Face oils have been used by beauticians and dermatologists for more years than we can count but it might be time to look beyond your classic rosehip and coconut. Despite increasing coverage in the beauty press, the majority of people still don't know which oil – if any – is suitable for their skin type or issue. Others are too afraid of breakouts or sebum overload to touch them. And with smart and hydration-boosting ingredients like hyaluronic acid on the market, just why would we need to turn to oils?
"The skin’s natural oil production decreases as we age, causing the moisture barrier to break down. Water is lost and the skin dries out or the barrier becomes prone to imbalance, causing oiliness," Elemis cofounder Noella Gabriel explains. "By maintaining and strengthening the moisture barrier (built of lipids) with facial oils, moisture is locked in and skin is left feeling more hydrated and resilient. Once the skin’s moisture barrier is restored, this also facilitates the absorption of active plant extracts to aid in replenishment and protection, reducing the signs of premature ageing."
Contrary to popular belief, oil can be used on oily skin, Gabriel tells R29. Using products with stripping ingredients can actually exacerbate the problem. "It can be a very difficult concept to relate to a client with an oily skin type, but oil-on-oil results in stabilising the oil flow, calming the skin." Now that we've been given the all-clear, what's the best way to use your chosen oils?
"Preheating the face before application is beneficial. Simply dip a flannel in warm water and place over the face for 30 seconds. This speeds up absorption and gets rid of the greasy after-feel. Then, closing your eyes, apply a light oil to the tips of the fingers, and in a raindrop motion: pitter-patter all over the face. This brings micro-circulation to the top layers of skin to warm, cleanse, soften and renew." Oil's benefits don't stop at plump and hydrated skin. "In addition to this, lip oil is your best friend and it is a great way to moisturise and use under lipstick."