The Edit: My Favorite Facial Oils
I wanted to round up some of my favorite, and most reached for facial oils. I have combination skin that is prone to dehydration, and because I can lean oily, I don’t get a huge use out of facial oils in general. I probably don’t need to own even this many for how often I use them, so I prefer when I can buy them in bottles smaller than even 1oz. I used facial oils a lot more when I lived in Boston, and it was colder and dryer for much longer.
I do believe that all of these oils are suitable for all skin types, but if you are more dry, you might need or prefer heavier oils. The thing that all of these have in common is that they are fairly lightweight, absorb immediately, but give you a gorgeous glow (never oily!).
Something to note— I have tried a LOT of facial oils. There are SO many fantastic ones out there. If I wrote that I loved it on instagram, I wasn’t lying. I have been trying to do a better job of sharing the things that I consistently reach for, are “holy grails,” that I have or will repurchase. Kicking off this little series with face oils, but I want to eventually do a round up for each skincare category. Obviously, this will change as new products release, but I hope to try and update these as I go!
How do you choose a facial oil?
Each oil has different essential fatty acid makeup, that make them better or worse for various skin types. Understanding your skin type, and being able to select facial oils that balance and complement your skin is key. @goalstogetglowing and @roadtoglow created this amazing infographic breaking down some of the most common oils, and their percentages of fatty acids and which skin types will benefit the most. If you don’t follow them— you need to!
Studies have shown that oily/acne prone skin is lacking in linoleic acid. Because my skin is more combination/acne prone, I prefer oils that are heavier in linoleic acid that are also high in tannins— meaning they have astringent properties, or tighten pores. Oils that are heavy in a-Linolenic acid have been shown to help with inflamed skin, which is also great for people who suffer from acne or other inflammatory skin issues.
On the other side of the spectrum, dry skins should seek out oils that are high in oleic acid. It can penetrate quickly and deeply to restore the oil that is lacking in dry skin without clogging pores.
We should all be avoiding facial oils that contain natural or synthetic fragrance (essential oils, linalool, limonene, etc.), at the very least making sure they are at the bottom of the ingredient list. However, if you have sensitive skin, rosacea, eczema or inflamed skin, you should avoid them altogether, or risk further irritation.
Next time you want to grab the latest facial oil craze, make sure you take a look at the ingredients, check out the omega fatty acid profile of the oils (use the handy chart!), and make sure the oil is potentially a good fit for your skin type.
This is a facial oil designed for all skin types and contains age-defying algae, plankton extract and four superfood plant oils to replenish and hydrate tired, dry skin.
It contains a proprietary algae plankton blend that is high in essential fatty acids to plump up the skin and fight free radicals while improving the appearance of skin tone, texture and firmness. Nutrient rich superfood plant oils–moringa, bilberry, baobab and kalahari melon– deliver phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamin A, B, C, D, E, & F and minerals to give you a gorgeous glow, hydrate the skin, and visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
Why I Love This
I love marine botanicals in skincare— algae, plankton, seaweed are rich in vitamins A, C and E, and have all been proven to provide powerful moisture retention in the skin, and anti-aging benefits. This contains only two essential oils, which are both last on the ingredients list, and I don’t smell them at all, meaning they are not used primarily as a perfuming agent. This has no added fragrance.
The texture is quite lightweight, and sinks into my skin immediately. While Moringa is the main oil, and is great for people with dry skin as it is high in oleic acid, the two other oils high up on the ingredient list are grapeseed and sunflower seed oils, which are both high in linoleic acid, which is great for balancing oily skin. Grapeseed is also high in tannins, which means it has astringent properties and helps to tightens pores. As someone with combo skin, I am picky about oils, their texture, and how quickly they absorb. This one passes the test. It wears well both day and nighttime, and is great alone, or I can mix a few drops with my moisturizer. I notice my skin tone is much more even when I use this, my skin is plump and fine lines and wrinkles are reduced.
This oil is 1oz/$72 but they actually are releasing smaller sizes soon! It takes me so long to go through oils, and I love to travel with them, that I will be picking up the .5oz when this bottle runs out!
And in case you were wondering, I also love Mara’s Evening Primrose + Green Tea Algae Retinol Oil. I think it’s perfect for people who want to ease into retinol without the typical drying side effects, and it has the same beautiful texture as the Universal oil. I personally don’t reach for it as often, only because I use a prescription retinol (although currently, I am pregnant and not using any retinol in my routine).
*this bottle was gifted to me, but I bought the first bottle!
An ultra-enriched, flash-absorbing face oil packed with rare super berry antioxidants that leaves skin velvety soft, hydrated, and glowing. It is designed for all skin types, to combat dullness, dryness, uneven texture, and uneven skin tone.
It is packed with antioxidant rich fruits like maqui, acai, and goji. It has prickly pear and squalane oils to hydrate, but also provide omega fatty acids and Vitamin C, and a balance of jojoba and sunflower oil for additional hydration.
Why I Love This
This is a brand new (my second) bottle! Which says a lot. This is probably the most lightweight oil I own, and almost has a dry feeling to it. It’s a beautiful makeup primer, if you’re using a dryer base that needs something like this to glide onto the skin— great with the Kjaer Weis foundation, or under a matte foundation! Prickly pear and acai are high in linoleic acid, which is great for oily skin. Jojoba oil has many fatty acid components, and it’s small particle size allow it to soak into the skin quickly. Jojoba and squalane both have sebum-regulating properties that help balance the skin. (More on squalane next!)
This retails for 1oz/$44.
*This bottle was gifted to me, but I bought the first bottle!
Designed to improve the appearance of texture, tone, and skin elasticity. This Olive derived Squalane is non-pore clogging, quickly absorbs, and leaves the complexion soft, nourished and never greasy. It balances excess oil production, is great for dry and dehydrated skin, and helps even skin tone and texture.
Why I Love This
This oil is 100% pure olive derived, squalane. It has one ingredient and no added synthetic or natural fragrances, is clinically proven to be non-irritating, and is both colorless and odorless, which make it great for those with sensitive or inflamed skin. Squalane oil has sebum-regulating properties, and is actually a little bit better at this than jojoba oil.
It’s extremely lightweight, and is almost dry in texture. It does this while still being hydrating. It also helps even the skin tone, and fade hyperpigmentation. Because of how non-irritating this is, it is great around the eyes and on the lips too! I always have a mini size of this in my travel bag!
This retails for 1oz/$34 or .34oz for $14.
*I do get some PR from Indie Lee, but I have purchased every bottle of this on my own.
Containing a blend of cold pressed oils, with fatty acids and antioxidants, this oil is designed for all skin types. It contains Dioscorea Batatas, a biodynamically grown tuber (aka a Chinese yam) has been prized since ancient times for its healing and energetic properties. Those qualities have been harnessed through a patented harvesting method by the Kjaer Weis development team in Italy.
It also contains rosehip seed, olive, sweet almond, and jojoba oils to deliver antioxidants, vitamins, essential fatty acids and intense hydration. It is designed to be quick absorbing and for all skin types.
Why I Love This
This oil is the epitome of luxury. It has again, a very lightweight feel and immediately soaks into the skin. It is quite balanced of an oil, so I imagine it would be good for all skin types. Olive and sweet almond oils are high in oleic acid, and great for dry skin, but rosehip seed is high in a-linolenic acid and tannins, which is great for oily, acneic, and inflamed skin. Jojoba is a balanced oil, great for all skin types and helps with sebum-regulation. I looked into the benefits of the chinese yam, and it is a homeopathic remedy, supposed to provide a calming, relaxing feeling of peace when applied topically.
This does contain naturally derived fragrance, so if you have sensitive or inflamed skin I would avoid this one. The scent is a very light, natural rose scent that to be honest, smells amazing. As much as I prefer everything to be fragrance free, I can’t help but love this. It’s also quite expensive, so this is a luxury splurge, and if I were to get it again I would grab the smaller size. They created the large size so you could liberally apply on hair and body too, but it felt too luxe to do that. Now that I am coming up on the 12 months expiration, I am going to have to do just that.
This retails for 1oz/$150 or 2.2oz/$225 for a new bottle. Kjaer Weis offers refills for 1oz/$130 and 2.2oz/$190.
*This bottle was gifted to me, although I had gone through 3 sample sizes and was going to buy in the Neiman Marcus sale when it was kindly gifted to me.