I know, I know – the idea of slathering oil all over your face raises a lot of questions. You’re probably thinking you would end up with a greasy finish or a face full of zits. But for most people, that’s not the case. Hear us out…
“Most shy away from oils because they fear breakouts or increased ‘oiliness’ of their skin,” says Lily Talakoub, MD, a dermatologist at McLean Dermatology and Skincare Center. “Oils can be used for many skin conditions and are not solely for dry skin.” Plant-based oils are filled with essential fatty acids, vitamins, and antioxidants that act to strengthen the skin’s protective barrier, prevent free radical damage, and increase skin elasticity, she explains.
Oils are great for dry, dehydrated, or sensitive skin, says Dr. Talakoub, but if you don’t fall into one of those categories, yours can still benefit. Understanding what the different types of oil do can help you choose the right one for your skin type. A few worth knowing? Argan and sunflower oil, which are rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin E to hydrate the skin and help with aging; tea tree oil, which is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory and has been shown to help acne-prone skin; and rosehip seed oil, which is rich with vitamins E, C, D, A and essential fatty acids to help with scar reduction and facial redness. It’s also worth noting that Miranda Kerr swears by the stuff for stretch marks, which is a definite plus.
As someone who spent years toying with various skin concerns, I’ve recently become a facial oil addict – as in, I have an entire bathroom drawer filled with them. I apply one every morning underneath my makeup for a little extra glow and another at night to help hydrate my skin (which somehow tends to get super-dry both in the summer and the winter). Ever since I made it a part of my regular routine a few months ago, people have constantly been stopping me to compliment my complexion.
Once you find which option is best for you, use it before you apply foundation or tinted moisturizer for a finish that is dewy and luminous. Or, wear it alone for a healthy-looking glow. To apply, warm up a few drops between your fingertips and smooth over skin; dab on a little more throughout the day to revive your makeup look.
As someone who has now tried a majority of the facial oils on the market (I wasn’t kidding about having an entire drawer full of ‘em), here are a few of my favorites. Give them a try, and in no time, people will be stopping you to ask what foundation you’re wearing.
Pixie by Petra Rose Oil Blend ($24; dermstore.com)
Blend this with your morning moisturizer for an all-day glow that radiates underneath whatever makeup your put on top of it. Plus, it smells like roses, and I’ve legitimately had people sniff my face while I’m wearing it.
Mara Algae + Moring Universal Face Oil ($72; themarabeauty.com)
Every time I use this oil (which is pretty much twice a day, every day, at the moment), I praise the universe for its creation. It’s formulated with algae and moring, which gives skin a bit of a bouncy quality. I’m already sad thinking about what’s going to happen when I get to the bottom of the bottle.
Kevyn Aucoin The Neo-Elixir Weightless Beauty Oil ($52; neimanmarcus.com)
This is one of those beauty products that makes you feel ultra-luxe every time you use it, and it is so light, you’ll hardly even know you have it on. It has the teeniest, tiniest bit of shimmer (but not in a “body glitter” type of way) and works as sort of a glow-inducing pre-primer if you put it on underneath your actual primer.
Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil ($72; sephora.com)
I have this in my purse at all times – and not just because the bottle is cute. Dab it on your face for an extra dose of antioxidants, and watch it make a visible difference in the appearance of fine-lines, redness, and aging.
Osea Essential Hydrating Oil ($32; bluemercury.com)
This was actually my first foray into the wonderful world of oils, and clearly it changed my life. It includes jojoba and sesame seed oils for boosting moisture, which helps reduce wrinkles, and also has a blend of pure lavender, rosewood, and geranium to up your dewiness factor and make your face smell amazing.
Cupuaçu Super Hydrating Beauty Oil ($65; labelledayspas.com)
Not only is this oil a wonder-worker for your face and neck, but it can also be used on your hands (which, FYI, are known to show signs of aging) to help with skin elasticity.