Even though oils have been used for centuries as skincare, it’s only been in the last few years that oils have become super mainstream and widely available. If you’ve been hesitant to try oils in the past, or if you’ve tried an oil and been less than impressed with the results, this post is for you. As with any other skincare product, different facial oils suit different skin types and our guide below helps you to find the oils that are best suited for your specific skin type.
While acne-prone skin often is oily, this isn’t always the case. You may have sensitive or dry skin and still experience acne. Putting oil on a face suffering from breakouts may seem a bit scary, but there are oils available that will soothe and help reduce your breakouts. One of the determining factors in whether or not an oil will benefit acne-prone skin is the ratio of oleic acid and linoleic acid. Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fat, or omega-9 fatty acid while linoleic acid is unsaturated fat, or omega-6 fatty acid. An abstract for a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology states, “acne patients have also been shown to have low levels of linoleic acid in their skin surface lipids.” Sebum produced by your oil glands is largely oleic acid, so using an oil high in linoleic acid helps balance your skin. Oils that work best for acne-prone skin include hemp seed oil, rosehip seed oil, grape seed oil, evening primrose oil and safflower oil.
Putting oil on oily skin seems like a bad idea, but as you learned above, the sebum from your pores is completely different than plant oils. When people have oily skin, the tendency is to use harsh products like exfoliators and toners with alcohol, because at first these seem to remove oil from the skin. The problem with using these types of products is that you are damaging your skin’s lipid barrier, which works to keep good things like moisture in and harmful pollutants out. When you damage the lipid barrier, your skin senses it is imbalanced and it needs more moisture, and it will attempt to moisturize itself by producing more sebum. So, the harsher products can actually not only be ineffective, but they do the exact opposite of what you’re looking for them to do. Pure plant oils help to repair and maintain the lipid barrier of your skin. Oils that tend to work well for oily skin are hemp oil, rosehip seed oil, evening primrose oil, jojoba oil and avocado oil.
When it comes to dry skin you want an oil that will really penetrate and add moisture to your skin. Oils like rosehip seed and hemp seed oil are relatively dry oils and they may be a bit too drying for skin that is naturally dry. Dry skin needs oils that have a good blend of omega fatty acids including omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids. If you have dry skin you also need an oil that is going to hydrate your face for hours at a time and that will help your skin to retain moisture. Oils that benefit dry skin include aloe vera oil, argan oil, olive oil, grape seed oil and vitamin E oil.
Normal and Combination Skin
Combination skin commonly features an oily T-zone area and dry skin elsewhere on the face and oils are particularly great for combination skin because they help balance your skin. Normal skin is generally fairly balanced on its own, so your facial oil will be more for hydration than about making sure that everything is evened out on your skin. Oils that work really well for normal and combination skin are grape seed oil, tamanu oil, carrot seed oil and aloe vera oil.
The idea of oil on your face may still scare you, but if you find the right oil, you will never look back when it comes to moisturizing your skin. Oils are available at a wide variety of price points, but it is worth noting that sometimes you do get what you pay for. When choosing your facial oil, you want to be sure that it is as natural and organic as possible, which usually means looking for an oil that is unrefined and cold-pressed. Oils that are refined are less pure and are more likely to include undesirable additives. Next time you’re looking for a moisturizer, reference this guide to find the oil that will work best for you.