Growing up, many of us were told that having oily skin is a bad thing. So the idea of applying an oil to your skin may seem counterintuitive – daunting, even – now that beauty oils have become so popular.
How big is this face oil trend? According to market research company The NPD Group, sales of skin care oils have more than tripled in the last five years, bringing in $58.5 million. Many skin care brands are now developing versions of beauty oils that promise to do wonders for your skin.
But with so many options out there, it’s easy for consumers to feel overwhelmed – and to wonder if beauty oils are really worth the hype (even Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton is reportedly a big fan of rosehip oil).
Dr. Gary Goldfaden, a Hollywood, Fla.-based dermatologist, believes the oils have merit.
“A face oil can be used as a moisturizer, especially if the oil contains omega and essential fatty acids,” Goldfaden says. “Lightweight face oils can be good as serums, if they contain brightening ingredients and vitamin A or C.”
Are oils for you?
Goldfaden says that, for the most part, everyone is a good candidate for a face oil. “The question really then becomes, ‘what type of oil?’ ” he says. “For example, if someone has oily skin and is prone to breakouts, they should choose a ‘dry’ oil, or an oil that behaves like a ‘dry’ oil. Cold pressed, plant or nut-based oils are best.”
Christopher Truffa, a Clarins brand ambassador and skin care specialist, says 100 percent pure plant extracts or natural oils are more of a corrector than a substitute for a moisturizer. “Oils can correct dry or dehydrated skin, and even correct oily skin,” he says. “Oil cancels oil – think of how an oil cleanser can remove an oily sunscreen.”
But just like any other beauty product, consumers should read labels and be aware of what they’re putting on their skin. Certain ingredients could cause irritation or clog pores.
“If the face oil is formulated with mineral oil or silicones, then it can make any skin type break out,” Goldfaden warns. He also advises against oil use if an active acne breakout is present.
Instructions for using oils can vary product to product, but just make sure to always massage the oil gently and evenly on clean skin.
Oils as cleansers
Beauty oils are great multitasking products, so they may help you eliminate other products in your regimen.
Makeup artist Kristi Lynn Martinson of Raleigh likes using the oils as cleansers. “Oils are amazing makeup removers and facial cleansers because beauty oils dissolve the natural oils your skin produces that can clog pores and cause breakouts,” Martinson says. “In addition to that, oils are filled with antioxidants, making them great for hydrating your skin and hair.”
▪ Dr. Gary Goldfaden is a practicing dermatologist, a lifetime member of The American Academy of Dermatology, author of “Your Guide to Healthy Skin the Natural Way” and founder of GOLDFADEN MD.
▪ Christopher Truffa is a brand ambassador and skin care specialist for Clarins.
▪ Kristi Lynn Martinson is a makeup artist based in Raleigh. She started working with Bobbi Brown in 2003 and now works independently as a freelance makeup artist. Learn more at makeupbykristilynn.com.
Choosing the right oil
With so many different options on the market, the key is finding the oil that is right for your skin’s needs.
▪ Introductory oil: Josie Maran’s 100% Pure Argan Oil ($48) is a great introductory oil, packed with vitamin E and essential fatty acids to heal and condition skin. It is organic and chemical-free, so you can use it on your hair, nails and feet.
▪ Start with a serum: Those cautious of diving completely into the beauty oil trend may want to use an oil as a serum. A serum is used after cleansing and before moisturizing and it will penetrate deeper into the skin than a moisturizer. Caudalie’s Premier Cru L’Elixir ($99) is perfect for those concerned with fighting dark spots and signs of aging, and with promoting firmness. It also has properties similar to a dry oil, so it will be most suitable for oily skin types looking for a lightweight finish.
▪ For dry skin: If you suffer from moderate to severe dry skin, Clarins’ Santal Face Treatment Oil ($53), which is 100 percent pure plant extract-based, can offer soothing and comforting relief. It has a unique blend of lavender, sandalwood and cardamom. Hazelnut oil is also key in this product, as it helps to soften, smooth and reduce redness.
▪ Nourish and brighten: Chantecaille’s Rose de Mai Face Oil ($185) uses a blend of roses for a unique formulation to help nourish, regenerate and restructure skin. It’s also rich in vitamin C, so it’s great if you’re looking to brighten your skin.
▪ Budget friendly options: Oils can be expensive, but there are cost-friendly options. Nuance Salma Hayek Nourish & Renew Glow Facial Oil ($21.99) is a great hydrating oil if you want to try the trend without too steep of an investment.