Hi beauty bees! Today I have a thorough skin care post for you on facial oils 🙂 With every new season, it is good re-assess your skin and your skin care products to see how your skin is changing and what you can do to help keep your skin in top condition! I’m a little bit in shock that it is actually November, as that means the year is almost at an end 0 _ o ! So let’s get started!
Facial oils are great – there’s definitely been a lot of hype about them in recent times. This post will discuss three of the most popular oils out there and what they can do for you. I will also outline how you can introduce them into your skincare routine so that they are more effective and perhaps not so overwhelming (especially if you have oily-acne prone skin!).
I’m not going to talk about the oil cleansing method because a) It’s not something I personally do and b) I think it can get very tricky and it’s definitely not something that will benefit everyone. Mixing oils and trying to find the right compositions which can actually be absorbed by your skin is super tricky (hence why when products are created, chemists decide on the composition of ingredients). Mixing oils can also become super expensive if you are trying to find the best quality oils and a variety of them! Investing in 1-3 pure and high grade oils will see you through many different skincare concerns.
It’s important to note that not all oils moisturise in the same way. A lot of oils are actually occlusive moisturisers – meaning that they form a protective barrier on your skin, keeping nasties out. It makes sense considering that the primary function of your skin is to keep infections and bacteria at bay, and your skin lipid barrier performs this key function. If you skin is dry and irritated, it means that this barrier is compromised. Occlusives are great for those of us with normal skin types, as you will already have some moisture in your skin and your skin is more likely to already be feeling ‘comfortable’. Occlusive moisturisers will help in keeping this equilibrium. The issues to consider are these – if your skin is dehydrated or extremely dry, applying an occlusive moisturiser won’t be enough, as it’s not actually adding moisture back into your skin. For this task you need a humectant moisturiser (they draw moisture out of the air and put it back into your skin, so they enhance your skins capability to hold moisture) or emollients (most plant oils are emollients – they lubricate the skin, fill in the gaps between skin cells and as such feel soothing – they can also act as humectants). Here is the catch though – add to much of any one oil to the skin, and it can become solely an occlusive moisturiser. The chemical structure of oils is very difficult to break down and they easily bind together, so it’s best to know which oils can perform what jobs, as they aren’t all the same. So which oils are solely occlusive and which are emoilliants/humectants?
Occlusive – almond, apricot, avocado, castor and olive oil. If you are adding any of these oils into your skin care routine, you want to add them last, as whatever treatment products you lay on top of them, simply won’t penetrate into the skin.
Emollients – palm, coconut, pequi, jojoba (I added this into the list even though it isn’t ‘technically’ an oil) and argan.
The three oils I think are most multipurpose and beneficial for the skin (especially for beginners) are jojoba, argan and coconut oil. Let’s go through each of these and talk a bit about how best to apply them!
Argan oil I believe was the first ‘miracle oil’ that people became obsessed with! Because it is only found in Morocco and can be quite expensive, many hair care products and facial treatments only use a touch of argan oil mixed in with other ingredients. Using the pure stuff will obviously give you a bigger hit of nutrients and moisture! It is important to find argan oil which has been cold-pressed, is organic and is stored within a dark glass bottle. While argan oil is quite stable (more so than say olive oil) is best to tread carefully and keep it away from direct sunlight. Argan oil contains unique plant sterols (schottenol and spinasterol – about 0.8%) which increase skin metabolic rates (so skin regenerates better), collagen and reduces inflammation. Argan oil also contains high levels of vitamin E and ferulic acid which act as anti-oxidants (help prevent cellular ageing). Not only this, the oil is high in omega 6 and 9 which are fatty acids, excellent for moisturising the skin! It can be a little heavy texture wise if you are not used to using oils, so I would recommend argan oil for those with normal to very dry skin.
*Tip* If you want to use it as a serum underneath your moisturiser, spray your skin with a skin mist before applying the oil. Damp skin will absorb the oil more easily. Massaging the oil into the skin will also help it absorb. If you don’t have very dry skin (or mature skin), it’s probably best to add a drop or two into your nightly moisturiser. Your skin won’t feel quite as ‘weighed down’ as it might if you were to directly apply the oil to your skin. The argan oil I currently own and am liking is from Potion (they also offer free shipping on all orders! Win!). Argan oil is of course great for your hair and your nails, but I will talk about body oils and their application in a seperate post!
Jojoba ‘oil’ isn’t really an oil but a wax ester (this is what our skin naturally produces in the form of sebum). Because it mimics our skins own hydrating mechanism, it is very easily absorbed and regulates sebum production, making it great for normal to oily & acne prone skin. It’s quite light and absorbs well. It actually helps deliver other products/ingredients into the skin, so using this ‘oil’ before applying serums and moisturisers, means that you will benefit even more from their ingredients. The only exception is when applying AHAs and BHAs, because they exfoliate the skin and need to be applied to the skin directly – so apply them first to your skin and the put your jojoba oil on top, followed by a regular moisturiser. The reason why jojoba is also great for acne prone skin is because it helps to reduce swelling and inflammation (a major factor in acne). Acne and oily skin types also need moisture – but just the right kind. Because jojoba not only moisturisers but also helps heal skin, it is perfect for more trouble prone skins. Just remember that you only need a tiny amount, otherwise like I mentioned, it might just sit on top of the skin and become an occlusive moisturiser. Jojoba oil is very stable compared to other plant oils, so a clear glass jar is fine for storing the ‘oil’. Just make sure that you find one which is cold pressed and pure. I will also mention that I don’t find jojoba to be moisturising enough to use it on it’s own (I have normal to combination skin) and so I have to use it underneath my moisturiser (and I only use it at night). I reviewed the Jojoba Company’s 100% jojoba oil here if you’d like to find out more about this particular jojoba oil.
Coconut oil is the third type of oil I think gets high praises for the right reasons. I would recommend that it be used for more normal to very dry skin types, because it can cause your skin to become extra shiny. If you already have shiny/oily skin to begin with, it will be a little counter-productive in this respect! If you are prone to breakouts, coconut oil can trap the oil within pores more so than other oils, so I’d be weary of using it on acne or oily skin types (only use it occasionally and sparingly). Now you must use virgin coconut oil (unrefined)- the processed stuff won’t contain all of the naturally occurring nutrients otherwise. Coconut oil contains capric /caprylic/lauric acid which contain antimicrobial properties – perfect for treating/preventing skin infections for those with sensitive skin (in some experiments, coconut oil was found to have antioxidant enzyme activities which sped up skin healing). The proteins in coconut oil help keep connecting tissue in the skin strong, so it is a wonderful moisturiser for mature skin types. The saturated fats in coconut oil (triglycerides) make coconut oil a wonderful emollient and help keep skin from cracking. Because coconut oil blocks pores to a certain degree moisture loss is minimal. For this reason, it also should be applied directly onto clean skin (damp skin is even better!). If you love minimalistic skin care routines, this is one of those products that can be used as on its own after cleansing.
Facial oils can be beneficial in both summer and winter seasons, as our poor skin is constantly under stress and vulnerable to the elements. It’s all about picking the oil that will suit your skin care needs the most and fit in with other skin care products.
That wraps up the post beauties 🙂 What are your thoughts on facial oils? Have you tried using coconut oil, argan oil or jojoba before? I will be doing another post on body oils, so stay tuned for that one coming soon!
Until next time,