Trust me when I say the right oil will do more for your skin than you could have ever dreamed.
If you’ve finally decided to embrace the wonder that is facial oil, kudos to you! I know it may be nerve-wracking to switch up your skincare routine, but trust me when I say the right oil will do more for your skin than you could have ever dreamed. (I’m not a doctor, but yes, face oils are magic.) That said, the operative word here is “right,” as in: finding the correct oil for your very specific, delicate, susceptible skin. And with so many options out there, it’s easy to start the search, get overwhelmed and throw your hands up in despair and just stick with whatever cut-rate moisturizer you’ve been using for years.
While it may take some trial and error to find the oil that works perfectly for your skin, there is a far easier place to start than dropping a lot of cash on a lot of different blends and hoping one plays nice with your face. The key is to focus on carrier oils (the oil that makes up the largest percentage of a face oil blend) and how each of the major players in this arena interact with your skin type and concerns. Aside from being effective on their own, carrier oils also penetrate skin well which makes them ideal for carrying essential oils and other ingredients into skin where they can get to work.
Once you’ve narrowed down the right carrier oil for your face, seek out other ingredients in smaller doses that will target other skin concerns like redness, fine lines, blemishes, etc. Once you’ve found your glass slipper blend, you know where you can find me to say thanks for convincing you it was time.
If your face constantly feels like it needs a giant drink of water, you need an oil that’s deeply moisturizing but won’t leave your skin feeling greasy. Your best (and likely cheapest) option is straight-up coconut oil since it’s rich in fatty acids that will instantly hydrate skin and prevent it from losing moisture.
If you’re worried coconut may be too thick or intense, or you’re looking for something with a bit more nuance, consider almond oil. It’s light, absorbs quickly and moisturizes deeply thanks to monounsaturated fats, vitamin E and magnesium. What’s more, it’s high concentration of oleic acid makes it a great nighttime oil as it’ll seal in moisture before it can escape into your pillow.
Though it may seem counterintuitive to add oil to already-oily skin, fear not. If your skin is producing excess oil and sebum, it likely means that there’s an imbalance your skin is trying to correct by going overboard on the oil production. Which is why you need to add oil in to slow your body’s natural oil production down to a normal pace. Since it’s very similar to your skin’s own sebum, jojoba oil helps balance oil production by basically tricking skin into producing less oil. It’s also packed with antioxidant and fatty acids that protect and moisturize, reduce inflammation and clear out pores.
What’s more, jojoba oil is more shelf-stable than many other oils out there so a bottle of the stuff will stay fresh and active for a while. Since oily skin only really needs a few drops of the stuff each day, this is good news as you won’t have to toss a half-full bottle because of an expiration date.
A little oily and a little dry? You’re in the grey area of skincare, my friend, but that doesn’t mean you need two different oils meticulously applied to the areas in question. Instead, try an oil that will hydrate without clogging pores and making your face extra oily, like rosehip. Since it’s considered a “dry” oil, rosehip oil absorbs quickly but is still ultra-hydrating thanks to vitamins C and A, the latter of which stimulates cell turnover. This is great news for both the oily and dry parts of your face since it means 1) dead skin cells won’t be able to linger on your face and clog pores when sebum gets trapped beneath, and 2) that cell turnover means fewer old dry patches.
Blemish-prone skin is another scenario where it may seem counterintuitive to use oil, but when it’s an oil that’s full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory minerals, it’s exactly what your congested skin needs. Grapeseed oil checks all these boxes. What’s more, it’s high in linoleic acid, an essential fat that can help treat acne but that your body, unfortunately, does not make on its own. Safflower and evening primrose oils are also high in that much-sought-after linoleic acid and noncomedogenic, so they won’t clog pores.