By now, you should already know that the beauty industry has long busted this lazy myth — that oils may be bad for your skin. Nah. In fact, good oils, the ones that contain nourishing ingredients, are totally worth the extra step in any skincare regimen, because they keep our skin at its best, most healthy state. If you’ve always yearned for soft, soft skin, and would love to revitalise your skin to its glowing glory days, it’s about time you made facial oils your best friend.
The basic idea starts with this: our body already naturally produces oil, but the amount of oil production may decrease as we age, or may fluctuate based on our environment, which then causes our skin to dry out. This upsets its delicate balance — you might see more fine lines and wrinkles, or, dry conditions may cause the skin to react and ironically overproduce sebum, resulting in breakouts.
Enter facials oils. They work to supplement the natural oils our skin is producing, first by adding precious moisture, and then by helping to repair the barrier that keeps moisture in. Great thing is, they can work with every skin type — yes, even oily or blemish-prone skin. The key is, of course, moderation, and educating yourself on which oils work for which skin type, based on the type of oils used, and the ingredients that go into each formula. Here, we’ve gone ahead and listed our facial oils recommendations according to skin type, and time of use.
For sensitive skin:
- TRY: chamomile, lavender ; synthetic-free formulas
- TIPS: test out any oil on a tiny spot before applying it to your entire face ; avoid tea tree oil as it could irritate the skin
Pai Skincare Echium & Amaranth Age Confidence Facial Oil
While most of us still can’t shake off the feeling of more oil = oily skin, clean beauty brand Pai, has long since embraced oils in their vision of an ideal skincare routine, which helps when we know that all their products are natural, vegan, and free from synthetic irritants (parabens, artificial fragrances and alcohol, for instance). This means that their facial oils are suitable for all skin types, including sensitive and eczema-prone skin. Quite the godsend!
As for the Age Confidence Facial Oil, it contains a blend of 10 powerful plant actives, and happens to be rich in Omega 3 & 6 to accelerate cell regeneration. Plant-based squalane locks in moisture and keeps your skin plump, while anti-inflammatory ingredients minimise flare-ups and environmental stress. All these work in tandem to protect our skin and help it do its best work; what you’ll get is a revitalised complexion that’s more plump, radiant, and healthy.
Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil
If you’re not yet acquainted with the story of founder Indie Lee, know that it’s a brave one — after her scary but life-changing ordeal of a brain tumour, and the successful removal of it, she set forth on a journey to deliver high-performance, clean skincare that’s free of environmental toxins. Enter the Squalane Facial Oil, which contains just 100% pure olive-derived Squalane oil. That it’s just a single ingredient certainly helps those with sensitive skin — no need to scrutinise a long, confusing ingredients list — while at the same time, the lightweight, hydrating oil helps diminish the appearance of spots and blemishes, and improves both your skin’s tone and texture. Squalene, as an ingredient, is also a great all-rounder oil thanks to its small molecule size, which means it gets absorbed more easily without sitting on the surface of your skin; it doesn’t go on to clog pores or leave a greasy layer. All you’ll feel is soft, bouncy skin.
For oily skin:
- TRY: jojoba, tea tree, squalane, marula
- TIPS: look out for facial oils that can help your skin produce less pore-clogging sebum
UMA Deeply Clarifying Face Oil
Unparalleled quality and a rich heritage. That’s how we’d sum up Uma Oils, especially when you factor in how the Uma estate in India has farmed, crafted and supplied organic oils to beauty brands as prestigious as Tom Ford and Estée Lauder. The ingredients for each of their formulas is also grown, blended, and bottled in small batches at their exclusive Indian estate, while founder Shrankhla Holecek was also inspired by her roots and knowledge of traditional Ayurvedic remedies.
All that culminates in the Clarifying Face Oil, a formula that soothes and balances the skin, thanks to the trio of essentials oils that includes Clove, Lavender and Tea Tree. The first two help against blemish-causing impurities without clogging the skin, and also deal with excess oil while at the same time nourishing the skin. Tea Tree then comes in to balance moisture levels, without over-drying the skin. Then there’s the promise of a organic, vegan-friendly ingredients, and a blend that’s free of synthetic fragrances, emulsifiers, parabens. and even preservatives. If you’re still thinking oily skin can’t do with a dose of good oil, think again.
For dry skin:
- TRY: rosehip, argan, coconut, marula, squalane
- TIPS: most facial oils work and people with dry skin will benefit the most from facial oils ; layer facial oils under a rich moisturiser
Rodin Luxury Face Oil Jasmine & Neroli
This highly-raved oil feels luxurious alright. With a name that means “luxury face oil” in Italian, each RODIN olio lusso blend has a base of 9 powerhouse high-quality artisanal botanical oils, be it Spanish Sweet Almond Oil, or Moroccan Argan Oil. These contain skin-nourishing Pro-Vitamin A and E, as well as Omega 3, 6, 7, and 9 Essential Fatty Acids that strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier. If your skin’s feeling a bit dull though, look to the Jasmine & Neroli blend for a revitalising blend. You can be assured of quality since it’s Egyptian Jasmine and Morrocan Neroli we’re talking about, while that unique blend of theirs will do all the work to have your skin look glowing and refreshed.
Amanda Lacey Camellia Face Oil
Trust a beauty therapist when it comes to what you should put on your face. And Amanda Lacey, a London-based facialist to A-listers, of over twenty years experience, is one such authority. Here with her own label of items packed with nourishing plant extracts and essential oils, you might want to give the cult Camellia Oil a shot. This skincare essential more than surpasses the basic criteria of a lightweight blend that’s quickly absorbed into your skin, while the blend of camellia oil, rose oil, sweet almond oil, vitamin E and rosemary replenishes skin with important nutrients while gently softening and lifting away dead skin cells. You’ll get the best effect come morning — soft skin, and a fresh glow like no other.
For all skin types:
Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil
Marula oil seems to be the most versatile oil across all skin types — its light, non-greasy texture works fine on oily skin types, while it’s also especially hydrating and can reduce redness when it comes to dry and irritated skin. For Drunk Elephant’s version, there’s also the promise of a vegan formula that’s free from essential oils, alcohols, silicones, chemical screens and fragrances, so you know it’s gotta be good for your face. This Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil is as pure as it gets, thanks to cold-press extraction and a filtration process, which means all its benefits are retained in its best state, straight from the pip of the marula fruit. Other than helping to moisturise and nourish the skin, the fact that marula oil is a powerful antioxidant means that it guards well against pollution and skin damage, restoring skin to tip-top health. You’ll notice firm skin devoid of redness, and a nice glow.
For day use:
Prager Skincare Urban Protect Day Oil
For first-time facial oil users, wearing it in the day may be a new experience, and sure, oils love the nighttime when our skin can really slurp up every bit of its goodness. However, the reputable aesthetics doctor, Dr Michael Prager, makes the case for day wear — primarily because our skin needs as much protection as it can get against environmental stressors and pollutants, which can be just as harmful as UV rays. His anti-pollution Urban Protect range puts together advanced scientific methods and high-quality ingredients, and is made in the UK. In particular, the make-up of this Day Oil consists of brightening and tone-correcting Vitamin C and restorative Argan Oil. Pure gold flakes also help justify the very high price point of this product, especially since they help stimulate cell turnover for smoother, radiant skin.
For night use:
Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil
One of Sunday Riley’s cult items, the Luna Sleeping Night Oil earns fans for how it’s able to transform skin overnight, with many users waking up to even, visibly youthful skin the next morning. Enticed yet? Sunday Riley, herself a cosmetic chemist, aims for “supercharged” products that deliver results, powered by science and balanced by botanicals, which are best showcased in this retinol-based formula. You might have heard the term ‘retinol’ used in anti-ageing products, precisely because it’s great against signs of ageing; here, a trans-retinoic acid ester is used to reduce the appearance of pores, wrinkles, fine lines, and uneven texture. Thankfully, we’ve got blue tansy and chamomile to balance out its potency, so your skin will feel soothed and calm throughout. Pick this up if you’d like to see a radical improvement to your complexion.