If you haven’t heard that the age of oil-free beauty is over, this article is for you. It’s ironic because growing up I reached for oil-free everything, to “keep breakouts and clogged pores at bay.” Since then, research on the importance of natural oils in the skin, and the amazing benefits that certain types of natural oils can provide, is pretty amazing. The concept nothing new, ancient Ayurveda has a wellness practice called Abhyanga where you basically massage warm oil (olive, coconut, or sesame) into the skin over the entire body. It’s said to be a practice of self-love; warming the entire body, increasing circulation, lubricating joints, calms nerves, and much more.
Nowadays, there are thousands of organic beauty products that boast certain high-quality oils as their main ingredient. Every large corporation from Estée Lauder to Clinque are jumping on the “natural oil” trend, while loads of mom-and-pop businesses making “rose jojoba oil serum” are popping up at every local market, health food store, and even Etsy.
All of these products–and the historical thought of oil-free–can be a little intimidating. Which oil is right for your skin? How will you know that you’re not going to break out or have a reaction? I’m breaking down 4 of the most common oils used in facial products:
- Rosehip Oil: The main catch of this oil is that it’s incredibly high in essential fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6. These healthy fats do an amazing job at soothing dry, itchy skin, healing scars and reducing the appearance of fine lines. It’s basically food for the skin. I’ve found that it is a little heavier than other oils (which is great for dry or sun-kissed skin). While it’s not going to create any breakouts from nowhere, it shouldn’t be applied to existing blemishes because of it’s ultra hydrating properties (we want blemishes to dry out!).
- Argan Oil: This is commonly called “Liquid Gold.” Argan is extracted from kernels of Morocco’s Argan tree. Because of the extremely high Vitamin E content, it’s a great moisturizer for nearly anyone; It gives the skin a natural boost. It’s lighter than rosehip oil and can actually help the skin clear up from acne – it provides just the right amount of moisture. It’s commonly used in hair also (which is where the popular ‘moroccan oil’ trend comes from).
- Tea Tree Oil: This oil was ‘founded’ in Australia, it’s antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial. It’s been used to treat cuts, wounds and infections for centuries – making it the perfect candidate for acne-prone skin. Because it’s a strong antibacterial, a little goes a long way and it’s possible that your skin will dry out. Just a dab will do ya!
- Coconut Oil: Ah, coconut oil, the miracle oil! You can use this for so much, as you probably know if you’ve been on the internet at all between 2014 and 2016… Like tea tree oil, it’s antibacterial and antifungal – but it’s much more moisturizing and lightweight. It’s a good starter oil if you’re worried about acne or dry skin.