There's a perfect face oil for EVERY skin type (yes, really)
As a rule, the best face oils are your one-way ticket to a glowing, healthy complexion – whatever your skin type.
Although it seems counter-intuitive to apply oil to a complexion that is already naturally shiny, the right one can and will in fact regulate your skin’s oil production. It’s just a case of knowing your onions.
That’s where we come in. We’ve scoured the beauty industry far and wide to bring you a curated round up of the right oils for every skin type, to make your life that little bit easier.
Contrary to popular belief, dry skin doesn’t necessarily need ‘hydrating’. You could have completely adequate levels of water in your skin and it’ll still be flakier than puff pastry, just as oily skin can still be dehydrated and crying out for a water boost. Dry skin needs moisture, usually in the form of a thick oil it can soak up in a matter of minutes.
That’s not to say that oily complexions need to avoid oil completely, though (another commonly-held belief). You need oils that have low comedogenic ratings of 0, 1 or 2 at a push, meaning they won’t clog pores. Oils such as Argan, Kukui, Camellia, rosehip, Calendula and almond are your friends here.
So whether you’ve wind-whipped dry skin because you’re the outdoorsy type, struggle with a blemish-prone complexion or go through periods of having skin that’s duller than dishwater, one of the best face oils can – and will – remedy your biggest skin concerns. Find the right one for you in our guide below.
Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate, £38, Space NK
While those with oily skin may want to avoid applying oils in the morning – they’ll take longer to absorb as your skin isn’t crying out for moisturse – dry complexions will soak an indulgent oil up in no time. Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate is an everyday oil that repairs and keeps the skin soft.
The key ingredients are sunflower botanical oil, which strengthens the skin’s barrier, and Tamanu to soothe the skin. An effective daytime treatment, it really isn’t a surprise that both the Day and Night versions are bestsellers for the brand.
Bobbi Brown Skin Clarifier, £29.50, Fabled
Again, applying an oil to acne seems a bit outrageous, considering that it’s caused by inflamed and clogged pores. But not all oils were created equal, and non-comedogenic (non pore-clogging) oils are perfectly safe to use on any complexion without spotty consequences. Both Sea Buckthorn and rosehip oils in this formula are non-comedogenic, and our good friend salicylic acid works to clean out pores.
While results will vary from person to person, you should notice a marked difference after four weeks of applying a couple of drops to your face every day – apply in the evening if you’re worried about it taking ages to absorb.
Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil, £68, Net-A-Porter
All of Sunday Riley’s oils are excellent and although you’ve probably heard all about LUNA, those with oily skin should make U.F.O. their first port of call. As oils go, this one is very lightweight – aside from the greasy finish (for want of a better word) that characterises an oil, when you squeeze it out of the pipette it’s incredibly fluid. Don’t let the bright green put you off though, as even oily skin will lap it up – with a 1.5% concentration of salicylic acid to help decongest pores.
We love the slightly medicinal scent, which is down to the tea tree and licorice, combined with a comforting smell not dissimilar to baby oil. Pricey, but worth every single penny.
ELEMIS Superfood Facial Oil, £45, Fabled
Your parents always nagged you to eat your greens, but we bet you’d not considered slathering them all over your face as part of your skincare routine. ELEMIS has a few face oil offerings in its stocks, but the Superfood oil is a firm favourite at MC. It’s packed with the goodness of broccoli, radish and Flax seeds and a good all-rounder treatment oil, making it an ideal choice for combination skin. Put on before bed and expect to wake with a healthy glow.
Read on to see more of Team Marie Claire‘s favourite face oil buys.
Time to get oily…
We’re leaving this one to the pros with ESPA’s ProSerum. If the drying winters or summer air-conditioning is wreaking havoc on your complexion, bust this deeply hydrating oil out and apply daily.
A night time face oil that also helps you sleep seems too good to be true – but that’s exactly what the essential oil experts at Neom. It’s jam-packed with loads of vitamins, skin Omegas and 13 different essential oils, to help you drift off to sleep and restore your skin overnight.
This lightweight oil is fortified with 20 precious oils from around the world. Their youth-renewing blend including Argan, Sweet Almond, Sunflower, Rose and Raspberry Oils plus Anogeissus helps repair skin’s barrier and mimic the natural lipid oils lost with age.
Lightly scented with the delicious aroma of Rose Otto, this super concentrated oil is surprisingly lightweight, but extremely nourishing. Packed with essential fatty acids that keep the skin soft, supple and plump, it will keep your skin moisturised for up to 12 hours and protect it with free radical-fighting vitamin C.
We’re pretty obsessed with Skyn Iceland’s entire range (hello, Hyrdo-Cool firming eye gels) and so naturally we love their Arctic face oil. Because of its Omega basis, it’s particularly good at giving a glow from the inside out for skin that’s prone to dullness and dryness.
The Restore Oil is enriched with rosehip oil, which is a great ingredient for encouraging skin cell renewal as its packed with essential fatty acids. This one is a great treatment for dry, damaged skin that needs a bit of TLC. Just massage a few drops into your face at night for a glowier complexion come morning.
Essential oils of rose and patchouli encourage healthy glowing skin whilst apple and raspberry seed oils help to plump your skin’s appearance, softening the look of fine lines. A great anti-ageing option.
Packed with skin-friendly essential fatty acids and antioxidants, Ila’s Glowing Radiance Face Oil is a cult favorite. Just a few drops daily of this Rose-scented nourishing tincture promises to regenerate cells, leaving your skin soft and luminous.
Darphin’s range of Aromatic Care covers all bases when it comes to softening, soothing face oils, from the uplifting scents of Tangerine or Orange Blossom to the calming smell of Chamomile or Jasmine. One of our favourites is the soothing Rose option, as few scents are more calming.
Clarins’ exclusive blend of its namesake Blue Orchid and Rosewood, Geranium and Lotus extracts purifies, tightens pores and refines the skin texture. Meanwhile hazelnut oil softens, soothes and seals in moisture to prevent fine lines.
Moringa Balm fans, meet your new Emma Hardie obsession, the botanical-based Brilliance face oil. It softens, brightens and replenishes skin’s moisture levels with a light-reflecting finish that’ll give you that so sought-after youthful glow. If your skin is in need of an extra hit of moisture, mix a little into your day-to-day moisturiser or night cream.