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How to choose the right face oil for your skin

I love to use a face oil in my skincare routine; it nourishes my skin, helps to add radiance and also facilitates massage which is a key part of my routine. I use one throughout the year but maybe switch the formula about depending on the weather, and also how I use it.

I feel like all skins can benefit from using one, it may just take a little bit of trial and error to find the right one for you. We’re not talking mineral oil here though – I’m not a fan of this although it is found in many skincare products. Yes, there may be some times when it is useful – for example on a very reactive skin that can’t tolerate much at all. However, in my opinion for the most part it is a cheap filler (although not cheap from an environmental point of view) that doesn’t do much for the skin.

I’m a huge fan of the plant oils – of which there are many, each coming with their own unique characteristics. So how do you choose which of these oils to use?

Sometimes it is nice to start really simply and go for one single oil, that way you can really see how it works for your skin. Jojoba is a wonderful one to start with as it is very similar to our natural sebum and therefore good for most skin types. You can use this as an oil cleanser, to massage and to leave on the skin as a treatment. I’ve got a blog post here explaining some more single oils, how to use and their benefits – some of which you might find in your kitchen cupboard.

As you get used to oils in your routine, it can be great to branch out and try some new ones. I feel like a blend of oils is where the magic starts to happen as you get the benefits of all their different properties. I get asked a lot for my favourite face oils so thought I would do a round up of some of them (and will add to this as I remember ones I’ve used before and as I try new ones.)

First of all I thought I would answer another question I get asked a lot..

Why does my skin still feel dry when I’m using a face oil?

Oils will nourish and ‘feed’ your skin but they don’t hydrate – i.e add water. Therefore skin can still feel ‘dry’ even when religiously using your oil. You need to add the hydration as well; this can be done in many ways. Applying your oil to a damp skin can help, using a hydrating mist beforehand is a really great way – look for ones with hyaluronic acid to really boost hydration levels. Adding a hydrating serum into your routine will also help – use this before your oil or try mixing a few drops into your oil.

It could also be to do with the combination of oils you are using. Plant oils are full of fatty acids and can be split into 2 groups.

Those high in Oleic acid (this is omega 9 which our bodies can produce themselves) tend to be more richer and thicker so therefore more nourishing and great for drier and older skin types. 

Those high in Linoleic Acid (this is omega 6 and an essential fatty acid that are bodies cannot produce on their own) are lighter in texture so therefore more suitable for oilier and acne prone.

That’s not to say that a dry skin can’t use a linoleic acid rich oil and vice versa but different skins will react differently to different oils; what one skin loves, another just won’t get on with. The wrong oil can upset the balance of a skin and make it feel dry or go the other way and cause congestion. It can also be to do with the percentage used in the formula; a skin might not tolerate an oil if used on its own, but actually can reap the benefits when it is used in a small concentration in a blend. Each oil will also have much more properties to its composition that needs to be considered.

Also another note to add – the composition of an oil can change batch to batch and brand to brand – it can vary depending on the soil and area they were grown in and the weather conditions that year.

face oil

how to choose the right face oil for you..

When choosing, think about how your skin is, what it actually needs and what you’d like the oil to do.

Using a blend of oils is a wonderful way to benefit from all the different properties of the oils, as well as creating balance. Think about the main base oil and take it from there. I like to use organic or wildcrafted cold pressed oils as much as I can – the more processed an oil, the less goodness left.

Use them as the last step in your routine – after all your water based and hydrating products to help ‘lock’ moisture in,

Oils for oily skin

I know that sometimes the last thing an oily skin type wants to put on their skin is an oil – indeed perhaps have been told many times to avoid it; however, the right plant oil can actually help to balance an oily skin.

It has been found that oily and acne prone skins are low in linoleic acid so adding an oil rich in it, can help to balance skin and calm down overactive sebaceous glands (which are producing more of the thick oleic acids) Oils can also help to decongest skin by unclogging pores – they dissolve the excess sebum.

As mentioned above, jojoba is very similar to our natural sebum so therefore our skins tend to react well to it and can be a good one to start experimenting with.

Hemp Oil is great for balancing an oily skin. Packed full of goodness to calm and nourish skin, it has the optimum ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 which is 3:1. The omega 6 is linoleic acid making it great for more acne skins, it is a drier oil so doesn’t linger on the skin. Mix it in a blend though and all skins can benefit from its regenerating and rejuvenating properties.

Rosehip oil is high in linoleic acid so can help balance, it is also high in Vit A so can be great for scarring. I feel like it is one to experiment with as it can be a little active for some acne prone skins – try using 2-3 times a week as opposed to every night (if using neat) It can also be mixed into a moisturiser or used in a blend of other oils. I love Pai’s Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil. They also have their Carbon Star oil which is specifically for a blemish prone skin.

Nini Organics Natura Detoxifying Facial Oil is a beautiful blend of oils high in linoleic acid to target overactive sebaceous glands, but also ones to calm inflammation. This is a great oil for oily and acne prone skins.

Lena Wild’s Harmony Bloom Oil is another beautiful oil to help balance and soothe overactive skin. It contains rosehip, jojoba, hemp and evening primrose oil.

Face oils for sensitive and stressed skin

Often with a sensitive or stressed skin (which can also be oily) the natural protective barrier has been compromised so using a face oil can help to repair and strengthen it.

Some of my favourites include Gherane’s Reset Facial Oil which is lightweight so great to nourish and balance all skins – their hydrating serum is amazing too. By Sarah’s Hero Facial Oil was formulated especially for the most sensitive skins and contains no essential oils, it is a simple but beautiful oil. Pai skincare was also formulated with sensitivity in mind; their Light Fantastic Ceramide Face Oil helps to calm and reduce irritation and also has a ceramide complex to help protect and repair the skin’s barrier. Ceramides are waxy lipid molecules found naturally in the skin, and together with other lipids make up around 50% of the skin’s lipid protective barrier. (A lipid is a fat-soluble naturally occurring molecule – fats, oils, waxes, cholesterol, fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K).

Oils for a dry skin

If you are a drier skin type then your pores tend to be smaller and produce less sebum. This can result in skin feeling tight and uncomfortable, it can feel dull and lacklustre with flaking sometimes too. The lower oil content in the skin can have a negative effect on the skin’s protective barrier (which is mainly made of oils). Using a good facial oil can really help to replenish those missing oils, skin becomes more comfortable and radiant.

Look for the oleic rich oils such as Argan oil which can be lovely for a drier skin – it is a rich oil although absorbs easily. Evolve’s Rosehip Miracle Oil contains argan along with rosehip – here is it used for its high Vit A content for a natural retinol (this is wonderful for the skin, and can help with skin cell turnover and collagen production, however the effects will be slower than a synthesised retinol.)

Kri Skincare is a new brand to me but what I’ve tried I’ve loved they have a lovely Rosehip along with other oils too.

I’m a big fan of BYBI’s Strawberry Booster – this is great for soothing dry, flakey skin and adds radiance (a bargain at £13 too). Use on its own or try mixing in with your moisturiser – I love to mix it into foundation to add a gorgeous glow.

Nini Organics’ Moonlight Nectar Night Oil is a blend of oils rich in oleic acid so will nourish and feed skin. Use at night but also a couple of drops in your day cream will give it a real boost.

Beauty Kitchen’s Abyssinian Oil is a great oil for boosting dry skin and really great value at £17.

(dare I say it.. ) best oils for anti-ageing..

As we age our skin does change – we lose things like hyaluronic acid and collagen so skin starts to look and feel different. It might feel drier or more delicate and lines can start to show. While skincare can’t turn back the clock, it can really help to boost skin and support it while these changes are happening. Oil production can slow down as we age so adding a face oil into your routine can certainly help to keep it nourished – team it with massage which can really help the skin on so many levels. The ones above for a drier skin would be fab but here are some other suggestions too..

Nourish London’s Argan Skin Rescue is wonderfully rich – but not greasy, and will help boost, repair and strengthen skin.

Weleda’s Pomegranate Firming Facial Oil is designed for women in their 40’s. It encourages cell renewal and helps give skin its glow back. It is lightweight and suitable for all skin types.

Some other favourites

There are so many wonderful blends that will work for lots of different skins, here are a few more of my favourites with some different price points.

Upcircle Organic Face Serum (I count it as an oil) is a lovely blend, rich in jojoba and rosehip making it good for those who are blemish prone but also nourishing for all skins – I have a recommended it to lots of people who have loved it, and it is a regular in my makeup kit and facials. It does contain coffee oil so can be quite stimulating but I haven’t heard any issues as of yet. I think this oil is a great price point at £17.

I love Beauty Cleanse Skincare’s Mean Green SuperFood Drops – I’ve used them on so many people for my makeup work and they’ve been great with client’s loving them. It contains broccoli oil which is sometimes described as nature’s silicone, so great under makeup. Great for all skin types.

For another boost of greens I also love Tropic’s Super Greens Nutrient Boost Oil it applies really well and disappears into skin quickly leaving it soft and radiant.This formulation is rich in antioxidants so helps to protect and boost skin.

Inlight Beauty’s Face Oil is a really lovely blend to suit all skins – the main oil is jojoba fused with rose, evening primrose, lavender and vanilla. It is gentle and lightweight with a soft fragrance. I really enjoy using it.

Some splurges!!

Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum is the most luxurious face oil formulated with 22 of the world’s most nutrient-rich botanicals for nourishing and restorative moisture. It is a powerhouse of goodness for the skin. I’ve used it when my skin is having a reaction and I feel it really calms, soothes and brings back to balance. At £185 it certainly is a splurge but your skin will enjoy it.

Vanderohe No1 Nourishing Face Serum is another beautiful oil that my skin absolutely loved, it cleared a stubborn dry patch and my skin definitely felt brighter and smoother – when I used it I had a young toddler who didn’t sleep but this for sure helped me look and feel more rested. It is £105 so an investment.

Kaea The Vitaliser – Multi-Omega Face Oil is packed full of phytonutrient-rich botanical actives to nourish, renew and regenerate. It feels amazing on the skin and all profits from the sale go back to rewilding the land in New Zealand. £125.

I’ve been loving the Rhug Estate Wild Beauty Protecting Facial Oil with Bakuchiol – the texture is great, it blends beautifully – brilliant for a massage and my always feels better for using it. A lot of the ingredients are foraged from the Rhug Estate in North Wales. This oil is £85.

Hopefully there is something in there for you to try! Do you have a favourite face oil?

Let me know how you get on – maybe leave a comment below or a thumbs up if you found this post useful.

If you’d like to know more – why not come and have a chat or a facial where I can use some wonderful oils on you 🙂