Face oil is not a four-letter word. Incorporating oils into your skincare routine does wonders for your complexion (hello, dewy and supple glow).
Unfortunately that doesn’t make finding the right oil or learning when and how to use it a walk in the park. That's why some of us have made the mistake of going from natural highlight to greasy-looking mess.
Here, we break down everything you need to know in order to successfully add oil to your beauty routine today.
For thousands of years, oils have been staple beauty products. Cleopatra reportedly used olive oil and sea salt for glowing skin. Romans used almond oil mixed with honey to moisturize and brighten dark spots. Chances are your grandma used some kind of oil too - even if it was part beauty oil, part cooking oil - for at-home remedies.
But we rebelled against them in recent decades. For years, we banished oils and inadvertently damaged our skin in an effort to look matte, fresh, and shine-free. In the frenzy to avoid an oily t-zone and clogged pores, we over-cleaned and overcorrected, using products that ultimately dried us out and hurt the texture, look, and balance of our skin. Why?
We misidentified the crux of the problem. We used stripping products that, in all likelihood, caused more oil production and stripped the skin’s natural barrier.
This led to a decades-long battle against the skin and a seeming inability to overcome the “oily” dilemma.
Thankfully, we’re all getting back to our roots.
Today, we know better than to strip our skin of essential oils. We’ve learned that oil shouldn't be something we avoid. That's because certain oils serve as fantastic go-to’s that:
To get these benefits for your skin, find the oil that makes sense for your complexion.
Not all oils are created equal. Some are especially effective for particular goals, purposes, and skin types. We recommend avoiding mineral oils which are derived from petroleum and do not absorb into the skin, thus clogging pores. The molecules in mineral oil are too large. You want your oil to absorb, not sit on top of your skin.
Here are some of our favorites and how they can be used:
Great for: dry, sensitive skin or mature skin
How it works: Considered to be a “dry oil,” rosehip seed oil is rich in vitamin C, which is linked to increased collagen production. Rosehip products are also high in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which can help restore your skin’s natural barrier without causing irritation.
Great for: oily skin
How it works: Jojoba’s molecular structure, like squalane’s, resembles that of our skin oil. So it can trick your skin into thinking it has produced enough oil. This can slow down your natural oil production over time, meaning no more shiny face!
Great for: all skin types, especially sensitive skin
How it works: Marula oil is rich in oleic and linoleic acids, both of which help manufacture ceramides, compounds essential in the skin’s barrier. Plus, it’s lightweight and non-irritating, making it suitable for sensitive skin.
Great for: oily and acne-prone skin
How it works: Grapeseed oil is filled with antioxidants, vitamin C, and anti-inflammatory properties - which means it can control your natural oil function while balancing and soothing the skin. Its high linoleic acid content helps reduce acne breakouts.
Great for: all skin types, especially dry skin
How it works: Squalane is the stabilized version of squalene, an oil naturally found in our sebum. It easily penetrates the skin and sits on top of the moisture underneath, locking it in and creating awesome hydration from within.
Great for: all skin types, especially dry skin
How it works: Coconut oil is rich in fatty acids, vitamin E, and proteins that instantly hydrate and soothe the skin.
Great for: dry or sensitive skin
How it works: Avocado oil is packed with vitamins - including vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, and vitamin E. It’s also rich in lecithin, a lipid that helps deliver nutrients directly into the deep layers of the skin. This makes it an ideal choice for anyone looking to soothe some dryness or irritation.
Great for: all skin types
How it works: Geranium oil has natural astringent properties which cause the skin to contract, thus reducing wrinkles and inflammation.
Now that we’ve covered the basics and helped you identify which oil to use, here’s how to begin incorporating them into your routine today.
Add oil to your moisturizer for added hydration
Natural oils are a fantastic addition to any skincare routine. But you have to apply them at the right time - before you moisturize or mixed directly into your moisturizer. Why?
Your skin requires both oil and water to properly hydrate. Providing only oil can prevent you from getting all the great benefits. You also want to make sure the oil sinks in and doesn't get stuck on top of the moisturizer.
Mix it with your foundation
Want to treat your skin during the workday? Mix 3-5 drops of oil into your foundation. It will not only give you a fantastic workday glow but also douse your skin with some much-needed 9-5 nutrition.
Use in the shower
Applying oil in the bath or shower - and dabbing yourself dry afterward - is a sure way to soften and rejuvenate the skin. Not into the idea? Apply oil right after showering while your skin is still damp to get the same effects.
Use it to remove makeup
Some makeup removers are notoriously harsh on the skin. And many traditional cleansers and removers don’t easily wash away makeup, forcing you to scrub and pull at your skin to get it off.
Over time, this can cause your skin to lose elasticity and suppleness - which we never want! Many oils - like coconut oil - help you melt away makeup, cleanse pores, and deeply moisturize the skin all at once for a nutrition-packed cleansing experience.
Add to lips and hair
What about the rest of your body? You can also dab on oil instead of lip balm for an extra smooth pout. Or use it as a hair mask or post-blowout shine spray.
Our High Society oil is great for all of the above (we’ve tried it!) It goes on with a velvety texture - not to mention the intoxicating tropical scent!