It seems to go against logic and everything you were taught: put oils on your skin to keep it clean and clear? Huh? Won’t additional oil just clog your pores and make you look like a shiny mess?
Facial oils are having a major beauty moment right now and for the exact opposite reason. When used properly, they offer gentle, but effective cleansing, while helping to smooth fine lines and combat other signs of aging. They’re also lovely–both to smell and experience on your skin–and, in many cases, are far less expensive than high-end creams or gel cleansers.
So, how do you get started? Here’s everything you need to know about facial oils to help clear up myths and inform your next beauty purchase.
The Beauty Benefits Of Facial Oils
“Beauty oils provide antioxidants, omega fatty acids and other nutrients to improve the health of the skin, scars, stretch marks, uneven skin tone and fine lines and wrinkles,” says Robin Emtage, creator and owner of Emtagebeauty.com. “It is super hydrating and nourishing for dry skin and provides anti-aging properties to aging skin.”
Dr. David E. Bank at The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery adds that facial oils are also perfect for women with busy, stressful lives. “By massaging oil into the skin, it helps to take away the day of stress and the aroma of the oils can be relaxing,” Bank says.
How To Use Facial Oil
Oils can used as a day and night moisturizer and a makeup remover, Emtage says. They can soothe dryness, smooth wrinkles, calm redness and treat eczema and other skin irritations.
“Many skin oils are rich in vitamins, polyphenols and potent antioxidants which hydrate and protect the skin,” adds Dr. Gillian Palette, medical director and co-founder of Skyngenuity Medical Spa and Apothecary in New York City. “They also help with free radical damage. Other skin oils help combat sebum or oil production and acne.”
Ute Leube, founder of Amala adds, “I love to add a drop or two of a natural oil to moisturizer, pressing the mixture into the skin for a boost of EFA-rich moisture. To layer face oil with your moisturizer, we recommend applying serum, then moisturizer, then face oil on top. When it comes to layering skincare, applying face oil on top of moisturizer helps facilitate optimal absorption of the oil.”
It’s worth noting that a facial oil should not replace a daytime moisturizer, because they don’t generally have a sunscreen, Emtage says. “It is best to use with a moisturizer to improve hydration of the skin,” she says. “But it can replace a nighttime moisturizer.”
The Best Facial Oils For Different Skin Types
“There is a natural oil to help balance any skin type, from super dry skin to oily, break-out prone skin,” says Leube. Here are her recommendations:
– Sensitive skin: lavender, chamomile, calendula, rose oil, Jojoba seed oil, argan seed oil and black currant seed oil.
– Dry skin: almond oil, sandalwood, pomegranate seed oil, macadamia nut and sunflower seed oil.
– Mature skin: argan seed oil, rose hip seed oil and avocado oil.
– Oily skin: citrus oils, tea tree oil, jojoba oil, sunflower oil, apricot kernel oil, castor oil and hempseed oil.
The Beauty Benefits of Facial Oil On Oily Skin
If you have oily skin and are still hesitant, don’t be! Oils are actually the perfect solution for oily skin problems, says Alice Lin, founder and president of natural skincare company Wonderland Organics.”It was commonly perceived that oils are bad for your skin: it has only been in recent years that research has shown to prove that using oils will actually make you less oily,” Lin says. “By using a synergistic mix of oils, women with oily skin will find that their skin can be properly balanced. ”
Palette explains that tea tree oil, castor oil and hempseed oil are high in anti-bacterial/anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, making them ideal for oily skin. Some of these oils actually regulate and decrease sebum (oil) production. Also, many of these oilshave a low comedogenic index while hempseed oil is said to be noncomedogenic. Many are rich in vitamins, polyphenols, and potent antioxidants while others help combat acne and are used for oily skin.”
All facial oils are not created equal, however. Anyone with oily skin should stay far away from beauty oil blends that have mineral oil and petroleum, Emtage says. Lin adds, “I would recommend against using straight up avocado oil as it is a heavy oil and will be too nourishing.”
For more beauty tips, check out threading vs. waxing eyebrows: Which is better? and the 3 products you should apply every night if you want flawless skin.