From hydration help to soothing benefits, facial oils are a powerful tool when it comes to beautifying your complexion. “They are anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal—plus, oils deliver a dose of antioxidants, relief from irritation, moisture with omega-6 and 9 fatty acids, a balanced skin pH, and they an uptick in cellular growth and elasticity,” celebrity aesthetician Kat Rudu says of the do-it-all product.
But, there’s a lot of chatter about how to use them, which skin types they’re “approved” for, which work best for what, and whether or not they’re worth using any time other than when snow is on the ground. Here, the A-list skin expert gives her top tips on what you should know about facial oils.
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The type of oil you choose is crucial.
Not all oils are created equal, so it’s important to know which skin care concerns you want to tackle before going shopping. If your main goal is brightening, Rudu says lemon balm oil and licorice oil are two effective options. “Almond oil is also great because it absorbs well into the skin and is rich in vitamins A, D and E and is high in oleic and linoleic acids.
If you’re after a smoother, tighter complexion, try rose hip oil. “It’s rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants, so it smooths, softens and promotes elasticity in the skin,” explains Rudu.
For healing, tamanu oil is the way to go, as it’s packed with 10 different types of active molecules that Rudu says rebuilds the structure of the skin from the inside out. “The people of Polynesia and southeast Asia have used it for hundreds of years as a healing elixir for multiple skin conditions.”
If you have oily skin, be picky about what you apply.
Rudu says oils are actually beneficial for oily skin and can regulate sebum production, but selecting those that are made for doing so is paramount. Rudu explains these are argan, avocado oil, flax seed, rose hip, lavender, tea tree, safflower, almond and jojoba oils. “Jojoba oil contains zinc, copper and vitamin E, which increase skin’s elasticity, and lavender, tea tree, safflower, rose hip and chamomile are all clarifying oils, meaning they’re best suited for oily and acne-prone skin.”
If you have irritated skin (think: eczema or dermatitis), reach for lavender (a natural antiseptic), rose hip or flaxseed oils, which Rudu says are ideal for soothing stressed-out skin.
There’s a right and wrong way to apply oils.
Rudu says oils can have a luminous effect and hydrating properties, but you have to know how to properly apply it in order to reap the max amount of benefits. The best way to apply them? Using your hands. “Apply oils with your fingertips and gently pat them into the skin,” she explains, adding that we should avoid the nose and chin areas. “These areas are more prone to sebum production.”
Going in order will boost efficacy.
“One thing to always remember before applying oils is to exfoliate your skin right before,” Rudu says, explaining that eliminating dead skin cells will allow oils to properly penetrate and sink into the skin. Another key tip to stay as dewy as possible: Use a serum before your oil. “Serums provide hydration, then the oil then locks it in.”
Mix oils with your foundation for a glow.
While facial oils are generally thought of as colder-month picks, Rudu says they are just as beneficial when used in warm weather. An easy—and showstopping—way to use them year round: “Mix them in with your foundation to give you a dewy complexion.” But, only add a few drops to keep skin looking glowy, not greasy.