Facial oils have been increasing in popularity as more and more people are deciding to go back to basics with their skin care routine. But many people, namely those with oily or acne prone skin, remain wary. After all, we wash our faces to get rid of the oil, right?
Not necessarily. Consumers often gravitate towards facial washes and moisturizers labeled "oil free", because they think it will decrease the acne and oil on their face. In reality the exact opposite is happening when you use these cleansers. After washing, water and alcohol based products may make your face feel refreshed and stripped of any excess oil but below the surface your sebaceous glands are working overtime to try and replenish the oil you just washed off of your face. This rapid influx of oil production is a major trigger for acne breakouts and perpetual cystic acne. Oil based cleansers, on the other hand, are able to remove the dirt, bacteria and excess oil on your face without disturbing the delicate balance of oils within your skin. They are also able to dissolve even the toughest waterproof makeup without irritating or drying out your skin.
Jojoba oil is more of a liquid wax than an oil and is used as a main ingredient in our Solstice Cleansing Oil because its makeup mimics our skin's natural sebum. Other ingredients to look for in cleansing oils include Grapeseed Oil, Apricot Oil and Castor Oil because they are all lightweight oils, which absorb easily into the skin. They are also packed with omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, which are essential to maintaining balanced, healthy skin.
As for moisturizers and serums, facial oils are able to soak into your skin without clogging your pores. Traditional water and alcohol based moisturizers are made to evaporate quickly. This ensures that your skin instantly feels as though it has soaked up the moisture but just ends up requiring you to reapply the product multiple times a day in order to remain moisturized. During this drying process, free radicals, dirt, bacteria and any product residue remain trapped on the surface of your skin. Facial oils are able to penetrate past the outer layer of skin without evaporating away, providing long lasting moisture. But how do your choose which facial oil is right for your skin type? Well, there are a number of contributing factors.
Those with oily and acne prone skin should look for a facial oil with a higher linoleic acid content. Linoleic Acid, which is an omega-6 fatty acid, is found to be lacking in people with oily and acne prone skin. In our Elysian Facial Oil we use Evening Primrose Oil and Grapeseed Oil, both of which contain a higher ratio of linoleic acids. We also use oils containing high concentrations of vitamin C and astringent oils, which constrict the skin cells to reduce inflammation, kill bacteria and create even toned skin.
Caution: Coconut oil is the new hot trend in natural skincare, and with good reason. It has excellent emollient and cleansing properties, but it can be problematic for those with acne prone skin. Coconut oil is made of capric triglycerides, also known as medium-chain triglycerides, which can be a huge trigger for acne breakouts. If you're sensitive to acne breakouts, it's usually a good idea to shy away from products containing coconut oil when it comes to your face.
Those with dry, mature or sensitive skin should look for a facial oil with a higher oleic acid content. Oleic acid, which is an omega-9 fatty acid, is found to be lacking in people with dry, flaky and eczema prone skin. In our Garden Facial Oil we use oils like Avocado and Apricot, which contain a higher ratio of oleic acids. We also use oils with a high concentration of vitamin A in the form of beta-Carotene and retinoic acid, which brighten and tighten tired, damaged skin.
Our facial oils can be used morning, noon and night. It is important to apply them to a clean face and allow 5 minutes for the oils to soak in before you apply makeup or anything else to your face. If you are using facial oils during the day, it is strongly recommended that you also apply a broad spectrum sun screen before going outside.