We tend to associate “oil” as a contributing factor to unwanted skin conditions, such as acne breakouts or clogged pores. But natural facial oils can actually help strengthen your skin and support a clear, glowing complexion. In fact, natural facial oils have always been one of our favorite skin care solutions. Organic facial oils are a fantastic treatment for many skin concerns and come in many forms: from oil solutions to potent ingredients in serums and moisturizers.
Facial oils are far from the latest trend in natural-based skin care. In fact, natural face oils have been used for centuries before modern skin care routines and products emerged. Ancient Egyptians incorporated plant-based oils into their cosmetics and ointments as early as 4500 BC, while Greeks and Romans used both olive oil and castor oil in their skin care routines.
If you’re considering adding natural facial oils to your beauty routine, it’s important to understand what facial oils do, how they can help, and—most importantly—the benefits of facial oil for each skin type.
We all have our own natural facial oils that our body produces. Your natural oil production is what helps keep a healthy balance of moisture, strength, and protection against the elements.
One common oil that is naturally produced by your skin is sebum, which plays a part in whether your skin’s surface has a visible trace of oil. There are other fats and oils (called lipids) that are produced by skin cells in the protective outer layer of your skin. This lipid production is what will determine whether moisture is lost or retained, along with the strength of your skin’s natural barrier against environmental pollutants such as allergens and pathogens.
So why should you use facial oils as part of your skin care routine? Although your skin produces oils on its own, natural oil production slows down as we age. This contributes to common skin care concerns such as fine lines and wrinkles, dryness, and even breakouts.
Incorporating organic facial oils into your skin care routine can help supplement the gradual loss of natural oil production, creating a stronger barrier and protecting against moisture loss. Dr. Noelani González, director of cosmetic dermatology at Mount Sinai West in New York City, describes the relationship between oils and your skin:
“If you think of the skin as a brick wall, the skin cells are the bricks and the oils and lipids are the mortar, which hold the bricks together in place and prevents anything from seeping through. Face oils are considered a type of emollient, which means they help strengthen the outer layer of your skin—the stratum corneum—by softening and sealing it, preventing water loss.”
When the “bricks” of your skin aren’t properly held together by natural facial oil, moisture can escape through the cracks and your facial skin becomes much more susceptible to damage.
The most common natural facial oils are plant-based, and can come with a wide range of benefits outside of moisture retention. Some natural face oils are even packed with antioxidants to protect skin from free radical damage, such as rice and olive oils.
Other common plant-based oils include jojoba facial oil, coconut facial oil, squalane facial oil, and argan facial oil. Each oil has its own benefits and potent ingredients, providing a range of equally potent results.
As with any piece of your skin care routine, the key to choosing the right natural facial oils for your skin starts with understanding the unique qualities of each oil. See below for our favorite organic face oils and why they are so effective.
Carrot seed oil is a powerful face oil for dry and damaged skin. Golden carrot seed oil is packed with antioxidants such as vitamins C, E, and A to help stimulate and rejuvenate aging skin. It also helps repair the natural barriers in your skin, keeping your face protected from free radicals and environmental damage.
Our Carrot Repair Serum is one of our most popular facial oils, and for good reason—it is packed with powerful antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, plant oils, and beta-carotene. Use to relieve dryness, minimize the appearance of scars, encourage cell renewal, and fill in lines and wrinkles. Apply to the face, neck, hands, cuticles, feet, scalp, and anywhere on the body that is struggling to properly retain moisture. Perfect for dry or aging skin.
Commonly known as rosehip oil, rosa mosqueta has a rich history of use to promote healthy, glowing skin. High in vitamins C and A, rosehip oil is a powerful boost to your skin’s ability to retain moisture and keep dryness, fine lines, and wrinkles at bay. It’s also non-greasy, light, and readily absorbed, eliminating worries about skin looking “oily.”
Note: There are many low-cost products available that are advertised as pure rosehip oil—but it’s important to ensure that you are getting a high-quality product. Pure rosehip oil will deteriorate within six months or less, and works best when combined with other oils to prolong its life and maintain effectiveness.
For a targeted approach to discoloration, redness, and fine lines, our Rosehip Serum features rosehip oil as the primary ingredient. This serum is highly effective for temporarily diminishing undereye darkness, as well as smoothing fine lines that appear around the mouth and the eyes. Combined with fractionated coconut oil, apricot kernel oil, organic evening primrose oil, and more, this is a soothing, lightweight serum that can be used on all skin types.
Our Botanical Oil #1 uses a combination of rosehip oil, argan oil, marula oil, and more. Rosehip oil provides a rich infusion of vitamins C and A, lycopene, and fatty acids to protect against environmental stressors, fill in wrinkles, and nourish skin for a healthy, glowing complexion.
Argan oil has been a popular choice for nourishing the hair and scalp, but it can also be used as a facial oil. When applied to the face, argan oil is great for skin that needs a middle-of-the-road consistency: it’s light enough for a smooth, non-clogging application, while heavy enough to provide rich nourishment to dry patches. Vitamin E makes argan facial oil an anti-inflammatory for skin that is prone to breakouts, redness, and eczema.
We use argan oil in our Botanical Oil #1 to boost its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Argan oil helps deliver moisture into the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and smoothing crow’s feet, while decreasing redness and inflammation.
Fractionated coconut oil is diluted virgin coconut oil. In comparison, it is much lighter, absorbed more easily by the skin, is not greasy, and is odorless. It is a natural emollient, making it ideal for rough, dry skin. Fractionated coconut oil also has microbial properties, which means it may be a good solution for acne-prone skin.
Our Rosehip Serum incorporates fractionated coconut oil to boost hydration and smooth fine lines around the eyes and lips—all without weighing down your skin. And the Botanical Oil #1 combines fractionated coconut oil with rosehip oil, marula oil, and more to enhance anti-aging treatments, prevent water loss, and promote healthier skin.
Rice bran oil is an extremely gentle formula that can easily penetrate deep into the skin to clean, soften, and moisturize. It is also one of the best sources of vitamin E tocotrienol, an antioxidant that is much more powerful—and effective—than its counterpart, tocopherol. A rich blend of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids protects skin from environmental pollutants, including harmful UV rays. Rice bran oil combines with olive oil to promote clean, hydrated, and soft skin.
Our Rice & Olives Multi-Tasking Oil began as a cleansing formula, and has transformed into a rich multi-tasking treatment for the face, neck, and hair. The Rice & Olives Multi-Tasking Oil can be used to remove stubborn makeup, dirt, and excess oil without stripping facial skin of essential moisture. And it can even be used as a post-cleansing treatment, leaving skin feeling supple and smooth.
Marula is a botanical oil that is wild harvested and pressed by hand in rural Africa, and has some of the highest levels of antioxidants and fatty acids of all botanical oils. This makes it ideal for protecting against free radical damage and boosting skin barrier strength. It is also quickly absorbed, alleviating concerns about leaving oily residue on your skin’s surface.
With rich levels of vitamins E and C, palmitic acid, and oleic acid, marula oil keeps skin hydrated and soft while protecting against moisture loss. We use marula oil in our Botanical Oil #1 and our Rice & Olives Multi-Tasking Oil to boost hydration, reduce blotchiness and inflammation, and help minimize water loss in aging skin. It’s perfect for dry, normal, oily, and combination skin.
Jojoba facial oil contains a rich combination of fatty acid molecules, which brings a host of benefits for aging skin. As a humectant, jojoba oil helps support your skin’s natural barrier, protecting against moisture loss and related skin concerns such as dryness, flakiness, and acne. The antioxidants contained in jojoba oil may boost collagen production, smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Jojoba oil is also very similar in construction to the oils that your body naturally produces and helps to regulate natural sebum production. This makes it into a facial oil that is both easily absorbed and less likely to clog pores. Its lightweight formula makes jojoba oil ideal for oily, normal, and combination skin.
We use jojoba facial oil in a wide variety of products, designed specifically to combat dryness in the face, hair, and cuticles. See our full list of creams, cosmetics, shampoo, conditioner, and serums here.
Squalane is a hydrogenated product of squalene, which is a compound that is naturally produced by your body’s sebaceous glands (squalane is also found in olives, rice bran, and sugarcane). Once hydrogenated, squalene becomes squalane, a process which makes it much easier to incorporate into skin care products. Squalane closely resembles the oils that your body naturally produces, allowing for easy absorption across the spectrum of normal to dry skin.
The antioxidants in squalane facial oil fight against damage from free radicals, strengthen the skin’s natural barrier, and can even help flush out toxins.
We use squalane facial oil in a variety of cosmetics and anti-aging formulas. Our FADE Skin Brightener features squalane to lighten and brighten overall skin tone, reducing blemishes, brown spots, and hyperpigmentation. Our BB Cream Foundation is created with squalane to help promote healthier, stronger skin. See our full list of products that feature squalane here.
There are plenty of wonderful, natural-based facial oils to incorporate into your skin care routine. To get the best results from your facial oils, make sure you begin by washing and gently exfoliating your skin before applying. Massage the oil into your skin with a gentle, upward motion. You can also choose to blend your oil into foundation, sunscreen, or lightweight moisturizer to amplify your existing skin care products.
Natural facial oils are one of our favorite skin care products. Not only are they versatile enough to combat a multitude of skin concerns, but they are also suitable for any skin type. And no matter what you choose, you can always trust that our formulas are nature-based, ensuring that your skin is naturally vibrant, healthy, and protected. Nourish your skin at any age with natural facial oils from Abbey St. Clare.
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Yes. Yes, you do. But….. Caveat emptor.
When first asked to develop products for a local esthetician, I researched the history of cosmetic chemistry. I quickly learned that when it comes to beauty potions, it wasn’t always the chemistry of ingredients that sold products. It was lovely packaging, beautiful cosmetic counters, colorful smocks, and promises of clear and youthful complexions. Lots of promises.