Let’s all agree that facial oils do great things for your skin. But, if you’re not applying the stuff correctly, you could be missing out on a ton of benefits.
Opinions differ wildly online about how to apply your oil: Should you be applying oil straight to the skin or mixing with moisturizer? Should someone with oily skin be following a different technique to a girl whose complexion runs a little dry? You have questions—and we have the definitive answers, with a little help from Melanie Grant. She is one of Australia’s leading voices in beauty and an official skin expert at Chanel who counts Victoria's Secret model Elyse Taylor, Vogue editrix Christine Centenera, blogger Nicole Warne, and Australian It-girl Lara Worthington (née Bingle) among her list of high-profile clients. It’s safe to say she knows what’s what, so let’s get into it.
When it comes to caring for skin, Melanie’s golden rule is to work against gravity. “We are only given one face and we need to make sure we are caring for it as best we can.”
While dry face oils, such as those that contain rosehip oil and other ingredients that absorb quickly, can be applied day or night, Melanie recommends prioritizing oil in the evening and to layer it on over the top of your night serum. “Our skin naturally produces less oil and regenerates overnight so this is a time where it benefits from nourishment and support,” Melanie told Prettyish. “Applying a good quality face oil in the evening is a really effective way to deliver vital nutrients and essential fatty acids deep into the skin to re-lipidate devitalized, dry, stressed and lack-luster skins all whilst we sleep.”
When it comes to applying oils to her face, Melanie has her technique down pat: “I first mist the skin to make it more receptive to absorption. I love both Biologique Recerche L'Eauxygenante and Cosmedix mystic." Next, she warms a generous amount of oil in between her hands and presses into her face, neck and décolletage. “I love to work it into my skin using gentle to moderate flowing strokes, always in an upward motion. Against gravity, lifting and firming,” she added.
According to Melanie, you can apply oils straight to your skin. However, she does note that moisture in the skin comes from “a balance of water-based hydration and oil-based hydration.” That means you want to start with a serum to hydrate the outer layer of your skin before applying oils.
If you plan to layer your products, Melanie recommends starting with the lightest consistency first. “Cleanse, serum, moisturize, then sun-care,” she told Prettyish, adding: “If you are time-poor or your skin is in need of lipids, a wonderful option is to mix a couple of drops of your favorite oil in with your moisturizer to boost its nourishing properties. Adding your oil at this step won't affect the absorption of your serums underneath, either.”
The type of oil you use really does depend on your skin, but Melanie warns against using coconut oil, no matter your skin type. “While it does boast some antimicrobial properties and health benefits when taking internally, it is comedogenic and can worsen blemishes and congestion when used topically.” Consider yourself warned.
“Dryer skins are most suited to oils like grapeseed, shea butter, argan oil and evening primrose oil,” Melanie explained. These are best applied mixed in with moisturisers or pressed over serums to add vital moisture to dryer skins.
“Normal skins can tolerate most oils and these are best applied by mixing in with a moisturiser. Rosehip, argan and jojoba are the best oils for normal skins.”
“Oily and combination skins should opt only for jojoba oil, which is similar in molecular makeup to our skin’s own sebum, though is non-comedogenic so won't exacerbate breakouts,” Melanie said.
Still not sure which oils are best for your skin or how exactly to use them? Get a tailored formula and learn a little more about your complexion right over here.