Everything you wanted to know about face oils. (And if they are worth all the hype)

Photo credit: Delara Lalwani

I spent a good part of my life staying far far far away from oils. Oils were the root cause of all skin evils. Clogged pores. Greasy skin. Blackheads. Pimples.
Blame it all on oil.

And now suddenly, oils are the latest skin trend. Oils are miraculous. They have freaking superpowers! They fight wrinkles, nourish dry skin, brighten dull skin, and even reduce oiliness and acne. What the…????!!!

Celebrites, Beauty Editors and even your neighbor is swearing by them.
So do face oils really work? Do they actually live up to the hype? Are they as magical as they are touted to be?
There was only one way to find out. And so, I did the unthinkable. I put oil on my face. Yes, I put oil over my oily, acne prone skin.


Face oils are not really THAT oily.

Ok, to begin with, face oils are not the icky-sticky overtly greasy oils that you imagine. They have a lighter, silkier, oil-like texture that glides onto your skin without leaving it feeling all gross.

In fact, all you need is anywhere between 2-5 drops. Your skin appears all shiny when you pat it on – but that’s short-lived. Within minutes, the oil is absorbed, leaving you with a healthy, dewy… sheen.

They are brimming with anti-oxidants.

A face oil could be a blend of different natural oils or a single-origin oil (like Argan Oil). And they are packed with insane amounts of anti-oxidants, vitamins and essential fatty acids that help fight all kinds of skin issues.

They are all-natural.

Face oils don’t need preservatives (oil itself is a preservative). So you’re literally putting only good, natural stuff over your skin. No chemicals. No fillers. No crap.

They moisturize dry skin but reduce oiliness in oily skin.

If your skin is dry and flaky, a facial oil is just what the doctored ordered. Oils pass though the lipid layer of your skin super fast, preventing water loss and plumping skin with moisture.

If your skin is oily, a facial oil may actually balance your skin’s oil production. That’s because when you strip skin of oil, it tends produce even more to make up for the loss. But if you add oil, your skin gets doesn’t go into ‘starvation mode’ and stops over-manufacturing oil.

They significantly improve the penetration of your other skincare products.

If you apply oil just before your anti-aging cream, the oil molecules trick the skin into pushing the active ingredients deeper into your skin. This makes your cream much more effective.

You can see (and feel) a difference almost instantly.

Most products don’t have that effect. You got to use it for a month or more to see any change. But face oils give you instant gratification. Your skin immediately plumps up. It’s as if you fed your skin and it’s feeling full – a happy full.

And it gives you that dewy glow… ideal if you want to face a cold winter’s day, cover up a hangover, prep for a stressful meeting or go a romantic date. Hell, it’s ideal for every situation!

A ‘face oil’ is not just for the face.

Don’t be fooled by the name. You can use a face oil just about anywhere. On your body, your nails, even your hair.

Stuff I swear by: John Masters Organics 100% Argan Oil is my favourite multi-tasker. I use it on my skin to moisturize it without causing breakouts, on my cuticles and elbows to keep them in mint condition and on the tips of my hair to prevent split ends.

A little goes a long way.

You need just a few drops of face oil. Some days I need only 2 drops. On others, I need 4. It really depends on what your skin needs that day. But any more than a few drops is a waste. You want the oil to be absorbed into your skin, not sit on it. So go easy.


Pour a few drops of oil in your palm, quickly rub between your palms and then pat all over your face – cupping and pressing it in. Don’t miss your eyes – lids and under-eyes.

Quality comes with a price tag. 

There is a reason why face oils tend to be a bit pricey – high quality ingredients don’t come cheap. So when you’re ‘investing’ in a face oil, make sure it’s 100% pure, organic, unrefined and/or first cold-pressed botanical oil, without added fragrances or additives.

Stuff I swear by:

Once I started using face oil, there was no going back. I was hooked. Addicted. My skincare regimen feels incomplete without it. I miss that nourished, plumped up feeling if I skip it. So I don’t.

Here’s the stuff that I can’t do without:

Aesop Fabulous Face Oil is fabulous. Period. It plumps up my skin – like a balloon – in less than a minute. Plus, it smells fabulous too!

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate is what I go-to when I’ve had a hard day. The lavender smell calms me down and it gives me ‘a morning-after glow’ that entirely wipes off the previous shitty day.

John Masters Organics 100% Argan Oil is the product I use when I’ve had a late night, am under the weather or I’m just too lazy to go through my entire nighttime skin care regimen. I just cleanse, pat this on and slip into bed. And my skin looks amazing the next morning. Zero guilt.

Will you join the face oil bandwagon? Or will you give this beauty trend a miss? Over to you!