Facial oils! No not like the kind you battle with mattifying powders or blotting papers, but the kind you put on your face on purpose! Oil as a part of my skincare routine may have been my best discovery of 2015, and I just can’t get enough. Argan, passion fruit, marula, almond… you name it – they all serve a purpose (and feel so nice).
I use oils for my face, my hair, even my nails to help hydrate, smooth, and repair. If this all sounds like a complete mystery to you, just keep reading for a full breakdown on oils as skincare and a few of my favorite products.
Okay I know what you’re thinking, “why the hell would I intentionally put oil on my face?” I get it, I was there not too long ago. It can seem especially weird if you have naturally oily skin – which I do not, but used to think I did! Depending on the type of oil, a few drops per day can tremendously improve a multitude of skincare conditions. (Let me take a second here to remind you that I am NOT a doctor or a professional, this is just my opinion based off research and personal experience. There is no guarantee that any oil will cure a skin condition, it just has helped with some of mine. Please speak with your doctor or aesthetician for specific concerns).
While the focus of this post will be oils I have tried for my specific skin concerns – primarily dehydration/dryness – various oils can assist with a number of issues:
- Oily skin can benefit from facial oils as they help control pore-clogging sebum which can contribute to acne and cysts.
- Facial oils are lipophilic, which means they love fat, so they will get absorbed through the lipid layer of your skin, helping to keep your skin plumped and youthful.
- You can even use oils as a cleanser, they are one of the best options out there for breaking up makeup and leaving your skin feeling fresh without the tightness that you can sometimes get from makeup removing wipes or other non-oil-based removers.
I have a few sample bottles of oils from Garden of Wisdom, an excellent source for information and more oils than I ever knew existed. I’ve tried the argan, apricot, and passion fruit – each serving a different purpose. While argan and apricot kernel oil are great for dry or sensitive skin, passion fruit (also known as Maracuja) is more universal – it has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which puts it high on my list as an acne-prone makeup addict with a chronic inflammatory illness.
I’ve tried a few others over the last year, but these are the usual suspects of my skincare routine:
Hask Argan Repairing Shine Oil – With added keratin for smoothness and orange oil for an intoxicating scent, I reserve this stuff specifically for my hair as citrus oils can be harsh on the skin. I use about a dime-sized amount of the Hask oil a few times/week by smoothing it through my ends after washing and letting my hair air dry for about 20 minutes. I find it helps to combat frizz and dryness, the latter of which can make hair oily fast.*
*I know that sounds crazy, but dehydrated hair is just like dehydrated skin: your body may overproduce oil to compensate, camouflaging your dryness as extreme oiliness.
Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil Light – Ahh the good stuff! This 100% pure argan oil comes in a little dropper bottle which makes it great for… just about anything you can think of. I usually keep this one with all my nail products to use as a moisturizer and cuticle softener. On the other end of the spectrum, I got my mom completely hooked on this stuff for her mature, oily skin and she uses it as a facial oil every other night. She says she wakes up with her skin feeling plump and soft, but not at all greasy.
Tarte Maracuja Oil – This stuff, this is my precious. If I could only use one facial oil forever, this would be it. Another case of gorgeous packaging with a luxe-feeling glass dropper (and a button instead of a squeeze tip), maracuja oil is part of my daily bedtime routine. I use about half a dropper and apply it all over my face and down my neck, either on its own before applying my regular moisturizer or I mix them together if it’s past my bedtime. The anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties really seem to help calm my hormonal breakouts and the fat-soluble vitamin E is a fantastic skin-healing antioxidant and welcome additive .
Josie Maran Argan Infinity Cream intensive creamy oil – Perfect for the stubborn bits and air travel (or any other adventure that taxes the skin), this oil is in cream form that resembles Vaseline more than anything else. It’s thick and luxurious, a great option for the absolute last step before bed or, as I said above, for any activities that dry out the skin (air travel, cold weather sports, etc). This is the only skincare product that contains a substantial ingredient list (as opposed to the others which are just the oil) so if you have sensitive skin, please do a patch test before applying this all over your face.