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The Best Face Oils for Every Skin Type

February 18, 2021

The Best Face Oils for Every Skin Type

When it comes to hydrating our skin, many of us look to serums and moisturizers. While these two products both serve important purposes in a skincare routine, you might be missing out on a product that can transform your complexion: face oil.

Whether your skin is dry, oily, or somewhere in between, face oils can help to hydrate and restore your skin, giving it a healthy, lit-from-within glow. In fact, a good face oil can enhance the effectiveness of the products you apply beforehand, making it a powerful weapon in your skincare routine.

There are hundreds of different face oils out there, and each one targets different skin concerns. Choosing one can be overwhelming, but the secret is knowing your specific skin type and the benefits the oil can offer.

If you’re looking for a guide to face oil, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn about the best face oils for different skin types and how to incorporate one into your routine. 

Why Use a Face Oil?

If you’ve never used face oil before, the concept might seem strange—especially if you have oily skin! However, using the right face oil can offer a variety of amazing benefits for the skin, including: 

Lock in Moisture

One of the most commonly known benefits of face oil is its ability to seal in moisture. Serums and moisturizers can certainly hydrate the skin, but applying a few drops of face oil afterwards can really lock in the benefits of your products and keep your skin from drying out during the day or night. Doing this can be especially helpful for those with dry skin or during the cold winter months, when the temperatures drop and the air becomes more dry. 

Protect the Skin

Certain face oils have antioxidant properties, which help to protect the skin from free radicals. If you don’t know what free radicals are, they’re essentially atoms that are produced during normal cell metabolism. Unfortunately, free radicals attack the lipids in your skin that help to protect it from moisture loss. As a result, this can lead to dryness and signs of premature aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles.

Enhance the Skin’s Natural Glow

Face oil doesn’t just give you a dewy, radiant glow when it’s first applied—the benefits it offers the skin can help to promote an overall healthy glow. The aging process causes the skin to become dry and dull, but oils can help to restore the moisture levels in the skin—making it appear more plump and youthful.

Create a Smooth Canvas for Applying Makeup

If you ever feel like your makeup looks cakey, face oil may be the solution. A good face oil will leave the skin plump, hydrated, and smooth—making it a great product to use before applying foundation or concealer. Moisturized skin is key to good makeup application, which is why face oil can be a great first step before applying foundation. This will help the makeup to glide onto the skin and make it easier to blend. 

How to Use a Face Oil

As with any skincare product, the way in which you use face oil matters. In order to ensure your skin reaps the most benefit from each product, it’s important to apply it with the correct technique and in the proper order.

With face oil, there are several different ways it can be applied, including:

  • Mix with moisturizer: Adding a few drops of oil into your favorite moisturizer is a great way to add an extra boost of hydration to the skin. It can also help your moisturizer to glide across the skin and blend in seamlessly. If you’re new to using face oil, this can be a great way to introduce it into your routine. 
  • Press into the skin after moisturizer: If you’re looking for a product to really lock in moisture in the skin, try patting a few drops of facial into your skin after you’ve completed your full routine. This will help to seal in moisture and create a protective barrier for your skin. If you do this in the morning, just be sure to apply your sunscreen as the very last step, as applying oil on top can lessen its effectiveness.
  • Use as a spot treatment: This method can be especially helpful for those with combination skin. If your skin has dry patches in some areas yet tends to get oily in others, try using a hydrating facial oil only on the areas needed as a treatment. This can be especially beneficial when done overnight while your skin goes through the regeneration process

Now that we’ve covered the reasons to use face oil and how to use it, let’s talk about some of the best oils for different skin types.

If you’re looking for a more in-depth guide to different oils and their components, check out our Guide to Understanding the Comedogenic Scale for Oils and Butters.

Best Oils For Dry Skin

Face oil can be a savior for dry skin. Whether you have dry skin naturally or have noticed that your skin becomes drier in the cold winter months, incorporating a face oil into your routine can help to keep your skin hydrated and smooth.

While most face oils will work for dry skin, there are a few in particular that can be especially beneficial for this skin type. Rosehip oil, for example, contains fatty acids that help to keep cell walls strong so they don’t lose water.

Argan oil and marula oil are also great options for those who suffer from dry skin. Both of these oils contain vitamin E, which can help to improve water retention in the skin. Avocado oil, macadamia oil, and olive oil as well as mango butter and cocoa butter are good also for dry skin.

Best Oils For Oily Skin

Using a face oil might seem counterintuitive for those with oily skin. However, oils can actually help to balance the skin’s moisture levels, preventing it from overcompensating and producing excess oil.

Squalane is an excellent choice for oily skin types, as this “oil” is very lightweight. Squalane is also non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog pores. When used regularly, squalane has been shown to fight damage caused by free radicals, boost collagen production, and deeply hydrate the skin. Squalane is found in many skincare products, especially oils.

Overall, the best oils for oily and acne-prone skin are those high in linoleic acid. These include black cumin seed oil, hemp seed oil, evening primrose oil, prickly pear oil, grapeseed oil and most berry seed oils. These oils can help to keep the skin balanced and healthy, which can help to combat the overproduction of oil. 

Best Oils For Combination Skin

Combination skin can be tricky to treat. In some cases, applying a hydrating oil, such as rosehip oil, to dry spots can help to keep the skin regulated. However, if you’re looking for an oil to use on your entire face, consider trying safflower seed oil.

Safflower seed oil is high in vitamin E, which is known to help keep the skin nourished while fighting against the harmful effects of free radicals. Similar to squalane, this oil is very hydrating without being too heavy on the skin, which makes it great for those who have a mixture of both dry and oily patches on the skin. With all of the different benefits it offers, you really can’t go wrong with safflower seed oil.

Other beneficial and balancing oils include apricot kernel, black cumin seed, prickly pear, argan and jojoba oils.

Best Oils For Dull Skin

From dehydration and stress to poor diet and sleep deprivation, there are a variety of factors that can lead to dull skin. Luckily, there are ingredients and products that can help to bring the skin back to life and restore its glow. 

Sea buckthorn oil is a popular choice among those with dull skin. This oil is rich in nutrients, including omega-7 and omega-3s. It’s been shown to stimulate skin regeneration, prevent dryness, and even help to protect the skin from sun damage. Rosehip oil is another fantastic choice for boosting radiance.

If you’re looking for an anti-aging oil, try black cumin seed oil. This oil is high in antioxidants, which help to protect the skin from damage that can break down collagen production. It also helps to fortify the skin’s moisture barrier and maintain the skin’s elasticity, giving the skin a youthful appearance.

Vitamin C is best known for its ability to brighten the skin and reduce dullness. This powerful ingredient works to slow melanin production, which can help to fade dark spots and give the skin a more even, radiant appearance. Vitamin C is commonly found in serums, but it’s also found in some oils (like rosehip). If you’re looking for a boost of hydration and brightness, a vitamin C serum plus a glowy oil may be the answer.

Best Oils For Sensitive Skin

Those with sensitive skin have to be careful about the products they use in their routine. While certain oils may be too heavy for sensitive skin types, there are oils that can help to calm sensitivity while nourishing the skin.

Pure oils also contain no added scents or other ingredients that can trigger reactions. For sensitive skin on the drier side, try tamanu oil, almond oil or peach kernel oil. For sensitive skin that is more oily, try grapeseed oil, meadowfoam seed oil, or watermelon seed oil.

Blue tansy oil is also used among those with sensitive skin, and for a good reason. This oil is known for its anti-inflammatory effects and ability to soothe and moisturize sensitive, irritated skin. Whether you’re suffering from sensitivity caused by sun damage or a certain skin condition, or just naturally have sensitive skin, this is a great ingredient to try.

Best Oils For Acne Prone Skin

Finding a remedy to clear acne can be a long, frustrating journey. Many acne treatments and medications tend to strip the skin of its moisture, so it’s important to follow up with hydrating products to keep the skin balanced.

Tamanu oil is a great choice for those with acne prone skin. Studies have found that this oil has antibacterial and wound-healing properties, which can help to fight against bacteria involved in the formation of acne. It’s even been shown to help fade acne scarring! In addition to these benefits, tamanu oil is very hydrating and can help to prevent fine lines and wrinkles.

All in all, face oils can be an amazing addition to any skincare routine. It’s always good to keep one on hand—whether you use it daily or just when your skin needs an extra pick-me-up!

Find the Best Oil for Your Skin Type: