People who suffer with acne or oily skin have a higher level of oleic acid present in the skin compared to the linoleic acid content so it is important to find a product that can balance things out without clogging the pores. Prickly pear seed oil in contast, naturally has a higher ratio of linoleic acid to oleic acid. It is also a dry oil that moisturises and softens with regular use. This softening action together with regular exfoliation, can help to prevent sebum hardening and blocking the pores which can then lead to acne, spots and blemishes. Applying oil can also mislead your skin into thinking it does not need to generate any more oil.
Understanding The Effect Of Sebum
The outer layer of the skin known as the epidermis is covered in sebaceous glands that produce an oily substance called sebum through hair folicles. The amount of sebum that is produced through the skin can have a noticable effect on its condition. When your skin produces the right amount of sebum, it is beneficial to your skin but if your skin produces too much, you'll probably be affected by acne. Likewise, if your skin produces too little sebum, you could well have dry, flaky skin.
Linoleic Acid (Essential Fatty Acid)
Linoleic acid more commonly known as omega 6, occurs naturally in our skin and is used by the sebaceous glands as a normal part of sebum. The sebum that is created with linoleic acid has proven to be calming to the skin as it also acts as an anti-inflammatory. In contrast, if there is a lack of linoleic acid present in the skin, the sebaceous glands create sebum with oleic acid that is firmer, subsequently promoting plugs that block the pores. Scientists have proposed that this kind of sebum is more firm and dry causing obstruction in the pores that lead to spots.
Why Choose Prickly Pear Seed Oil For Acne?
As well as being high in linoleic acid and low in oleic acid, helping to put the balance right, prickly pear seed oil is rich in essential nutrients and antioxidants. It is a highly moisturising 'dry' oil that will soften the skin, helping to prevent the hardening of the plugs or blockages that contribute to acne, blackheads and white heads. Opuntia prickly pear seed oil is a natural organic product that is very light and easily absorbed into the skin.
Essential Fatty Acids And Diet
Of course, topical application of oils and creams to the skin is not the only way to to help balance out the linoleic / oleic acid ratio. Diet can also play a substantial part in how our skin looks and feels. Many foods these days do not contain the beneficial fatty acids needed for good health, but instead may be more abundant in the less healthy trans-fats. Lack of essential fatty acids in the diet can contribute to this linoleic/oleic acid deficiency, fuelling the cause of acne.