Facial Oil for Healthier Skin (Ultimate Guide)

Are facial oils (sometimes called facial oil) right for your skin? Here's everything you need to know about these oils.

When you hear the word oil and face in a sentence, you often think about problems. But sometimes oils can indeed offer a solution to (complex) skin problems.

The versatility of facial oil?

The versatility of the facial oil is twofold. Depending on the composition of the oil, facial oil can treat specific skin problems, such as dry, damaged or aging skin, sun damage, skin infections (eg acne). And this is just the tip of the iceberg!

Facials oils are extremely popular today, and they have a long history. Face oils were used in Egypt as early as 4500 BC. So what does this oil actually do for our face?

The basic idea is that applying an oil to your face will support the natural oils that your face produces (or may not even make) in hydrating your skin. Depending on the type of oil: jojoba, marula, argan, castor, etc., the oil will have different properties such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

However, the two biggest benefits that a facial oil offers are the moisturizing effect and the protective film it creates over the skin. People with dry skin benefit immensely from using a facial oil.

Why do we need a facial oil?

Our body produces oil in a natural way, but as we age, this natural oil production decreases. The skin needs healthy oil production, otherwise it will dry out, causing fine lines and wrinkles. A facial oil will retain moisture in the skin while protecting against harmful environmental factors.

In addition, they are suitable for all skin types, even for oily skin some oils are suitable.

Different oils treat different skin problems, and the right facial oil for you depends largely on your skin type and the problems you want to address.

Heavier facial oils such as avocado are more suitable for dry or mature skin, while lighter oils such as jojoba oil are better suited for oily or acne-prone skin, as they absorb into the skin faster and better.

Facial oils are often used during winter or transitional seasons, when your skin is in transition. It is often recommended to use them only in the evening, but if your skin responds well to them, you can also use them in the morning.

Just like with facial serums, apply a few drops to your face or skin with a cotton swab or fingertips. If necessary, apply a day or night cream or other moisturizer afterwards. You can also make your own cream by, for example, mixing your facial oil with shea butter, beeswax and coconut oil. Such homemade moisturizer is also great for the hands, neck, chest, and even the ends of the hair. In short, everything that needs hydration.

Natural oil production of the skin

As mentioned before, your skin makes its own oil. This plays a vital role in keeping the skin hydrated by nourishing the outer layer of your skin.

It works like this:

Your skin produces a type of oil called sebum. Sebum is secreted by the sebaceous glands of the skin and naturally makes the skin oily.

But there are also other fats and oils present in the skin that are produced by cells in the stratum corneum. The horny layer is the outermost layer of the skin, which protects our face from moisture loss. Together, all these fats and oils make our skin soft and elastic.They act as a hydrator and protect against allergens by balancing the stratum corneum

All oils, including natural oils, are hydrophobic, meaning they will prevent moisture loss, thereby hydrating the skin. Hydration is solely determined by the water level of the skin. Oils retain water and prevent environmental factors from extracting water from the skin. It is best to view the skin as a stone wall where the skin cells represent the stones and the fats represent the cement.

Skin oils are crucial to protect the skin to minimize moisture loss, and to prevent negative environmental factors, such as chemicals, from penetrating the skin.

Dry or oily skin

Many people have dry skin because their skin does not produce enough natural oils to keep the outer layer of skin moist. On the other hand, your skin can also be too oily because the production of natural oils, sebum production, is too high.

However, this may be due to more than just natural sebum production. Many skincare products contain chemical ingredients that can be harmful to the skin. These chemical ingredients can dry out the skin or overstimulate sebum production.

Face oil for oily skin

Many people with oily skin therefore think that a facial oil will only make their oily skin worse, but this is not the case at all with natural products. The right facial oil can help counteract an overactive sebum production. For oily skin, we recommend a low-comedogenic oil such as Argan oil, Marula, Squalane, Jojoba, Argan, Rosehip or Sea Buckthorn oil.

Face oil for combination skin

People with combination skin, which is both dry and oily, can also benefit from using a facial oil. Broadly speaking, everyone benefits from using a facial oil or serum, but whether this oil will be effective in moisturizing your skin is different for everyone, and depends on your skin type and the oil.

What are the biggest benefits of a facial oil?

The basic idea is that using a facial oil will support your skin in sebum production, in order to keep your skin optimally hydrated. Depending on the type of facial oil; jojoba, castor, argan, sweet almond, etc., the oil also has various anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

However, these properties are additional, because the greatest property that a carrier oil has is the moisturizing effect on the skin.

Face oils often provide immediate results.

How is the skin hydrated by a (carrier) oil?

There are three different ways how a carrier oil/facial oil can hydrate the skin and increase the moisture level of the skin.

First of all, humectants like glycerin commonly found in moisturizers can increase the moisture level of the skin. They can attract water molecules and allow them to be absorbed into the skin. Strangely, carrier oils do not fall into this category.

The other types of moisturizer are emollients and occlusives, which soften and strengthen the outer layer of the skin by filling in empty spaces between the skin cells. Oils fall into these last two categories. Most oils that are suitable for the skin serve more to protect the top layer of skin. The most important factor is the size of the fatty acid molecules of the oil.

If the molecules are too large to penetrate the skin, they stick to the outer layer of the skin and act as occlusives. If they are small enough to penetrate the skin, they can strengthen the stratum corneum.

Different facial oils have different properties

The biggest advantage of a facial oil is undoubtedly the moisturizing property that every facial oil possesses. There are some general things to keep in mind when looking for an oil for your face.

Those with dry skin will benefit the most from using a facial oil. Dry skin can be the result of washing or exfoliating the skin too often, or a lack of sebum. Using a facial oil will reduce moisture loss.

Many oils are not suitable for people with oily or acne-prone skin, because these people often already produce too much sebum. However, this does not mean that the use of a facial oil cannot provide benefits for these people.

Heavy oils such as sweet almond oil and coconut oil can clog pores and are best avoided for those with oily skin. We therefore recommend light oils such as jojoba oil, prickly pear oil, etc., which are most similar to natural sebum.

People with sensitive skin should pay particular attention to products that can cause irritation, such as tea tree oil. If you have sensitive skin, it is best to test each oil with a few drops on your arm and then wait 24 hours to see if there is any irritation.

If your skin's sensitivity is caused by a lack of hydration, a carrier oil can reduce irritation by moisturizing the skin.

At what point in your beauty routine is it best to use a facial oil?

With so many different cosmetic products available, it can seem difficult and complicated when is the best time to use your facial oil. Fortunately, it is much easier than most people think.

A good rule of thumb is to use your cosmetic products from the lightest applications, such as serums and oils, to the heavier applications, such as moisturizers and sunscreen.

You can always add a few drops of facial oil to your normal moisturizer or serum. You can use facial oils both in the morning and in the evening:

Some tips for application:

  • Start washing the face
  • Add a few drops of facial oil to your moisturizer or apply the oil directly to the face
  • Rub this gently onto the skin in circular motions

It is important to add that both a moisturizer and a facial oil are both important to keep the skin healthy. Your skin needs 70% water and 30% oil to stay in balance.