How to Get the Most Out of Your Face Oil

Face oils are a totally unique skincare experience. Their consistency and potency make them stand apart from creams, lotions, gels, and other serums. And here's an added truth: You're probably not using face oils to their full potential. It's a little bit of a dance that takes getting used to. But when you use the right amount, and apply it with precision and care, you'll feel the difference—and see the glow. Follow these steps for more hydrated, dewy, healthy skin.

Tip #1: Honor the Drop

A little face oil goes a long way. You don’t need more than a few drops to cover and hydrate your entire face. Because natural, clean face oils mimic what already exists in the dermis, the skin is naturally primed to absorb face oils and the nutrients and active ingredients within. (Ever notice that your skin doesn't feel fully hydrated after applying face cream? That's likely because moisturizers often use paraffin wax, which is derived from mineral oil. It can make skin feel softer but doesn't provide the same nourishing or reparative properties that oils do.)

Tip #2: Pat Gently

That's right: Don't rub; pat. We might sound like a broken record, but this is an underpinning of why oils are great: Since your skin is used to the composition of face oils, they more naturally absorb into your skin. You may be used to rubbing in lotions and creams—but avoid doing so with oils. A gentle pat gets the job done.

Tip #3: Apply at the Right Time

A face oil should go on after you've cleansed and toned skin and before you apply thicker, heavier moisturizers (i.e. cream or lotion). Follow this general rule in skin care: Layer products from lightest to heaviest. Lighter products include serums, while heavier products include creams. Oils fit somewhere in the middle. If you choose to use a serum in addition to the oil, the order will depend on the thickness of the moisturizer. (For example, a thin Vitamin C serum should be applied after cleansing and toning and before a face oil.)

Tip #4: Keep It Simple

If the last tip was confusing, we understand. So consider this: Oils can serve as BOTH a serum and moisturizer. Oils use smaller molecular structures, especially if they feature a carrier oil like pomegranate, which absorbs very readily into skin. This makes them feel like a serum while also acting like a light moisturizer. Unless you have to brave blistering cold or have extremely dry/problem skin, you can simplify your beauty routine by cutting moisturizers and serums out completely.

Tip #5: Enjoy the Process

Treat your oil application like a mini facial. Take time to smell the rose oil. Allow yourself to be transported to your favorite spa. Consider this an act of meditation. One of the biggest benefits to using many face oils is that one of their main components are essential oils—which means there’s a dose of aromatherapy with every application. There are also circulation and lymphatic drainage benefits. (But be prepared that only high quality brands with well researched ingredients will be able to provide you with this truly luxurious experience.) Take the time and enjoy—your skin and mind will be happier for it.


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