The Benefits of Facial Oil and Why All Skin-Types Should Be Using One
Since ancient times, botanical facial oils have been used on the face to moisturize, beautify, and maintain the health of skin. For example, ancient Egyptians used moringa oil, indigenous tribes in Africa used marula oil, and ancient Greeks used olive oil. In the modern age, particularly in Western societies since the 20th century, skincare oils have been avoided for fear of breakouts, mostly due to heavy advertising of mass-produced, oil-free commercial products and smear-campaigns against oils. Yet, oils are not the culprits. In fact, they are an essential element in skincare rituals that could have prevented many of the skin problems and imperfections that people have been struggling with.
Luckily, facial oils were not entirely lost with time, and the ancient alchemy to unlock their botanical treasures are being brought to the forefront of natural skincare again. The key to using them effectively is to choose your facial oil wisely, making sure it is premium quality for ultimate potency and well-balanced for effectiveness on your particular skin-type. Now, let's walk through how you determine this:
1. Facial Oils Moisturize Dry Skin
Facial oils are better at moisturizing while nourishing the skin than lotions and creams. Purely natural water-based moisturizers certainly have their place in the skincare ritual because skin desperately needs the H2O they have to offer, however, for optimal effectiveness, an oil-based moisturizer is necessary for all skin types. And if you had to choose between the two, we suggest putting down the water-based moisturizer and reaching for the facial oil. This is because if your skin is dry, flaky and rough, especially during the winter, the function of water-based moisturizers as a natural barrier is compromised. Facial oils replenish the skin’s natural oil content, form a temporary barrier, and feed the skin with the nutrients that it needs to stay healthy. Apply a pea-sized amount of baobab seed oil to the dry patches on your skin or all over. If your skin is sensitive, be sure to use oil full of hydrating omega fatty acids like pomegranate oil.
2. Facial Oils Reduce Wrinkles
The skin’s natural oil production decreases as we grow older, causing the moisture barrier to break down, the skin to dry out and wrinkles to deepen. Facial oils restore, maintain and strengthen the moisture barrier to lock in hydration, leaving the skin better hydrated and more resilient. When the barrier is restored, the skin can better absorb the replenishing nutrients that reduce signs of premature aging. Good facial oils are full of antioxidants that prevent damage to the skin by free radicals, delaying the signs of aging. For dry skin or sun-damaged skin use products with vitamin E or sea buckthorn berry oil. If your skin is shiny, use grape seed oil because it is light, non-greasy, and anti-aging.
3. Facial Oils Protect the Skin
Oils penetrate deep into the inner layers of the skin, trapping water and other moisturizing agents in and keeping toxins out. Some oils even fortify and strengthen the skin’s natural barrier, keeping out environmental pollutants. Use a product that contains cranberry oil which is packed full of antioxidants, especially in winter.
4. Facial Oils Shrink Enlarged Pores
Highest-quality facial oils that are either steam-distilled or cold-pressed (depending on the type of oil) and unrefined, such as jojoba, coconut oil and camellia, pull out dirt and old oils from pores, making them look smaller.
5. Facial Oils are a Perfect Base for Makeup
Certain oils, such as pumpkin seed and neroli, quickly penetrate the skin, settling in areas that need hydrating, and immediately plumping up the skin. The smoother skin is, the more perfect of a canvas it is for applying makeup.
6. Facial Oils Calm Down Irritated Skin
Oils such as sunflower, bergamot, blue tansy and squalene have anti-inflammatory properties. They are perfect for calming down skin irritations, especially those caused by rosacea and popular anti-aging products such as retinol and alpha-hydroxy acids.
7. Facial Oils Offer a Concentrated Dose of Omega Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids have as many benefits to us through the skin as they do when ingested. They are anti-inflammatories, so they treat skin concerns such as acne, rosacea, dryness and eczema. One such oil is borage seed oil.
8. Facial Oils are a Natural Source of Vitamins and Antioxidants
Like mineral oil, facial oils effectively act as a temporary skin barrier to lock moisture in. But unlike mineral oil — which is completely empty of nutrients and whose toxicity is questionable — facial oils are full of vitamins and antioxidants that feed the skin and improve its overall resilience. Many facial oils, including coconut oil, pomegranate and African marula oils, are powerful antioxidants which you can benefit from by applying a few drops on clean skin before applying sunscreen or foundation.
9. Facial Oils Contain High Levels of Skin-identical Ingredients
The outer layer of our skin is oil-based, and it is mostly composed of fatty acids, ceramides and cholesterol, all of which are bio-available in facial oils. By applying facial oils, you give your skin highly usable nutrients that the skin recognizes and works positively with it. That makes facial oils — which are gentle, effective and kind to your precious face —the perfect treatment for skin.
10. Facial Oils Banish Zits
If you use particular oils in moderation on your face — such as jojoba oil and squalene oil — you will reduce oil production and regulate your skin’s natural sebum (which these oils so perfectly imitate!) leading to a reduction of, and even completely eliminating, acne breakouts.
11. Facial Oils Work for All Skin Types
Did you know there is a facial oil that is perfect for every skin type — even oily skin? So don’t shy away from facial oils simply because you have oily or acne-prone skin. There are facial oils that are very light and work very well for oily skin. If you are acne-prone, do not avoid facial oils; rather look for the right facial oil that has antiseptic properties, can heal your skin and reduces facial lesions.
Note that there is a lot of misinformation about linoleic and oleic acid in oils and whether or not certain skin types should avoid one or the other altogether. It’s easy to say oily skin should avoid oleic acid, dry/sensitive/mature skin should use oleic acid, and that normal skin types are okay with both, but it’s not that simple. Individual properties of oils should be focused on in addition to those two acid categories. There is a spectrum of types of acidity that every oil is on, and a well-formulated facial oil blend balances that while comprehensively incorporating necessary oils to achieve skincare goals.
Also, you’ll notice that premium facial oils come in tiny ampules; this is because they are highly concentrated products that only require you to apply a tiny amount to achieve maximum results. Commercial moisturizers don’t stand comparison, because they are usually a synthetic-filled mixture of oil and water that have significantly less concentration of enriching oil (and frequently unsafe petroleum-based oils at that). As far as efficiency goes, facial oil is where it’s at since for every one drop of facial oil, you typically have to use a heck of a lot more moisturizer to get the same nutrient and protective benefits. But again, don’t discredit water-based moisturizers because they have their special place and we’ll discuss that in another blog post (and even talk about instances when we’d choose them over facial oil)!
One thing you always want to look out for in facial oils is that they are properly formulated. Facial oils should be made in very cosmetically elegant, light formulations that are excellent for layering and everyday use where a small amount of product goes a long way. They should also be steam-distilled or cold-pressed, organic/non-gmo, and synthetic-free.
Still wondering what the perfect facial oil is for you? For a facial oil that captures all of these benefits and meets the strictest quality guidelines, we suggest Earth Harbor Natural’s Calypso Facial Oil. Calypso transforms skin through elevated levels of essential fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and sterols. The highly concentrated nutrients and unique moisture barrier leaves skin soft, silky, balanced, and rehydrated with a refreshed appearance and texture. It’s even uniquely formulated for all skin-types.