Face Oils: Beginner 101
With face oils popping up all over the place, they can still be intimidating so let’s talk a little about oils in general and then dive into a few ways to use them.
The oils referred to in this post are about carrier oils or fixed oils, not essential oils. Plant oils have many bioactive compounds that can help with restoring the skin barrier, light UV protection (emphasis on LIGHT so please wear sunscreen) along with essential fatty acids that are important for our skin, antioxidants, skin softening, and some can support wound healing. Each oil is derived from different plants, which means that each individual oil has its own benefits. Typically, you want the oils you’re using on your face to be cold pressed, since this process helps to maintain as much of the beneficial properties of the oil as possible.
Now to quickly explain the terms emollient and moisturizer. A moisturizer has an occlusive property to help stop the precious hydration in your skin from escaping, otherwise known as Transepidermal water loss (TEWL). The majority of oils on their own (without using a moisturizer) are not great moisturizer but they are very good emollients. An emollient, which is found in any good cream or lotion helps to soften and sooth the skin. I mention this because sometimes people will only use an oil on their face without any other skincare products (like a moisturizer) and still feel like their skin isn’t staying hydrated. To keep hydration in your skin—especially those in a dry climate and/or for those struggling with a weak skin barrier—you need to use something that helps keep that water/hydration from escaping. So why would you add an oil to your skincare routine you ask? They help give your skin an antioxidant boost, some have anti-inflammatory benefits, promote wound healing, soften and soothe the skin, and some even help with the quality of our own natural oil (sebum) so it’s less thick and prone to clogging our pores.
Need I say more? Yes, yes, I can but this would become an overwhelmingly long post so I will have to go into more depth about acne prone skin and oil profiles in another post J Let’s dive into some basic uses of oils.
Basic uses: See suggested oils at the bottom
Face oil as a double cleanser:
- Step 1: In the evening take a good amount of your favourite oil, about ¼ tsp or ½ pipette, you might need more depending on the products you use ex/ long wear foundation, waterproof mascara, waterproof sunscreen etc.
- Step 2: Gently massage for about 1 min into your face. Emphasis on gentle.
- Step 3: Using lukewarm to warm water, completely wet a gentle facecloth like the Riversol microfibre cloth and let it rest over for face for a few seconds
- Step 4 Gently wipe the oil off with your facecloth. Sometimes I rewarm the cloth under water for this step
- Step 5: Move onto your regular cleanser step
Face Oil as a skincare step on its own
- After cleansing and applying your serum
- Take 2-3 drops of your favourite oil
- Warm between your palms and gently press into your skin
- Follow with a moisturizer.
Face oil to boost your favourite moisturizer
- Mix 2-3 drops of oil into your moisturizer before applying
Oils for cleansing: Keep in mind there are so many types of oils out there this only scratches the surface
- Hemp seed
Combination of oils and small amount of essential oils:
Oils used as booster in your moisturizer or on their own before moisturizer:
- Rose Hip: Good for all skin types including acne prone)
- Argan Oil: Silky smooth and moisturizing
- Tamanu: Good for all skin types including acne prone hyperpigmentation
- Hemp seed
- Sun Flower Seed Oil (higher linoleic oil)
- Sea Buckthorn Oil
- Marula Oil (good for Dry Skin)
Combination of oils with a small amount of added essential oils:
A few things to keep in mind when using any natural product like face oils is that their quality can vary depending on where it was grown, how it was grown and how it was processed. On top of that, they do have a shelf life and you typically want to keep them out of direct sunlight and heat. Be careful if you have any allergies—such as a nut allergy for example—as you may want to patch test it first (or just completely avoid it). If you are ever concerned about this, have a server allergy, or have experienced severe skin irritation from using a product please consult your physician.
Hopefully this helps and you can enjoy using a new-found multipurpose product that can be used as a cleanser, an antioxidant booster and moisturizer enhancer, or maybe you have found other ways to use oils in your skin care. Please share or send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org, we would love to hear from you.
Until next time!