Oils tend to get a bad rep, as many liken them with breakouts, blemishes and clogged pores. However, New York dermatologist Marisa Garshick, MD says that these products can actually provide moisture to the skin when used correctly.
“Some face oils are also designed with specific ingredients to help target specific skin care concerns while minimizing irritation to the skin,” she explains.
Oils are commonly used at night, in order to help repair (and create a barrier for) the skin while you’re sleeping, Dr. Garshick explains. But while many facial oils have a thick texture, that doesn’t mean they replace your moisturizer altogether. Instead, she advises using an oil alongside your moisturizer to help lock in moisture.
When it comes to picking the right facial oil, Dr. Garshick warns that not all products are made equal. Oils with larger molecule size can be considered comedogenic, she explains, but those with smaller molecule size (such as squalene and argan oil) penetrate the skin a bit better.
With this in mind we asked skin-care pros to recommend the best face oils from every skin type, “normal” skin included.
If you are prone to breakouts and clogged pores, the American Academy of Dermatology suggests that you’re dealing with oily skin.
And while it may seem like a bad idea to slather a facial oil on top of oily skin, aesthetician Elizabeth M. Donat says that oil can be used to moisturize and replenish the skin. However, she explains that you will want to choose non-comedogenic oils, as they effectively hydrate the skin without clogging your pores.
To help moisturize and control oily skin this winter, Donat advises using the Naturopathica Neroli Clarifying Oil ($44), as it balances the skin with neroli, juniper and bearberry oils.
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Those born with eczema-prone skin will want to choose a hydrating facial oil that can stand up to extremely irritable and painful skin, as the National Eczema Association suggests that this skin condition causes red, itchy and painful skin.
That’s why Encinitas, CA dermatologist Lisa Sterling, MD suggests looking for nourishing and hydrating ingredients such as marula oil if eczema is a concern, as she says it’s high in antioxidants, essential fatty acids and amino acids.
“Marula oil is very effective in treating dry skin, but also healing for a variety of skin disorders, such as psoriasis, eczema, and acne,” she says.
If you are looking for a marula oil that doesn’t disappoint, Sterling advises using the Drunk Elephant Marula Oil ($40), as it’s made with no additives, and drenches skin in essential moisture quickly.
Sensitive skin is a skin condition defined by stinging, burning and itching sensations, according to a 2017 study published by the Brazilian Society of Dermatology, making it wise to exert caution when selecting a facial oil.
And since the study adds that some skincare and cosmetic products can be too harsh on this skin type, you’ll want to look for an oil that calm and soothe irritable skin.
To do just that, NYC-based aesthetician Inna Knyazevych, advises using the Eminence Facial Recovery Oil ($76), as it’s nourishing, soothing and balancing formula makes it suitable for all skin types to use.
According to the National Institute on Aging, aging skin is defined by wrinkles, sun spots and age spots, making it important to invest in a facial oil that can help fight free radical damage.
Rosehip oil, according to Dr. Garshick, is a great ingredient to look out for, as it can help heal scars and reduce fine lines.
“Rosehip oil hydrates the skin, but also contains antioxidants that can help fight free radical damage,” she explains. “Rosehip oil is also known for its ability ability to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and to help heal scars.”
Since rosehip oil is the primary ingredient inside the Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil ($44), Dr. Garshick advises adding this product into your daily skin-care regimen.
Uneven Skin Tone or Texture
If your complexion is plagued with an uneven texture or tone, Dr. Garshick advises looking for a facial oil containing maracuja oil. This ingredient, she says, can brighten and smooth the skin easily, thanks to its antioxidant-rich formula.
“Maracuja oil is rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants like vitamin C, so it can be helpful for those looking to brighten and smooth out the skin,” she explains.
The Tarte Maracuja Oil ($48) is a great product for great for those dealing with uneven texture and pigmentation issues, she explains, as it erases blemishes and boosts radiance.
If your skin is dull, contains red patches and is constantly itchy, chances are you may be dealing with dry skin, according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
And when it comes to choosing the right facial oil for this skin type, Dr. Garshick advises choosing a product that contains cranberry seed oil, as she suggests it contains antioxidants and the right ratio of omega fatty acids.
“This oil contains a balanced ratio of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which helps improve the skin barrier, provide hydration and allows for good absorbency into the skin,” she says. “It also contains antioxidants (such as vitamin E), which helps keep the skin looking young and feeling firm.”
If you are looking for a antioxidant-rich facial oil that will hydrate your skin quickly, Dr. Garshick advises selecting the Sunday Riley JUNO Antioxidant + Superfood Face Oil ($72), as uses hydrating cranberry oil as one of its primary ingredients.
According to an article published by the University of Wisconsin, combination skin is usually defined by an oily T-zone, meaning your skin can be dry on your cheeks, but also oily on your forehead, nose and chin.
With this in mind, Alicia Yoon, esthetician and founder of Peach & Lily, advises choosing a non-comedogenic oil that addresses all your skin concerns at once.
The Peach & Lily Pure Beam Luxe Oil ($39), according to Yoon, is a great product choice for this skin type, as she says it hydrates dry areas without making oily spots too greasy in the process.
“The special blend helps balance skin where oily become less shiny, and dry skin becomes instantly supple,” Yoon tells us. “This non-comedogenic oil works extremely well for combination skin types, as many users love how even and balanced their skin looks (and feels!) after using it.”
Yes, normal skin does exist, as the AAAs suggests that this skin type has the perfect balance of water and lipids, and tends to feels soft and smooth all on it’s own.
However, that’s not to say you can skip out on skincare altogether, as Yoon explains that those blessed with this skin type can utilize a oil-based serum product that treats your complexion to essential nutrients and antioxidants.
The Jeju Lotus Leaf Oil Serum ($69), for example, uses an exclusive white lotus leaf that grows on Jeju Island, she says. This same lotus leaf, she adds, is packed with antioxidants and flavonoids, leaving the skin feeling extremely hydrated throughout the day.