Sure, it’s an extra step, but it’s well worth it. Promise.
The thought of smothering oil onto your skin may very well strike fear into your heart, but contrary to what you might believe, a good facial oil won’t leave your skin clogged, shiny and on the verge of a billion breakouts.
We spoke to Nichola Joss, Sanctury Spa Skin Expert and celebrity facialist to help clarify what a facial oil is (handy hint: you can’t just use that extra virgin olive oil sitting in your pantry), where it could fit into your skin care regimen, and why you should be using one.
What is a facial oil?
As we mentioned before, you can’t just slap any kitchen oil on your skin and call it a facial oil. A true facial oil (or face oil) contains either one or a combination of plant or synthetic oils that can be used on the face or body.
As for what they do, Nichola explains, “Facial oils tend to concentrate on delivering hydration, moisturisation and nourishment, plumping the skin and adding immediate vitality and radiance.”
In addition, they work with every skin type (yes, even those of you with oily skin who think facial oils should be avoided at all costs) to help rebalance skin and restore a healthy complexion.
How do facial oils work?
We’ll try and avoid getting too science-y on this one, but here Nichola sums it up in a nutshell: “Oils have a small molecular structure that easily penetrates the skin. So, instead of sitting on the surface, oils sink in further, hydrating at a deeper level and keeping skin soft for longer.”
Why should I use facial oil?
They offer intense hydration, and a nourished, hydrated complexion not only looks healthier but is healthier, too, and that can only mean good things when it comes to fighting the signs of ageing, like pigmentation, wrinkles, and unevenness.
Nichola also recommends using facial oils as the texture actually encourages you to massage your skin.
“Facial oils slide onto the skin and encourage facial massage, which has plenty of benefits – it relaxes and tones the muscles, which helps to sculpt facial contours, removes stress and tension in the face, boosts blood flow and awakens the senses. By massaging the oil into your skin you are also pushing the skin-boosting ingredients deeper in.”
When should I use facial oil?
Nichola recommends using one both day and night, usually after you’ve cleansed and applied your serum and let it absorb (you can find out exactly how to apply your facial oil here).
You can either apply the oil on its own, or you can mix a couple of drops in with your regular day or night moisturiser for an extra hit of hydration.
How do I know which facial oil to use?
Not all facial oils are the same, so what might work wonderfully to balance oily skin may not do the same for those with drier complexions, or those looking to fight the signs of ageing.
Nichola’s advice? “Consult a therapist or your facialist, otherwise trying to choose your products when you don’t know your skin type or needs can be a very expensive and un-rewarding process.”
A few of the best facial oils around:
Main image photography: Ed Urrutia
Carli was BEAUTYcrew’s Editor from launch in 2016 until May 2020. You can find her words right here on BEAUTYcrew, and previously on beautyheaven.