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Face oils; you’re here because you’ve either got one (or three) at home, or maybe you’ve never tried
one but feel like now’s the time. Whatever the reason, and whatever your skin type—there are
copious amounts of face oils to choose from. We’ve rounded up the bestselling hydrators right here,
with some advice along the way from the face oil (and
skincare in general) queen herself, Sunday Riley.
According to Riley, a face oil can do more than just hydrate—some have antibacterial,
anti-inflammatory or antioxidant properties; others act as carriers for active ingredients. “Face oils
help to supplement the natural oils your skin is (or isn’t) producing in an effort to add moisture to
your skin and help repair the natural moisture barrier” she says. “Depending on the type of oil, it
may naturally have other benefits, like calming, antibacterial or antioxidant properties. Plus, facial
oils are amazing carriers for oil-soluble active ingredients like salicylic, retinol and turmeric,
which turn them into treatment oils for skin concerns like acne, fine lines and wrinkles.”
There’s no mistaking the deep blue colour of this cult favourite oil. The vivid shade is from blue
tansy and chamomile essential oils which are blue-green in colour and rich in potent azulene (an
ingredient that alleviates irritation and redness). Applied in the evening (before your moisturiser
or serum), this retinol oil targets the signs of discolouration, enlarged pores, fine lines and
also soothes irritation and the associated redness that might come with that. Luna uses
trans-retinol—which belongs to a class of chemical compounds called retinoids—a powerful ingredient
that helps fight the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, promotes skin elasticity and stimulates
exfoliation for clearer, smoother-looking skin. Plus, added avocado seed oil (rich in vitamins B,
C, D, E and A) helps to further plump skin while you sleep. You’ll also find chia seed oil in this
one, which helps to minimise the appearance of lines.
Not all heroes wear capes, but if this one could it would look pretty cute sitting amongst your
bathroom shelfie products. But, we digress. You only have to scroll through the nearly 900
five-star reviews of Face Hero to see that it is a true skin gamechanger. It contains 10 handpicked
nut and plant oils (all rich in vitamins and antioxidants) and a generous serve of essential fatty
acids to fight against fine lines, dark spots, dryness and redness. Pretty much any skin concern
you’ve got going on, Face
Hero can tackle. This is an oil for every skin type, even the most oily-skinned can apply it
to help regulate their oil production while nourishing their skin. The formula is lightweight and
penetrates deeply, leaving a healthy glow in its wake. Wear it during the day, wear it at night,
whatever you do—just make sure you try it.
No, not an unidentified flying object—just the key to clearer, happier skin. This unique oil
harnesses the power of 1.5 percent salicylic acid (a water-soluble ingredient derived from willow
bark that gets deep into pores) to clear acne and blackhead-causing build up from congested pores
for smoother, blemish-free skin. It’s fast-acting, quick-drying and the added addition of tea tree
oil and black cumin seed oil supports clear skin; while liquorice helps naturally brighten the
appearance of old acne scars and discolouration for a more even-toned look to the skin. Salicylic
acid can sometimes dry out the skin—but the inclusion of milk thistle and cucumber seed oil in this
one keeps skin nourished and smooth, while chamomile and neroli soothe angry skin that’s breaking
out on the regular. Fun fact about this face oil: you can use it on your scalp and back if you
experience acne in those places.
Cosmetics 27 is a brand built on creating products that are genuine skin re-balancers. The formulas
are all centred around the properties of Centella Asiatica—a powerful plant has potent antioxidant
benefits and helps soothe skin and revitalises its protective barrier. This particular oil contains
a blend of seven natural vegetable oils that re-balance its functions, generate cellular renewal
and soothe sensitive, stressed out skin. It’s rich in vitamin A and E, two ingredients that help
hydrate, smooth and help give skin a healthy-looking appearance. We award this oil extra points
because it can be used on the hair or body for hydration and anti-ageing benefits.
Who knew that turmeric went in more than just your vegetable korma dish? In skincare, turmeric has
a plethora of benefits: it helps improve the appearance of surface redness and skin evenness thanks
to its antioxidant-rich and calming compounds. It can also help give some glow back to a dull or
sallow complexion and when combined with another skin-brightening ingredient like vitamin C, it
works effectively to brighten skin over time. In addition to turmeric and vitamin C to help boost
skin’s radiance and even out tone, this cold-pressed oil also contains calming primrose and vitamin
A-rich red raspberry seed oil, neroli and jojoba. With that many deliciously nourishing ingredients
in one oil you’d be hard pressed to find another cold-pressed oil like it.
This luxurious oil is made up of nine plant oils and four essential oils including lavender,
jasmine, ylang-ylang and rosewood to help improve the natural protective barrier of the skin.
Dehydrated, tight or flakey complexions will drink up this oil and experience less moisture loss over time. The Revitalising Oil also prevents hair breakage and restores brilliance and
transforms dull hair with a healthy shine—so if you’re looking for a multi-tasker that doubles as a
nourishing hair oil then this is it.
There’s a reason Kiehl’s named this serum Midnight Recovery—they want you to apply it at night
because skin repairs itself nightly from daily aggressors that can cause premature ageing. While you
sleep, skin is most receptive to repair, so an aromatic, indulgent night facial oil like this one
works with skin’s nocturnal functions to help restore and replenish. With key ingredients like
lavender essential oil (known for its soothing properties and calming aroma for a restful night’s
sleep), evening primrose oil (known to help maintain skin hydration and elasticity) and squalane (a
highly refined botanical lipid that absorbs easily to replenish skin’s barrier to keep it soft and
supple) this is one potent and luxurious oil. Think: refined skin texture, overall radiance boosted
and a complexion that appears firmer and more hydrated over time. Sleep never looked so good.
Another cult-favourite from the Sunday Riley brand, this oil is packed with incredible natural
ingredients that all work in unison to give dehydrated skin a burst of hydrating radiance. Freshly
extracted in small quantities, cold-pressed blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, cranberry, carrot,
grape and broccoli seed oils retain their delicate, rich nutrients—and your skin enjoys all those
nutrients the moment this oil is applied. Speaking of application, ever wondered at what point in
your routine face oil is applied? According to Riley, it depends on if the oil you’re applying is a
treatment or a non-treatment product. “I like to apply treatment oils (oils with active ingredients
added like retinoids or salicylic acid – like in Luna Sleeping Night Oil or
UFO Ultra-Clarifying Face
Oil) after cleansing, toning and essence, but before serums and moisturiser. For
non-treatment oils (like Juno
Antioxidant Superfood Face Oil), I apply them after moisturiser as a last step,” she
This lightweight oil from New York skincare institution Mario Badescu sits
nicely under makeup if you prefer your face oil applied in the morning before you face the day.
Infused with rose hips extract and rose hip oil, both natural sources of essential fatty acids and
antioxidant vitamin C, this oil provides intense moisture to help tackle any areas of dry or flakey
skin. The brand recommends keeping a bottle on hand, especially in the cooler months, and applying
one to two drops to areas that need a boost of hydration (like the skin between the brows and
around the nose).
When a product is infused with rose, it not only smells like a dream but also has beautiful
benefits for the skin. In the instance of Korres’ Wild Rose Brightening Absolute Oil, the inclusion
of real rose petals offers an array of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and antioxidants to deliver
moisture, radiance and plumpness to the skin. In addition to rose, you’ll find a lineup of omega 3,
6, 9, fatty acids that all help target a loss in skin firmness by increasing hydration and skin
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