Face oils are an amazing staple for your skin care routine all year round, but they’re even more amazing and beneficial in the colder months. There are face oils for every kind of skin type and improvement area, and on top of that, they can make the transition through seasons easier on your skin.
Why use face oils
Don’t let the term “oil” scare you—face oils won’t break you out. Face oils are made to work with your skin's natural oils (like sebum); a clean face oil complements your skin’s natural makeup while utilizing other oils from natural sources.
Our Facial Recovery Elixir face oil has five core ingredients, all of which are naturally-derived oils—sacha inchi oil, tamanu oil, sandalwood oil, and rosehip oil. Click on each of the oils to go to our ingredient spotlight blog post on them, where we go in-depth on the benefits of each ingredient.
Face oils can contain many different ingredients, and therefore are good for a wide range of improving different ailments and skin types. They can moisturize your skin, help repair and prevent damage, and even help regulate your skin’s natural sebum production.
Another thing about face oils is because of their high lipid content, they feel extremely luxurious on your skin and make your face seem softer almost automatically. This is also helped by the fact that oils are hydrophobic, meaning they repel water, which helps to form a barrier on the surface of the skin and keeps moisture from escaping.
When to use face oils
Like we said up top, face oils are an amazing fall addition to your skincare routine. They can be used all year round, but the added moisture definitely has its benefits when the temperature begins to cool and the air becomes dryer.
Face oils can also help repair some of the environmental damage you may have accumulated during the summer—like sun damage from being out in the sun without a proper amount of SPF. As we’ve already dissected, face oils work to form a barrier on the surface of the skin, making them a good way to help guard against airborne pollution, which tends to be higher in the winter.
But when do you use face oils in your routine? In the skincare world, there’s some debate as to whether to use face oils after your moisturizer or before. And well, the answer depends on your skin type!
For people with already oily skin, a face oil may completely replace a moisturizer—or this can even be true depending on the oil for all skin types. Our beauty editor is a huge fan of hemp seed oil, which she finds is more than enough moisture, and her skin is solidly in the “normal” category.
Then there’s the matter of mixing your moisturizer and face oil together, which is completely possible. This is a common technique in the skincare world to dilute essential oils (like a tea tree oil) because the lipids in the moisturizer act as a carrier.
If you do this, make sure to add only one or maybe two drops, as the dilution is quite low. For a face oil with a variety of ingredients, you can add as many drops as is recommended on the label or that your skin can handle.
Finally, if you don’t want to mix ingredients your bathroom is a chemistry lab, we recommend applying your face oil after your moisturizer. This is because of that barrier-forming benefit—a good face oil will act as a shield, keeping the hydration from your moisturizer locked inside.
What time of day you should apply your essential oil depends on the oil (and its ingredients) itself. Some lighter oils can be applied both in the morning and night. However, you may find you only want to apply heavier oils at night (or if you’re working from home).
Make sure you read your labels’ recommendations. Some oils that contain high amounts of vitamin A (aka retinol) should only be applied at night because they cause sun hypersensitivity.
An oil for everyone
No matter what type of skin you have, there’s a facial oil out there for you. There are even face oils with CBD in them, now.
Our Facial Recovery Elixir is suitable for all skin types, and is especially targeted towards people who have distressed, aging or dry skin—yes, even for people with acne-prone and sensitive skin. It helps to heal inconsistencies in texture, treat acne scarring and make your skin soft and glowing again. Apply in the morning and evening.
Face oil for acne
To specifically target oily and acne-prone skin, look for a face oil with tea tree as a major ingredient. This natural ingredient can be quite drying, but is amazing for clearing up acne, even the acne scars and dark spots it leaves behind.
We’ve talked about the magic of rosehip oil before, but it’s worth repeating that it’s, well, amazing. Packed with vitamin A, this is the anti-aging budget for you. Plus, it’s safe enough to use without diluting (and in fact, is often used as a carrier oil for other essential oils). Check out the Ordinary’s 100% cold-pressed version for the best deal.
Finally, for a multi-use product for people who prefer a minimal beauty counter, look to a tinted oil like the Kosas Tinted Face Oil. That’s right—a foundation and a face oil all in one. The shade range is fairly good with 16 sheer-coverage shades (so you can get away with being a little off). Readers should watch out that while the formulation does not contain things like silicones, the ingredients are not 100% clean and plant-based.