| Finding the best skincare products for you as an individual can be a challenge. Despite the old wives' tales, we're telling you to give facial oils a chance!
It can be difficult to understand how to use certain skincare products, to get the best benefits for your skin. Oils are top of the list when it comes to misunderstandings and lack of knowledge; but they are incredibly beneficial to the skin if used correctly. I spoke to Claire Twigge-Molecey from Ermana Skincare, an independent natural skincare brand from the UK, and, Olga Rumble, the founder of another natural UK skincare brand, The Rose Tree, to get the lowdown on what oils do, and what ones might be best for you.
Why are facial oils beneficial to the skin?
CTM: Face oils contain essential fatty acids to hydrate and nourish the skin. Since the body can’t make these itself, we need to give it a helping hand by applying a face oil with these vital ingredients. This helps to protect the skin by building a barrier against outside influences such as harsh weather and extreme temperatures. Oils are also able to penetrate the skin deeper into the lower levels of the epidermis, therefore they are an excellent way of getting antioxidants and vitamins into the skin. This helps speed up the skin’s own healing process and can soften the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
What oils are typically available as facial oils, and what are the benefits of each?
CTM: Face or facial oils are made from a rich blend of botanical oils which are packed with natural vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, omega oils and fatty acids, which are essential to keep the skin hydrated and nourished.
Our Ermana face oils contain apricot, macadamia, jojoba and vitamin E oils. Apricot and macadamia are both very nourishing oils full of omega oils, proteins and essential fatty acids, however they are light and easily absorbed by the skin. You won’t be left with a greasy residue.
Apricot Oil is a highly nourishing oil rich in antioxidants and minerals. It contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B17, omega 3 and 6 as well as nine essential fatty acids. It is soothing and ideal for dry, sensitive and mature skin.
Macadamia Oil is a rich oil with essential fatty acids, which help to delay skin and cell ageing. As we get older, the production of the skin’s own oil slows down, therefore supplementary oils like macadamia are important for mature skin. It is high in omega 7, vitamin E and proteins. Macadamia is a hydrating, soothing, healing oil that is ideal for dry, oily and mature skin
Jojoba is similar to the skin’s own natural oil. It is a balancing oil that penetrates the top layer of the skin and works with the skin’s own natural oil to help open and unblock pores, reducing impurities. It can be used to treat acne and soothes sensitive skin. Jojoba oil works as an antioxidant and a skin conditioner and is rich in vitamins and minerals. It is also suitable for all skin types.
Vitamin E is full of antioxidants, it protects and is an excellent moisturiser. It supports new cell growth, cell regeneration and boosts collagen, which helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
OR: The list is almost endless here. These are some of my favorites:
Marula Oil has been for centuries in native South Africa and Swaziland, where it has been used by local women to hydrate and protect their skin via its high anti-oxidant and fatty acid levels. That means Marula Oil is great for gently hydrating the skin, and is fabulous for reducing redness and pigmentation issues.
Blackcurrant Oil is made from potent little berries, that you can still find in British hedgerows if you look hard enough, are seriously good for the skin. They are packed with Vitamin C and are GLA rich. This is a superb skin hydrating oil, with softening, smoothing and texture improving effects.
Jojoba Oil (though actually a wax!) is a true multi tasker in the world of natural skincare. It's absorbed extremely easily by the skin and because it is a wax and not an oil, it's non greasy and great for hydration without giving that too-rich feel. It's great for fine lines, it helps to treat psoriasis, acne, and dermatitis, and it brings vitality and a glow to the skin.
For people who don’t already use oils in their skincare routine, how can they incorporate them? What ways can they be used?
CTM: Face oils can be used underneath regular skincare and beauty products or on their own. Apply to skin after you have cleansed with water or splashed the face with water. The oil will hold the extra water and help the skin to re-balance itself faster. You don’t need much face oil to be effective, as the oils are more concentrated than regular moisturisers - 2-3 drops in the morning and 4-5 at night should give your skin the moisture that it needs.
Why can oils be more effective than moisturisers?
CTM: Most moisturisers are emulsions which means that they are a combination of water and oil. Water needs a preservative to prevent it from breaking down and growing bacteria. Many preservatives can do more harm than good. Moisturisers don’t make the skin moist or hydrate it, instead they provide a barrier on the skin; unlike face oils which penetrate the skin’s layers and work faster to protect, rejuvenate and nourish the skin. Oil based products also go a lot further than water based ones, therefore you only need to use a small amount for the product to be effective. Overall, face oils offer a more powerful and intense solution for skin problems.
Many people with oily skin are afraid to use oils. Why should they start and why is it ok for them to do so?
CTM: It might sound wrong to apply oil to oily skin, however face oils can actually work wonders on all skin types. When skin is stripped of oil or is not properly replenished with natural oils and essential fatty acids, it continues to produce sebum to compensate for the lack of oil. However, when you apply face oil, the skin’s sebaceous glands can slow down the natural oil production because the skin is replenished with the natural oil it needs to stay hydrated, nourished and clear. Seed and nut oils such as apricot, macadamia and jojoba penetrate quickly and deeply into the skin and will not leave a greasy, shiny finish after application; instead they give skin a gorgeously plump, radiant and healthy glow.
OR: Even women with oily skin can benefit from using a facial oil - just select a blend designed for your skin type and use a small amount. Over cleansing and over moisturising (and some of the harsher products on the market) can actually over stimulate the sebum glands, resulting in more oil production; while using a facial oil can actually decrease your skin's oil production.
Aside from the nourishing and hydrating beauty benefits, many facial oils also contain essential oils which have further skin saving properties due to their aromatic ingredients, so it’s definitely worth exploring oils further and finding one that suits your skin. Test them out, and you’ll notice a real difference.
Main Image - Laura Pearson-Smith / A Life With Frills