What's the best face oil in Australia for glowing skin? (And what you should avoid)
The world of skin care can be so complicated. Serums, moisturisers, exfoliators…and now face oils.
Face oils seem to be everywhere at the moment, but in reality, they’ve been around for a while. But, like many good things in the world, they don’t always get the attention they deserve. Luckily, they’re now getting such a good rap because the best face oils are superfood for your skin - and when they work, they give your skin that elusive glow we’re all looking for.
There are, however, some face oils that should be avoided.
But don’t fear. We’re here to separate the two and tell you about the best face oils in Australia. Start reading so you can smooth on that face oil and get your glow on.
What are face oils?
Face oils are oil-based skin care products designed to be used on the face. Face oils are different to body oil because they’re specifically formulated for the skin on the face which is thinner and more sensitive than the face on your body.
Most of the time, they’ll be formulated with non-comedogenic oils. Non-comedogenic means the oil won't clog pores.
There are hundreds, maybe even thousands, of different face oils on the markets, and many different blends of face oils. If you’re new to face oils, it might be a good idea to keep it simple initially, so you figure out which oils work best with your skin.
Here, we’ll break down the most common oils that tend to be used as the base for many face oils.
Why should you use face oils?
It all depends on the type of face oil, but largely people use face oils because they have skin-softening emollient qualities. Creams tend to sink into the skin, whereas oils sit nearer to the surface, providing a barrier and locking in moisture.
The best way to use face oils is to combine them with other skin care products. Because of the way they provide a barrier, face oils are a great way to ensure your other products have time to work before they evaporate.
When it comes to face oils, it's important to understand that not all oils are created equal. Different oils exhibit unique properties and benefits for the skin. Some oils are lightweight and easily absorbed, while others are rich and moisturising.
If you understand the different types of face oils, then you can choose the one that suits your skin's needs.
What should you look for in a face oil?
Firstly, look for a face oil that is made with high-quality, natural ingredients. Organic or sustainably sourced face oils are a great choice as pesticides are much less likely to have been used in the growing process.
Secondly, consider the formulation of the face oil. Different oils have different properties and benefits for the skin. Some oils are lightweight and easily absorbed, while others are rich and moisturising.
Make sure your oil is not too heavy or leaves a greasy residue. A well-formulated face oil should also be easily layered with other skincare products, allowing you to create a bespoke skincare routine that works for you.
How to apply face oil
Let’s not overthink this. It’s an oil for your face…so you put it on your face! But here are a few tips to get the most out of your face oil.
- Just use a little bit: the better the face oil, the less you need of it. A little goes a long way!
Use face oil on damp skip. Damp skin will absorb the face oil better and the oil locks in the water that’s already on the skin.
- Use face oil in combination with other skin products to get the maximum effect from all of them.
In terms of how you should combine them with other products, most sources say to apply face oils after your moisturiser and before, or instead of, a serum. However, plenty of people use them first and then apply their moisturiser or sunscreen afterwards.
You could even mix a little bit into your favourite moisturiser. The way to think about it, is that face oils are there to lock in moisture and amp up the effects of other skincare, and you might need to test out what works best for you.
- While oils can be used any time of day, using them at night is an easy way to wake up to soft, dewy skin.
- Face oil can be used both in the morning and at night. In the morning, apply face oil before sunscreen to provide a protective barrier against environmental stressors. At night, use face oil as the last step in your skincare routine to lock in moisture and nourish your skin while you sleep.
The best face oils to give you that elusive glow
You’re on a hemp oil site, but it’s important you make an informed decision. So let’s take each of the most popular base oils in face oil formulations so you can see which ones resonate with you.
We’ve also included the comedogenicity scale which rates ingredients from 0 (non-comedogenic) to 5 (very comedogenic). The more comedogenic a face oil, the more likely it is to clog pores. The scale isn’t gospel, but gives you an indication of the effects of each oil.
Argan oil extracted from the kernels of the fruit pit of the argan tree that’s grown in Morocco. Argan oil is popular because it’s high in anti-inflammatory fatty acids, it won’t clog the skin, it’s rich in anti-oxidants, and it mixes really well with other skin-care products.
Unfortunately, as argan oil has grown in popularity, the more industrialised the extraction methods have become, and often solvents are used in the process.
Besides the sustainability factor, argan oil suits most skin types and feels beautiful on the skin. It’s high on the glow list and has a comedogenic rating of 0.
Jojoba oil is produced from the seeds of the jojoba plant, and is composed of almost 98% pure waxes.
Despite technically being a liquid wax, jojoba is still quite light and skin experts say it’s similar to the oil that our skin produces.
It’s soothing, anti-inflammatory benefits can help resolve certain skin conditions.
Since jojoba oil balances sebum production, it can be used by people with acne. However, some people say it feels a little greasy on their skin, and this could be because while it’s not known for blocking pores, it still has a comodegenic rating of 2.
Hemp seed oil
Hemp seed oil is one of the lightest face oils, which makes it great for people with oily skin. But it’s also superfood for the skin because it has the highest levels of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids out of all the seed oils. This means hemp seed oil really locks in hydration and encourages healthy oil flow, which in turn reduces pore size.
Hemp seed oil also acts as a humectant, drawing moisture to the skin, and unlike some other oils, can be used with acids and retinoids.
Hemp seed oil has a comedogenic rating of 0.
Curious about hemp seed oil? See what you think of the Relief Skin Loving Face Oil, blended with castor oil (the castor oil amps up the moisture of the lighter hemp seed base). It also contains beta-caryophyllene to fight inflammation and redness.
Luxurious rosehip oil the OG. It’s extracted from the seeds of rose bushes and has all the wonderful properties of many face oils, including brightening and evening out skin tone, regenerating and healing, and helping with collagen production.
However, because rosehip oil contains retinoic acid, you shouldn’t use it if you’re already using a retinoid.
There are some excellent rosehip oils on the market, but because this oil has been around for a while, many companies have scaled to meet demand, and thus use cheap extraction methods which can destroy some of the anti-oxidants in the oil.
Some companies also only use the rosehip seed, whereas the better oils include oil from the whole fruit. If you’re choosing rosehip oil, make sure the oil is a deeper orange colour, as the light coloured ones are likelier more refined.
Rosehip oil has a comedegenic rating of 1.
Marula oil is extracted from the kernel of the fruit of the marula tree. The marula tree is native to Africa, but it’s also been introduced to Madagascar and Australia.
Many people love marula oil and find it soothes the skin, reduces the formations of scars and prevents hyperpigmentation. It’s also great for damaged, sunburned, or irritated skin because of its high concentration of UV-fighting antioxidants.
Marula oil has a comedegenic rating of 3, and has high levels of palmitic acid and low linoleic acid. This means irritation and pore-clogging could be risk factors.
Made from the seeds of the castor bean plant, castor oil is much thicker than other oils, but makes the list because of its reputed medicinal properties and the fact that it features in Ayurvedic medicine.
It’s known for battling wrinkles, and contains ricinoleic acid, an omega 9 fatty acid with antibacterial and cleansing properties. Because it’s so highly nourishing, some people use it to ease eczema-inflamed skin.
Castor oil is quite sticky and viscous, so it’s surprising it has a low comedogenic rating of 1. It takes a while to absorb, but blending it with another oil will help it to sink in faster (the Relief Skin Loving Face Oil does just that!)
Fun fact: people believe castor oil speeds up lash growth.
Squalane is easily recognized by the skin, and is recommended for all skin types. Squalane has been controversial because sometimes it’s sourced from shark liver which is highly unsustainable - so make sure you’re shopping for plant based squalane (eg. you can source squalane from olives).
Squalane is a light oil, but is a rich emollient that calms inflammation and works well with actives like retinol.
One of the defining features of squalane is that it’s very similar to the sebum our skin naturally produces. Squalane has a comedogenic rating of 1.
Which face oils should you avoid?
Different face oils suit different people - and as natural products, it wise to trial a few and see what’s best for you.
However, there are a few oils that we recommend you stay away from.
Some people use coconut oil as an overnight hydrating treatment. However, it has a comedogenic rating of 4 which means that it’s highly likely to clog pores, especially if you have oily skin.
Many skincare products contain coconut oil, and in small amounts or blended with other oils, it’s probably fine. Be careful if you’re using raw coconut oil, as it might impact your skin if you’re sensitive or break-out prone.
In saying this, coconut oil really can help lock in moisture on the skin, so if you’re insistent on using it, try it on a small area of your face or body first.
Mineral oil is highly refined derivative of petroleum and is found in many products like Bio-Oil or Vaseline. Unlike many of plant-based face oils, it has large molecules and so it sits on top of the skin. This means it traps moisture (ie. it’s occlusive) and seals other products in to the skin, but depending on the formulation, it can also clog pores.
Overall, it’s safe to use on skin, but with so many other natural varieties on the market, it doesn’t rank high on our glow list.
Essential oils (such as tea tree oil)
Essential oils are not face oils and shouldn’t be used directly on the skin!
For example, we see tea tree oil recommended in some blogs as a face oil - and it’s most definitely not. Essential oils generally needs to be diluted to be applied on the skin, and anyone with sensitive skin needs to tread carefully because they can often have adverse reactions.
Now you have all the relevant info you need, go forth and get your glow on!
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