ARE OILS DEMAGING TO YOUR SKIN?
I have tried OCM for three days, developed the most terrible irritation and breakouts I have ever encountered in my life (had relatively clear skin before, except some breakouts because of makeup) and here is my review on it:
(I have Master's degree in Biochemistry. If you don't agree with something I'm going to say or provide, you can leave a comment below and we can figure out it together. Also, English is not my first language, so I can make mistakes. Sorry.)
Many people use oils (ideally cold pressed organic 100% pure) as a replacement of skincare. Yes, such words as organic, all natural, full of vitamins and minerals sound really good and people leading organic lifestyle propagate the usage of those.
You know, there are oils that can clog your pores. They do so by increasing follicular hyperkeratosis'”an increased production of keratin in hair follicles. Over time, this leads to clogged follicles and comedones. Thus, oils with the low comedogenic score are safe to use. This is nothing I'm going to talk here about.
So, what are these beloved avocado, rosehip seed, grape seed, hemp seed, olive, safflower, coconut, etc oils?
Well, 60% of each are fatty acids. Among these, in the vast majority of cases, 95% are linoleic and oleic acids.
Thus, oils are concentrated chemical solutions.
Linoleic acid (18:2) is scaled by NFPA 704 as level 2 hazard to health (0-4), meaning intense or continued but not chronic exposure could cause temporary incapacitation or possible residual injury (e.g. diethyl ether, ammonium phosphate). The next point on the scale is this one: 3 - short exposure could cause serious temporary or moderate residual injury (e.g. liquid hydrogen, carbon monoxide, calcium hypochlorite).
Oleic acids (18:1) is scaled 1 by HMIS: - exposure would cause irritation with only minor residual injury (e.g. acetone, sodium bromate).
Safety data sheets in chemical/biochemical labs state:
Adverse Human Health: Material may be irritating to the mucous membranes and upper respiratory tract
Effects and Symptoms: May be harmful by inhalation, ingestion, or skin absorption. May cause eye, skin, or respiratory system irritation.
Indeed, 1 of 2 people is sensitive to even organic cold pressed natural oils and develop the worst irritation and breakouts they have ever had in their lives even because low or non-comedogenic oils.
WHY? WHY ARE THEY SO IRRITATING TO SOME PEOPLE AND WHY DO THEY MAKE OTHERS SKIN VERY SOFT AND SUPPLE?
Answers hide in the nature of fatty acids and how they act when applied topically.
Studies show that even micromolar concentrations of palmitic (C16, saturated acid) and oleic acids incorporate into the sarcoplasmic reticulum membrane (an inner cell organelle, surrounded by lipid bilayer) and reduce the content of phospholipids in the membrane. (Leo G et all, 1983)
A consequence of enhanced skin permeability and/or toxicity with fatty acids is increased transdermal water loss (lauric, oleic acids). The intercellular lipids (permeate through the whole membrane) have an important function in maintaining the barrier to water permeation through the skin and for holding water in the skin, removing of intercellular lipids produced chapped and scaly skin. Maximum permeation enhancement was observed for fatty acids of 9 to 12 carbon atoms and for fatty alcohols of 10 to 12 carbons. Among saturated fatty acid, the maximum enhancement was shown by lauric acid (C12). (M. Loden at all, 2000)
Remember, when tests say the maximum or elevated score they don't say other substances scored 0, as permeation ability was shown for many other fatty acids, as myristoleic, palmitoleic, linoleic, oleic, lauric and many others.
Let's be clear. The skin permeation effect of fatty acids indeed depends on the chain length and saturation. But the thing is oils do not contain very short fatty acids or contain only trace amounts of those (chains of very very short fatty acids are too short to incorporate into the lipid bilayer, therefore didn't show irritation reactions). Also, it's not the deal with a specific membrane, as all of them have the same basis.
In an irritation test in nude mice, 10% oleic acid caused severe irritation. Oleic acid was also evaluated in guinea pigs, with 5% producing significant epidermal damage. Various fatty acids have been examined in humans by applying for 3 h under occlusion using concentrations 0. 16 M. Oleic acid resulted in an elevated score and visible erythema and edema. (M. Loden, 2000)
Another study shows linoleic acid produced significant irritation on human skin (Michael A et al, 1975).
Also, prior studies on the relative irritancy of free fatty acids revealed the saturated C8 to C14 fatty acids and a C18 unsaturated fatty acid to be the most irritating. Another study says that among saturated free fatty acids from C3 to C18, and unsaturated C18 free fatty acids that were applied daily under occlusive patch tests to human skin until detectable erythema appeared, the most irritating fatty acids were C8 through C12. Of the unsaturated fatty acids tested, only linoleic acid produced irritation ( it was the only tested, though).
Also, notice that different tests evaluated different fatty acids and therefore one can say the most irritating was this acid/only this acid showed irritation, while an another test names different acid due to different samples included. Studies say they applied oils until the detectable erythema occurred, thus erythema occurred in all applied saturated fatty acids. Among these, they evaluated the most irritating samples.
SO WHY OILS ARE SUCH GOOD CARRIERS?
All people say oils are good natural carriers of vitamins and minerals to the skin. Oh yes, they are very good carriers, as they disrupt lipid bilayer (membrane that surrounds our cells) incorporating in it and therefore make it easier for other substances to penetrate through it.
But our skin is not designed as frogs skin, which consume near 10% of oxigen within it. Our skin is a barrier, nourished by minerals, vitamins and fatty acids, etc. supplied by blood, thus there is no need to disrupt the natural barrier in order to deliver minerals and vitamins topically.
But even people that develop skin irritation and breakouts can safely consume different types of oils. Even mice like food flavoured with oil more. What's the secret behind it? The thing is our digestive tract has a layer of mucus that protects it, also it regenerates really fast and digest all sort of organic compounds starting from our mouth.
WHY DO SOME PEOPLE DEVELOP IRRITATION AND OTHERS NOT?
Let's look at one example. There is a compound called PTC (phenyltiocarbamide). It has extremely bitter taste. Evolution gifted us an ability to detect bitter tastes bacuse at the most cases bitter means toxic. So, when you can distunguish many bitter substances, you have better chances of survival.
But turns out that we vary in the ability to taste PTC and among different nations and populations only certain amount of people can taste it (from 16% to 40%). But it doesn't mean for those who can't distunguish the taste, it's beneficial and they can eat it without councequences.
The same is with topical irritation. Not everyone develope the reaction, but it doesn't mean it's beneficial for those (we are not talking about allergies here, just irritation!)
Most people experience some sort of reaction after some time of continuous application, as irritation may be induced by repeat disturbance of barrier function.
Maybe you also wonder how oils helped some people to battle acne(especially oil cleansing method) It turns out, they aren't sensible to the mechanism in which fatty acids act. Okay, fatty acids act the same on their skin, they just don't develop a visible reaction to it. Thus, fatty acids could dissolve makeup traces that can irritate their skin, or dissolve natural sebum that clogs pores and not to cause irritation by itself.
WHY DO PEOPLE