The Dos and Don'ts of Face Oils

Skin-softening face oils are just about everywhere these days, and they can help with a surprising variety of skin needs: from dryness and anti-aging to smoothing and even acne and dark spot correcting. They can even help your skin better absorb other skin care products, all while providing a gentle glow.

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If you haven’t tried one yet, or if you have but aren’t sure if you’re using it correctly, Annet King, VP of Global Education for Elemis offers her top dos and don’ts.

1. Do


Check the ingredients in your oil. Look for plant-based vs. synthetic ingredients as the latter (such as pure Lanolin, or isopropyl myristate) can be follicle/pore clogging, i.e. comedogenic and non-skin friendly. 

Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Oil, $79,

2. Don't


Dip your fingers into bottles and jars, ideally oils should be dispensed through a pipette or shaken via a dropper into the hand.

3. Do


Look for super powered plant-derived oils that are rich in essential fatty acids like flax seed oil, rosehip seed oil, broccoli seed oil, white poppy seed and abyssinian oil.

Trilogy Rosehip Oil, $29,

4. Don't

Leia Naturals

Believe that oils are the enemy of oily and congested skin, quite the opposite. Oils dissolve oil and help to clear problematic skin. In fact, every skin type benefits from these little skin nutritional workers.

Leia Naturals Organic Tamanu Oil, $14.95,

5. Do


Use sparingly, just 3-4 drops massaged over the skin is enough. The majority will absorb but a small amount will remain on the skin and should feel light and comforting. Wait for a few minutes and follow with your moisturizer/daily protection.

6. Don't


Heat or store in direct sunlight as this can break down the oil components and their activity, negatively effecting shelf life, results and efficacy.