Concise Guide to Face Oils

Updated: Jun 1, 2019




Your concise guide to face oils and how every skin type should use them.

Every other week, there’s a new face oil hitting Sephora’s shelves-with new packaging, new technology and promising improved results. They are rich in fatty acids, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients crucial in repairing the skin barrier and locking in moisture. Face oils are great, but knowing how and why to actually apply them can be confusing. It’s important to first know your skin type and the concerns you want to address in order to choose the oils that will be most beneficial for you specifically.


Daytime Use

It can be done! After your cleansing routine, antioxidant serum and moisturizer with sunscreen, apply a few drops of oil. Layering an oil in the morning is a great way to protect skin from harsh winter temperatures and winds. This is also beneficial in indoor environments notorious for sucking the moisture out of beautiful complexions globally; the office and airplanes.

Nyakio’s Marula & Neroli Brightening Oil, $42, available at Ulta Beauty.

Dry Skin

While most people with dry skin would think to apply tremendous amounts of oil directly to the skin, it’s important to not skip moisturizer or apply oil before moisturizer. All skin needs moisture from both water and oil; the face oil will supply the oil while your moisturizer will provide the water. Your moisturizer will not be able to penetrate the skin through the oil, so it’s best to apply it first, then your oil. Another option is to mix a few drops of oil directly into your nighttime moisturizer. My preferred method of application is; moisturizer first then a few drops of face oil applied all over. The oil will provide a protective barrier to prevent dry air from whisking moisture out from your skin. Coupled with a humidifier, you too can maintain your dewy complexion in January.


Oily, Combination Skin

I understand your fear and I don’t recommend it for everyone, but face oils can be beneficial for oily and/or blemish prone complexions. While they should be used sparingly, they can be used safely in dry and cold climates and particularly when skin is feeling especially chapped, tight and dry. Apply a lightweight oil free moisturizer first. After your moisturizer has absorbed, add a drop or two of treatment oil as a protective layer to prevent moisture loss. Reach for a lighter oil, listen to your skin and don’t overdo it.

Nyakio’s Maracuja & Yangu Soothing Oil, $42, available at Ulta Beauty.


Normal Skin

Follow the same protocol outlined above for dry skin. If you notice more breakouts after introducing face oil into your regimen, cut it down to use only on days that your skin will be exposed to particularly cold winds and temperatures.

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate, $46, available at Sephora.


Generally, I will reach for jojoba oil from my Mom’s collection of potions and concoctions, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try Nyakio’s collection of face oils over the holiday. I bought the trial size trio; Maracuja & Yangu Soothing Oil, Manketti & Manfura Anti-Aging Oil, and Marula & Neroli Brightening Oil for $19 from Ulta Beauty in December. I can’t seem to find that set online, but you can follow the links for more information on all three. I really enjoyed this trio (particularly the brightening oil for daytime use) and love the story behind the brand, it’s founder, and the ethically and sustainable sourced ingredients. If you’re into it, the products are also cruelty-free and made with natural and certified organic ingredients. Definitely worth the research and purchase.


Remember, it’s best to apply your face oil at night, as the ingredients are able to absorb longer and more efficiently to help repair skin while you sleep, but (as outlined above) you can and in some cases, should definitely use a face oil during the day. And as always, don’t forget your neck.

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© 2019 NIA EL-AMIN