Face oils, sometimes called beauty oils, are the latest trend in skincare, but it is also one of the most intimidating items in the market right now. It may seem counterintuitive at first for people with already oily or combination skin, but everybody can benefit from applying a face oil when chosen and applied correctly. In fact, it will help the skin to regulate oil production and eventually transform the complexion.

What Are Face Oils

Often, people steer clear of face oils with the mindset that they are reserved only for people with dry skin. Other times, it’s because they don’t know how to insert it into their skincare routine. However, facial oils have amazing hydrating benefits that go beyond what moisturizer can provide. It is not here to replace moisturizer, but to help seal all the benefits provided by the other steps in the skincare routine.

Facial oils are not heavy, and most are formulated so that they will not clog pores when applied correctly.

Why Use Face Oils

Clearly, face oils offer a number of benefits. They not only seal in moisture, but also add some extra protection against free radicals – meaning it helps keep skin youthful and with a natural glow from within. Plus, the barrier it creates allows skin to be protected from pollution and other external factors that can hurt the skin. Here are some of its amazing additional benefits:

1. They Reduce Wrinkles

Face oils are often packed with antioxidants that protect the skin from free radical damage (read: wrinkles and sunspots). If this is a big issue, oils with a vitamin E base like argan oil or primrose oil are great for normal skin, while grape seed oil is amazing on people with oilier skin as it is lighter and non-greasy.

2. They Protect Skin

Oils penetrate the skin to keep moisture in, while protecting it from toxins. In fact, some oils such as rosehip seed even help the skin in creating a stronger natural skin barrier, which is a huge deal for people who live and work in the city where pollutants are all over the place.

3. They Prep the Skin for Makeup

Some face oils can double as a primer, or the perfect layer before primer. Pumpkin seed and mandarin oils are great examples of facial oils that almost immediately smooth and plump the skin, thus creating a great canvas for makeup.

4. They Prevent and Get Rid of Pimples

Specifically, tea tree oil is a well-known open beauty secret. Products with tea tree oil help zap nasty zits and prevent new ones from rearing their ugly heads.

How to Apply Face Oils

There are two ways to insert face oils into skincare. It can either be as part of a daily and nightly routine, or as a relaxing facial massage.

Option 1: Last Step of Skincare

Ideally, face oils are applied as the final step of a skincare routine. The reason behind this is that if oil is applied first, any succeeding skincare product will not be able to penetrate that barrier. After applying all other skincare and moisturizer, put a few drops of face oil and warm between the palms or fingertips. Normally, between 2-4 drops is enough – a little goes a long way! Press onto skin with the palms to leave a thin layer of moisture, or use fingertips for a more targeted application. Apply with an upward motion and do not forget to moisturize the neck area as well. Avoid the hairline as it could give hair a greasy feel. For people with normal, dry, and combination skin, apply face oil twice a day; those with naturally oily skin can apply face oil once a day before bed.

Option 2: Face Massage

Starting from the chest and neck upwards, apply beauty oil and work up towards the jaw. Massage using palms with light pressure, and then use fingertips on specific areas of the face using upward strokes.

A nice way to massage the face is to use rollers. Rose quartz and jade rollers are popular options, but amethyst, obsidian, and other stones are often utilized as well. Double-ended rollers have big and small stones that can be used to target parts of the face – the bigger end for the majority of the face, and the smaller end for around the eyes and nose.

Face Oils for Each Skin Type

Face oils can be used alone or blended, depending on the skin type and various skin issues to be addressed. Remember: less is more, so if blending oils, still stick to a total of 2-4 drops overall per application.

Normal and Combination Skin

Most people who have normal or combination skin can benefit from nearly any type of face oil.

Try: Tatcha Gold Camellia Beauty Oil, $95, which has fancy 23-karat gold flakes and camellia oil, while Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil, $40, is cold-pressed marula oil packed with loads of vitamin E.

Dry Skin

People with dry skin need face oils that are quick-absorbing, especially if the dryness is a year-round problem (others experience dry skin only in cooler months). The best oils to try should be or include: argan, maracuja, sunflower, coconut, jojoba, or olive.

Try: Clinique Smart Treatment Oil, $44.50, which has argan, while Burt’s Bees Complete Nourishment Facial Oil, $8.99, has jojoba, rosehip, and evening primrose.

Oily/Acne-Prone Skin

Oily skin should not be forced to be less oily – it will only produce more sebum. Thee right face oil will help balance the skin’s oil production, and could even dissolve excess sebum. The best oils for acne-prone and oily skin are jojoba, tea tree, macadamia, and camellia flower.

Try: Fourth Ray Beauty After Hours Detox Face Oil, $10, which has tea tree and watermelon seed, while Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil, $80, contains tea tree oil and black cumin seed oil.

Aging Skin

The skin produces less oil as a person ages, which explains why wrinkles are more prominent as a person gets older. Face oils with antioxidants help boost collagen production, allowing for skin to become more plump and also reduces the appearance of fine lines.

Best oils for aging skin: Argan and rosehip seed

Try: Farsali Volcanic Elixir, $54, which contains 100% Polynesian Tamanu oil, while Shiva Rose Rose Facial Oil, $120, has both rosehip oil and Persian rose oil.

Sensitive/Damaged Skin

Damaged and sensitive skin need extra protection from free radicals, so face oils with a vitamin E base and primrose oil are the best bets as they protect against sun damage. However, they do not block the harmful UV rays, so sunblock is still a must. In addition to primrose, argan and yangu are amazing for sensitive skin as well.

Try: Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate, $75, has evening primrose, lavender, and jojoba, while Zongle Organic Black Seed Unrefined Oil, $15.95, is a carrier oil that can heal and prevent scars.


Imee Malabonga is a 30-something IT professional based in Manila, Philippines and Honolulu, Hawaii. In her spare time, she works on her blog The Aging Millennial, watches Netflix, and plays music.

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