face oils masterclass

Trends in skin care come and go. Remember the “oil-free” craze? After being demonized for years, it seems like face oils appeared overnight, being lauded as the new must-have miracle-in-a-bottle. But unlike other fads, oils aren’t new at all. Virtually every culture around the globe has a tradition of using oils to treat the skin. Join us to explore the diversity of face oils, what to avoid, and how to choose the right one for your skin.

So how did oil get such a bad rap? One answer is mineral oil. Also known as petroleum, petrolatum, or paraffin oil, mineral oil is the byproduct of refining crude oil for gasoline. Its toxic and carcinogenic properties vary depending on how refined it is, but we do know that it doesn’t have any benefits for the skin. It acts as a barrier and sits on top of the skin, but it doesn’t actually hydrate. It’s also potentially very comedogenic, meaning it clogs the pores. Compared to plant oils, mineral oil is incredibly cheap, which is why it’s in virtually every type of skin care product, from serums to creams to cleansers. When people are freaked out about oil clogging their skin, mineral oil is usually to blame.

With everyone jumping on the face oil bandwagon, other ingredients you want to avoid aside from mineral oil include silicones, fragrance, parabens, propylene glycol, and PEGs, to name a few.


Oils are as diverse as the plants they come from. The feel of an oil has to do with its unique ratios of omegas. For instance dry oils that are lightweight and absorb easily are very high in Omega 6 (linoleic acid), and include grapeseed oil, prickly pear oil, argan oil, and rosehip oil. Interestingly, a recent study showed that people with acne tend to have low levels of linoleic acid, causing their sebum to be too sticky. This explains why a dry oil can actually balance the skin even if you are oily! Omega 9 (oleic acid) makes an oil richer and more comforting, which will feel good on dry or mature skin. These oils include avocado oil, macadamia oil, and moringa oil. Each oil also has its own composition of omegas, antioxidants, vitamins, and even antibacterial or regenerating properties.

Look for the first ingredient or two of an oil blend, as they will be the most prevalent in a formula, giving it its texture. Sensitive skin types may have more success with single ingredient oils versus blends.


Incorporating oil into a skincare routine can bring bounce and vitality back to all skin types. Depending on the oil and your skin type, oils can be used as serums or as moisturizers. They can be used first on the skin after cleansing to deliver concentrated skin care benefits, or they can be used as a last step to lock in moisture.They can even be mixed in with other serums, moisturizers, and masks to boost them!

Always start with less than you think you need. Just 2-3 drops massaged into slightly damp skin might be enough. It’s easy to add more if your skin needs it! Also keep in mind what kind of makeup you use, if any. If your makeup is quite rich, or oil based, use less oil. If your makeup has a dry texture or is powder-based, you may want to prep with more oil. You can even distribute a drop of oil onto your fingertips, and pat on the high points of your skin as a finishing step of makeup for a radiant look.


Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum

22 nutrient-rich botanical oils are precisely blended to balance, feed the skin, and reduce inflammation. The first ingredients are grape seed and hazelnut oils, which impart a silky, lightweight finish to this potent formula. Oily and combination skin will love it on its own, while other skin types may prefer it as an active serum.

Odacité Wild Carrot Serum Concentrate

This precious wild carrot seed oil is hand pressed in a small French village. For centuries, they’ve known this active elixir “donne bonne mine” (gives a fresh, radiant complexion). It’s the perfect amount of vitamins A, C, and E for soft, glowing skin. Reach for this oil if your skin needs a pick-me-up.

Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil

Pai’s vibrant blend of rosehip seed oil and rosehip fruit oil is naturally bursting with healing and regenerating omegas, carotenoids, and sterols. Anyone can utilize rosehip oil to to condition their skin, but sensitive types will especially benefit from its soothing effects.

May Lindstrom The Youth Dew

Pamper your skin with an elixir of 20 indulgent plant oils infused with the super antioxidant CoEnzyme Q10. Avocado oil and meadowfoam seed oil are the leading ingredients providing cushion and bounce to depleted, dehydrated, or mature skin types.

In Fiore Pur Complexe Face Oil Concentré

Jumpstart sluggish skin with this lightweight, clarifying concentrate. Evening primrose and grapeseed oils are combined with specific extracts including neroil oil to smooth texture, balance oil production, minimize pores, and block breakout-loving bacteria.

Uma Ultimate Brightening Face Oil

This Ayurvedic treatment reveals a luminous complexion with rejuvenating frankincense to encourage rapid cell turnover, and hydrating sandalwood and rose. A base of pomegranate oil delivers exceptional anti-inflammatory benefits and protection from environmental damage.


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1 comment

  1. Kristen Moore wrote

    Thank you for this nice overview of oils! All the products sound so exceptional.

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