Not all oils are created equal. Some people won't use oily lotion on their face. I don't blame them. Products are marred with sketchy, artificial ingredients. But, using a simple oil like sesame seed or coconut oil on your skin is extremely beneficial in my opinion. Our skin is porous, not a shield. That means that it is constantly absorbing everything it meets in the air or that is placed on it (yes, even that sharpie marker). We want to minimize the toxins our skin absorb as much as possible and excrete. We can do this in 2 ways: use simple products minimally on our skin and by what we eat. By putting products like sesame seed oil on our skin, its anti-bacterial properties (like coconut oil too) actually help pull out dirt from our skin.
Since going Paleo and not eating dairy, my skin has cleared up remarkably. If I eat out and there is dairy in my food, I know immediately by the next day because my face will be highly inflamed. Also since going paleo I have been eating healthier oils and more vegetables, which help by providing the skin with vitamins it needs to repair itself. I now don't have the need to wash (er, actually I was scrubbing) my face two times a day to rid it of all the oil production. Now I wash it once a day, if that, and apply sesame seed oil when it is dry. I know it is a seed oil, but it is one of those oils which when applied to our skin is really detoxifying. It works better at clearing my skin than any other product I have in my bathroom.
I love being on vacation, but whenever we go somewhere I experience breakouts for two reasons: 1. I cannot get enough fresh vegetables. 2. Many recipes are prepared with vegetable/seed oils which have high omega-6 ratios and promote inflammation.
In Greece, even though I was eating healthily with almost all my meals consisting of fish and a cooked vegetable, they drown everything in olive oil, an oil I consume minimally at home and only raw in my salads (I don't cook with it because it doesn't do well in high heat as I show here). Even getting vitamin D from the sun there and having it dry up my skin didn't help my breakouts.
As soon as I came home, I reverted back to my old eating (and of course included avocados, which are supposedly good for your skin) and within days my skin was right back to normal. My Dad even noticed too. I think it is amazing how quickly my body responds to a good dosage of nutrients and the right fats. I don't have to put anything on my face externally, but by eating well internally and cleansing my organs it is broadcasted outwards. I also think doing things like bikram yoga help severely. It is extremely hot and whenever I do it, I come out drenched like someone poured a bucket of water on me. It is the only practice I have ever done where I sweat out so many toxins and water weight.
My verdict: To get clearer skin we need to incorporate raw or lightly cooked dark green leafy vegetables in to our diets EVERY day (spinach, swiss chard, kale--YES this stuff can actually taste great if you prepare it right!). We also have to eat orange vegetables and fruits, like sweet potato which is high in vitamin A and helps heal the skin (it is a common ingredient used in acne medication, but the food will leave us with no side effects). And most importantly, cutting out all the cooked vegetable/seed oils in place for coconut fats, an animal fat, or an avocado is the way to go as the fat hasn't gone rancid and won't put trans-fatty acids in our bodies (promoting inflammation).
I've drawn my line in the sand and chosen my friend: Mr. Vegetable. By including him in my diet every day, I am acne-free and so much happier.