Plumping, purifying and pollution-fighting, a hard-working face oil is a sure-fire way to keep skin healthy. But are all face oils created equal? And how much should you really be using? We went straight to the experts to debunk the myths...
MYTH: Oily skin types should avoid oils
FACT: “Not necessarily,” explains Omorovicza Spa Director Kim Davies. “While oilier skin types should steer clear of heavy oils such as olive and coconut oil, the right oil can help to control sebum production for a clearer complexion in the long run. Keep an eye out for purifying jojoba, aloe vera, geranium, tea tree and ylang-ylang.” Plus, as Annee de Mamiel, Founder of skincare line de Mamiel, insists, “Oils are lipophilic (they dissolve in fats) so while it may sound odd, you need oil to combat oil.”
MYTH: All oils were created equal
FACT: “This just isn’t true,” says Kim Davies. “Mineral oils should be avoided at all costs, by all skin types. Although used in many skincare products, they can cause breakouts as they act as a barrier when applied to the skin.” Steer clear of face oils with liquid paraffin, paraffinum liquidum, or liquid petroleum listed as ingredients – while mineral oils are beneficial in products such as Vaseline, when they’re in a facial oil, they’ll mean the oil is unable to deliver nutrients, rendering the oil useless.”
MYTH: They’re too heavy for my skin
FACT: If you do find an undiluted oil too heavy on your skin – even at night – don’t be afraid to mix it with your moisturiser or night cream for added hydration. “Take the time to give yourself a short facial massage every morning, or evening – this really makes a difference when it comes to reducing fine lines, decreasing puffiness and creating a radiant glow,” says Annee de Mamiel. “Whether you’re using oil straight from the bottle or mixed into your moisturiser, working the active ingredients into the skin will mean you reap the benefits.”
MYTH: Cleansing oils give me spots
FACT: “If this is the case, it could be down to how you’re washing your face,” suggests Kim Davies. “The key lies in ensuring the cleansing balm is removed correctly and thoroughly, using a warm, wet mitt or cleansing cloth. Double cleansing is also a good idea, so follow with a cleansing foam or micellar water with no added SLS (sodium laureth sulfate – a foaming agent added to dozens of beauty products). SLS can dry out the skin, which triggers sebum production and could lead to further blemishes.”
MYTH: If it’s natural, it’s better
FACT: “Just because a facial oil claims to be natural or organic doesn’t mean it’s going to be right for your skin,” explains A-list facialist Su-Man. “While some oils are famed for their health benefits (such as rosehip oil and coconut oil), that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll meet your skin’s needs. Get to know what works for your skin and as a general rule, make sure your oil contains polyphenols, fatty acids and antioxidants. Keep an eye out for wheatgerm, safflower, rapeseed and jojoba oils.”
MYTH: The more the better
FACT: Be wary of how much – and how often – you’re using a face oil and remember it’s quality not quantity. A good-quality oil is extremely potent and a couple of drops will suffice. “At the same time, if your diet is low in fat or carbs (some carbs can affect sebum production), be mindful that a facial oil can help to heal the deepest layers of the skin for a plumped-up, youthful look, so use alongside your regular moisturiser to see the benefits,” says Annee de Mamiel.