Looking for a product that re-hydrates your skin, dissolves dirt and protects your face against the elements? Try a facial oil. No longer considered a niche product, they're now a mainstream must-have.
'The evolution of extraction and blending technologies, as well as a rediscovery of ancient ingredients and formulae has brought us a new generation of face oils', says co-founder of Cult Beauty, Alexia Inge.
There are two types of oils: carrier oils and essential oils that have to be combined in order to work efficiently. Carrier oils are usually cold pressed from fruits and nuts. 'This gives them a strong penetrative ability that allows them to carry botanically derived essential oils deep into the skin', says Shrankhla Holecek, founder of Uma Oils.
Find your perfect formula here...
Problem: Dry skin
Our skin is composed of lipids responsible for preventing dehydration, retaining moisture and keeping toxins out, but as we age, we produce less oils that compose this layer, which is where essential oils come in play. They have a high concentration of oxygen and quickly pass through the skin's lipid barrier to prevent water loss and plump it with active ingredients more effectively.
Best Carrier: Avocado oil is high in Vitamin E and sterolin, which softens the skin and protects from free radicals. It's also rich in lecithin, a lipid that helps deliver nutrients directly to the bloodstream and deeper layers of the skin.
Best Essential: Rose oil is active in promoting and retaining your skin's natural moisture levels thanks to its high levels of Vitamin A, which help to increase collagen production and Omega's 3 and 6, which strengthen your lipid barrier.
Shop It: Sisley Black Rose Precious Face Oil, £136
This may look and feel ultra-luxurious but it doesn't leave behind a greasy, sticky residue like some oils. Alongside omega 3 and 6, camelia oil prevents moisture from escaping, so skin feels plump and pillowy and looks glowing. Three drops is ample.
Avocado and rosehip oil are a dream duo, especially if you suffer with flaky, parched patches. Together, they penetrate the skin and deliver a nourishment hit to the deeper layers that shows in luminosity on the surface.
Problem: Oily skin
As counter-intuitive as it sounds, essential oils can help balance your natural oil levels, without stripping your skin. 'The weather, stress, genetics and your menstrual cycle can all lead to over production of sebum, but a few weeks of using oils will help you get back your balance', says Shrankhla.
Best Carrier: Jojoba oil resembles the actual molecular structure of your skin, delivering nutrients sub-dermally, while tricking your skin into thinking it has produced enough oil.
Best Essential: The drying agent within Clary Sage oil works with your skin cells to regulate sebum production without parching it. Studies have also found that this oil helps women maintain hormonal balances, which can be the cause of increased oil production throughout your menstrual cycle.
Shop It: de Mamiel Spring Facial Oil, £70
Clary sage and jojoba in de Mamiel's offering act like a squeegee against excess oil, mopping it up before it shows up on the surface of your skin, so you can wave goodbye to the 3pm shine. Spearmint and grapefruit invigorates both the skin and the senses, too.
Jurlique Skin Balancing Face Oil, £30.50
This Jurlique offering is filled to bursting with a dream team of nurturing oils for maximum perkiness. Jojoba mimics the oil your skin produces naturally, preventing your glands from going into overdrive. No oil slicks here, people.
A lack of lipids on the surface of the skin can impair the water barrier function, resulting in bumps and rough skin texture. This, combined with excessive sebum production, forms a blockage within the hair follicle, resulting in a spot or cyst. But, essential oils can help regulate your skin's pH balance, heal existing damage, and stimulate cell renewal – ridding your complexion of unwanted toxins while maintaining a healthy lipid barrier.
Best Carrier: Grape seed oil controls your skin's natural oil producing functions to help balance the pH levels of your skin. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and is rich in antioxidants to protect and vitamin C to help heal.
Best Essential: Clove and Tea Tree are naturally antimicrobial, anti-fungal, antiseptic, antiviral and anti-bacterial. Sandalwood and Lavender soothe inflammation and reduce redness, while Orange oil is high in vitamin C, which helps both prevent and repair skin breakage.
Shop It: Sunday Riley UFO Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil, £68
Tea tree oil in Sunday Riley's cult facial oil purifies pores prone to harbouring bacteria while vitamin C from the added apricot uncovers brighter, more resilient skin. We love the bottle, too.
Oils are known for their nourishing, hydrating properties but Clinique have kicked the beauty rulebook to the kerb where Turnaround is concerned. It also contains salicylic acid to keep breakouts at bay and will leave you with a clearer, more radiant complexion
Problem: Large pores
We all know that pores don't have the ability open or close, but there are ways to make them appear smaller - by keeping them clean and unclogged.
Best Carrier: The small molecules of pomegranate oil penetrate your skin to deliver nutrients quickly, so the oil doesn't sit on the surface of your skin, enlarging your pores.
Best Essentials: Lemon is a natural astringent that cleans out your pores, making them appear smaller, while helps cellular turnover, so you won't have dead skin cells clogging up your pores.
Shop It: de Mamiel Summer Facial Oil, £67
The face oil equivalent of a Greek island holiday, this harnesses lemon seed, pomegranate and Wild Rose to lend skin a supernatural radiance. It is packed antioxidants to stop pollution, airborne bacteria and UV rays from ravaging your skin which contributes to a seamless look and feel.
Added sweet almond in Caudalie's fast-absorbing dry oil neutralises toxins that pollute your skin cells, all while you sleep. A few drops a night is enough to detox pores and lend skin a blurred, airbrushed effect that can only be rivalled by Photoshop - trust us!