Face oils help boost skin’s protective barrier and lock in hydration.
Remember when we carefully scanned beauty counter shelves seeking products emblazoned with ‘oil free!’ and treated oil with such suspicion you might have thought we were avoiding putting caustic household cleaners on our skin? Where once oil was the enemy, it’s now considered an elixir of not only youth, but vitality and radiance.
Of course it’s not exactly the same. Our old oil fears were born of the fact cheap mineral oils were used to bind makeup, clogging pores at the same time. Now the focus is on using high quality natural face oils like squalene, rosehip, almond, argan, avocado and jojoba, to help balance and maintain the skin’s protective barrier so it effectively wards off environmental challenges and holds on to moisture. Many modern botanical oils also offer significant antioxidant and anti-aging benefits.
Your skin naturally makes oil, so adding more of a similar profile can help skin do its job effectively, especially in very cold weather. It sounds counterintuitive, but the right face oil can also help stabilise and regulate your skin’s sebum production to make you less oily overall, so all skin types can benefit.
While they provide their own form of nourishment in the form of vitamins and omegas helping skin to stay soft and supple, face oils really come into their own as the last step of your skincare routine in the evening. When you apply oil on your face after your moisturiser, it seals in all of the hydrating ingredients, making your skin more likely to hold onto that added hydration.
To use, apply 2-4 drops of oil onto your fingers and massage over skin. The key is to start with a minimal amount – less than you would a serum – to avoid skin feeling slick or greasy.
They can be used in the morning, but can make applying makeup afterwards tricky and can interfere with SPF so ensure you apply well before adding anything on top.
Don’t forget, as with all serums and skincare, avoid touching the dropper directly to your skin as you risk transferring dirt or bacteria back into the bottle.
Five of the best face oils:
Sunday Riley Juno Antioxidant + Superfood Face Oil, $118; Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil, $125; Two Birds Replenish & Repair Bio Retinol Serum, $79; GOOPGENES All-in-One Super Nutrient Face Oil, $160; Jeuneora SuperSuper Face Oil, $108