Updated: Aug 23, 2021
Fancy face oil bottles are all over the places but how do you integrate these good looking oils into your daily skincare routine? Most people still feel unfamiliar with these oils and here are what to need to know before applying them.
“Different face oils claim to combat different skin concerns—and it’s not always about hydration.”
What Exactly Do Face Oils Do?
Facial oils are seemingly everywhere right now, and they have a long history in skin care. In fact, the ancient Egyptians reportedly used oils in cosmetics as early as 4500 B.C.E. But what do face oils actually do?
The basic idea of putting an oil on your face is to provide natural oils on your skin is to add moisture to your skin and help repair the barrier that keeps that moisture in. Depending on the type of oil—#marula, #jojoba, #maracuja, coconut, #argan, #meadowfoam, sweet almond etc.—the oil naturally have other featured benefits, like anti-inflammatory or antioxidant properties, but these are simply bonuses. The key benefit comes with an oil is the moisturizing effort.
Humectants, such as glycerin, are often found in moisturizers and actually add water back to the skin. They can attract water molecules and draw them into the skin. These are inherently hydrating. Interestingly, oils don’t typically fall into this category.
The other types of moisturizers are emollients (which are used to soften and strengthen the outer layer of skin by filling in the spaces between skin cells) and occlusives (which act like sealants to keep water in). In general, oils fall into the occlusive and emollient categories.
Most oils that are applied to the skin end up forming more of a protective barrier on its surface, rather than actually penetrating the skin. So, although oils are moisturizing and may indirectly increase the amount of hydration in the skin, they are not technically hydrating.
The most important factor is the size of the fatty acid molecules that the oil consists of. If they’re too big to get through the skin barrier, they sit on top and act as occlusives. Only if they’re small enough, they may be able to penetrate to deeper layers and strengthen the stratum corneum. For instance, #jojoba oil and #meadowfoam oil may actually help repair the skin barrier.
Different oils come with various benefits, such as antioxidants or anti-inflammatory properties, that might make them beneficial for certain skin concerns. To know if oil products are suitable to your skin, it's suggested to start mixing oils with your lotion or cream moisturizers.