Try this – really make the most of face oils
The ultimate do’s and don’ts
The change of season aks us to reinvestigate our skincare regime. While using a lighter fare to cope with sun, high temperatures and sweating we now need to cope with dropping temperatures and bouts of dry heat once the heaters are turned on. Even if we are ready for sweater weather our skin isn’t in for rapid changes. Break outs and dryness are a common reaction. But there’s hope! A new generation of facial oils is there to help with the transition. And contrary to popular belief there’s an oil for every skin type!
Oil is like water for your skin
One of the greatest virtues of face oil is that fact that it prevents your skin from getting dehydrated. Oils are lipophilic (vulgo: they love fat) and pass through the lipid layer of the skin faster, thus preventing water loss and plumping skin with moisture more effectively. Olive and coconut oils especially make great moisturizers. With the right product you can keep hydrated and also resolve almost any issue your skin might have (read our interview with By Sarah London about face oil).
Face oils can be used day and night
To determine when to use your face oil it’s important to consider its density and what you use it for. Oils such as ricinus and jojoba, extremely rich and oily, are perfect for night treatments. You can even apply them to your lips. Hemp, peanut, soybean and almond oils, which are lighter, are perfect to be used during the day. Dermatologist David Colbert, who has studied the skin-care and anti-aging benefits of face oils for 15 years, advises to massage a few drops onto clean skin in the morning, wait two minutes and apply sunscreen or foundation as usual.
An oil for (almost) every ailment
Many botanical oils, including Argan, passion fruit, and African Marula oils, are potent antioxidants. If you are looking for some oils to purify and equilibrate you skin then lotus and jojoba oils will do the magic. For more mature skins and to nourish olive oil, almonds and rosehip oils are the perfect solution.
What to look for when buying a face oil
Face oils can be made by only one kind of oil or a combination of several. If you don’t want to buy an existing mix you can also blend your own mixture. If you like an olfactory effect you can mix essential oils such as lavender or citrus. Don’t use essential oild by themselves, though. They are too potent and need to be diluted. Besides smelling really good, they offer different benefits: Citric fruits have a detox effect, rosemary offers protection from free radicals and lavender is soothing. You can also add some drops of oil to your day or night care to enrich it.
How to properly apply face oil
According to dermatologist David Colbert “If you apply an oil before your anti-aging cream, the oil molecules behave like tiny Trojan horses, tricking the skin into letting active ingredients—like retinol, glycolic acid, and vitamin C—deeper into the skin and closer to the collagen-producing fibroblasts, all without irritating the surface.” One of the biggest mistakes is to apply the oil directly on your skin from the pipette and massage it like if you were washing your face. The right way to use your face oil is to get a few drops on you hand and delicately massage it on your face. The heat of your hands will help the oil to penetrate better in your skin (you could add a little face yoga session if you feel like it!).
Oily skin: Jojoba and grape seed oils
That sounds weird, I know, but the right oil can act as an astringent to rid your face of excess oil and will also help stabilize and regulate your skin’s sebum production to make you less oily overall. To make the best out of it try applying the oil at night to reap the benefits while you sleep. Make sure to always use it as the last step of your skincare routine, since no other ingredients will be able to penetrate it. Jojoba oil is an incredibly lightweight and breathable oil, especially when your skin still needs some moisture. It actually breaks down and dissolves sebum and helps control your shine. Grape seed oil is perfect for oily skins. It’s a natural astringent (and a bit more drying than jojoba oil), so it’ll help mattify your skin.
Dry skin: Almond and Marula oils
All oils are not the right match for a dry skin. However, it’s not that simple. Some oils are naturally more astringent and lightweight than others (like jojoba, grape seed, and pomegranate oil), so drier skins want to use a rich oil that’s high in oleic acid—a fatty acid that helps condition skin, lock in moisture, and reduce irritation from dryness. Massage it on over your regular face lotion since oil on its own isn’t inherently hydrating day and/or night to trap in moisture. Almond oil is extremely hydrating and the right choice for anyone with eczema, dermatitis, or just dry skin. It’s also incredibly high in vitamin A. Marula oil manages to absorb into skin within a few minutes of massaging it on. It is rich enough to moisturize and calm your dry skin all day or night.
Mixed skin: Argan and retinol oils
If you don’t have important break outs, you’re not super dry and not too oily, you probably have the perfectly average, “normal,” skin. Which means you can use a basic, OG face oil without having to worrying about clogged pores, irritation, or dryness. Argan oil is rich and soothing, it sinks in quickly, and it’s incredibly high in vitamin E—an antioxidant that helps prevent skin damage, dark spots, and fine lines by blocking environmental damage. Massage it on in the morning or night (or both!) as the final step of your skincare routine. Retinol isn’t actually a type of oil, but a gentle retinol-spiked oil will brighten your tone, clear your breakouts, smooth your bumps, and hydrate your skin, all without irritating your face. Use it every other night after moisturizing (note that retinols can slowly dry your skin out if you don’t moisturize).
Text: Margaux Lombard, October 10th 2018