The Beauty Oil Takeover
If you look around at your local mall or department store, it’s hard not to notice the explosion of beauty oil products that now line the shelves lately. They’re not new to the beauty and skin care world, but their popularity is definitely on an uptick lately and it seems like everyone has an opinion on them. Love them or hate them, one thing is for sure, no one is sitting in the neutral zone when it comes to beauty oils. If you do a quick google search, you’ll find results like “Never mind that every single oil I tried made me break out” or ” I notice an incredible difference in the quality of my skin right away”. At the end of the day, knowing how to properly use beauty oils and which oils are right for your skin is key.
Beauty Oils 101
There are a few things about beauty oils that need to be addressed before anything else:
1.) You cannot moisturize with an oil alone.
Why? Think about putting on your waterproof rain boots on and then going outside and splashing around in puddles expecting to get your socks wet. They stay bone dry right? O.k, keep that in mind while we take a closer look at products that actually do moisturize skin:
Lotion: Made up of 3 ingredients Occlusives, Humectants, Emollients
- Humectants (draw water from air and from the lotion) into the skin and hydrate your cells
- Emollients soften your skin
- Occlusives trap emollients and humectants onto your skin so they stay soft and hydrated throughout the day
Oils act as Emollients and Occlusives but NEVER as a humectants
2.) The best way to benefit from oils is to use it as your last step in your skin care routine (or mixed in with your moisturizers)
Serums and moisturizers both give off more water and need to penetrate deeper into the skin in order to offer benefits to your skin. If you apply oils first, you create a barrier between the deeper layers of your skin and your moisturizers/serum making them useless. However, if you decide to use a serum and just a facial oil, you can! This is where you can start to personalize your skin care routine based on your unique needs once you get more comfortable using beauty oils!
3.) Oils can be used to clear up acne
There is scientific evidence out there to show that tea tree oil possesses antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties to fight against acne causing bacteria. Tea tree oil is a powerhouse when it comes to its many healing properties and it has been around for centuries. Many brands utilize tea tree oil in their formulas as a way to help fight redness and reduce pimple size
4.) It doesn’t matter what kind of oil you use on your hair, as long as you don’t use too much
Start with a drop or two and work it through your ENDS (don’t start at your roots!) If you’ve got thick and dry hair, here’s a life hack for you! Coat your hair from mid shaft to ends BEFORE you step into the shower. Shampoo and condition like you normally would. The oil will protect your hair from the drying effects of shampooing! Jojoba, Argan, and Almond oil have all worked great for me when I needed to restore a bit of shine to my hair (and combat the winter static here in New England).
5.) Oils are one of the BEST ways to clean your face!
Discovering oil cleansers was an absolute game changer for me. I cannot stress this enough. I have read so many articles about people being able to rinse their face in the morning with just water in order to prevent stripping the natural barrier from their skin… I am not one of those people. I have sensitive combination skin that gets tight, dry, and irritated from even the most gentle face wash depending on the day. It’s a struggle, but daily washes in the morning are a necessity and oil cleansers have saved my skin, especially in the winter.
How do they work? Simple, cleansing oils usually contain an oil base plus a traditional skin cleansing ingredient called a surfactants, that helps binds to dirt and remove it from the skin’s surface without disrupting the skin’s barrier. Certain types of oils cleansers can be better suited for different skin types so make sure to pay attention to the type of oil used in the cleanser and always look for key words like “non-comegedic” especially if you have a more oily complexion or if you have acne prone skin.
Which Oil is Best For What?
For Drier Skin
Marula oil is great for drier skin and is known for reducing redness and irritation. It comes from the kernels of the fruits of the Marula tree and its anti oxidant rich. Coconut and squalane oils are also suitable for drier skin types
For Normal Skin
Jojoba Oil is your best bet if you have normal skin. Jojoba is technically the liquid produced in the seed of the Jojoba plant. Technically it isn’t an oil, but actually a mixture of mono-saturated liquid wax esters. Jojoba oil is so unique when compared to other oils because of its similarity to human sebum. This is because sebum is largely made up of wax mono esters! It can act as a substitute for sebum and add to the benefits one would get from natural sebum. It’s packed with antioxidants, its antibacterial, non-comogedic, and non-allergenic as well.
For Acne Prone Skin
Breakouts can happen from overactive oil glands so always opt for lighter oils like tea tree oil, squalane, and jojoba oil. Yes! using the correct beauty oil can help diminish your own oil production that is causing you headaches! It’s habit to try and dry out skin that is in the middle of a breakout, but it can be the worst thing you can do to yourself (not to mention the scarring that can happen…) Acne is the body’s way of communicating that your oil to water ratio is off-balance. Oils like squalane, derived from olives, have molecules small enough that can be absorbed easily in order to go to work where you need it most!
For Combination Skin
Marula Oil is a great choice for combination skin as long as you use it sparingly and try the technique of mixing one or two drops with your daily moisturizer. Since marula oil penetrates quickly, you will be able to control how much you apply and where (since it is being mixed with your moisturizer) and reap the benefits of his antibacterial properties as well!
My Current Favorites (Shop Them Below!)
When I’m in need of a lighter dose of moisture, I reach for Tata Harper’s Beautifying Face Oil or Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil. Tata Harper is an amazing brand spearheaded by Tata Harper herself after she helped her step father fight cancer and realized his skin care products contained too many toxic ingredients. Instead of accepting this as the norm she got down to business and created her own line of skin care and beauty products made of only the finest, natural ingredients. She’s mapped out her formulations from scratch over a course of four years based on the purpose of each product and ingredients are sourced from her 12,000 acre farm in Vermont and places like Israel, the Amazon, Canada, and France.
Beautifying Face Oil:
This gem is jam-packed with 17 botanical ingredients, it’s lightweight, and incredibly fast absorbing. It’s meant to restore and revive radiance in your skin while providing a dose of hydration. It contains squalane, jojoba esters, camelia seed oil, olive oil, and borage oil (amazing for inflammation!). I use this when I need an extra dose of hydration or if I want to seal in the hydration after applying my essence, serum, and moisturizer
Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil:
Another one of Tata Harper’s light weight face oils that “infuses the skin with essential vitamins amino acids, minerals, and antioxidants to transform, dry irritated patches into balanced and radiant skin.” This is one of Tata Harper’s favorites and I love how her team shares their favorite ways to use this beyond just skin care! It’s great for split ends, cuticle care, and for irritated/sunburned skin (due to my illness, I deal with irritated skin a lot and I can vouch for this!) At night when I feel like I need an extra dose of moisture, I put a generous amount of this over my moisturizer and wake up with glowing skin!
Little Barn Apothecary
Another favorite brand of mine is Little Barn Apothecary. Based in Georgia, All of their products are 100% vegan, cruelty free, and all natural. They create their products by hand in small batches in their micro facility in Atlanta and they do not use synthetic or “filler” ingredients in any of their products.
Orchid + Black Currant Face Serum:
Made up of Moroccan Neroli, Avocado oil, black currant oil, and jojoba oil, this product targets fine lines and wrinkles while soothing and conditioning skin. One important note to make, since this product contains orchid extract (which is a humectant) this is classified as a serum and can technically be used on its own to provide your skin a level of moisture! Great for dry, parched skin
Lavender + Frankincense Original Oil:
This multi tasker was developed 10 years ago for your face but can be used for your hair, face, and body! It’s loaded with omega 3-6- and 9 essential fatty acids and also has vitamins A,C, D, E, copper, zinc, selenium, and chromium. It’s suited for all skin types but especially for those with sensitive and normal skin. I find it a little heavier than other face oils because of the avocado oil so I reserve this for fall/winter weather
Helichrysum + Violet Face Oil
This face oil definitely packs a big punch and is formulated to “reduce visible signs of aging and to fortify youthful skin. Contains high levels of the essential fatty acid gamma linoleic acid (GLA), shown to be a strong anti-inflammatory and reparative for skin.” This face oil contains Baobab Oil, Meadowfoam oil, borage seed oil, olive squalane, avocado oil, violet leaf oil, and labdanum essential oil. Formulated for day and night use!
One of my newest favorites comes from the brand LATHER. If you aren’t familiar with them, please check them out! Everything they make is created with your overall health and wellness in mind (a whole blog post dedicated to LATHER products is in the works to stay tuned!) As a chronic illness sufferer, I’ve spent more time reading up on skin care and beauty brands before using them and I’ve discovered amazing names like LATHER. They go above and beyond for their customers because they truly believe in a better world for ALL of us. They thoughtfully source their organic ingredients for each product with health AND wellness in mind AND they’re also a carbon neutral business, utilizing Ecopure in their packaging, recycled materials, and they even use soy based inks! They even partner with the Baobab Guardians Programme, employing and empowering women in South Africa, to ensure the survival of the oldest living tree on Earth! Shout out to LATHER! One of the first products I tried from Lather was their chia seed & passion fruit facial oil.
Chia Seed and Passion Fruit Facial Oil:
This facial oil is formulated with chia seed and passion fruit oil (aka maracuja oil) and is super fast absorbing! It also has grapeseed, rosehip, and tahitian monoi oils for additional moisture and antioxidant protection with Vitamins E and A and lycopene. It’s super rich in omega 3’s and 6’s and helps with dry air and pollutants. I have used this stuff in harsh winter climates AND when the temps decides to shoot back into the 60’s. It has performed well regardless of temperature changes and hasn’t caused any issues with my skin! It’s also priced super affordable compared to other facial oils on the market and has performed in step with competitors so they get a gold star in my book!
Absorb Skin care The Face Oil:
This small batch luxury face oil deserves to be recognized and will knock you socks off the first time you use it. It is specifically designed for sensitive and/or acne prone skin but anyone can use it (without having to worry about any reactions or unsightly breakouts). It is handcrafted with organic and wild-crafted ingredients (yup ingredients that are organic and found in the wild. You don’t get any more natural than this folks! Your skin is going to thank you!). Only unrefined plant butters and oils are used as well and boy does your skin show it when you use this elixir! All products are hand blended in small batches so be prepared for higher prices than other brands (although it’s right on par with Tata Harper). Products are also sent in reusable cosmetic bags through Freeset, “a fair-trade business offering employment to women who are trapped in the Kolkata’s sex trade. By giving these women a job making products, they are no longer subjected to working in the sex trade in India”. There’s nothing more amazing than a brand who gives back like that. Absorb’s face oil includes pomegranate seed, neroli, prickly pear, rasberry seed, maracuja, helichrysum, and rosemary oils. They’re basically the MVP’s for oils high an antioxidants and omegas! This face oil can also be used over your makeup for a quick refresh during the day if you need it. A little goes a long way and I am totally in love with this stuff. It calms, moisturizes, dare I say it makes me look like I’m glowing when I use it? There’s something to be said when products are made in small batches, using only the finest organic ingredients. Guys you can actually tell the difference when using this oil! I am DYING to try out the Rose Geranium Mist and Body Oil next when I’m able to get my hands on it!
Do you have any favorites you can’t live without? Let us know below!