Face oils are an actual product, not the thing that gives you a shiny t-zone. Find out what it is and why you should use it.

No, it’s not the same stuff that makes your t-zone shiny. FYI: That greasy stuff is sebum. Face oils are moisturizers that–surprise!–come in oil form in a pipet bottle. Generally, they provide a bigger boost of hydration than your regular lotion moisturizer, making them very good for winter days when it is so cold you have icicles hanging from your nose. To get technical, oils are lipophilic (fat-loving), so they absorb into the skin’s lipid barrier easier and they keep your skin hydrated throughout the day.

A lot of face oils are plant-based and use natural ingredients, and by default are organic. Some pure oils aren’t that much different than the ones you find in health stores. That’s why if you’ve experimented with natural face products from your kitchen, you’ll know that olive oil makes a decent moisturizer.

Josie Maran Argan Oil

Face oils absorb into your skin and give you a dewy glow–which looks a lot better than shiny I-need-to-wash-my-face skin. And they can be used on oily skin too. Avoiding oils if you have oily skin is a common misconception. There are formulas that specifically target shiny skin, and no, they won’t make you break out.

In addition to treating acne-prone skin, face oils also reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles because they plump skin cells and make them look fuller.

Who Is It For

Yes, I will say it again. Oils are for all skin types, including oily skin. Take it from someone with shiny-pass-me-the-blotting-sheets oily skin. Sephora says it is best to fight oil with oil because “applying oil to already oily skin can help manage poor clogging sebum.”

Sensitive-skinned girls, you’re not left out. Plant-based oils probably won’t irritate your skin, because of their natural ingredients.

Why You Should Use It

If you find that your regular bottle of moisturizer doesn’t seem to be doing its job, face oil is great for an extra boost of hydration. Plus, they give you a healthy glow that rivals a good facial (and doesn’t involve the poking and snide comments.)

Face oils are usually natural products, so they also nourish your skin with antioxidants and fight free radicals. They plump skin and can even benefit acne-prone skin. As I mentioned before, face oils won’t irritate your skin because of their gentle, natural ingredients.

Face oils can also help with the absorption of other products you apply after them, like your serum. Are those decent enough reasons for you?


Some oils can be used day and night, though you may prefer to stick with a regular moisturizer during the day. If you mix oils with your sunscreen, it can dilute the formula and lose some of its SPF protection.

Cleanse and tone your face before your face oil. If your serum is lighter than your oil, you can apply it first, if it’s thicker, apply it after the oil.

To apply the face oil, put a few drops onto your hand and rub the product around, then gently pat it–don’t rub it!–into your skin. Some suggest using a moisturizer after your face oil, but I personally find that a face oil gives you ample hydration. It’s up to you to decide what your skin needs. You can try mixing your moisturizer and oil to get the best of both worlds and an entirely new texture.


  • 1. Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil: This oil is actually formulated specifically for oily skin. It contains hazelnut oil, rosewood, and lotus extracts so there’s no doubt that it smells ahhhh-mazing.
  • 2. Josie Maran Pure 100% Argan Oil: Argan oil isn’t just for making your hair look silky smooth, it also does wonders for your face. In fact, you can even use this one on your nails. If you stick with applying it to your face, it has acne healing and anti-aging properties.
  • 3. Badger Antioxidant Damascus Rose Face Oil: This organic rose, pomegranate, and baobab oil nourishes dry skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines. Plus, it smells as good as a perfume.

(Photo: Brian A Jackson/Shutterstock)

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