Face oils have taken off in the skincare world. But if you're anything like me, you’ll be a little “IDK .. isn't face oil a one way ticket to extra grease & breakouts?”
Face oil has been used for centuries to soften and hydrate. And celebs like Kylie Jenner, Hayley Bieber, Victoria Beckham and Chrissy Tiegan are known to swear by face oil as part of their skincare routine. And who doesn't want skin like these girls?
Many of us are still a bit hesitant about this trending skin care. Should oily skin types avoid? Is face oil a moisturiser on its own? Read on for what you need to know about face oil.
What Are Face Oils?
Face oils are ‘emollients’. Emollients are moisturising treatments applied directly to the skin so they add moisture. But face oil has an added bonus that it also acts as an “occlusive”, meaning it locks in moisture.
As well as these two actions, face oils will have a unique combo of fatty acids (very good) and essential nutrients (yes please) that are literally skin food - nourishing and revitalising skin. Which nutrients depend on which oils and botanics are ingredients. More on specific oil benefits later!
How Do Face Oils Work?
Oils work specifically on the “lipid barrier”, or the top layers of your skin. This protects your skin – keeping moisture in and irritants out. A weak barrier can lead to dryness, irritations and yep, breakouts. So a good oil acts as extra defence for your skin. And, contrary to what you might think, could actually prevent breakouts by adding to that protective layer and balancing the skin's hydration.
Face oil is an additional step in skincare. It adds an extra layer of moisture and protection for the upper dermal layers. It should be used along with a lightweight moisturiser. It also does wonders for the overall texture of your skin's upper layers .. creating that coveted smooth, airbrush look skin texture. Face oil is also a great deep cleanser. So even cleansing routines can be improved with a natural oil based formula.
How is Face Oil Different From Serum?
A serum is a mainly water-based product that penetrates deeply into the skin (because water has a smaller molecular composition than oil). Serums hydrate and work into the deeper layers of the skin.
Face oils are made up of larger molecules than serums, and so work on the layers of skin nearer the surface. Oils are extremely moisturising and strengthen the skin's protective top layers.
Why are oils good for your skin?
Because they not only moisturise, but also protect and strengthen. An organic, natural face oil is an additional layer of defence for your skin.
The key to really getting the benefit for your skin is that not all face oils will work the same. Before you head into the face oil world, know thy skin and know thy oil!
Natural face oils will have different effects and specific benefits. One thing is clear however. These days, using a really good, organic face oil is unlikely to end in a grease overload, breakout disaster.
If you need a bit more expertise, get a consultation with a dermatologist or your skin specialist at the beauty salon. I would always recommend this, because for a one time consultation or skin mapping appointment, you know what you're working with, and what your skin needs. It makes investing in skin care so much easier - and less expensive in the long run!
Benefits of Using Face Oils & Different Types to Consider
Face oil is a multi-tasker (and we do love a hard worker!). As well as giving your skin extra protection to keep moisture in, the right face oil will take on a host of other skin concerns.
Universal benefits of organic face oils
- Face oil will stimulate the production of collagen to help reduce wrinkles and fine lines
- Because it's a great defence barrier, it protects skin from free radicals
- Good oils can even out skin tone pretty quickly and correct discolouration and redness
- Instantly improves skin texture
- Face oils are fab for mature or dull skin, giving instant glow and brightening.
- Face oils create a dewy, but not greasy finish to your skin and really helps dull skin.
- You can use under, or even add a small amount to your everyday makeup.
8 of the Best Organic Face Oils
If you’re testing the waters with a face oil product (and it is probably going to take a few tries to find your perfect oil partner), then it’s definitely best to avoid additives, man-made synthetic ingredients and chemicals, right?
The idea of facial oil just feels like it should be the most natural, clean product possible! But, packed with the good stuff.
Here’s our organic and natural face oil edit for all skin types. You won't find anything but mother nature’s good intentions in these natural beauties.
Best for Dry Skin
A 100% pure, organic, cold pressed Moroccan argan oil with zero additives. Argan oil is renowned for its deep hydration qualities and fatty acids.
This multi-purpose oil from Isabella’s Clearly is liquid gold! Packed with vitamins A and E, antioxidants and omega-6 fatty acids. Moisturising, protecting, revitalising - this super oil is a multi-tasker you can use on your face, and hair and nails.
Best for Glowing Skin
Beautiful skin is made overnight! I love this supercharged overnight Recovery Oil! It goes to work as you drift off. A dreamy moisturising mix of natural oils actively regenerates and restores glow, and lustre!
There’s classic Rosehip Oil for hydration, avocado oil for skin defence, and camellia tea oil packed with Omega 9 fatty acid and with natural phytosqualane. So you sleep soundly and wake up with a dewy, vibrant look. And that's exactly what we all want. Great morning face!
Best for Sensitive Skin
Rock Rose’s little natural face oil number is perfect for sensitive skins. Gentle rock rose oil, primrose, jasmine and rose work to soothe, and revitalise the skin with a beautiful blend of essential oils. They work together to deeply nourish dry, mature, dull or overworked skin. This will treat dryness without clogging pores, smooth, soothe and has a wonderful uplifting natural scent.
Best organic face oil for combination skin
Never tried an oil cleanser? Get ready to glow. The active ingredient in Bristol Made’s super cleanser is an organic vitamin E oil. It moisturises while cleansing deeply.
Their signature balance of sweet almond, vitamin E, rosehip, lavender and geranium oils gives combination skin a totally balancing, nourishing treat, as well as providing potent antioxidant properties to help protect the skin. Oily areas are cleansed and dry areas moisturised. Use a good natural moisturiser or mineral sunscreen after.
Best Face Oil For Acne-prone Skin
Douvall’s plant-based formula is specifically blended for acne-prone skin. Using UK sourced organic cold-pressed hemp seed oil, super rich in proteins and linoleic acid, it’s extremely high in vitamin E, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants, to treat, strengthen and repair. Papaya fruit ferment extract and papaya seed oil help exfoliate gently, and it's a natural retinoid for glowing, healthier and radiant skin.
Essential oils of Palmarosa and lavender hydrate, rejuvenate, soothe and help to control sebum production. So this oil won't clog pores and will help repair damaged skin and tackle acne.
Best for Mature Skin
Want glow? This is your go to glow! An organic facial oil that literally rejuvenates tired and ageing skin. Rich in skin-loving nutrients, it contains Vitamin E oil as well as vitamins A, C, and K. It also contains essential fatty acids to promote youthful, glowing skin.
Kathy Sue Ann’s range is one of our favourite brands for simple, but effective (it really works!) natural skincare. Natural, organic ingredients for mature skin.
Best Face Oil for Anti-Ageing
Powered by a blend of potent active components, Skin Equation’s exceptional formula really targets the visible signs of ageing, hyperpigmentation, and age spots, and definitely restores the glow!
With regenerative hemp seed, bergamot, cypress, and geranium, it's a concentrated natural anti-ageing facial oil packed with botanical power for mature skin. This will put some spring back in your skin, and it smells divine.
Best Face Oil for Fighting Wrinkles
Douvall's 100% organic stinging nettle and argan oil is superb for tackling wrinkles and for smoother, glowing skin. It’s so loaded with good stuff, I hardly know where to start!
Stinging Nettle is rich in magnesium, calcium, chlorophyll, proteins, silica, iron, vitamins A, B,C, E and K, antioxidants, and many valuable enzymes and minerals. It has exemplary moisturising ability, and really goes to work on fine lines and ageing skin.
It’s pretty powerful, and a few drops in the morning and evening will go a long way. And I love a multi-tasker! The goodness of nettle oil and argan is amazing for scalp and hair health too. So, a brilliant facial oil that can also remedy that dry scalp and dull hair. Win win!
The Best Natural Face Oils for Every Skin Type
There are so many natural and organic oils that can be used in facial oil. But as we know, not all oils are created equal and the key to finding the right one is to know your skin type.
Here are the recommended face oils for every skin type to look out for:
- Dry skin: Coconut and Rosehip oils - both great for flaky, dry skin and eczema. Rosehip daily. Coconut oil once a week.
- Sensitive skin: Sensitive types can’t go wrong with a light Argan oil, ingredients like camomile and lavender are gentle on the skin and reduce irritation.
- Oily and acne-prone skin: The antimicrobial properties of Jojoba and Tea Tree oils help control oil production and reduce bacteria.
- Combination skin: Marula oil is non greasy and absorbs quickly, making it perfect for combo skins oiliness and dry spots.
- Mature, ageing skin: Rosehip and Argan oil are nutrient rich and can help prevent signs of premature ageing, very hydrating and soften fine lines and wrinkles.
Most common oils used for facial skincare and what they do
- Rosehip Oil: gentle and loaded with antioxidants and phytonutrients that strengthen the skins defence barrier. Long adored for giving a glow to all skin types.
- Argan Oil: lightweight and contains fatty acids, vitamin E and linoleic acids. A combo that locks in moisture and softens the outer layers of skin
- Marula Oil: with key amino acids it reduces moisture loss. Deeply nourishes and hydrates, maintaining the skin's defence barrier.
- Tea Tree Oil: famously antiseptic and controls natural oil production. An essential oil, it's strong, and needs to be diluted before applied to skin. So it should be an ingredient, not a direct face oil.
- Jojoba Oil: ultra soothing and anti-inflammatory benefits for problem skin. Good for acne treatment and curbing those breakouts as it balances the production of sebum.
- Coconut Oil: Rich and best for overnight hydration but not a daily treatment. Great for maintaining skin ‘suppleness’ but can clog pores. Once a week as a deep hydration skin treat.
Natural Face Oil - What To Keep In Mind
Whether you’re a face oil newbie or an oil devotee, keep a few things in mind when choosing your organic face oil.
Face Oils and Your Skin Type
Most importantly, you should know what you’re working with and what type of skin you have. If you have naturally oily skin, then coconut oil won't do you any favours, but a rosehip might just change your life! (Ok, maybe just your skin..)
Do a little research. Hopefully, there’s some good info in this blog for starters. If you can, get a skin consultation with a pro. They will recommend what your skin will benefit from most.
Or, chat to your beauty therapist. They will know your skin well. Once you know you’re a dry skin gal, or combo all the way .. you can choose the right oil.
Face Oil Texture and ConsistencyA thick, heavy oil texture might work for some and for more mature skin, but may not work for you. Luckily, new formulas are super lightweight and non-comedogenic (they won't clog pores). And it's personal taste too .. dewy moisturising or invisible? Heavier textures are better for overnight recovery treatments, but not so good under makeup.
Climate and Conditions
Are you in hot and sunny climes? Is it dry, is it humid? Or cold and dry? Skincare should always be customised to your climate and conditions. Oil included. Keep it lightweight in the summer or warm climate. You can afford a little denser oil in winter, to really help those outer dermal layers stay protected and moisturised.
Finally, consider what you're willing to invest. Facial oil is totally trending so you will come across eye watering prices at the big brand end of the market. But, a really good organic and natural face oil won't cost the earth - literally! And with pure botanical power and high grade organic oils, they will contain all the natural fatty acids and minerals your skin needs.
I am finally a facial oil devotee. It's taken a little research and trial and error but added to my usual skin care routine, I can say I see the difference, especially with my skin's texture. Hope you find yours!
Stay natural, love yourself and love your planet 🙂