A Simple Guide For Choosing The Right Facial Oil Blend For Your Skin
Facial oils are all the rage right now, but this is one product that we view as far more than simply a passing trend.
The right facial oil can completely transform your skin and change the way you feel about your current skincare routine.
Facial oils not only feel luxurious on the skin, they are brimming with antioxidant rich ingredients to truly feed your skin with nourishment for long-term benefits, rather than offer a temporary “quick fix.”
Just as your dietary needs change from season to season, so will your skin care needs.
For example, during the chilly months, we rely on heavier, warmer, comforting meals to warm our bodies and nourish our bodies, whereas in the warmer months our bodies crave cooler, lighter meals to help regulate our body temperature and keep us cool as a cucumber in the summer heat.
Your skin care needs are fairly similar.
In winter your skin needs more intense hydration and richer oils, because it may dry out due to the harsh conditions, but in the summer, lighter, fast absorbing oils will do the trick.
The type of oil you choose also depends on a variety of other factors, each unique to the individual. These factors take into account your amount of sun exposure, diet and of course, your skin state. Your skin may also change day to day or week to week as a result of the weather, hormonal changes, stress, diet, you name it!
Choosing the right facial oil blend for your skin can mean the difference between success or failure so it’s important to understand your skin needs before diving in. In this article, we’ll help you out by breaking it down according to your current skin state so you can make the best possible choice for your skin!
Healthy, balanced skin
Healthy, balanced skin is neither dry nor oily with just the perfect balance of moisture. You don’t experience breaks outs and skin ages at a normal rate. Many people with healthy aka “normal” skin forego skin care products entirely, but there are some reasons to use a nourishing, antioxidant-rich facial oil.
Your skin is still at risk of sun damage and damage from environmental pollution that cause extrinsic signs of aging (aka premature aging).
If you have healthy skin with very little issues or variation, it’s best to choose oils that offer protection from sun damage and nourishment for preventative aging.
Try our Rose Nourishing Serum which is highly nourishing and protective.
Antioxidant rich pomegranate contains a unique fatty acid called punicic acid (omega-5) - which is a strong anti-inflammatory and has shown in studies to fend off free-radicals (aka what causes extrinsic aging).
Jojoba oil is the only oil that most closely resembles your skin’s own natural sebum so it will simply melt into your skin and leave no greasy finish. It is also rich in vitamin E, a natural antioxidant.
This serum also contains a potent antioxidant called Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which aids in new cell growth and neutralizes skin aging free radicals.
Dry skin is a result of poor skin barrier function - aka your skin has difficulty staying hydrated. Dry skin may look flaky or peel, feel dry to the touch, and may appear dull and lackluster in appearance. Dry skin is an issue because it can cause inflammation and can speed up the aging process. Hydration is the key to youthful, healthy skin so dry skin needs oils that will help repair the skin barrier but also help seal in that healthy hydration - so your skin can be hydrated and look its best again!
Oils high in fatty acids such as oleic acid, linoleic acid, ALA and GLA are all great choices, as these help with skin barrier repair. GLA, or gamma linolenic acid, in particular, is an essential fatty acid that aids in water retention in the cells, which helps to strengthen the skin barrier function.
Our lighter weight option is our Rose Nourishing Serum, which contains evening primrose and jojoba. Evening primrose provides is rich in GLA and provides deep cellular nourishment, prevents moisture loss, stimulates collagen production for a firmer, plumper complexion and promotes a healthy glow. Jojoba is a lightweight oil that packs a heavy concentration of antioxidant Vitamin E to neutralize free radicals.
For a heavier duty oil, you could try our Night Regenerative Balm, which contains deeply moisturizing ingredients such as cupuacu butter, shea butter, prickly pear seed oil and evening primrose. A balm is not technically a facial oil, but it is made of the same nourishing and protective plant oils, but a little richer and more solid.
If you’ve never heard of prickly pear seed oil, then all you need to know is it is an absolutely remarkable anti-aging and nourishing oil that will rid you of all your skin care woes! It’s one of the richest sources of Vitamin E compared to any other oil and contains a whopping 60% concentration of linoleic acid to nourish the skin cells at a cellular level as well as a good dose of vitamin K to help lighten up dark spots that may be the result of sun damage or hormonal changes.
Cupuacu butter has an incredible ability to retain water and help improve skin hydration. To be exact, it can attract and retain up to 440% of it's weight in water! It also has a unique composition that contains powerful antioxidants like beta-sitosterol which has been shown to heal hard to treat dermatitis. Cupuacu butter has even shown the ability to fight UVA and UVB rays, which are a known cause of skin damage and premature aging. These amazing properties make this butter a superior moisturizer that keeps skin hydrated and looking plumper.
Acne prone or congested skin
Acne prone skin is sometimes associated with oily skin or combination skin. Acne prone skin is skin that frequently experiences break outs. In this situation there are many factors that may be at play, but the main issues could be an unbalanced skin microbiome, over production of sebum, damaged skin barrier, and a skin PH that is regularly unbalanced. Skin may appear shiny and you may notice that your pores appear large.
Oil for acne prone skin? Why, yes! Many people who struggle with their skin rely on harsh ingredients that dry out their skin completely, not realizing that this will only make the problem worse. When the skin is starved from moisture, it will overcompensate to make up for the lack of oil. Using drying products can also affect skin PH and your microbiome, creating an environment that allows bad bacteria to thrive.
If you’re acne-prone, you want to use oils to nourish and clarify - but you want to avoid oils rich in oleic acid as these could indeed cause breakouts. Oleic acid may feed the bacteria present on acne prone skin making things worse. Instead, look for oils high in linoleic acid, as studies have shown skin deficient in linoleic acid is more break out prone.
Sea buckthorn oil is an absolute all time favorite ingredient for acne prone skin. It is highly nourishing and anti-inflammatory - plus studies have shown that sea buckthorn helps balance sebum production! Great for both congestion and breakouts!
Other ingredients to look for are thyme and green tea! Thyme and green tea have both shown in studies to help clear acne. When it comes to thyme though - make sure the thyme in the product is low in thymol, which can irritate the skin. We use thyme that is very low in thymol and is skin nourishing - helping keep skin healthy and clear. Not all thyme is the same so be sure to do your research before purchasing.
An added bonus would be to look for an oil that offers gentle exfoliating properties too, as this will help to keep the pores clear and reduce congestion.
Try our Night Clarifying Treatment, which includes an anti-inflammatory super blend of green tea, thyme, linoleic acid-rich safflower oil, sea buckthorn, prickly pear, blue chamomile and immortelle essential oil. These ingredients work together to calm the skin, balance sebum levels, and nourish the skin so it can return to a healthy balance. This oil also contains sugar extract to help keep pores clear.
You could also try our Herbal Serum, high in linoleic acid ingredients such as green tea, safflower and grapeseed oil, which are all ideal for acne prone skin!
These facial oils are also a great option for oily or combination skin as they focus on balancing sebum production.
Dry + Breakout prone skin
Oily skin is often associated with breakouts, but dry skin is often the culprit! This skin state is extremely unbalanced and needs lots love. It is extremely frustrating - especially when following the not so great advice of “drying” the skin to clear annoying breakouts!
This skin state is more common during spring - although can happen all year round.
Why in the spring? In the cooler months the lack of moisture in the air can cause your skin to produce more sebum to help protect itself. However, with the transition into spring, while your skin is still adjusting and feeling dry from winter weather, this extra sebum production along with the warmer temperatures can actually cause congestion in your pores and lead to breakouts.
Our Spring philosophy here at Apoterra is hydrate, balance, refresh + repair. Check out this article for more about spring skin care!
If your skin is dry, flaky, sensitive, inflamed and breaking out then you need to repair your skin with gentle, antioxidant rich ingredients. This ritual offers advice on how to handle acne prone dry skin.
When it comes to your facial oil, you may want to avoid oils rich in oleic acid and stick to oils rich in linoleic, alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and gamma linoleic acid (GLA) all of which are great for acne prone skin. These fatty acids help to balance skin and unblock the pores, while providing the ideal dose of hydration.
One of our favorite combos for dry, breakout prone skin is to use Rose Nourishing Serum for day and our Night Clarifying Treatment for night. When your skin is feeling a little more dry and in need of some extra moisture, try our Night Regenerative Balm in the evening. This luxe formula glides onto the skin and will leave it feeling like silk.
How to get the most benefits out of your facial oil
Oils are best absorbed into slightly damp skin so always spritz a facial mist before applying your facial oil. After misting your skin, use your fingers to gently press the oil deep into your pores or use a gua sha board, which will help to evenly distribute your oil and boost your blood circulation for a healthy glow.
Following our advice will set you on the right path to choosing the perfect oils for your skin state and you won’t believe the positive changes that take place!
It’s important to keep in mind that while natural, nutrient-rich oils go a long way in transforming your skin but if your diet is full of sugar and lacking nutrients, or you’re under constant stress... you won’t see the results you expect.
Healthy, clear and youthful skin comes down to a happy combination of factors including a clean diet, exercise, managing your stress levels and of course, the right products. Combine all these factors together and you’ll be rewarded with skin that glows with health and radiance from the inside out!