Why You Should Be Using a Face Oil—Even on Oily Skin

We're taught from our pimply adolescent years that oil is the enemy. So, when facial oils became a rising skincare trend, it went against everything we knew and believed. But, here's the thing, the "evils of oil," turns out, are complete mythology. If you tend to think of oil as the archenemy of a clear complexion, you may be missing out on some seriously great products and skin remedies. Counter-intuitive as it may sound, smoothing on face oils can actually be a great thing for your skin. Certain kinds have been shown to boost radiance, give much needed moisture, and, yes, even help fight breakouts and discoloration.

Using oils for beautifying purposes date back hundreds, if not thousands of years. Thank to new extraction techniques, beauty oils are experiencing a resurgence; quickly becoming a favorite of many for fighting skin, body and hair problems. 

How face oils work: Oil products contain essential fatty acids your skin needs to stay properly hydrated, but your body can't produce them on its own. Oils also act as the skin's lipid barrier, protecting against extreme temperatures, dry climates, and over-cleansing.

How face oils get absorbed: The molecular structure of the oil itself determines if the oil will sit on the surface of the skin or be absorbed. If an oil is too heavy or thick to make its way past the outermost layer of skin, it will bead up and leave behind a slick residue. However, if an oil is formulated properly, it will absorb into the skin and leave it with a touch of moisture and a healthy sheen.

So, how can added oils end up helping your skin? Face oils not only hit your skin with a light-yet-effective dose of hydration, but they’re also often rich in vitamins and antioxidants, the good for you ingredients that help protect you from UV damage and more skin saboteurs. Not only that, but they kind of have superpowers: They help your skin let active ingredients from other creams sink in deeper, and they can even calm irritation from harsher ingredients. Plus, they absorb incredibly quickly (which totally beats heavy creams, if you ask us), and won’t leave you feeling greasy.

The main thing is to make sure that you’re using the right kind of oil. Steer clear of mineral oils—they’ll clog your pores and basically put you on the express train to breakout city. Your best bet is to stick with plant-based oils to treat your combination/ oily skin concerns.

Fight oil with oil: A little tip for you oily skin sufferers. It may seem counter-intuitive to apply more oil to already shine-plagued skin, but, it turns out that not all oil is evil. Oil-based facial products can actually work wonders on all skin types, even the most sebaceous. The oil your skin produces is much different than the pure plant oils in a facial product. Your skin starts pumping out sebum (the stuff that clogs pores and causes breakouts) when its oil content isn't balanced. So if you strip your skin's natural oils by over-cleansing, your body will actually produce more oil to compensate. But a quality face oil will replenish your skin with the essential fatty acids and moisture it needs. When balance is restored those overactive sebaceous glands take a breather, leaving skin healthier and clearer.

(+) Best for Acne: Tea tree oil
While chemical solutions (ahem, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and company) are without a doubt effective at treating spots, you can also go the natural route with tea tree oil. Studies have shown that this essential oil, which has antibacterial properties, has been able to improve mild to moderate acne.

Try: The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil

(+) Best for Combination Skin: Argan Oil
Argan Oil can actually help decrease sebum production, cutting back on that mirror-like shine we try to hide. This oil is extracted from the kernels of the Moroccan argan tree, and is chock-full of fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamin E, which give it serious moisturizing and restorative powers. It's great for more than just skin, but hair and nails, too. It is called liquid gold for a reason. It’s also ultra-absorbent, and doesn’t leave the greasy residue of some of its heavier counterparts.” The vitamin E is the “power ingredient” in argan oil, and is great for helping heal acne scars, eczema, and dry scalp. 

(+) Best for Discoloration: Rosehip seed oil
Rosehip-seed oil is celebrated for its scar-healing abilities. It's also great for those suffering from sun damage. Thanks to a high concentration of super-hydrating fatty acids (which help with skin cell turnover) and vitamin A (which helps promote collagen production), rosehip seed oil is ideal for minimizing the appearance of dark spots.

How to Apply
Press oils onto your face—don’t rub. The heat of your palms helps to allow the oils to be absorbed faster.

Apply your skin care in order of thickness, with the thinner formulas first. This usually means oil goes after serum but before moisturizer.

Mix oil with your foundation for additional moisture and skin care benefits.

You can massage oil over a dry clay-based mask to help remove it easily.


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The Skin Radar is an online avenue which documents my tumbling thoughts, ideas and musings from my daily life, mainly based on skincare and beauty. It is designed to take the clutter out of beauty journalism to provide trustworthy and objective insights, new finds and sneak peaks- all in a beautiful and clean platform.

I test all products & treatments with age and skin colour in mind, break down the latest health fads, and source for expert opinions from international skincare leaders. All in all, my goal is to make sure that I am on top of every beauty innovation and skincare trend the world has to offer.