Skincare oils have increasingly been praised by beauty experts and dermatologists for their skin-nourishing properties and their ability to improve an array of concerns like fine lines, acne scarring and dark spots. Despite that, high chances are you’ve avoided putting oils anywhere near your face because of the worry that it will leave your skin looking greasy (argh) or because you’re afraid it will make you break out (double argh!)
We totally feel you. The fact is, when used correctly, the opposite should be true. A good face oil should absorb like a dream into your skin, and can even enhance the effects of the rest of your beauty routine.
But, the million-dollar question on our lips is this: how do you identify which one is best for your skin type? What ingredients should you look out for? Do you still need to use a moisturiser?! Oh, the confusion.
Fear no more, because we’ve tried, tested and done a good bit of legwork to bring you the facts. Presenting ZERRIN’s guide on what to look for in a good face oil, how to apply it and recommendations to try for your skin type!
Skincare oils: The basics
A good face oil should be packed with nutrients, fatty acids and antioxidants. Over the last few years, they’ve been marketed as a more luxurious beauty buy, and some are put off the slightly higher price tag. Actually, face oils contain much more concentrated ingredients than a typical moisturiser. This means you can use less product (2 to 3 drops for your face is usually enough). So, even if you use it every day, a bottle should last you a good few months. Value for money? We think so too!
We advise purchasing an oil with the most natural ingredients possible. A pure botanical or organic formula won’t contain chemicals or preservatives, which are synthetic ingredients typically found in drugstore skincare that can actually block your pores. Always read the label, and scrutinise any ingredients that don’t sound naturally-derived if the product claims to be so.
A quality oil should absorb easily and seamlessly into your skin, although it may take some time to find the best ingredients that suit your skin type, as oils contain molecules of different sizes (check out our guide for your skin type below!). For this reason, they usually make a great primer before makeup.
Incorporating a face oil into your routine can take some trial and error. Depending on your skin type and needs, you may want to use a face oil in place of your usual moisturiser twice a day, or use it only in the evenings before bed. Applied and left overnight, it can help to repair and protect, which in turn can help your skin better absorb other products in your arsenal. If you feel like your other skincare isn’t performing how you’d hoped, an oil might actually help you achieve that dreamy skin you’ve been wishing for.
How to use your oils
Of course, you can find a method to apply your oil that you like, but we have a few suggestions! If you’re totally new to the consistency, try applying yours at night time first. It’s a prime time for your skin to reap the most benefits when it has time to repair itself and there’s no external aggressors, or temptation to touch your face.
Apply on cleansed damp skin, before moisturiser
First things first, after cleansing and toning, make sure your skin is still moist before you apply your oil. This is a crucial step because oil locks in moisture, and prevents it from evaporating. You also get the most benefits from facial oils by applying them before moisturiser, so apply your oil first.
Choose your areas of concern
Apply a few drops of face oil directly onto your palms and then onto your face. Don’t rub it into your hands though, as that’s a waste of product! Depending on your skin’s needs, you may want to apply oil onto only certain parts of your face, instead of your whole complexion.
Massage is a great way to help destress at the end of the day. It also encourages your facial muscles to relax, which is great if you’ve spent all day staring into a computer screen like many of us urbanites.
You can start at your nose, and sweep your fingers towards your ears, across your cheeks and outer eye area. [Editor’s tip: Gently tracing a circle with your fingers around your eyes helps to increase circulation and reduce puffiness!]
If you prefer, you can pat the product into your skin. This is nice if you’re using a product with essential oil ingredients. Take a few deep breaths and inhale for a calming, aromatherapy effect!
Mixing oil and other products
You can experiment with combining a few drops of oil with your regular moisturiser instead of applying them separately. However, we’d advise against mixing oil and sunscreen as it can affect product stability.
Face oils for your skin type
We stand by the fact that all complexions can benefit from a face oil, it’s about finding one that suits you. Although we’ve recommended the following oils by skin type given their properties, they can be suited/adaptable for different conditions.
Dry or Sensitive
Drier skin types can typically handle heavier, richer base oils like coconut or avocado. Biconi’s Glow Serum contains a blend of nutrient-rich pure cold-pressed oils including Avocado, Camellia, Virgin Coconut, Argan, Macadamia, Borage, Sunflower, Lavender, Geranium, Palmarosa and Frankincense, to nourish your skin from within. For sensitive skins prone to redness, try Borage oil. It is also a popular dietary supplement to support skin health. This oil helps to reduce inflammation and can soothe conditions like eczema and dermatitis.
Oily & Blemish Prone
The key to finding the right oil for oilier skin tones is to identify pure lightweight ingredients. Grape seed and geranium are good options, as are treatment oils like tea tree and eucalyptus. Argan oil has long been associated just with use on the hair. However, its small molecular size makes it absorb into your skin super effectively, making it ideal for use on the face. This also means you should be able to reap the hydration benefits without the risk of breakouts. It’s also high in vitamin E, which means it’s great for plumping and retexturing.
We recommend applying a few drops of ANIA’s 100% USDA Certified Argan Oil before bedtime to get the most benefits. Speeding up cell regeneration, over time you should see lightened acne scarring and less fine lines, too.
Another lightweight option that oilier complexions can try is Want Skincare’s Face Oil, which contains certified organic, cold-pressed ingredients like Ukui, Rosehip and Baobab oils to promote skin regeneration, brighten and protect against free-radical damage. We love the natural nutty scent of this one too!
A great all-rounder for many skin types, Frank Skincare’s Juicier Luxury Face Oil contains 11 certified organic ingredients. With regular application, it will help to balance moisture, firm, plump and improve your skin’s tone and texture. A key ingredient, Jojoba oil, has a similar molecular structure to our skin’s own natural oils. It gets easily absorbed and is ideal for balancing sebum production.
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