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Understanding Face Oils

Karen Avidar

What are face oils made of?

Face oils are made by mechanically pressing the fatty portions of various botanicals. These oils are known as vegetable oils or botanical oils. The most effective botanical oils are pressed while ensuring that the temperature during the process does not exceed 120 degrees. This process, known as cold-pressing, ensures that nutrients, vitamins and other beneficial qualities of the plant source are not lost. 

What is the difference between face oils and essential oils?

The main difference between the oils used in face oils and essential oils are the way they are produced and their composition. Botanical or vegetable oils are the oils that are used to make face oils and are made using the cold-pressing method while essential oils are made in a process of steam distillation. Essential oils are the most concentrated form of botanical extraction and should always be diluted with botanical oils. Therefore, one of the biggest differences between the two types of oils is that botanical oils can be applied directly to skin while essential oils cannot and should always be diluted. Some face oils are made with a few drops of essential oils to increase potency while others are made entirely of cold-pressed botanical oils.

How do I use a face oil?

Face Oils are used in place of or alongside cream moisturizers. Ideally, they should be applied after skin has been cleansed and toned. If you would like to use a face oil alongside a cream moisturizer then apply the face oil first and then follow with a cream moisturizer.

Can individuals with acne-prone skin also use face oils?

Other than cases of severe acne, all skin types can benefit from using a face oil, even oily and acne-prone skin. Botanical oils carry various vitamins and fatty acids that help facilitate skin cell renewal and help fight inflammation, redness and other acne-related symptoms. Research has found that botanical oils can benefit and help heal mild to moderate acne. If using an oil with oily and acne-prone skin, it is recommended to use a hydrosol or toner to help make sure any excess dirt or bacteria is eliminated before the oil is applied. 

When choosing a face oil for oily or acne-prone skin, it is important to use oils that have a low comedogenic ranking. Each oil is given a ranking from 0 to 5 based on how likely it is to clog pores, with 0 being unlikely to clog pores and 5 being very likely. Oily and acne-prone skin will benefit most from oils ranked 0-2. Examples of oils with a low ranking which are good for acne-prone skin are Argan, Rosehip, Hemp Seed, Pomegranate Seed, Red Raspberry Seed, Sweet Almond, Evening Primerose, Camelia Seed and Neem oils. Some oils to avoid for oily skin types include Coconut, Avocado, and Marula Oils. Finding the comedogenic ranking of various botanical oils is easy to do with a quick Google search. 

What is the difference between the different botanical oils? How do I know which to choose?

Each botanical oil carries different vitamins, fatty acids and antioxidants. Therefore, using a blend of a few botanical oils is ideal to ensure you get several types of nutrients. Using a single botanical oil for a face oil will do no harm but you are likely to see more results when blending several oils that offer different benefits. Some oils have a chemical makeup that makes them best for fighting redness and inflammation while others are great hydrators or sun protectors. Consult a professional or do a little research to find which oils will best cover all of your needs.

Our Balancing Face Serum and Hydrating Face Oil were formulated to help balanced oil production and keep skin hydrated and healthy for a wide variety of skin types.