Face oils. Serums. Secret Potions.
Not to get too witchy on you, but it is the season and we could all use a little extra dose of magic.
Face oils are all the rage, thank goodness. I spent a lot of years trying to find the perfect moisturizer. Too thick and I’d feel greasy all day. Too thin and my face would feel taut and itchy before I even left the house in the morning. With the exception of the most brutal days of winter, face oils solved all of that for me. I’m not a face oil expert by any means, but as an enthusiastic convert to the world of rubbing golden oils into my mug, here are a few of my thoughts.
Not all face oils are created equal: I prefer mine made in small batches by trusted folks in the business. Like most things, I have found that you have to be a little bit leery of greenwashing when it comes to oils. One of the main appeals of oil for me is that they don’t need a whole lot in the way of preservatives to stay fresh, so I usually steer clear of any oil that has ingredients that stray from the most basic: fruit and nut and essential oils.
Like a lot of this natural beauty stuff, there are beautifully blended oils that you can buy from the experts and a fair number of ways to take the process into your own hands. If you’d prefer to leave your skin care to the professionals, the biggest appeal of going this route is that these magic elixirs often actually contain a whole variety of oils that would be cost (and space) prohibitive to keep yourself. Sea buckthorn oil? Wildcrafted coffee oil? Evening primrose oil? Yes, I’d love to slather all of these on my cheeks, but I don’t want a bottle of each taking up space in my medicine cabinet.
Do It Yourself:
Rosehip Seed Oil
Many of my favorite face oils feature rosehip seed oil which has the dual benefit of being sweet-smelling and full of vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. It’s touted with being able to correct dark spots and hydrate skin, while also reducing scars and fine lines, and restoring elasticity. And despite all the moisturizing it does, it’s light enough to use on your face without it getting too greasy.
Another frequent ingredient used in face oils for its similarities to the skin’s natural oils. Compared to some of the other precious oils found in facial oil and serum formulations, jojoba is relatively affordable.
Sometimes refered to as liquid gold since the price point is high and the demand for it, mighty. Used for everything from makeup remover to hair treatment, argan oil is a true workhorse. I need only a very little (and indeed any more is too much) to feel hydrated.
I’m just going to get it right out in the open and say that while I adore coconut oil for all manner of other uses, as a moisturizer for body or face, it does not do the trick for me. It’s not super absorbent, so it kinda sits on the skin’s surface, and worse, it actually feels like it dries out my skin. Not great for me, personally.
Have Someone Else Do It For You:
Badger Balm Rose Face Oil
I think of this as a great gateway oil for folks who aren’t sure whether facial oils are the route for them. The first ingredient is jojoba oil which is probably responsible for its lower price point. Effective and nice-smelling.
Herbivore Botanicals Phoenix Facial Oil
I’ve never used this facial oil from RMTL sponsor Herbivore Botanicals, but it sounds like something that a newly over-thirty year-old should have in her arsenal. Nourishing fruit and seed oils meet the very scientific sounding, CoQ10 oil. Herbivore Botanical oils come in two sizes in case you’d prefer to start small.
Marble and Milkweed Nourishing Serum With Rose
Another RMTL sponsor, Briar always has the perfect answer to seasonal needs and her Nourishing Serum with Rose sounds as lovely as everything else she makes. She recommends applying this serum before bed for a healthy glow. Maybe best of all, Briar sells a one-ounce sample for folks who aren’t sure they’re ready to commit.
Odacite Green Tea Lemongrass Serum Concentrate*
These super-concentrated serums are lovely. It might be that I’m just terribly susceptible to marketing, but I do indeed feel radiant after using this serum. It’s concentrated, so you can add it to other oils or moisturizer to help it last longer.
One Love Organics Love Springs Eternal Serum*
I love the scent of this oil. It’s floral but not overly so. And without sounding like a crackpot who spends all of my time inspecting the progress of my crow’s feet, I’d say that I feel like I’ve seen a noticeable reduction in their visibility since giving myself a nightly rub down with this stuff.
Portland Apothecary Replenishing Rose Serum
One of my very favorite oils out there. The smell is sweet but not cloying. I went through a bottle last spring and it was the best $32 I spent.
Rodin Olio Lusso Luxury Face Oil
If money wasn’t an object, I’d be tempted to try the cult-favorite Olio Lusso from Rodin. The bottle enough is pretty to tempt most anyone, but if rave reviews are any indication, there’s more than just hype and sweet packaging behind this oil’s popularity.
S.W. Basics Oil Serum*
Everything Adina makes has the homegrown quality that makes it trustworthy and accessible. I recently had the chance to test-drive her oil serum which is like superfood for your face. It’s a blend of four nutrient-rich oils: avocado oil, geranium oil, turmeric oil, and wildcrafted coffee oil. I’m not always a fan of the smell of avocado oil, but this serum is pleasant-smelling and moisturizing without feeling heavy.
How to Use It
I love to apply facial oils an hour or so before bed. In what’s developed into something of a ritual for me, I’ve started to do an evening face cleanse (more on this later!), followed by applying an oil or serum. If you’re like me, it’s easy to feel skeptical about a lot of beauty product claims, but I’ve found that facial oils really leave me waking up looking refreshed and glowy. If I feel like I need another hit of moisture after showering, I use another small pump in the morning while my hair is still wrapped in a towel to avoid getting my bangs overly lubed-up.
If face oil alone doesn’t do it for you, you can add a few drops of these oils and serums into your regular moisturizer for an extra dose of nutrients while also getting the extra moisture kick you might need from a heavier cream.
A word to the wise: Start out slowly. Too much oil at first and you’ll swear yourself off it before it’s had a chance to work its magic. Most oils are sold in glass bottles with small droppers. That’s because you really only need a drop or two to get the moisture you need.
Any fellow oil-enthusiasts out there? I’d love to hear what you guys are using (and enjoying).
Disclosure: I am sometimes sent beauty products to review for this series. When I love them and think you might too, I write about them. Items that were sent to me for review are marked with an asterisk. All opinions are my own.