Some people, of course, do indeed have oily skin, and an oily skin is easy to spot. It is greasy, and that’s not pretty. For, as Dr. Laszlo always said, there is a vast difference between greasy skin and dewy skin. Greasy skin can be spotted, usually, by largish pores, which run hand-in-hand with the condition. Greasy skin needs more cleaning than other skin. And it needs some of its natural oil removed, not added (we’ll tell you about that later). But if oily skin is treated and cleaned properly, its overactive sebaceous glands will soon stop overacting and start behaving normally.
The sebaceous glands are, of course, those beneath your skin that produce its natural oils. Some work more, some less, some too much, and very few too little. But they almost always respond (or should do so) to a properly acid-balanced cleaning treatment. If they don’t, which is unlikely, then there may be something else hidden-and-at-work. Some men, for example, have suffered for years believing they had acne, only to discover, too late, that it was ingrown beard all along. This is a good case for a dermatologist, and it’s the sort of thing they’re very good at spotting.
The point here is that you must begin to recognize that your skin should be kept, always, a touch on the dry side or what you used to consider the dry side. If you ever see anything that even resembles a shine, then you will know that you must begin to dry it just a shade more. Soon you will know your own skin well, for it changes not only with the seasons, but with your moods, your health, any medications you may be taking, and you must adjust your beauty routine accordingly.
In just a moment I am going to give you a full run-down on the whys of keeping your skin on the dry side of oily. But first we will go to the next step in cleaning soap. Did you realize that soap is the worst natural enemy of the acid mantle? It is a highly alkaline substance, although some soap is more harmful than others, some to be avoided completely.
So why are we telling you to use soap? Simple. Soap is the single best method of cleaning skin. And the point is that we aren’t going to leave you at that. We’re going to put the acid right back, the minute you dry your skin.
Now, many experts will tell you that your skin will revert to its natural acid state, no matter what you do to it. And so it will. But that process has been known to take as long as 3V^ hours the average is forty-five minutes during which time your skin is left wide open to any bacteria that wish to enter. So the faster you get it back to acid, the better.
There are “soaps” being made these days that are already acid: I have not tried them on my face, for here is where I am going to let you down and not test everything. Laszlo saved my skin, and saved is the way I want it to remain. In spite of the fact that many of my best friends are in the cosmetics industry and are, therefore, endlessly offering me cosmetics goodies to test, I am never tempted. Once you’ve found perfection, why fool around?
That is what I suggest to you as well. When you get your routine going, keep it forever changing only if your skin changes (which it will occasionally). By then, you’ll know how to cope.
The cleansers that I am speaking of are high in protein, are properly acid, and, apparently, cleanse beautifully. RedKen’s Amino Pon bar is one, Jheri Reddings Milk n’ Honee, another. There are more and more of these acid-balanced cleansing bars appearing each and every week, so check your health food store, or your local pharmacist, if he is health-oriented. Linda Clark claims that these bars work such wonders that her own mother “leaves it on all day as a skin tightener.” So much for acid bars. They’re here, to stay.
Last, there’s water. And here’s one indispensable beauty maker that comes for free. As Dr. Laszlo once said, the reason cosmetics companies are often so loath to prescribe washing is that they haven’t thought of a way to make a profit out of water! Remember Laszlo’s remark the one that made him relatively unpopular with some people about having to invent water had it not existed already. Well, he was certainly right about water’s indispensability. You’ve got to have the water to clean with the soap, and, while we don’t have to tell you where to buy it, we do have a few things to say about the kind of water-washing you must do. And so here we go beginning with oil, and taking you right through the cleaning-up routine to beautiful skin.