Learn about Benefits of Facial Oils for your skin

If the word “oil” throws you off completely, read this post on everything you need to know about facial oils.

Maybe it’s the idea of putting oil on your acne-prone skin, or maybe your skin is so sensitive you think you can’t use oils (you can by the way!).

In this article, you’ll find out why facial oils can work wonders on your skin + how to use them for your skin type.

It doesn’t matter if you have oily skin, acne, redness, sensitive skin, etc. Facial oils hydrates your skin, gives it an extra boost and can help treat your skin issues. They give your skin an extra level of protection and help strengthen the outer layer of the skin. The oils do this by softening the skin and sealing it, thereby preventing your skin from losing water.

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 skin is the largest organ of your body, did you know? It has many functions, such as protecting you from heat, water, light, injury, infection, etc.

Your skin consists of 3 layers:

  • Epidermis
  • Dermis
  • Subcutaneous fat layer (hypodermis)


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.

Stratum basale

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.

Stratum spinosum

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.

Stratum granulosum

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.

Stratum lucidum

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.

Stratum corneum

The outermost layer of the epidermis consists of 10 to 30 layers of dead skin cells that always shed from your skin.

Facial oils are a great way to protect the epidermis and provide it with hydration.


Keratinocytes produce keratin, and keratin is a protective protein that makes up skin, nails, and hair.

It contains sweat and oil glands that escape through pores in your epidermis. It also contains hair follicles, connective tissues, nerve endings, and lymph vessels.

The dermis also contains collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin help support your strength, flexibility, and the deeper layers of anatomical structures.

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
  • Staying hydrated
  • 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.

When looking at the ingredients of serums, you have to make sure that the parts are suitable for your skin. Serums should contain the following:

  • 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.

Serums should be an essential part of any skincare routine. They protect and repair your skin from concerns such as sun damage, aging, hyperpigmentation, and acne.

Facial oils

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.

But what are they?

We’ll mainly be focusing on the three most important fatty acids:

  • Omega-3 (Alpha Linoleic Acid)
  • Omega-6 (Linoleic Acid)
  • Omega-9 (Oleic Acid)

Alpha Linoleic Acid

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.

Linoleic Acid

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.

Oleic acid

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.

Not getting enough essential fatty acids might mean that you have dry, inflamed skin that is prone to whiteheads and blackheads. Does this sound familiar to you?

Fatty acids are great for your skin’s surface layer, and they create a smoother, more even, and younger-looking complexion.

Carrier oils vs. essential oils

At this point, you understand the science behind facial oils and why they’re essential in any skincare routine. Now we can move onto actual facial oils.

The most common types of oils are carrier oils and essential oils.

Essential oils originate from leaves, roots, and bark of plants. As the oils are incredibly potent, applying them directly to your skin can cause allergic reactions.

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.

Normal skin

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.

Dry skin

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.

Oily skin

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

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.

Double-cleansing method

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.

There’s a skincare layering rule though:

  • Cleanser
  • Toner
  • Essence/ampoule
  • Serum
  • Moisturizer
  • Facial oil

A facial oil should be applied after your moisturizer, as a moisturizer penetrates your skin on a deeper level. A facial oil will serve as a protector and lock in the moisture from the moisturizer.

A final word

Facial oils are a fantastic add on to your skincare routine. You do have to find the oil that works best for your skin type, though.

If you’re using a facial oil correctly, it can help treat several skin issues such as dry skin, acne, redness, sensitive skin, and can even treat oily skin.

You should always use facial oils as the last step in your skincare routine, as it serves as a protector and locks in the moisture from your moisturizer.

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