I've had dry skin (eczema) my whole life. It sucks! But what if I could train my skin to be oily the same way I train muscle to grow? If that is possible, what about the opposite (training oily skin to produce less oil)? What if people with oily skin can decrease oil production the same way muscle strength decreases when you stop training? We train our muscles to grow by doing the opposite; breaking them down. We know that our muscles adapt as part of our survival mechanism, why not do the same for our skin?
What if the routine people with oily skin follow cause them to get oilier skin? And what if people with dry skin follow routines that make their skin even dryer?
This is based on the premise that our bodies are constantly adapting to its environment and the demands we place on it. (Please note that this is just an idea and not medical or professional advice at all)
I've noticed that on forums for people with oily skin, people are advised on what to avoid that causes more oil production. On forums for people with dry skin, people are advised on what to avoid that causes dryer skin. What if people with dry skin do what people with the oily-skinned should avoid, and vice versa?
The Routines of People with Oily Skin
People with oily skin tend to shower or bath twice a day since the extra oil created through their skin gives better grounds for bacteria, leading to faster odor build-up. They don't moisturize and use harsher soaps to get real squeaky-clean. By showering more often, leaving their skin dry and using stronger soaps, their skin is stripped of all its natural oils, so it adapts by producing more oil to return to its normal state. They control their odor but retain their oily skin and their bodies get used to producing even more oil to meet the demands.
The Routine of People with Dry Skin
People with dry skin don't produce enough oil in their skin. This leaves the skin dry, itchy, and in extreme cases (like me on occasion) even painful and skin breaking open. In order to preserve as much of the natural oil already in the skin, they wash less often (only once a day), use gentle soaps (some without any fragrances) and moisturize after washing to replace moisture. By helping the skin to keep moisture and adding more moisture then what the skin produces on its own, the skin feels a lesser need to produce its own moisture since some of it is kept in the skin and more is added daily.
From above, I assume that higher washing frequency, stronger soaps and not moisturizing the skin will strip the skin of its natural oils more, whilst doing the opposite should leave more oil in the skin. I also assume that if you strip your skin of its natural oils, it will adapt by producing more of its natural oils. Conversely, by keeping the skin more moisturized, it will decrease its oil production as there is less demand placed on it for more oil.
According to this I think it could be possible that if people with oily skin limited washes to once a day, used weaker soaps and moisturized afterwards, their skin would start to produce less oil over time. I also think that there is a chance that people with dry skin could train their skin to produce more of its own oils by doing the opposite. This would obviously need to done in small steps over time, because if I had to shower twice a day with the strongest soap I could find and try dry it out as fast as possible I would actually damage my skin (like over-training), making my condition worse.
My Personal Experiment
I decided to try this out and see if my idea could work on my dry skin. I usually shower or bath once a day with a light soap (and sometimes with just water if my skin is really dry or itchy that day). I started by showering every morning with a light soap and bathing in plain water every night. I didn't use any creams, oils or moisturizes and just took fish oil pills to help my skin out (which I do from time to time anyway for my joints). After three weeks, my skin did feel oilier on its own and my skin is not itchy at all anymore. I must say I am happy with the results so far. After some time I am going to start using a stronger soap in the mornings. Once I'm used to that I will add light soap to my baths in the evenings as my skin learns to produce more oil on its own.
Who would like to give this idea a try and see if it works for you? If you try it out, please let us all know in the comments below if it has helped you or not. Stay Strong!