Why Should You Add Face Oil To Your Skincare Routine?

Face Oils are all swirling all around the internet these days to the point where one wonders if they actually need it. Here is a deep dive into the topic to help you decide.

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Contrary to common belief, face oils give your dull skin the glow it lacks. It may sound counterintuitive —especially using on oily skin because we all need to remove oil from our skin, not add.

However, after considering how it works and the potential benefits face oils are praised for, you don’t need to worry about that. Face oils pamper your skin without making it oily. Yes, they actually do the opposite, as crazy as it sounds.

In this article, you will learn what face oils are, what do they do, their benefits, and a few of the best face oils for all skin types!

Face Oil: A Step you Skipped In Your Skincare Routine!

Just when you thought you couldn’t possibly add any more steps to your skincare routine, here comes another old-school beauty secret: enter face oils. A lot of people have different opinions on using face oils.

Face Oil A Missed Step In Your Skincare Routine

But all of the disapproving statements have to agree to the important functions of oils in our skin. Even on oily skins.

Some say hydration of the skin does not need to be through oils. True that. Because dehydrated skin(1) means lack of water in the skin and dry skin means a lack of oils in the skin.

You cannot hydrate your skin through oils, it has to be water. But your skin needs both water and oil (remember sebum?) to work healthily as they do different things to your skin.

While water thrives inside your skin, oils thrive on the top layers of your skin which trap the water. This creates an oil-infused moisture barrier to your skin to prevent trans-epidermal water loss and protect against allergens and pathogens. Your skin cannot afford to lose water, right? So, it needs oil on the top layers to make the said lipid barrier stronger.

This is where face oils come into the picture, especially on dry skins that lack natural oils. Depending on the face oil, your skin type, and its needs, you can take full advantage of this commonly missed step in skincare routines!

What Are Face Oils And How Do They Work?

Face oils are one of the skincare products that you can switch depending on your skin concerns and goals. Say what? Yes, you can have countless bottles of face oils for literally every skin concern, even for the ones you didn’t know your skin was suffering from. Not all oils are created equal or with one purpose alone.

Now, what are face oils? Are they just oils? With essential fatty acids and potent mixes of powerful ingredients, face oils are attuned to work with your skin’s natural oils. Your skin naturally produces oils and lipids and they prevent water loss, keeping your skin elastic and hydrated.

What Are Face Oil And How Do They Work

Since face oils —or any oil— are hydrophobic, they work to add an additional sealant of protection that locks in moisture and prevents water loss. They work for lubrication and protection of the skin from outside chemicals and irritants.

This makes face oils especially necessary for dry skin. Because when your skin doesn’t produce enough natural oils, water loss happens, causing dryness and flakiness. So, your skin needs oils to keep the top layer functional. On the other hand, your skin becomes oily when there is an overproduction of oil.

It could be the response to dryness or the result of using harsh products on the face. Either way, face oils can help oily skins too, depending on the oil and its ingredients. Because they work to regulate and balance the excess oil production. But the benefits of using face oils don’t end there.

What Are The Benefits Of Face Oil?

Depending on the oil and its ingredients, here are the benefits of using face oils:

Seal In Moisture

Though the function of face oils is not moisturizing or hydrating per se, they lock in moisture from other hydrating products you use to keep your skin hydrated.

By creating a protective barrier, they make sure to not let moisture or water loss happen. This can be especially beneficial to those with dry and dehydrated skin.

Soften The Skin

A few drops of face oils are all it takes to make your skin soft and supple. If you apply oil on your face at night before sleeping, you will wake up to skin so soft to touch.

Its moisturizing effects pay off really well when you apply it when the skin repairs itself during sleep.

Keep The Skin Balanced

An overproduction of sebum causes oily skin, followed by clogged pores, acne, and breakouts. When you use certain face oils formulated for oily skin, they help regulate the oil production of sebaceous glands and in turn keeps your skin balanced.

Especially if your oily skin is caused as a response to dryness.

Give Healthy and Glowing Skin

Over time, your skin produces less oil, making your skin look dull. Or if your skin is dehydrated, your face shows the signs.

To restore the moisture, you can use facial oils along with other hydrating practices. This way, you can bring back the healthy glow of your skin as well.

Give Healthy and Glowing Skin

Protect Your Skin

Some face oils with antioxidants protect the skin by keeping damaging free radicals(2) at bay and preventing loss of elasticity and photoaging. They also protect the outer layer of the skin from chemicals and pathogens.

And some face oils are thin enough to penetrate into your skin to keep the toxins out. Meanwhile, some face oils strengthen your natural skin barrier.

Reduce Wrinkles

Since some face oils can protect the skin against free radical damage, they consequently reduce wrinkles and other aging signs.

The powerful mix of antioxidants also plays a prominent role in boosting collagen production, strengthening skin elasticity, and preventing and treating aggravated aging signs and sun damage.

Act As The Perfect Primer

The soft and silky feel of face oils gives the perfect primer to apply concealer and foundation smoothly.

You can glide your brush for a seamless base for your makeup application without clumps.

Make Other Products Effective

When you apply face oils before bed as your final step in the evening routine, they help other products to work their magic, like locking in moisture from moisturizers.

Calm Down Rashes

With its anti-inflammatory properties, some face oils help irritated skin. Argan oils and yangu oils are considered ideal for fighting irritants(3).

And tea tree oil with its antibacterial and antifungal properties can banish creeping zits and blemishes on the skin.

When And How To Use Face Oil?

To answer when to use face oil in a skincare routine, some may say that there is no right time slot for face oils. But they are wrong. Here too, the rule of thumb is going from the thinnest to the thickest.

And oils are thick. Don’t listen to anyone who says otherwise. But some face oils are lightweight to some extent.

When And How To Use Face Oil

Start applying your lightest products, such as serums, then move to moisturizers, and then, apply face oils to seal in the moisture, followed by sunscreen after 15 minutes. This way, you can create a barrier effectively while locking all other skincare products in.

You can use face oils as the final step of your evening routine before hitting the bed to wake up to the softest skin the next morning. Another option is applying it in the morning routine. Or you can apply at both times, particularly on dry skin.

The important point to remember is that you cannot and should not apply face oils as your first step. They mess up the rest of your skincare steps if applied in the beginning.

How To Use Face Oil?

Now, how to use face oils? Of course, you can simply apply them to your face. But some dermatologists suggest using them by mixing with your existing skincare products, depending on the type of face oil you use. Like, mixing with serums or moisturizers for enhanced effects.

Or, you can use them alone. But instead of rubbing it as you would with a moisturizer, dab or pat the face oil into your skin, pushing them into your pores. You need only a couple of drops to cover your whole face.

Applying face oils depending on your skin’s needs is also another best choice. For instance, you can spot-treat dry patches on your skin rather than slathering it all over the face.

If you are having dull skin, you can apply oils before applying makeup for a hydrated and natural glow. For oily skin, try to not go overboard while applying.

Now that you know what face oil is and how to use it, let’s see a few of the best face oils for all skin types.

Best Face Oil For All Skin Types

This list of the best face oils is categorized based on skin types and needs. There are several options on the market as brands introduce new face oils almost every week. But here, I have listed only the best two options of dermatologists-recommended face oils you can pick for each skin type.

Best face oil for dry skin:

Dry skins can reap the most benefits of face oils.

Look for: maracuja, argan, olive, jojoba, coconut, and sunflower oils.

Our picks:

  • Elemis Superfood Facial Oil, $55
  • Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil, $34

Best face oil for sensitive skin:

Do not apply face oils on sensitive skin without doing a patch test.

Look for: fragrance-free oils.

Our picks:

  • Viva Naturals Organic Jojoba Oil, $10
  • Caudalie Vinosource Overnight Recovery Oil, $50

Best face oil for oily skin:

Balance the oil production of your skin and reduce oiliness.

Look for: macadamia, jojoba, tea tree, camellia flower, argan, and squalane oils.

Our picks:

  • Biossance Squalane + Tea Tree Balancing Oil, $49
  • Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil, $62

Best face oil for acne-prone skin:

Always start slow with face oils for acne-prone skins to not aggravate your skin.

Look for: jojoba, marula, tea tree, squalane, and aloe vera.

Our picks:

  • Body Shop Tea Tree Oils, $10
  • Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil, $40

Best face oil for pigmentation:

Treat dark spots and hyperpigmentation.

Look for: argan, lemon, tea tree, rosehip, frankincense, evening primrose oils.

Our picks:

  • Josie Maran 100 Percent Pure Argan Oil, 49
  • Bio-Oil Skincare Oil, $22

Best face oil for anti-aging:

Prevent and treat the aging signs you don’t want right now.

Look for: argan, rosehip seed extract, and olive oils.

Our picks:

  • Tata Harper Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil With Vitamin A, $148
  • The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil, $10

Best face oil for glowing skin:

For a radiant glow, you can make use of face oils on dull skin.

Our picks:

  • Ghost Democracy SoftGlow Facial Oil, $38
  • Beauty Bakerie Wake & Bake Face Oil, $28


[sc_fs_multi_faq headline-0=”h3″ question-0=”Is face oil necessary to use?” answer-0=”While face oils are not an absolute necessity or solve all skin concerns, they do a fair share of repairing and protecting the skin. ” image-0=”” headline-1=”h3″ question-1=”Do face oils clog pores?” answer-1=”Many brands promise that their face oils do not clog pores. But most of them do, especially when formulated with coconut oil. Unless the oils are of a smaller molecular size, your skin won’t be able to breathe and then clog pores.” image-1=”” headline-2=”h3″ question-2=”Can face oil replace moisturizer?” answer-2=”Face oils work as occlusive as well as emollients. Meaning they hang on the surface of the skin filling the spaces between the skin cells and penetrate just enough to hydrate the top layers of the skin, unlike moisturizing creams that tend to sink deeper into your skin. Though face oils moisturize the skin, their moisturizing power is not as strong as other formulas. So, you can use face oils with moisturizers but not as moisturizers.” image-2=”” count=”3″ html=”true” css_class=””]

Final Thoughts

So, should you really use face oils? Well, it depends. If you have dry skin, face oils could be a necessity. But every other skin type benefits from face oils.

While it may not solve all your skin concerns, the right face oil can solve the skin concerns for which it is formulated. Plus, they are an added barrier to your skin. To answer your question of “do I need face oil?”, you can try slathering one on your skin and wake up with a newfound glow your skin never had!

  1. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). (1998-2021). Dry Skin. (Online). Available at

  2. Future US. (n.d). What Are Free Radicals?. (Online). Available at

  3. National Center for Biotechnology Information. (n.d).Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils. (Online). Available at

Writer by day and reader by night. With a thoughtful lens, Manal authors in-depth blog posts on all things health and beauty. She tries to cover here basically anything a woman wants to know.

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