The best oils for your face and when you should use them

Treat everything from acne to wrinkles with these all-natural oils straight from Mother Nature.
By Mai Nguyen
The best oils for your face and when you should use them

It may sound sinful to apply oil to your face, but despite what you’ve heard, they're great for your skin. That's because oils are natural substances with high concentrations of vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids.

“Oils are super-nourishing, so they combat flakes, dehydration, and the dried-out sebum that clogs pores,” says Kristen Ma, aesthetician and author of Beauty: Pure and Simple“They're also a great protective barrier for sensitive skin,” she says.

When you’re looking for oils, opt for organic and unrefined. They’ll be free of the fillers, preservatives, alcohol, thickeners, perfumes, and emulsifiers found in regular lotions. But how do you know which one is right for you? We’ve rounded up the best based on your skincare needs.

Facial Oils

Why oils are great for your skin

We’ve rounded up the best oils based on your skincare needs. Click ahead to see our picks.

Woman on the beach with beautiful skin and hairClick on the pink

For wrinkles: argan oil

With a high concentration of vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids, this lightweight oil protects the skin from the oxidative stress caused by sun exposure. This antioxidant effect slows down the appearance of wrinkles, while its depigmenting properties reduce skin discolourations.

At night (after cleansing) massage two to three drops onto your face and neck, then apply your night cream overtop. 

We recommend: Elabloom Nourishing Facial Oil, $48/15 mL, Elabloom

Contains: Argan oil, jojoba oil, carrot oil, avocado oil and more.

The best oils for your face and when you should use themArgan oil.

For dullness: rosehip oil

This oil has gained a cult following due to its high levels of vitamin C, omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. It’s revered for its excellent source of vitamin A, or retinol, which encourages the renewal of epidermal cells.  

“If you look at biopsies before and after the use of vitamin A, it causes collagen to modulate creating an improvement on the skin’s surface. It’s very effective,” says Toronto-based dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett

We recommend: Pai Rosehip Bioregenerate Fruit & Seed Oil Blend, $40, Pai

Contains: Organic rosehip seed extract, organic rosehip fruit extract, natural vitamin E.

Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate OilRosehip oil.

For hyperpigmentation: sea buckthorn oil

Known as the “holy fruit of the Himalayas,” the sea buckthorn berry has a rich combination of vitamins, nutrients, and polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega 3 and 6). The berries are higher in vitamin C than an orange, and have more vitamin A than a carrot, both important for the production of collagen and cell turnover.

A 2008 study by researchers in Japan found that when omega 3 and 6 were combined on the skin, they inhibited melanin production and lightened pigments caused by UV light. Skin moisture also increased and pigmentations such as age spots, sun freckling, and acne scars were reduced.

We recommend: Kosmea Radiance 24/7 Youth Boost, $61/20 mL, Kosmea

Contains: Organic rosehip oil, organic sea buckthorn oil, organic pomegranate oil, organic camellia oil

Kosmea Australia Radiance 24/7 Youth BoostSea buckthorn oil.

For inflammation: camellia oil

This collagen-rich oil is derived from the seeds of the camellia plant, which is also commonly used to make tea. For centuries, it’s been used in parts of Asia to restore the skin’s pH levels and soothe the skin from inflammation.

A study from Japan found that camellia oil decreased the production of the enzymes in your body that cause inflammation and disease. When applied to the skin this oil permeates quickly and deeply so there’s no greasy look or feel. 

We recommend: Face It oil, $60/60 mL, Aromacentric 

Contains: Organic camellia, cold-pressed avocado, organic carrot (infused in sesame), neroli and jasmine.

Aromacentric Face It face OilCamellia oil.

For dryness: sesame oil

For thousands of years in Ayurvedic traditions, sesame oil has been preferred for massages because it’s packed with nourishing minerals and vitamins. Research shows that when applied to the skin, it neutralizes the free radicals from the environment that damage skin. The sesame oil molecules attract oil-soluble toxins and carry them away as waste. Ma warns however, “Make sure you don’t use toasted sesame oil as you will smell like a stir fry!”

We recommend: Meow Meow Tweet Face Oil, $25/27 mL, Meow Meow Tweet

Contains: Hempseed oil, jojoba oil, sesame oil, essential oils of carrot seed, juniper, patchouli and vetiver.

The best oils for your face and when you should use themSesame oil.

For acne: neem oil

Commonly used in traditional Indian households, neem is used to ward off insects (it’s a natural bug repellant) and is also effective at combatting acne and even eczema and psoriasis. Clinical studies have found that the oil from neem leaves contain antimicrobial properties that can effectively kill surface bacteria, including the ones that cause breakouts.

Be warned however, neem oil has a very strong garlicky smell so it’s best to mix it with a lighter oil like jojoba, argan or primrose.

We recommend: Just Neem oil, $9/8 mL, Just Neem

Contains: Jojoba Oil, neem oil, tea tree oil and an essential oil blend

Just neem neem cure with dropperNeem oil.

Try an oil for cleansing

We recommend: Gentle Cleansing face oil, $29/125 mL, Sigrid Naturals 

Contains: Grape seed oil, extra virgin olive oil infused with homegrown calendula and chamomile essential oil.

Read more: The amazing health benefits of sea buckthorn >

The best oils for your face and when you should use themCleansing oil.

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