Aug 05, 2020
Over the years, many of us have been conditioned to think that oil and good skin go together like, well, oil and water — as in, they don’t. But the time has come for even face-oil skeptics to rethink those long-held beliefs. Used in conjunction with moisturizers and other skincare products, face oils can help hydrate and brighten skin, strengthen its natural barrier to protect against toxins and pollutants, deliver anti-aging benefits, and even balance out natural oil production and uneven skin tone.
That said, not all face oils are created equal — “oils can be amazing for the skin, if chosen wisely,” echoes aesthetician Cynthia Franco.
For starters, different skin types do well with different plant oils. “Typically, a lighter oil like jojoba or argan oil will tend to moisturize at a deeper level, whereas some oils that have larger molecules can be comedogenic (clog the pores),” Franco explains. Pro tip: Stick to these lighter or cleansing oils if you have oily skin to reap their skin-balancing benefits. On the other hand, if you have especially dry skin, your skin may actually benefit from heavier oils — just make sure to gently exfoliate first so they’re able to penetrate.
It’s also worth noting that many lower-quality oils contain parabens, synthetic preservatives, artificial fragrances, and other not-so-clean ingredients that don’t mesh with natural skincare routines.
You won’t find any of those in these organic, clean-beauty picks, though. Read on for six natural, plant-based face oils to add to your skincare routine, stat.
Epicuren Bulgarian Rose Otto
The phrase “stop and smell the roses” certainly applies to this nourishing facial oil — it’ll inspire you to pause and take your time during your morning or evening skincare routine. Thoughtfully made with a blend of skin-nourishing avocado oil, jojoba seed oil, and Damask Rose flower oil and extract (to name a few ingredients), Epicuren’s Bulgarian Rose Otto is loved by fans for its fresh, natural scent and the luxurious glow it imparts.
CHOBS Organic Argan Treatment Oil
This argan oil blend from eco-friendly K-beauty brand CHOBS is the definition of a multi-tasking product. In addition to its moisturizing face oil capabilities, it can be used as a hair oil to help repair stressed-out, UV- and dye-damaged strands, or as a restorative body oil for a luxurious dose of self-care. It’s also a good choice for oily or acne-prone skin, since argan oil is a zero on the comedogenic scale - this scale ranks oils on how likely they are to clog pores (as Franco mentions), with zero considered as non-pore clogging (like argan oil) and five being very likely to clog pores.
Whamisa Organic Flowers Facial Oil
Consider this face oil the next best thing to having a vase of fresh flowers waiting for you every day. Crafted with a blend of argan, olive, hazelnut, jojoba, camellia, carrot seed, and evening primrose oils, what makes this product unique is that its ingredients have undergone a fermentation process, meaning they’re especially potent and easily absorbed by your skin. Formulated for both oily and dry skin, it delivers a nourishing luminosity from the inside out.
KORA Organics Noni Glow Face Oil
This pH-balancing oil targets dullness as well as uneven skin texture and tone with a blend of noni extract, rosehip oil, pomegranate oil, and sea buckthorn oil. Rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids, it magically manages to be both deeply nourishing and lightweight — it promises to absorb quickly for softer, plumper, skin (and fast). It also addresses sun damage and scarring, according to the Miranda Kerr-founded brand.
Herbivore Emerald CBD + Adaptogens Deep Moisture Glow Oil
Made with hemp seed oil and Colorado-grown, full-spectrum CBD (a non-psychoactive compound found in the Cannabis plant), this skin-soothing facial oil is especially powerful for redness, irritation, and environmental stressors. It’s also made with ashwagandha and turmeric root, which are used in Ayurvedic practices for their “adaptogenic” properties (meaning they work with the body — and skin — to enhance balance and combat stressors such as pollution, UV rays, poor sleep and more).
As a bonus, Herbivore products are also known for their commitment to sustainability, using biocompatible ingredients and mainly glass and paper packaging.
MUTHA Face Oil
Name a natural oil or extract, and chances are, you’ll find it on the squeaky-clean ingredient list of this nourishing oil by MUTHA, created by Hope Smith. It boasts 22 powerful plant-based components, each intentionally included to target a common skin woe. For example, borage seed oil helps moisturize and protect the skin’s moisture barrier, while rosemary leaf extract soothes and rose hip oil evens skin tone. It’s hydrating enough to replace your moisturizer or use you can press it into your skin after other skin care products to lock them in.
True Botanicals Pure Radiance Oil
Clinically proven to banish fine lines and increase hydration levels, True Botanicals’ best-selling oil is ideal for anyone in search of anti-aging benefits. It’s made with chia seed and kiwi seed oils (which are both chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids to improve skin barrier), passion fruit oil, papaya seed oil, and algae extract. This formula also helps improve rough texture and hyperpigmentation.
Alexa is a Denver-based writer, editor, and marketing pro who covers all things wellness, travel, beauty, and lifestyle. She has written for Women’s Health, Woman’s Day, Runner’s World, Self Magazine. When she’s not crafting content, you can find her hiking or skiing (depending on the season), drinking red wine, or planning her next travel adventure.