Why You Should Be Using a Face Oil—Even on Oily Skin

It may seem counterintuitive to apply more oil to already shine-plagued skin, but, it turns out that not all oil is evil. Oil-based facial products can actually work wonders on all skin types, even the most sebaceous. Here are four surprising things you may not know about face oils and the products we recommend.

Photo courtesy of respective brands.

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Photo courtesy of respective brands.

It may seem counterintuitive to apply more oil to already shine-plagued skin, but it turns out that not all oil is evil. Oil-based facial products can actually work wonders on all skin types, even the most sebaceous. Here are four surprising things you may not know about face oils, plus our product picks.

How face oils work: Oil products contain essential fatty acids your skin needs to stay properly hydrated, but your body can't produce them on its own. Oils also act as the skin's lipid barrier, protecting against extreme temperatures, dry climates, and over-cleansing.

Switch from a cream to an oil (especially in winter): Cream moisturizers are usually water based, or a mix of oil and water. They're great for keeping problem-free skin balanced and moisturized. Face oils, however, contain a more powerful, purer, and often more expensive form of nutrients that are the perfect solution for skin in distress. And that lipid barrier we mentioned helps skin heal and repair itself much more quickly. They also lock in hydration better than water-based creams. So when the air gets cold and dry this winter, making the switch to a heavy-hitting face oil can save your skin from irritation, redness, dryness, and breakouts.

Fight oil with oil: The oil your skin produces is much different than the pure plant oils in a facial product. Your skin starts pumping out sebum (the stuff that clogs pores and causes breakouts) when its oil content isn't balanced. So if you strip your skin's natural oils by over-cleansing, your body will actually produce more oil to compensate. But a quality face oil will replenish your skin with the essential fatty acids and moisture it needs. When balance is restored those overactive sebaceous glands take a breather, leaving skin healthier and clearer.

Why quality oils are worth the price tag: When buying a face oil, you really get what you pay for. Cheaper oil products often contain less refined, more processed ingredients with fillers and additives, whereas more expensive oils tend to be purer and more effective. Look for pure organic oils of rosehip, argan, jojoba, apricot kernel, avocado, macadamia nut, and calendula to get the most benefits. And remember, although a good face oil may seem pricey, it's highly concentrated, so a few drops go a long way.

Face oils we love:

Herbivore Botanicals for The Motley Hydrating Face Oil: A 100% natural blend of pure organic rosehip, argan, and jojoba oils that deeply hydrates and restores balance to all skin types.

Jack Black MP 10 Nourishing Oil: A lightweight, multipurpose blend of 10 oils including argan, olive fruit, and jojoba, that can be used on skin and hair—and even as a shave oil.

Jurlique Skin Balancing Face Oil: A non-greasy blend of six oils, including evening primrose, macadamia nut, rose hip, and avocado, that balances skin tone and texture.

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