Face and body oils are a centuries old beauty tradition. They are luxurious, antibacterial, protective, and highly moisturizing. In the recent past, oil got a bad rap and oil-free products reigned supreme. However, the oils that were causing all the trouble were (and still are) synthetic or unwholesome processed oils that can clog pores and unbalance the skin’s oil production. Now that people are starting to come around on the subject and learn the difference between good oils and bad oils, oil-based cleansers, moisturizers, and serums are making a huge comeback. The amount of face oils now on the market now is staggering, but a lot of them are the typical fluff in a pretty bottle. As usual, I am here to help you wade through the mishmash and make a great choice for your skin.
Why Face Oils are Perfect
Our skin loves fat. LOVES it. Which makes sense, since our skin produces its own fat (sebum) that acts to protect our skin from outside assailants (bacteria, fungi, funky weather). Oils are protective and help maintain the integrity of our skin’s acid mantle, which keeps out bad bacteria and prevents blemishes, dryness, and irritation. Keeping the skin hydrated and supple also speeds up healing, so if you have a breakout or a rash or dermatitis, a proper face oil will do wonders. Dewy, plump skin is a result of hydration, from both water and fatty acids. If you’ve ever made your own aromatherapy treatments, you may have heard the term “carrier oil.” That is because oils are used for delivering active ingredients into the skin – effectively and without irritation.
What to Look For in a Face Oil
Most importantly, look for unrefined, minimally processed oils from a company with a good background and solid ethics. Greenwashing is prevalent, and you don’t want to end up with an oil that looks good on paper but doesn’t deliver when you use it. You also need to avoid additives and oils produced with chemicals and bleaching (those byproducts, such as hexane, end up in the oil and on your skin). Look for organic certifications or organically grown pledges, as well as words like “cold processed” or “unrefined.” Avoid ingredients that simply say “fragrance” since that can mean it is a synthetic fragrance and contains phthalates (endocrine/hormone-disrupting chemicals). Fun, right? Sensitive skin types should also avoid linalool and limonene, which are common scent additives usually listed at the very end of ingredients labels. They are not inherently bad, it’s just that sensitive types don’t always agree with them.
How to Use Face Oils
Apply your facial oil to your freshly washed face. Make sure your skin is still a bit damp from the water or your alcohol-free toner. Facial oils are much easier to spread on damp skin, and will also hold the remaining water to the skin for deeper hydration. The best way to apply a facial oil is to dispense on or two drops on a fingertip, spread the oil across your fingertips, and then pat your fingertips in quick succession all over your face and neck. Just pat pat pat all over your skin. No need to massage it in. Your warm fingertips alone will help the oil sink in quickly and dispense properly all over your skin.
Best Face Oils for Your Skin Type
Download the infographic to find out! Click here to download the natural face oils infographic PDF or click here to download the natural face oils infographic in JPG format.
A Note on Face Oils for Oily & Acne-Prone Skin
Face oils are amazing for oily and acne-prone skin because they help regulate oil production and are antibacterial. People with oily skin tend to strip too much oil from their faces through overwashing or using drying skin products. This only causes the skin to produce more oil to compensate and leaves the skin’s barrier weak and vulnerable to bacteria (such as p.acnes acne bacteria). You can restore balance and naturally slow down sebum production by using quality oils. Seed oils are best for oily skin because they tend to penetrate quicker and leave a very subtle dewy finish (or even a more matte finish, which argan tends to provide) instead of looking or being greasy.
Recommended Facial Oils
I recently launched Epic Beauty Bar, where I curate and carry only the very best, exquisite natural brands. Thus, most of the products I recommend are available on EBB. If they’re not available there yet, then I have linked you to where you can easily purchase the correct facial oil for you. If you need help picking out an oil, leave a comment and I will help you.
Lina Hanson Global Face Serum (ideal for dry, sensitive, mature, and stressed skin)
Acure Argan Oil (ideal for all skin types – especially oily and acne-prone skin – though very dry skin may need additional moisture)
MUN No. 1 Aknari Nighttime Dream Youth Serum (ideal for all skin types, though very dry skin may feel the need for additional moisture)
La Bella Figura Barbary Fig Seed Oil (ideal for sun damaged, stressed, irritated, or hormonal skin)
May Lindstrom Skin The Youth Dew (ideal for all skin types, especially hormonal, sun damaged, and mature skin)
Dr. Alkaitis Nourishing Treatment Oil (ideal for all skin types)
Skin Apotheke Radiance Renewal Face Oil (ideal for anti-aging, dull, sun damaged, and acne-prone skin)
Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Active Moisture Vitamin C Serum (ideal for sun damage, dehydration, fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation)
One Love Organics Supercritical Chia Oil (ideal for sensitive, damaged, flaky, stressed skin or those with dermatitis, eczema, or in helping to heal other skin disorders caused by weakened skin barrier function)
This guide will be updated fairly regularly! Leave a comment if you have questions or need help. 🙂