Face Oils: What You Need To Know before Adding Face Oils to Your Skincare Routine
When you are looking for a face oil, it is important to consider your skin type and what benefits you are looking to gain from the facial oil you choose. Facial oils are sometimes feared because of the misconception that all oils can clog your pores leading to breakouts but this is not the case. When buying face oils you need to make sure the ingredients consist of plant oils that are almost the same molecular size as the natural sebum produced by your skin. Some oils that fall under this category include pomegranate, argan, rose hip, jojoba and olive oil. 100% steer clear of face oils containing an ingredient called mineral oil. As good as the name suggests, mineral oil is actually derived from petroleum! It will form a barrier on your skin, offers zero nutritional skin benefits and is used in many high street skincare as its cheap! It's time to read ingredients!
Face oils can be used alone as moisturisers but to get the most from them, they should be used straight after hydrasols/floral water toners (such as rose or orange blossom water) have been applied and while the skin is still damp. When using the two together, the skin cells will take in the hydration from the water and the oils will remain outside the cells for lubrication and protection. The face oil will in effect seal in the moisture and hydration in the skin, keeping it healthy and nourished. (We recommend using our Rose Divine or Manuka Aloe face mists before using face oils or serums as they deliver hydration and draw moisture to the skin, which can then be sealed in with a face oil). Face oils not only make the skin smooth and soft, but they also have antioxidants, fatty acids, and essential nutrients that are all good for your skin. They offer a protective layer for the skin barrier allowing your skin to absorb skin care ingredients.
You also need to consider the weather when applying facial oils i.e. winter when air is dry and cold. One advantage of today’s facial oil selection is that the formulations promote absorption into the skin, providing deep moisturising benefits instead of staying on the surface and making it look oily. You can apply most facial oils in the morning, straight after cleansing and toning, and then makeup can be applied after a few minutes. We recommend Superfood firming serum for day time use as it is fast absorbing, instantly firming (thanks to spilanthes acmella extract) and with give your skin a vitamin boost to start the day. You can do the same routine at night with the only difference being that you should go for a richer nighttime oil instead, as it can work throughout the night and doesn't need to be fast absorbing. We recommend Luna Goddess night serum as it stays on the skin longer working its anti-ageing magic through the night.
As for skin type, people with really oily skin or younger skin should start using facial oils at night for repair purposes while people with mature skin can use it both at night and in the morning for nightly repair and daily hydration. Take note that some facial oils can clog pores if you tend to have breakouts, an example being coconut oil. It is too heavy so it will stay on top of the skin for too long and will not allow the skin to breathe. You are far better off using face oils that are smaller in terms of molecular size such as jojoba oil, squalane oil, and argan oil. They are easily absorbed into the skin so they do not clog the pores.
Oils for Oily Skin
It may sound counterproductive but the right oil can act like an astringent and help you get rid of any excess grease on your face. It will also regulate and stabilise the production of sebum from your skin to make it less oily. People with oily skin should apply face oils as the last step of their skincare routines at night so that no other products or ingredients can penetrate it. This way you can gain the benefits overnight and you will not look shiny throughout the day. The best face oils for oily skin include:
- a) Grapeseed Oil- if you have very oily skin and you have never felt any dry areas then this is an ideal option. It naturally acts as an astringent so it will help to keep your skin matte.
- b) Jojoba Oil- this oil is very good for combination skin looking for moisture because it is very breathable and lightweight. Jojoba is good for controlling shine since it can dissolve and break down natural sebum.
Oils for Sensitive Skin
People with sensitive skin need face oils specially designed to protect the skin barrier while nourishing, soothing and protecting the skin. Go for oils with little scent added or fragrance-free as some essential oils, as natural as they are, can be irritating to sensitive skin.
- a) Aloe Vera oil- Not technically an oil, but aloe vera juice blended with a gentle carrier oil such as almond oil. It has lots of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents plus it has astringent and antibacterial properties making it ideal for acne-prone or oily sensitive skin
- b) Moringa Oil- has lots of antioxidants that offer protection from irritation by free radicals, anti-inflammatory agents to calm irritation, and fatty acids to restore damaged and dry skin. It is moisturizing and light enough for you to apply under makeup without it being too heavy
- c) Plum Kernel Oil- acts as a barrier from drying elements
Face Oils for Dry Skin
Contrary to popular belief, not all oils are meant for dry skin especially not the lightweight and more astringent oils such as pomegranate, grape seed, and jojoba oil. Dry skin types will call for richer oils with high oleic acid content. Oleic acid is a fatty acid that is beneficial for condition skin and can reduce dryness irritation while locking in moisture. Remember to make sure you use the face oil over your floral water toner during the day and/or at night to lock in moisture.
- a) Marula Oil- this oil has plenty of fatty acids making it rich enough to ease any irritation you may have while still offering moisturising properties. Marula oil also has a high absorption rate into the skin within minutes of application.
- b) Almond oil is very gentle and hydrating for anyone suffering from very dry skin, dermatitis, or eczema. It is a good source of vitamin A from which retinol originates meaning it is also good for fighting pimples and smoothing out any fine lines over time when applied topically.
- c) Argan oil- is packed with vitamin E, essential fatty acids, and proteins, which add a boost of hydration to the skin.
- d) Avocado oil- Avocado oil contains potassium, lecithin, and healthy fats that nourish and moisturise the skin.
Oils for Acne-Prone Skin
Blackheads and pimples are actually caused by overproduction of sebum when the skin becomes inflamed and dry. Some oils are acne safe and can nourish the skin allowing the body to heal any breakouts without any more popping up. You can massage these oils into your skin at night.
- a) Rosehip Oil- this oil is deeply hydrating and has fatty acids that reduce redness and fade away acne scars.
- b) Pomegranate Oil is naturally anti-inflammatory and antibacterial meaning it effectively combats breakout-causing bacteria in the pores while calming broken out and inflamed skin. It is also very lightweight and easily absorbed
- c) Jojoba Oil mimics human sebum so balances out oil production resulting in clearer skin
Oils for Normal Skin
People with this skin type can use a combination of oils as 'normal' skin will still benefit from a vitamin boost and some extra nourishment.
- a) Cherry Oil- Oils with vitamin A such as cherry kernel are very good for hydrating the skin, smoothing, clearing breakouts, and brightening one’s skin tone without causing irritation. They should be used nightly after cleansing and toning.
- b) Argan Oil- It is easily absorbed, soothing, rich, and has plenty of vitamin E, which prevents fine lines, dark spots and skin damage.
Additional Oils We Love
- Chia seed oil is very beneficial for mature skin as it nourishes the skin barrier to lock toxins out and nutrients and moisture in thus reducing wrinkles and fine lines.
- Black cumin seed oil is a well-known pore purifier and it eases inflammation while fighting acne. Aside from that, it has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties to help soothe eczema and irritation, reduce redness, control oil production and reduce clogged pores.
- Baobab seed oil has lots of omega fatty acids and moisturizing vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E, and F. It has antioxidants which fight free radicals thus employing anti-aging benefits on the skin
- Evening primrose oil has been used for the treatment of skin problems such as wound healing and skin bruising as it is high in gamma linoleic acid, an omega 6 fatty acid. It has anti-inflammatory properties as well and is effective for skin conditions such as aging skin, acne, dermatitis, and eczema.
- Hemp oil also hydrates and moisturises the skin not to mention it balances out oily skin by controlling natural oil production. It does not clog the pores and it prevents dry skin by reducing acne resulting from excessive oil production
- Broccoli seed oil is lesser known but is one of our favourites! Just like the source it comes from, it is full of antioxidants and has lots of nutrients including vitamin C so it leaves the skin looking and feeling youthful with a natural glow. It is a good source of retinol and as such, acts as a natural exfoliant. One other key feature of broccoli seed oil is that it has a silicone-like texture so glides on. It's fast absorbing so makes for a great serum.