Understanding the science behind any skincare product is important, let’s start by taking a look at your skin and what exactly it does to get a better idea of the science behind the use of facial oils.
Understanding why your skin is important
You must understand the science behind facial oils. And that includes understanding the anatomy of your skin.
The epidermis serves as the outer layer of your skin. It protects you from UV-light, radiation, heat, harmful chemicals, bacteria, viruses, etc.The epidermis contains five inner sublayers. These layers play an important part in shedding dead skin cells from your body.
The furthest layer of the epidermis contains small round cells called basal cells.
When new cells appear, the older basal cells will be pushed towards the surface. It continually happens within the epidermis. The older cells are shredded as dead skin cells.
The stratum spinosum is located just above the stratum basale. It’s the thickest layer in the epidermis. In this layer, you’ll have basal cells that have been pushed upwards from the stratum basale layer.
The basal cells have matured into squamos cells, also known as keratinocytes. Keratinocytes produce keratin, and keratin is a protective protein that makes up skin, nails, and hair.
This layer is above the stratum spinosum. The squamos cells have been pushed further upwards to the surface of your skin. As they move closer to the surface of your skin, the cells get bigger and flatter.
They move closer together, and then they eventually become dehydrated and die. It’s what you’ll recognize as dead skin cells.
Exist on the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet. You’ll see some dead skin cells in these areas as dry hands or feet.
The dermis also helps control your body temperature.
Facial oils are fantastic for your epidermis layer, while serums are better for your dermis layer.
The ingredients in serums are tiny molecules. This way, they can better penetrate the outermost layer of your skin. The better they can penetrate the surface of your skin, the better they can moisturize your skin from the inside out.
It is either referred to as the subcutaneous fat layer, subcutis, or the hypodermis. It’s the innermost layer of your skin.
The hypodermis provides your body with insulation, which will help keep you warm. It also serves as a shock absorber, protecting your vital inner organs.
Your skin only protects you if you keep it healthy
Your skin protects you from your surrounding environment.
It’s why you need to take good care of your skin. You can take care of your skin in several different ways, such as:
Applying sunscreen all year
Eating a healthy diet with fatty acids
Having a great skincare routine with natural products
You can keep your facial skin healthy by using natural facial oils and serums. These will help moisturize your skin from the innermost layers.
Maybe you’ve noticed the mention of both serums and facial oils. And you’re wondering what the difference is? Let’s dive into this a little more.
What’s important to know about facial oils, serums, and moisturizers
We have covered that the purpose of facial oils is to give your skin that extra hydration.
Now, let’s take a look at the difference between the three of them.
Serums contain highly concentrated ingredients. These penetrate your skin to its most profound level to moisturize.
The ingredients used in serums are purposefully minimal in size. They can reach the innermost layer of the epidermis and moisturize your skin from the inside out.
Antioxidants: vitamin C, pomegranate extract, grape seed extract protects against sun damage. It also helps fight the damaging free radicals that could give you fine lines.
Anti-inflammatories: zinc, arnica, aloe vera, goldenseal are great for neutralizing redness. They also prevent inflammatory cell damage.
Hydrators: ceramides, amino acids, essential fatty acids strengthens the skin’s barrier. They also build healthy cell membranes. Hydrators protect against dry skin, fine lines, and improving your moisture levels.
Oils are a great source of hydration for your skin, and they usually contain plant extracts as well as essential oils. These provide your skin with lipids. Lipids help increase your moisture barrier and keep your skin balanced.
Facial oils also help protect your skin against environmental damage. Environmental damage can lead to acne and premature aging.
Serums have tiny molecules that can easily reach the innermost layer of the epidermis.
Facial oils have much larger molecules, and they only work on the outermost layer of our skin. They help the moisture into your skin and preventing it from water loss.
They can’t penetrate the skin as well as serums. But they still provide essential ingredients to help moisturize your skin.
Moisturizers are made from oils, water, and water-based ingredients. The main goal of a moisturizer is hydration.
Moisturizers are much more useful than facial oils as they sink deeper into your skin. A moisturizer needs to reach the deeper layers of your skin. They’re not effective if they only stay on your outermost layer of skin.
They contain less oil than water, which means that if your skin is well hydrated, then you can replace a moisturizer with a facial oil.
If you have dry skin using both a facial oil and a moisturizer will have a fantastic effect.
Do you see the difference between the three skincare products? Now we need to take a deep dive into why fatty acids are essential to our skin.
Why does your skin need fatty acids?
Facial oils should contain a vital thing, and you need to be aware of this. They should contain essential fatty acids.
Now you’re probably wondering if you need to put fatty acids on your face?!
Yes. You need the right kind of fat for healthy-looking skin. So, this means that you definitely shouldn’t ban fat from your diet. Or your skincare products.
Essential fatty acids are healthy fats that your body and skin needs. They’re crucial because your body can’t produce them on its own.
You need to add essential fatty acids through your diet or your skincare products.
It is found naturally in leafy vegetables, nuts, grass-fed animal fat, and fish. This fatty acid helps your skin retain its moisture, regulates your oil production, and maintains its elasticity.
It can also help with anti-aging and anti-inflammatory responses in your skin.
It is found naturally in meat, eggs, and poultry, as well as nuts, seeds, and plant oils. When applied regularly, Omega-6 helps unclog your pores and reduces blackheads and breakouts. It can also help soothe eczema.
It is found naturally in vegetable oil and animal fats. Technically, this fat is a non-essential fatty acid as your body does produce this by itself. Oleic acid can only exist naturally if there’s enough Omega-3 and Omega-6, so that’s why it’s still essential.
This fatty acid tends to be fantastic for dry skin, as it has a thicker texture than oils with Omega-3 and Omega-6.
If we break it down a little more:
Oils high in Linoleic Acid are great for oily skin.
Oils high in Oleic Acid are great for dry skin.
Oils high in Alpha Linoleic Acid are great for anti-aging and anti-inflammatory promotion.
Enter carrier oils. Carrier oils dilute essential oils, and they “carry” the essential oils into your skin.
Carrier oils are vegetable oils (think: jojoba, coconut, argan). These oils have strong penetrative abilities. It makes them extremely useful on their own. They “carry” essential oils (think: lavender, peppermint, citrus) into your skin.
While essential oils originate from leaves, bark, and roots, carrier oils originate from fruits and nuts. They provide essential fatty acids to your skin through the “fatty” part of the plant.
Different carrier oils have different uses. Now begins the fun part – which carrier oils works best for which skin type?
Let’s get into it.
Choosing carrier oils according to your skin type
Don’t know where to start choosing the right oils for your skin type? Here’s a list of basic skin types and oils.
You don’t break out, you don’t have any dry patches, you’re not too oily, and you’re not overly sensitive to anything. It’s great. Your skin is perfectly healthy.
You can use any basic facial oil without having to worry about your pores getting clogged, irritated skin, dry skin, etc. You should avoid using oils that a very heavy, though.
What to use:
Argan oil:This is the only face oil you’ll ever need for your healthy skin. It’s not too heavy, and it’s not too light. Argan oil is rich and soothing, it sinks in quickly, and it has a high amount of vitamin E, fatty acids, and minerals.
Vitamin E helps prevent skin damage, dark spots, fine lines, etc. Use argan oil as the final step in your skincare routine.
Maybe you think that you can use any facial oil with dry skin. Not true. Some oils can make dry skin worse. Don’t go there.
Drier skin types want to use oils that are high in Oleic Acid (Omega-9). We covered this under the part called “Why does your skin need fatty acids.”
What to use:
Olive oil:contains 83 grams of Oleic Acid, which makes it perfect to use for dry skin.
Almond oil:is extremely hydrating, which is what you want for dry skin. It contains 70 grams of Oleic Acid.
Honestly, it sounds nuts to put oils on oily skin, right? But using the right oils can help you get rid of that excess grease you have so much of, and it can help regulate your skin’s sebum control (which is your natural skin oil).
If you have oily skin, you’re probably using a moisturizer that’s lightweight and oil-free, which is excellent.
Give your moisturizer a few minutes to penetrate your skin before you apply oil as the last step. You can use an oil as a protective layer over your moisturizer to help prevent water loss.
You’ll want to use facial oils with high amounts of Linoleic Fatty Acids.
What to use:
Rosehip oil: contains a generous amount of Linoleic Acid and can help eliminate acne scars.
Jojoba oil: this oil is extremely lightweight and breathable. This oil also helps control sebum production. When applied to your skin, your skin will send signals to your sweat glands that they don’t need to produce extra sebum for hydration.
Grapeseed oil: if you have incredibly oily skin, grapeseed oil is your go-to oil. It absorbs quickly into your skin and helps regulate sebum production. It’s also rich in Linoleic Acids.
Sensitive skin often means irritated skin. You know what that feels like, right? Red skin, burning skin, etc. You need an oil that’ll help soothe and nourish your skin. Like a hug can comfort you.
You need to find a facial oil without any essential oils, as they tend to irritate your skin more.
What to use:
Moringa oil: this oil contains lots of antioxidants, fatty acids, and anti-inflammatories. It’s lightweight and moisturizing.
Aloe vera oil: this is also an oil contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. It’s a natural anti-bacterial and astringent and thus makes it a soothing oil for sensitive, acne-prone skin.
How to use facial oils?
Facial oils can be used in a few different ways.
One of them is known as a double cleanse. Or the Korean double cleanse.
It involves a two-step cleansing process. First, you wash your face by using an oil-based cleanser. Second, you wash your face with a water-based cleanser.
Oil-based cleansers typically come in either liquid oils, creams, or balms. They should be placed on dry skin and massaged into the skin.
You use an oil-based cleanser to remove oil-based impurities, including sebum, sunscreen, and makeup.
This step is followed by another facial cleanse with a water-based cleanser.
At the end of your skincare routine
Facial oils can simply be used as oil at the end of your skincare routine.