If you’ve ever wondered whether you can use oil for your skin type, you’re not alone. While skincare education has certainly progressed in recent years, there’s still a lingering stigma that oil can cause acne and congested pores, which is why so many folks are still afraid to use it.
The thing is, though, no one should be afraid. According to Youth To The People’s Director of Education, Laura Cline, the skin actually needs oil in order to function properly. “Your skin produces sebum naturally, and it is needed for strength, moisture, elasticity, and defense against water loss,” she explains. There’s a whole host of ways to incorporate oils into your skincare routine, too—it simply depends on your skin type and how much natural sebum you already produce.
Curious to know how you can use oil to enhance your complexion? Just keep on scrolling.
If you’re oily…
It’s a common misconception that those with oily skin can’t use face oil. Sure, slathering on a viscous oil, one like castor or flaxseed, isn’t going to be your best bet, but using an oil-based cleanser, for instance, can be a great way to get your fix without overdoing it, says dermatologist Joshua Zeichner.
Youth To The People’s Education Director, Laura Cline, also recommends using oil to help curb overproduction of oil, and suggest nighttime as the best time to apply it to oily skin to avoid any unwanted daytime sheen.
Another excellent way to get your oil in is to make a cocktail with it. “After cleansing and applying toner, my favorite way to apply a face oil is to mix it with a bit of serum or moisturizer to create a supercharged formula,” explains New York City-based beauty and wellness writer, Karina Hoshikawa. “Then, I’ll just gently massage it into my face and take any excess down to my neck and chest,” she adds.
Zeichner recommends this technique for those with combination skin as well because you can easily customize how much oil you add to your serum or cream and then simply use it wherever needed (i.e. on dry areas).
If you’re dry…
If you struggle with a tight, flaky epidermis or stubborn dry spots, it can be helpful to switch up the order in which you apply your products. For instance, Youth To The People’s Editorial and Special Projects Director, Alyssa Shapiro, says when she changed the order of her routine—going from serum, oil, then moisturizer to serum, moisturizer, then oil last, without changing any of the products themselves—she got rid of a pesky dry patch in less than a week. Her must-have oil for fighting dry spots is Superberry Hydrate + Glow Oil, of course.
If you’re sensitive or reactive…
If your complexion is prone to irritation and redness like mine, Zeichner suggests opting for oils that are rich in anti-inflammatory ingredients like chamomile and prickly pear, the latter of which is present in Supeberry Hydrate + Glow Oil. I love to apply four or five drops of it under my moisturizer at night, as well as in the morning because it sits beautifully under makeup.
You also can’t go wrong with the Adaptogen Soothe + Hydrate Activated Mist, as it contains nourishing shea butter to prevent water loss and can be applied at any time of the day. Speaking of which, my favorite way to use it tends to be after lunchtime, when my skin is starting to feel a tad dry and distressed. It instantly tames any redness and offers a featherlight veil of hydration that calms irritation on contact.
If you have facial hair…
If you’ve got yourself a beard or a mustache, oil makes for an amazing moisturizer—not only for the skin underneath but for the hair as well. Co-founder of Youth To The People, Joe Cloyes, is a fan of using two to three drops underneath his moisturizer, as well as a small amount in his beard.
“Using it in the beard isn’t that unconventional, but it’s not labeled for that use, and at the end of the day, it’s really great for it,” he explains, adding that he’ll often run some through his hair, too. What’s more: He advises looking for an oil that specifically says it’s noncomedogenic to ensure it won’t clog your pores or any hair follicles.