Here are a few tips from our staff and our founder Audelia Rinot (@audelia.rinot) to help you find the oils that work best for your skincare rituals and routine. Note, we are not listing oils and their properties here. To learn more about carrier oils, visit the \tim-les\ ingredients page.
Facial oils can include any fragrant plant oils (often called essential oils), non-fragrant plant oils or synthetic oils (such as mineral oil).
The right plant oil or a blend of oils can make a remarkable difference for dry, flaky, or dehydrated skin; in fact, non-fragrant facial oils can be suitable even for eczema-prone skin. Facial oils are for anyone whose skin could use a boost of nourishing, smoothing renewal, especially when seasonal cold or drier climates disturb your skin.
Despite the name, these oils can be used anywhere on the face or body—there's no research showing that certain oils are better for one part of your skin or another. Such a notion is without logic or science.
"Oils are oils." says Audelia Rinot, founder of \tim-les\ natural beauty. "This seems like it should be a no-brainer. But oils are also emollients, which means that unlike creams or ointments, which sink deep into skin for intensive, long-lasting hydration, oils tend to hang out near the surface. Oils do add barrier protection, silkiness, and superficial hydration, but cannot replace your moisturizer."
Facial oils are helpful for keeping skin's vital hydration locked in and they have incredible, instantaneous skin-smoothing properties. But as wonderful as facial oils are, they don't replace many other essential ingredients for skin. Think of a plant oil or a blend of plant oils as a booster to supplement your skincare routine.
"Oils act as the sealant that keeps moisture in. Without it, moisture just leeches out until the next time you apply cream. " -- Audelia Rinot
Plant oils are a rich source of antioxidants and replenishing emollients but they're not good sources of skin-restoring ingredients (such as niacinamide, retinol, or peptides) or hydration-boosting ingredients (such as ceramides and hyaluronic acid). Nor do they give dry skin the rich mix of emollients it needs for lasting improvement.
Using oil on oily skin conditions sounds like a contrary prescription, but they can govern oil production and restore balance. It’s all about supplying skin with the right kind of oils, like essential fatty acids. Without them, skin goes into overdrive to produce more oil to compensate.
Using oils like calendula, evening primrose, rosehips, and sea buckthorn may help oily and acne-prone skin take a break from oil production. The right oils will also keep pores clean and clear and bacteria at bay to prevent breakouts.
"You can always mix oils in with your moisturizer." Recommends Audelia rinot. "But if you're going to give them their own spot of honor in your skin care routine, do it before you moisturize but after applying your serum."
Remember: certain types of oil WILL clog your pores if you're prone to breakouts. Especially coconut oil. "Coconut oil will stay on the top of your skin for hours," says Audelia Rinot. "When oils are too heavy, they don't allow skin to breathe." Opt for oils with a smaller molecular size, like argan oil, squalane oil, or jojoba oil. They sink into your skin quicker and never get the chance to clog pores.
If your skin is on the dry side, opt for oil blends with a healthy base of Argan oil- which quickly absorbs into your skin making it ideal for reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Rosehip seed oil is packed with vitamins and omega-6 fatty acids, which help soothe sensitive skin. For oily skin, Jojoba oil is similar to your skin’s natural sebum production. Make sure to test first on your arm or neck before your first full face application.
Time of day is also important. Heavier oils like avocado are great for hydrating skin overnight, but could feel too heavy under makeup for daytime use. Lighter, more absorbent oils are better suited for daytime- but if your skin is oily, you might be best served by sticking to nighttime oils only. Note that certain oils and their components may be sensitive to sunlight and cause your skin to react negatively. Check the label for directions.
"Your skin is a complex organ that can never have all of its needs satisfied by a single product or single brilliant ingredient. Think of facial oils as supporting players rather than the leading role in a complete skincare routine." -- Audelia Rinot
As with most things in life, it may take a bit of time to find what works best for you. Follow a routine and make changes as you go. Your skin’s needs change with the seasons and your cycle, and as you grow older. What worked in spring may not be suitable for winter. Have fun mixing things up and stay tuned to your body.