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How to Choose the Right Oil for Your Face

Filed Under: Anti-Aging,Beauty,Personal Care at 8:00 am | By: Ysolt Usigan

Let’s face it (no pun intended), facial oils are all the rage—and for good reason! It used to be that the mere thought of putting oil on your face was enough to make your skin crawl. Now we know these plant-based oils are extremely helpful to wash away those long-held preconceptions by giving you a refreshing and radiant glow, naturally.

Face oil can play an important role in your everyday skincare routine. “The big fallacy for some who aren’t familiar with essential oils is that they’re heavy and greasy,” says Jessica Klingbaum, certified aromatherapy specialist. “But in actuality, since you only need a few drops, they won’t add that film of greasiness that some people are worried about.”

Don’t confuse face oils with moisturizers though. Face oils are also not substitutes to moisturizers. You should continue to use both or even use them together! “The main difference between face oils and moisturizers is really the actual therapeutic benefits you get from the oils you’re using, which you can customize,” Klingbaum says.

If you’re currently applying moisturizer exclusively and haven’t gotten on the face oil bandwagon, navigating the different varieties and brands of options can be a daunting task. And once you’ve chosen, how do you use it? How do you integrate it into your routine?

We sought advice from Klingbaum and other experts to help. Here’s everything you need to know about choosing the right oil for your face.

Face Oil Basics  

If we think about the skin as a brick wall, the skin cells (also known as keratinocytes) are the bricks and mortar—the glue that holds the skin together, which is comprised of ceramides, lipids and cholesterol. “When the skin is void of oils, moisture leaks out of the skin and causes dryness,” says Dr. Dendy Engelman, a board-certified dermatologic surgeon based in New York City. “Oils help make the skin supple and pliable.” Because oils are quickly absorbed, they help to reinforce the skin barrier, making it stronger and less vulnerable.

“Oils are very hydrating and help penetrate into deeper layers of the skin because they have lower molecular weights than most lotions and creams,” Engelman adds.

Of course, not all oils are created equal. There are different qualities, properties, scents and benefits. “Every essential oil itself is made up of natural chemical components, and in turn, each of these components has specific therapeutic properties,” says Klingbaum, founder of That’s why you would use a specific oil for the purpose of its particular benefits.

Face Oil Decisions

Choosing the right oil for your skin is pretty similar to how you would choose moisturizer. Consider the following factors:

  • Is your skin dry, oily or a combination?
  • Is your skin sensitive?
  • Is anti-aging a priority for you?
  • Are you acne-prone?
  • What is your desired result?

Once you’ve identified your specific needs, customize your skincare routine. Here are just some face oil options, depending on your specific skin type:

Oily Skin/Combo Skin: Jojoba Oil
If you suffer from oily skin, then jojoba oil is for you. It can help regulate oil production by mimicking sebum, the oil secreted by your sebaceous glands, helping to balance your skin’s oil production. Jojoba oil can also help heal acne and other blemishes, providing all the moisture and hydration the skin needs.

All Skin Types: Argan Oil
Known as “liquid gold,” argan oil is extracted from the kernels of the Moroccan argan tree. It’s rich in vitamin E, essential fatty acids and antioxidants. Argan oil helps fight lines and wrinkles and minimize scars and stretch marks all while restoring moisture and tone.

Dry Skin: Rosehip Seed Oil
Rosehip oil is extracted from the seeds of Rosa canina and is rich in omega-6 essential fatty acids. This oil can be used to aid skin cell renewal, resulting in a replenished, healthy glow. Rosehip oil’s amazing scar-healing properties makes it perfect for damaged skin, too!

All-Over Moisture: Coconut Oil
Due to coconut oil’s propensity for clogging pores, we definitely don’t recommend this for your face. For the rest of your body, however, coconut oil is a must-have. It’s loaded with three fatty acids—capric, caprylic and lauric—that have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Plus, it’s easy on the wallet and can be used for a variety of skin ailments including everything from diaper rash to razor burn, cellulite and more.

Face Oil Application 

Klingbaum recommends that you either mix the oil right into your moisturizer or apply a few drops directly to your skin right before your moisturizer.

Engelman adds, “Oils can easily be mixed into your current skincare products, serums included.” Engelman also suggests looking for products that already contain oils that match up with your desired results. “Apply directly first after cleansing for maximum penetration or add to a moisturizer or serum for a boost in hydration.”

And you don’t need a lot. Engelman cautions that three to five drops will do. “A little goes a long way,” she says.

Other Face Oil Considerations

If you’re acne-prone: Some face oils can actually help reduce inflammation. Reduce breakouts and minimize post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation that can occur after acne flares with neem oil, says Engelman. “It’s a concentrated blend of antifungal, antihistamine, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties,” she says. It will also reduce swelling and scarring.

If you don’t want to clog your pores: If an oil is comedogenic—like coconut or avocado oil—it can cause clogged pores. These oils are heavy and won’t allow your skin to breathe as it needs to. Argan oil, squalane oil and jojoba oil are your best bets if this is a concern. They’ll sink into your skin quickly, avoiding clogging.

If you are allergic to anything: “Since many oils are derivatives of food, make sure you are not allergic to that food and subsequently the oil that it’s derived from,” Engelman cautions. To be safe, do a patch test on your neck first before using the oil on your whole face.


Original post by Jessica Justh

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