Since the resurgence of natural beauty products into the mainstream, facial oils too are seeing their day in the sun. Plant and seed derived oils are being elevated and mixed into modern beauty blends, addressing concerns from anti-aging to acne prone skin and everything in between. If you’ve heard the buzz but aren’t sure where to place an oil in your routine (or aren’t sure about them at all) I’ll outline some of the main benefits compared to our traditional creams, as well as introduce what I consider to be a great introductory facial oil- Rose Hip Seed Oil.
What you may have heard & the truth about oils
It can sound counter intuitive to put oil on your face after years of glycerin soap bars recommended as a mainstream solution to oil control, and for those with an oily or acne-prone skin profile, the fear is real! But the reality is this- when your skin is stripped of it’s natural moisture barrier, it’s equilibrium will be off, resulting in your body over compensating and creating even more oil to protect itself. Our natural oils are there to protect us from environmental stressors and in today’s society, there are lots of them! If the skin is stripped, not only will your skin become oily as a result but these stressors will be able to penetrate and age the skin much quicker as a result.
Creams vs. Oils?
In comparison to traditional creams or moisturizers, oils in general penetrate deeper in the skin’s layers to deliver the multitude of benefits they hold, while most creams can sit on the outer layer of the skin. Creams and moisturizers mainly work to protect the skin’s outer layer, creating a shield to those environmental stressors and may deliver additional benefits but mostly contain molecules too large to penetrate past the surface. In terms of ingredient concentration, they on average contain over 50% water as a base with other preservatives and non-active components in the mix.
So why even use a cream, you might ask? Everyone’s preferences and skin profile are completely unique, and trial and error is the best policy when discovering what works best for you. For myself, I use oils only at night so they have a longer time to deliver results uninterrupted. In the morning, I don’t have extra time to wait for heavier oils to soak in before applying my makeup, so I stick to a cream. My AM moisturizer contains SPF to protect from the sun and create that barrier for my skin, while I am going about my day.
Spotlight on: Rose Hip Seed Oil
There are so many reasons I love rose hip seed oil and recommend it first to those curious about incorporating oils into their skin care routine. This oil is a one size fits all product, with a vast array of benefits for all skin types. It contains a high concentration of anti-oxidants, including Vitamin A, beta-carotenes, C, and E, helping to protect the skin from environmental stressors and free radicals. Vitamin C, a common ingredient in anti-aging products, on it’s own has shown to decrease dark spots, hyper-pigmentation and signs of photo-aging in the skin. Retinol, a derivative of Vitamin A is an ingredient common in many of the anti-aging products on the market. While powerful, retinol in some forms can be very potent and irritate sensitive skin types. Rose hip seed oil contains Vitamin A in the pure form of trans-retinoid acid and will help smooth fine lines and increase skin’s quality, texture and tone naturally . Rose hip seed oil is appropriate for all skin types, absorbs quickly into the skin and in terms of oils, isn’t overly heavy or dense. The colour should be yellow (the brighter the better,) and contained in a UV protected container to prevent it from losing it’s efficacy, when exposed to light. This oil is also known to calm redness, inflammation and is gentle, making it a great option for those with acne-prone skin.
A note about facial oils- they can run you! Luxury brands have been blending a multitude of incredible plant derived oils with other active and potent ingredients, and the result can be pricey. Another reason why I love rose hip seed oil as a test product- if you don’t love it, no sweat! There are plenty of affordable and accessible rose hip oil products available, with my favourite being the 100% Organic Rose Hip Seed Oil (available online here) from The Ordinary line of the Abnormal Beauty Company (Deciem.) I’ve written about Deciem products (here & here) and love to recommend them because of their transparency in low prices for a quality product, and focus on their customers. In additional to rose hip seed oil, Deciem offers a variety of other amazing oils at the most competitive prices on the market.
Do you include oils in your skin care routine? What is your skin type? Let us know!