WHAT OILS CAN DO FOR YOUR SKIN
Traditionally used to deliver active ingredients into the skin, the best face oils are actually far more than just a great base for skincare products, as certain formulas are sophisticated, potent blends of active ingredients in their own right. “Oils can be rich in vitamins, including A, C, D, E and K, punicic acid (one of the best collagen boosters), anti-inflammatories and antioxidants,” explains Shrankhla Holecek of Uma, whose organic oils come from her family estate in Northern India, which was founded more than 800 years ago to supply Indian royalty and today works with many famous luxury skincare brands.
The reason I love a good natural face oil (and there are also many bad oils) is that nothing else gives skin that same plump, supple, pliable look and feel. Skin shouldn’t feel greasy after using an oil – either you’re using too much (a few drops is enough) or the oil is too heavy to be absorbed. Generally (but not always), the lighter in color the oil, the lighter textured and more easily absorbed it is.
WHAT FACE OILS CAN’T DO
“They don’t hydrate the skin,” says Holecek, “but instead help it maintain its own moisture and hydration.” So why not use a few drops over a hydrating serum or essence – the face oil ensures the hydration goes into the skin rather than evaporating off.
HOW TO USE FACE OIL
Start by massaging in just a few drops. “Using oil on damp skin is good, as it stops you from using too much,” advises Holecek. “Use your oil over an essence or serum, but if you’re using a face cream, use the oil under it – when layering products you start with the lightest first, heaviest texture last.”
NOW FIND THE BEST FACE OIL FOR YOUR SKIN TYPE
Dehydrated skin adores a good-quality oil (I speak from personal experience), as it provides a natural barrier to ‘seal in’ moisture, while softening a rough, parched skin surface. “Pomegranate and moringa oils are great for drier skin,” advises Holecek.
It sounds counterintuitive, but the right oil can balance out your own skin’s oil production. “Jojoba can trick the skin into thinking it is its own oil and so in response your skin moderates its own production. Use it and, over time, your skin will become more balanced and less oily,” Holecek says, adding: “Grape seed is also excellent, as an oily skin naturally makes less linoleic acid, which makes the sebum stickier so it traps dirt and dead cells. Grape-seed oil is one of the best natural sources of linoleic acid and so is great for rebalancing an acne-prone skin. But don’t use coconut oil, as it can bring on acne as the molecules are too big to be absorbed so they sit on the skin, blocking the pores.”
“Rosehip and avocado have many great soothing qualities for eczema or unhealthy skin, or even just very dry skin,” says Holecek.
The model featured in this story is not associated with NET-A-PORTER and does not endorse it or the products shown.