There’s a lot of wisdom in skincare advice from a woman who had beautiful, glowing skin all her life.
Back in the 1990s, I bought oil-free face wash and shampoo that made my skin and hair squeaky clean. Hair so clean, it…literally..squeaked when you ran a strand between your fingers.
I was almost hyper about getting the oils out of my skin and hair. Moisturized, yes. Natural oils, no. No way. I wouldn’t tolerate even a glimmer of natural oil in my t-zone.
My Babci (Polish for grandma, close enough pronunciation “Bahb-chie”) scolded me about how ridiculous it was to remove natural oils from my skin and hair. She argued they were there for a reason, to keep my skin healthy. Why would I believe some over-blown TV commercials over thousands of years of mother nature?
TV commercials are a powerful force. Advertisers have shaped plenty of our modern-day beliefs. Teenage me ignored her and tried my best to combat a mildly oily t-zone (and not-at-all oily hair) with the best knowledge I could find in magazines and on store shelves.
I thought her advice was so old-fashioned I couldn’t possibly take her seriously. My mother was her youngest child. By the time I was born, Babci was already an old lady, born in 1918. She never owned pants. I’m not kidding. My grandmother was born two years before women could vote in the United States, and she wore dresses day and night for her entire 80 years. An approach to ladies’ fashion that was straight out of the 1850s. Besides, every one of my friends and, yes, every model on TV, was using oil-free everything. I really thought those young models and modern advertisers could teach Babci a thing or two.
Oil-free face wash, oil-free soap, oil-free toner, oil-free cleanser, oil-free lotion, oil-free conditioner, oil-free everything…and rice paper to blot my nose just in case there was possibly a speck of oil left on it. Of course, after I used all those anti-oil products, I spent hours at the store, pouring over the well-written promises on the bottles of face creams and conditioners to put even better synthetic moisturizers back into my skin and hair.
Babci was right. I didn’t believe her at the time, but now, I embrace her message. Natural oils are good for your skin. You shouldn’t strive to remove them completely. Instead, find a good balance between clean skin and embracing natural oils. Make sure you remember that we are seeking balance, not a full pendulum swing toward over-dosing our skin with oils.
Embrace natural oils in your skincare and work with what nature gave you.
Proof is in the pudding. My Babci avoided stripping her skin of oil, and she had beautiful, glowing skin for all of her 80 years of life.