How to choose and use the best face oil for your skin
Get in tune with your skin: Grapeseed, jojoba, argan, squalane, and marula oils are great if you tend to skew normal to oily because they don’t feel too heavy or clog pores easily. If you’re on the dry or mature side, safflower, sunflower, almond, and coconut oils are made to moisturize.
Rosehip oil is also a popular option for mature skin, as it has a plumping and moisturizing effect similar to hyaluronic acid.
Be cautious if you have acne: In general, acne-prone people should avoid oils, because you’re dealing with inflamed, compromised skin. You don’t want to clog your pores even more, it will lead to breakouts.
Plus, unless you see a dermatologist, you may not realize you’re dealing with something entirely different. Some people may think they have acne, when they actually have rosacea—and oils can be really inflammatory to rosacea.
Don’t go too heavy: If you choose to use a face oil, keep in mind that you really don’t need to apply much of it. A drop or two is more than enough.
Consider diluting it: If you want to use an oil for added radiance, adding a couple of drops to your moisturizer in the morning or mixing with your retinol at night can be beneficial. If you’re using a pure oil on its own, always gently pat it in before your sunscreen in the A.M. and after your moisturizer in the P.M. Putting your oil on top will help seal all that goodness in as you snooze.
Ok, not so scary right?! If you’re super-curious about adding a face oil into your routine, check out our top picks below.
Never used a face oil before? This cult favorite is a safe place to start. Marula oil is great at reducing redness and hydrating dry and irritated skin. It’s rich in omega fatty acids but it’s noncomedogenic and absorbs quickly, meaning it has a low risk of clogging your pores. This is a great pick for combo skin—so give it a go whether you skew a bit oily or dry.
This soothing oil contains a blend of lavender, castor seed, jojoba, coconut, and a slew of various other botanicals for a luxurious overnight treatment that smells heavenly. This elixir is smooth, smells amazing, and is relaxing and calming—I love it. I put a few drops in my hand, take a nice deep breath of the aromatherapy, and smooth all over my face and neck right before bed.
Argan is another oil that sinks in quickly with a low risk of clogging pores, making it a great choice for a variety of skin types. With its high concentration of vitamin E, it feels super nourishing without that heavy finish. Because it’s a pure oil, feel free to use this one on your nails and hair, too.
This popular pick from Sunday Riley has earned high praise from celebs like Drew Barrymore. It’s actually a mix of blueberry seed, cranberry seed, red raspberry seed, and broccoli seed oils—all of which combine into a lovely cocktail of antioxidants that help protect, soothe, and brighten the skin.
Squalane is a wonderful hydrator with a lighter texture, so it absorbs quickly and doesn’t make the skin look overly greasy. This 100% sugarcane-derived squalene tames redness, hydrated parched patches, and softens skin without an overwhelming fragrance.
Another quality rosehip oil to consider, this pick from Pai has a nice earthy scent (thanks to a bit of rosemary extract), sinks into the skin smoothly, and delivers that extra oomph when your complexion is feeling a bit dull. All the vitamins, antioxidants, and fatty acids help with fine lines and keeping the skin looking radiant.
Rich in squalane, jojoba, coconut, and other botanical goods, this gorgeous oil from Herbivore soothes irritation, hydrates, smells like a spa, and applies silky-smooth. Bonus: The formula is vegan, contains no fillers, and is cruelty-free.