Let’s Talk About Facial Oils

Today I want to talk a little bit more about face oils and why you should start using them in your skincare routine!

I know a lot of you may be instantly thinking “why on earth do I want to learn more about putting oil on my face?! Are you insane?”

No, I’m not insane, and I promise you are hearing me 100% correctly. 😉 There’s way too much false information out there about using oil on your face, and I want to share some knowledge with you all so we can be educated on the subject. Also, read until the end to find out the oils that you should avoid putting on your face.

So, let’s begin with the definition between a regular face cream and a face oil.

The Difference

Creams are typically composed of waxes and water, with only a few oils mixed in. The wax forms a barrier layer on the skin, which helps to secure moisture in. There are cons to waxes: wax build up can lead to clogged pores, and the wax barrier could prevent the oil component of the cream (the ingredient in the product that actually benefits skin) from penetrating. This is likely the reason why creams deliver a higher level of fading results over time. They will work, at first, because they help to initially retain moisture, but as time passes the wax barrier can prevent oils from delivering nutrients, like essential fatty acids, to the skin.

Compared to water, wax and synthetic fragrance-based products, natural oils deliver complete skin benefits with zero downsides. The stratum corneum, the top layer of skin composed of dead skin cells held together by lipids (oils), is a protective barrier, shielding you against the elements of the environment. Lipid barrier damage occurs daily, so maintaining an effective barrier requires continuous input of lipids to the skin.

Oils For Different Skin Types

Besides protecting the integrity of your lipid barrier, oils prevent oxidative damage. This is important to care about, because of one word, wrinkles. Upon contact with light, lipids will endure what is known as peroxidation (the process in which free radicals “steal” electrons from lipids in cell membranes, resulting in cell damage). Peroxidized lipids lose their barrier ability and gaps occur in the lipid matrix, resulting in a loss of skin resilience and the formation of wrinkles. EEK.

Give Traditional Products a Rest

Scrubs, harsh soaps and other irritating treatments that strip off your topmost lipid barrier can worsen a blemish issue by removing the protection your skin needs and by encouraging your skin to produce more oil of the kind you are trying to control (in example, excess sebum). The applications of fatty acids alleviate breakouts by re-stabilizing the lipid barrier. This repairs anti-microbial activity on the surface of your skin. In addition, because lipids dissolve lipids, oils will break up congestion at the source.


If you’d like to learn more by watching a video on this topic, I highly recommend this one!


Let’s go into the second part of this post, which is what to look for in a face oil.

What Oils Should You Use?

The skin care oils you use should not have a downside. For example, several essential oils from the citrus family are amazing, but they photosensitize the skin and should be used with caution or not at all. In short, photosensitization is the process in which ultraviolet (UV) radiation combines with a particular substance (a substance in an essential oil for this example) and causes chemical or biological changes. Skin may become temporarily darkly pigmented, red, or irritated from this.

While searching for skin care oils one major factor to look at is the method of extraction. Expeller pressed, steam distilled or CO2-extracted oils are far more preferable to solvent-extracted oils. Those methods preserve the purity and integrity of the oil, while solvents and chemical based extraction are not entirely pure and can sometimes be diluted. There’s more info on extraction methods here.

Depending on skin type, there are many different oils that you may benefit from. Here are some oils and their properties.

Almond Oil: Rich in fatty acids, mild, lightweight, appropriate for sensitive skin, moisturizing, long shelf life, anti-inflammatory.

Argan Oil: Resists oxidation, vitamin E, anti-aging properties, great for use around the eyes.

Borage Seed Oil: Suitable for dry skin, repairs tissue damage, soothing and hydrating.

You can read about all of these and more here. 🙂

List of oils for oily skin: Hemp, Macadamia, Jojoba, Sesame, Neem, Plum.

List of oils for dry skin: Baobab, Carrot tissue, Apricot Kernel, Pomegranate Seed, Rice Bran, Avocado.

Here are some tips on how to apply oils properly.

Do Your Research

This post is meant to be a helpful aid in guiding you towards better skincare and a better understanding of how your skin works. I encourage you to do your own research and learn more about the oils that work best for your own skin type. We are all unique and require different solutions for different skincare problems!

With that being said, here are a few oils to avoid using (especially for sensitive skin):

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is extremely moisturizing, yet also a heavier and richer oil. It could potentially clog your pores and make breakouts worse.

Cocoa Butter

Another super great moisturizer, but not one for the face. It’s also too heavy. Reserve cocoa butter for body hydration instead.

Wheat Germ

This can be a very comedogenic oil and you run the risk of more clogged pores. It’s best to keep this oil designated for hair care only.

Shea Butter

Shea Butter has a tendency of being thick and a little too much for the face to bear, so be careful with it and stick to body use.


Thanks so much for reading everyone, and I hope you benefit from this post!

Share your favorite skincare tips and tricks with me in the comments. I LOVE hearing from you. ❤

Tag me on Instagram with #Sunlightofthemind so we can share more content with each other!


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