We are happy to report that, despite all concerns to the contrary, adding a face oil to your routine won’t make your skin one bit greasier—just glowier. Oils can actually strengthen your skin’s protective barrier, which keeps in good things like water and nutrients while blocking microbes, pollutants, and allergens, says Sarah Villafranco, MD, Founder of skincare brand Osmia Organics. All this is essential for clear, healthy-looking skin—no matter your skin type. It may sound counterintuitive, but using a face oil can even make your skin less oily, since it allows sebaceous glands (aka the ones that pump out oil) to get into a more balanced state, says
Dr Sarah. But here’s the catch: if you use the wrong facial oil or apply it the wrong way, your skin will become a shiny disco ball of clogged pores. Just follow these three rules below and you’ll be golden.
1. Stick to plant-based oils that are low in saturated fat. These penetrate the skin quickly with minimal residue, says US-based derm Heather Rogers, MD (she also recommends sticking to oils that are fragrance-free to avoid irritation). Some popular low-saturated oils used in skincare include grape-seed oil, jojoba oil, and sunflower oil. But if you have one you’re unsure of, look for words like ‘lightweight’ and ‘non-comedogenic’ on the label and you should be good. Also, you’ll want to use face oils that have a high amount of linoleic acid, like hempseed or rose-hip oil, says Dr Sarah. “Linoleic acid is great for oily skin because it helps manage sebum production.”
2. Stay far, far away from coconut oil. We know everyone—from, like, your grandma to that influencer with amazing skin you follow—swears by it, but if you have oily skin, it’s a hard no. “Coconut oil is high in saturated fatty acids like lauric acid, which can build up in the top layer of your skin and cause excess shine and clogged pores,” adds Dr Sarah. And while you’re at it, steer clear of mineral oil, too, says Dr Heather. “It doesn’t soak in and sits on the surface of your skin.”
3. Don’t just slather it on.“Massage a few drops into clean, damp skin,” says Dr Sarah. The oil will sink in faster this way than, say, if you haphazardly rub it into dry skin—plus, it’ll help lock in that extra moisture, too. Or you can mix a few drops with your serum or moisturiser. Start out using your face oil only at night and see how your skin reacts. If you like what you see, you can use it twice a day.
Just follow these three rules above and you’ll be golden
The best face oil for...
Oily skin that’s acne-prone A few drops of this kukui nut-rich oil help reduce redness and neutralise sebum production. Herbivore Lapis Facial Oil, amazon.com, ₹5,150 approx
Oily skin that’s sensitive Anti-inflammatory hempseed oil and soothing oatmeal are ideal for stressed-out skin. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Oat and Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil, amazon.com, ₹3,150 approx
Oily skin that’s dull This bb is infused with glow-up-worthy saffron plus skin-brightening turmeric.SoulTree Radiance Face Oil With Saffron & Turmeric, ₹750
Oily skin that’s showing signs of ageing Not only is rose-hip oil amazing for minimising oiliness, but it can also help soften the look of lines by restoring collagen and elastin.Juicy Chemistry Cold Pressed Rosehip Seed Carrier Oil, ₹650