Everything You Need To Know About Using Face Oil
It feels so good to put a good face oil on your skin - especially when your skin feels incredibly dry. But what happens when you have oily, acne-prone, or combination skin? <>Face oils and serums smell great and feel luxurious, but how do they differ from using a moisturiser and what benefits do they offer over other beauty routine products? Experts tell us that the answer to that depends on both the oil and your skin.
Your skin creates natural oils
And it plays a really important role in keeping you hydrated by protecting the outer layer of your skin. Here’s how that works:
The one type of oily substance you probably know about already is called sebum, which is secreted by the skin’s sebaceous glands and contributes to the noticeable oiliness on the face. But there are also other lipids (fats and oils) produced by cells in the stratum corneum, the protective outer layer of skin that functions as the skin’s primary protection against water loss. Together, the oils produced by your skin keep the layers of your skin soft, seal hydration in, and protect against allergens and pathogens by keeping the stratum corneum in tact.
Any oil is hydrophobic, including the oils that your face produces, which means that they’ll keep water from escaping. And that in turn keeps your skin hydrated.
Natural oils stop your skin from drying
Your skin cells are like bricks and the oil is like mortar. Without the oils that your skin makes, the bricks can separate, allowing water to escape from your skin (a process referred to as transepidermal water loss) which can cause dryness and flakiness. Many people have dry skin because their skin does not naturally produce enough oil to keep that outer layer of skin—which keeps hydration in—functional.
On the other hand, if your skin is oily, that’s because your skin produces too much oil (sebum). But, of course, it’s not always that simple. Using harsh skin-care products (like some acne products) can either dry out your skin or even cause the skin to produce more oil in response to dryness.
And then there are people with combination skin, meaning that it’s both dry and oily. Basically, everyone could use some type of moisturiser, you just need to find the right one for you and your skin type.
“Any oil is hydrophobic, including the oils that your face produces, which means that they’ll keep water from escaping. And that in turn keeps your skin hydrated”
Facial oils offer a concentrated dose of omega fatty acids
Natural oils are made up of ingredients referred to as 'omega fatty acids'. You might've heard about a specific kind, omega-3s, particularly in relation to heart health. Like many nutrients, omegas are great to apply topically as well as to eat.
Omega-3 oils are known anti-inflammatories, which means they're awesome at treating skin concerns such as dryness, eczema, and chronic conditions such as rosacea or acne.
Facial oils are a natural source of vitamins and antioxidants.
Many emollient-based moisturisers use mineral oil to occlude the skin, and are very effective at this task. Mineral oils act as a temporary skin barrier to prevent hydration from escaping. However, they can't provide any nutrients to your skin, as they contain none (don't let the word 'mineral' fool you here).
Natural oils can help lock hydration into your skin via an action similar to that of mineral oil. But natural oils also condition the skin with fat-soluble vitamins and antioxidants. These ingredients help improve skin's overall resilience.
Facial oils help to repair skin's barrier function
The outermost layers of skin are oil-based in order to keep your skin safe from germs and dehydration. You can think of your skin as the shield of your body. When this shield is attacked or neglected, it becomes:
Less able to do its jobs of protection, temperature regulation, and so forth
Dull and dehydrated
Dry and unevenly textured
Open to developing forms of dermatitis and eczema
Sensitive, reactive, and reddened
Facial oils help keep your skin healthy and attractive because they replenish your skin's natural oil content. Oils not only form a temporary barrier, but they also feed skin with the nutrients it needs to restore itself to health.