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Best Facial Oils

Updated December 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 10 Models Considered
  • 6 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 18 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best facial oils

    Last Updated December 2018

    Facial oils are one of the biggest trends in the beauty world right now. Some popular facial oils might sound familiar because you’ve used them in the kitchen: coconut oil, almond oil, and avocado oil, to name a few. Other facial oils are less well-known, such as marula oil, neem oil, and rosehip oil.

    But they all share an important feature: they have the power to make your skin look younger, healthier, and smoother.

    Choosing the best oil for your complexion can be a puzzle, however. There are a lot of them out there, and the marketing hype is overwhelming. That’s why at BestReviews, we decided to create this buying guide; we want to simplify your life and your beauty routine.

    If you’re ready to choose a facial oil and begin a new beauty routine, check out our selections in the chart above.

    If you’d like to learn more about facial oils in general, including how to choose and use the best one for your skin type, then read on.

    The right facial oil helps any type of skin look younger and smoother while fighting off the ravaging effects of sunlight, pollution, and dirt.

    Why use a facial oil?

    You might wonder why you’d want to use oil on your skin. After all, if you already struggle with an oily complexion, it might seem that the last thing you’d want to do is add to the problem. But actually, plant-based oils – if the right one is chosen for your specific skin type – have a multitude of benefits for every type of skin, whether that be oily, dry, mature, or even sensitive.

    It’s important to understand that facial oils don’t actually moisturize your skin by pulling in or adding more moisture – no oil can do that. Rather, they prevent the moisture that is already in your skin cells from evaporating into the atmosphere. But the end result is the same; your skin looks healthier, has more of a glow, and feels good – not dry and tight.

    Plant oils are full of omega fatty acids 3, 6, and 9, all of which strengthen, revitalize, and nourish the cells on your skin’s surface. Fatty acids help restore youthful glow, plumpness, texture, and firmness, giving your skin back the youth you may have thought was gone forever.

    Oils are also loaded with antioxidants, too. These help your cells ward off damage from the sun, pollution, and grime. Rich with vitamins, including E, A, and C, facial oils can also help your skin fight off fine lines, rough texture, hyperpigmentation, and dullness.

    For most complexions, it isn’t recommended that you use a facial oil on its own. Instead, you should use the oil over a serum or moisturizer that is also suited to your skin type. For the very oiliest complexions, however, a facial oil might be all your skin needs to keep it feeling and looking good.

    EXPERT TIP

    You might find that you only need to add facial oil to your beauty routine during times of low humidity. Low humidity makes your skin dry out.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    Don’t forget to apply oil to your neck and upper chest; these areas have few oil glands and tend to show your age a lot sooner than you’d like.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    The right facial oil for your skin type

    There are lots of different plant oils, and choosing the wrong one can lead to clogged pores or even acne breakouts. The secret is choosing the oil best suited to your skin type.

    Oily skin

    If your skin produces an abundance of oil on its own, it can be tempting to deal with the problem by using harsh cleansers that strip away your natural oil and leave your skin feeling – at least temporarily – taut and dry. But that tends to create a rebound effect; your skin pumps out even more oil to deal with the dryness left by the facial cleanser.

    The right facial oil can help balance your skin’s natural sebum production, leading your skin to actually be less shiny and less prone to blocked pores. First, though, you need to stick with facial cleansers that clean your skin clean but don’t strip it. Remember: facial oils can’t add moisture of their own; they can only retain what you already have.

    Good oils for oily or acne-prone complexions include the following.

    • Neem

    • Tea tree

    • Maracuja

    • Black cumin

    • Castor

    • Jojoba

    • Evening primrose

    • Grapeseed

    • Hemp seed
       

    Dry or aging skin

    Is your skin dry or aging? If so, you know the uncomfortably tight (and possibly itchy) feeling of skin that can’t hold on to moisture, whether due to age, genetics, weather, lifestyle, or treatment. Facial oils are particularly good for dry or mature complexions, but they should be used in combination with a serum and moisturizer. The serum goes on first, followed by the moisturizer, and the oil is applied last. This way, your skin receives and holds on to precious moisture.

    Dry or aging skin is also prone to fine lines and wrinkles. Although they cannot perform miracles, the right facial oil can help prevent and reduce the frustrating lines around your eyes, lips, and forehead.

    Good oils for dry or mature complexions include the following.

    • Chia seed

    • Rosehip seed

    • Argan

    • Avocado

    • Sunflower

    • Camellia

    • Coconut

    • Tamanu

    • Sweet almond

    • Olive

    • Sea buckthorn

    • Marula

    • Kukui nut
       

    Sensitive skin

    Some complexions react to just about everything. If your skin is sensitive, it may be red, irritated, or rough a great deal of the time. It can be difficult and frustrating to find products that soothe, rather than inflame, your sensitive skin. You probably already know that artificial fragrances, strong cleansers, alcohols, and other common irritants are a no-no, but you might not know that there are quite a few plant oils that can help reduce the burning, stinging, redness, and blotchiness that is so common to sensitive skin.

    Some good oils to try on sensitive skin include the following.

    • Evening primrose

    • Argan

    • Apricot kernel

    • Borage seed

    • Tamanu
       

    Normal or combination skin

    The easiest type of skin to deal with, normal skin, is balanced – not too oily and not too dry. Combination skin is normal skin that tends to get a little oily along the forehead, chin, and nose. These two skin types are the easiest to keep looking good, as long as you choose products that aren’t too harsh or too heavy. The right facial oil will help keep your normal or combination skin glowing, healthy, comfortable, and without shine or breakouts.

    Good oils for normal or combination skin include the following.

    • Sesame

    • Prickly pear

    • Jojoba

    • Grapeseed

    • Rosehip seed

    • Maracuja

    • Argan

    DID YOU KNOW?

    The best facial oils for oily skin are high in linoleic acid, while those suited to dry skin are high in oleic acid.

    What to look for in a facial oil

    You’ll find oils specifically bottled for skin care and others that are sold in the grocery section, but whatever oil you choose, it should be organic if at all possible, and cold-pressed or unrefined. Because oils tend to spoil fairly rapidly, a small bottle is best; you don’t want to have to throw away a nearly full bottle of oil because it’s gone rancid before you used it up.

    There are also many facial oil blends on the market if you’d prefer one of those, but before buying a blend, make sure that all of the included oils are suitable for your skin type.

    How to use facial oil

    1. Wash your hands before applying any skincare product or cosmetic.

    2. Wash and dry your face.

    3. If you use a serum, smooth that onto your face first, followed by your moisturizer, if your skin needs one.

    4. Gently pat a small amount of facial oil onto your skin. Don’t rub aggressively or go overboard; it only takes a drop or two of oil to treat your entire face.

    5. If you’re using a thick oil, apply it only at bedtime, as these oils can leave the face looking a bit shiny.

    6. You don’t have to cover your entire face with oil. If you prefer, you can use it only on the areas that need a boost.

    The highest-quality facial oils are organic, cold-pressed, and unrefined.

    Facial oil prices

    Facial oils span a huge price range. Some, such as olive oil, can be purchased for a few dollars at your local grocery store, but most of the popular facial oils are a bit more expensive than that.

    • Low price

    Expect to pay anywhere from $15 to $30 for a small bottle of low-end facial oil, including some blends. During the course of our research, we found bottles of rosehip oil, argan oil, jojoba oil, and many others for less than $15.

    • Average price

    Some of the best facial oils on today’s market can be purchased for $50 to $100. You’ll find excellent products from makers like Estee Lauder, Clarins, and Murad on this list. Many consumers agree that the $70 to $100 mark is a “sweet spot” where you can get a great beauty benefit as well as value for your money.

    • Large quantities

    Some manufacturers sell facial oil by the gallon. Others package half a dozen small bottles together and market the oil in multipacks. As mentioned above, it’s best to only buy what you’ll use within a short span of time, as oils can go rancid. But if you’ll be needing a large quantity of oil, you can find it for anywhere between $100 and $600, depending on the oil type and manufacturer.

    • High-end designer brands

    It’s not entirely unusual to see “designer” oil brands that sell for as little as $250 and as much as $800 per bottle. If you’re looking to treat yourself, you may wish to investigate these options.

    Combine oils or use them individually: there’s a facial oil for every complexion.

    FAQ

    Q. Won’t using a facial oil make my skin shiny?

    A. Possibly. While many oils soak in well, others tend to “sit” on the surface of your skin, leaving a bit of a sheen. That’s why it’s usually best to apply facial oils before bedtime. If your skin is exceptionally dry, however, or if you are using a very light oil, go ahead and apply it during the day as well. A light dusting of face powder will take away any shine.

    Q. How should I store my facial oils?

    A. Plant oils are generally quick to spoil, so you should store them properly. As a general rule, keep your oils out of bright light, away from heat, and in a dry spot. A location in the vicinity of your shower isn’t ideal; instead, keep your oils in a vanity drawer, medicine chest, or cosmetics case.

    Q. How much oil should I use?

    A. Less is more when it comes to facial oils. Typically, you only need a couple of drops to treat your entire face, and a drop or two more for your neck and upper chest.

    Q. Why use an oil blend instead of just one oil?

    A. Oil blends combine the qualities of several oils, thus providing increased benefits to your skin. That said, many people find they prefer to stick to just one oil that they know and trust.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Linsay
      Linsay
      Editor
    • Melinda
      Melinda
      Web Producer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor
    • Michelle
      Michelle
      Writer

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