Switch to Afrikaans

5 things you probably don’t know about face oils

In our pimply teens, oils were considered the enemy. We feared the oily complexion like the plague and fought it off with harsh astringents, soaps and scrubs. But as it turns out, the ‘evil of oil’ was a complete myth.
face oils

Here are five facts about face oils that are sure to see you adding some high-quality oil to your face-care regimen.

  1. Face oil isn’t what it used to be

‘Oil as we know it isn’t the same as it used to be,’ says Dr Jeannette Graf, a dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in the US. Advances in the ability to refine oil have led to cosmetic-grade oils that often come closer to the consistency of water. ‘They used to be thick and clogging, like mineral oil, but now they’re very emollient and don’t leave any residue on the skin,’ says Graf.

  1. Face oil is actually beneficial for both oily and acne-prone skin

Face oil is good for all types of skin, especially when you select the right kind. It helps restore the natural balance of the skin’s moisture level, making the T-zone (the part of your face made up of the forehead, nose, chin and area circling the mouth) less oily, and dry areas more moisturised. This is why face oil is suitable to use under makeup during the day and also in tropical climates.

Skin also changes throughout the day, so even if you wake up with oily skin, your face might feel dry by the afternoon. While facial oils regulate the production of sebum during your oily times, they also soothe inflammation during your drier hours.

  1. Face oils complement your facial routine

Natural botanical oils can improve skin tolerance by preventing the irritation caused by some anti-ageing ingredients. As potent antioxidants, oils decrease inflammation and calm the skin. But what’s more, if you apply an oil before your anti-ageing cream, the oil molecules act like Trojan Horses, tricking the skin into letting beneficial ingredients – like retinol, vitamin C and glycolic acid – deeper into the skin.

  1. Lipids are your friends

Oils, also known as lipids, occur naturally in skin to give it that healthy glow. Lipids create a protective barrier, keeping moisture in and the elements, like the sun and wind, out. As you age you produce fewer lipids, which dehydrates the skin and makes it far more prone to wrinkles. When oils are applied to the skin, without the interference of waxes, they are absorbed directly into the top layers of the epidermis, where they instantly go to work to improve the lipid-barrier function. By replenishing the oils lost due to ageing and exposure, you enable your skin to do what it does naturally – retain moisture and repel assaults from the sun and wind.

  1. Oils are very effective cleansers

The outermost layer of the skin is an oily layer and its purpose is to hold moisture in the skin. This is an important function, as moisture facilitates enzyme activity, which in turn leads to healthy, radiant skin. However, daily washing can ironically do a lot of damage, as both soap and water are dehydrating and strip away the skin’s oily layer.

While detergent-based cleansers wrap around dirt and oils, which are then washed away with water, oil-based cleansers have the ability to dissolve other oily material. Excess sebum and accumulated dirt on the skin’s surface are both oily in nature, so a cleansing oil gently dissolves these substances without removing the skin’s natural oily layer. In turn, these gentle cleansers leave the skin moisturised and have no drying effect – even with prolonged and regular use.

We love Lipidol Cleansing Face Oil, which removes dirt and makeup without stripping the skin’s natural oily layer. Simply apply to your dry face, and dirt and makeup will bind with the oil. Add a little water and continue massaging. The oil will emulsify to form a watery cream. Rinse off and voila!

Cosmetic scientist John Knowlton says, ‘Lipidol Cleansing Face Oil has been carefully designed and scientifically formulated to ensure that it has maximum cleansing potency to remove excess sebum and accumulated dirt, while at the same time leaving your skin in optimum health. A special blend of argan oil, sesame-seed oil, saw-palmetto oil and neem oil provides nutrition for the skin, and the lightly fragranced nuances of rosemary oil and niaouli oil make the product a joy to use.’

Like this?
to our Free Good Housekeeping Newsletter
How to apply face oils and serums correctly

Yes, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. Follow these easy steps to maximise the benefits...