comes from within. Internally, things like insulin, IGF-1, & androgens and the conditions of certain organs and body systems matter. Here are 10 observations that have little to do with your skin, yet everything to do with oily skin. Solving those imbalances gives us a real shot at overcoming oily skin.
Now, how does that change your expectations for your next skincare purchase?
This is the maddening world of skincare we live in, in 2017. Oily skin skincare, by conventional standards, is all about control, and lessening the amount the machine runs. Unless you're willing to permanently break the process (Accutane) or get lucky with some internal changes, you have no way to shut it off. If you can't turn off the process that pumps out the oil in your oily skin, you can't ever really stop it, only hope to control it.
Most don't realize that all your efforts are just to lessen the effects of oily skin, and temporarily reduce it. Thus, the frustrated consumer is born...
Trying To Understand The Problem
As odd as this statement sounds, the problem with oily skin is, well, we don't understand the problem. Yes, we understand that androgen receptors on our skin get triggered by DHT to produce large amounts of sebum, but why our sebum changes in composition and function (like from a hydrophilic secretion to a hydrophobic steroid-like one), even after reading about the shift, the problem or the WHY the shift happens, unfortunately, is still unknown.
This has a trickle down effect to the consumer driven world around us. Your made to believe oily skin has a completely different KIND of solution to it, and it leaves us frustratingly running in circles. For instance:
Search Youtube for "oily skin" and you'll find endless skincare routines and regimens to follow.
Is oily skin a regimen issue? Do you just not have the right product lineup or the right routine?
Talk to Dermatologists and they'll offer among other things, professional skincare recommendations.
Is oily skin solvable through stronger products?
Search Amazon and you'll see a collection of the latest products & ingredients.
Is oily skin a cutting edge technology/exclusive ingredients/delivery system/purity issue?
Search google and you'll get webpages suggesting your skin problem is as easy as a few egg whites and tomatoes on your face. And don't forget to wash it!
Is oily skin a simple solution that we all seemed to pass over?
Each place you look suggests that oily skin is a different kind of problem, needing a different kind of solution. This means you bounce around endlessly trying to get a proper technique down for each one, and when it doesn't work, you don't know what to think.
This is exactly why we're attempting to master the shift. Finding a way to reverse the shift is more important than any other problem regarding oily skin, because it returns your skin to behaving like normal.
Healing Oily Skin - The Process
A Starting Point
The hardest point for someone with oily skin is the starting point. So many of you never get past this stage, and go years of success only to be back at square one with no idea how to improve your skin. We've tried countless different approaches for improving oily skin, and the best way to improve your oily skin is through:
Clean eating and a gentle, all natural skincare routine.
This, for some people, will be all you need to return your body back to normal. For others, you will need more help in certain areas, but it's a starting point. It's tough to say what we need to return to normal because it's impossible to know how you're body has changed according to the stress it's under. Hormones, the signals that get sent from one part of your body to another, may be getting ignored by desensitized receptors, while other may be too sensitive. This is a complicated puzzle, but before we go trying to fix anything, let's see what a clean diet and gentle, all natural skincare routine can do.
This is you're starting point.
The shift & chronic inflammation.
If you're battling oily skin, you suffer from chronic inflammation. If you have acne, you suffer from chronic inflammation. If you overcome chronic inflammation, chances are your oily skin and acne will go away. That's why chronic inflammation is at the top of the mountain, as the #1 enemy to overcome. To battle this, we do a diet that's made to reduce inflammation, with skincare that's made to do the same.
It may take a few weeks for your body to adjust, but you'll soon start to see how easily your journey back to normal will be.
Not quite ready to go all natural in fear it will leave you looking terrible too long while you adjust?
If you need to deal with what we call "the aftermath", there's no shame in that.
Here's the brand of products we recommend for intense treatments.
We, however, have a different take entirely on how to heal oily skin.
Androgens play a huge role in oily skin. Once we thought they WERE oily skin. Now we know, they just messengers in this game. Their role is important though, they trigger the sebaceous glands to produce oil. Of the messengers that trigger this response, the hormone DHT is the most potent.
DHT is converted from testosterone, which is a steroid hormone synthesized from cholesterol in our body. There are several ways DHT triggers too much oil on our skin:
1. Too much testosterone
2. Androgen receptors can become overly sensitive
3. Abnormal amount of testosterone is converted to DHT on our skin
Internally Androgens can be controlled, but this carries a warning.
Insulin plays a large role in our body. But it's connection to cholesterol, IGF-1, Testosterone and blood sugar may be how it fits into the oily skin puzzle.
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