Some of the most commonly asked questions I receive when I share my skincare on Instagram are about face oils. Since face oils aren’t a typical step in a basic skincare routine, they aren’t as widely understood, and for that reason, many people aren’t sure how or when to use them. Or even if they should be using them at all!
I get it. For years, it felt like the beauty world was promoting oil-free this or oil-free that. I remember looking for oil-free everything when I was struggling with breakouts in my early twenties. The thought of intentionally adding oil to my skin made me shutter. But then, as I learned more about the science behind skincare (and finally had a breakthrough with my own acne), I started to recognize the benefits of oil-based products (well, those made with the right ingredients…stay away from sketchy drugstore products with tons of fragrance). And now, as someone who struggles with dry skin, I’m obsessed with face oils.
In today’s post, I shared some basic information on face oils: what they’re for, when to use them, and how they can benefit your specific skin type. I’m also sharing my personal favorite face oils from experience (and I’ve tried a LOT).
Let’s get right to it.
Many people use a face oil in place of a moisturizer but in reality, an oil should be used in addition to a moisturizer.?
Generally, the goal of facial oils it to either add more moisture to dry skin, to balance moisture and/ or to lock in the moisture that you’ve already added (by combining with a moisturizer). There are lots of facial oils on the market, but not all are created equal. Face oils can range from astringent to lighter feeling, so it’s important to find a facial oil that works well for you.? We’ll get to that part soon!
It’s not uncommon for people using only face oils to have very dry skin. Why? ?Most moisturizers add hydration to the skin, while a face oil helps retain water and moisture that’s already there.
Think of face oils almost like a bonus step for targeted care. They are great at soothing, repairing, and protecting skin while keeping hydration locked in. However, they can’t deliver the skin with the essential hydration needed to maintain a healthy moisture barrier. (This is due to their ingredient compounds – humectants vs. occlusive, but I won’t go into all that!)
If you ONLY use a face oil and have very dry skin, try swapping your oil for a moisturizer since that will ADD hydration.
I’m in the dry and aging skin camp and have tried LOTS of facial oils over the years. The Face Oil N°9 by Colleen Rothschild is the absolute best. It’s made with 9 oils, but the key ingredients are black seed oil (antioxidant protection), moringa oil (restores luminosity), marula oil (balances complexion), and omegas 3, 6, and 9 which aids in hydration. Not only does this face oil smell heavenly (like a luxury spa), it feels like liquid silk. If you have mature or dry skin, you will be blown away by this face oil- I’ve gotten several friends hooked as well.
While it can be used morning and night, I prefer to use it with my night cream in the evenings for extreme hydration. In the winter months, this is my go-to. Massage a few drops onto your skin after moisturizing.
Make sure to use the code TERILYN20 to get 20% off your Colleen Rothschild order!
Another favorite of mine is Carrie’s Vital Treasures Elixir. This was gifted to me by a friend. It’s a very small company, which I love supporting, and I absolutely love how it smells and feel. It’s made with 100% USDA certified organic, sustainably sourced, high-purity, cold pressed Sea Buckthorn Oil which is known to help with inflammation. It is nourishing and calming while helping to restore your skin barrier. I use this when I feel my skin starting to become reactive (if I’ve used to many drying or exfoliating treatments, etc.)
The True Botanicals Renew Pure Radiance Oil is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids that help restore balance and promote healthy cell growth. It targets wrinkles and fine lines, making it a perfect option for aging skin. Also, it has a slightly earthy scent, which makes sense since all of the ingredients in it are natural. It truly makes my skin glow.
If you have normal or combination skin, you may not need a face oil! However, if you enjoy a face oil and want some brightening effects, this All Bright Brightening Facial Oil by Beautycounter is a great option. The key ingredients in this oil are vitamin C which helps visibly brighten skin, avocado oil which aids in hydration, and black currant oil which is rich in omegas that aid to a healthy skin barrier. Add a few drops to your skin after applying your moisturizer.
Carrie’s Vital Treasures Elixir is a good option for normal skin too. Like I mentioned above, it’s primary purpose is to help with inflammation, but it also nourishes and calms your sensitive skin while restoring its barrier. I think of this as a basic, great for all facial oil.
Oily, Acne Prone skin actually can be DRY. It may seem counterintuitive to use a face oil on oily skin, but remember that this isn’t ?adding? hydration to the skin. It’s helping retain the moisture that’s already there and soothing skin (which acne prone skin often needs!). And oily skin does need to maintain proper hydration or else it will produce more oil.
My top face oil choice for oily or breakout-prone skin is the Primally Pure Clarifying Serum. While the name may be deceiving, this serum is the same consistency as a face oil and applies the same (although you can use this prior to moisturizing). It’s packed with green tea with EGCG, marula oil and prickly pear seed oil which are great for treating active breakouts, acne scarring and sun damage.
Instead of using this post-moisturizer, go ahead and apply it after you wash your face and tone as a “treatment” step.