Welcome to my office on the 52nd floor of THE FILE Towers Inc. Let me prescribe you a face oil. Trust me: I may not have a doctorate degree in facial oil prescriptions, but I have trialled every single oil in existence. That last part may not be entirely true…You may have, by now, gleaned my proclivity for hyperbolic statements, such as the title of this piece and the aforementioned dubious claim. But I have trialled and researched a whole lot of face oils in my short time on this earth to help you separate the wheat from the chafed skin, and, to help you find a solution with just the right amount of fatty acids, minerals, vitamins and lipids for your skin type.
If you already know what kind of skin you have, 10 points for cosmetic self-awareness! Keep scrolling for your prescription from Dr. FILE.
A is for ACNE PRONE
Look for: Calendula Oil, Jojoba Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Marula Oil
Those with sebaceous, acne-prone skin are the first to book a one-way flight to Nopeville at the mere mention of putting yet more oil near their already congested faces. But if you didn’t already know, then you should know this: the best way to fight oil is, yes, with more oil. Counterintuitive it may seem, but stripping your skin with harsh cleansers and treatments loaded with the ever-ubiquitous salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide is like saying to your skin, “please, sir, I would like you to produce more oil than EVER”. The good news is that Sunday Riley’s U.F.O Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil contains a small amount of said salicylic acid along with a soothing cocktail of oils that will purge, calm, hydrate, clarify AND balance in just a few weeks.
C is for COMBINATION
Look for: Jojoba Oil, Borago Oil, Marula Oil
Would you like the good news first or the bad news? Well, the good news is that there is no bad news, because I once had combination skin and solved the whole ordeal by giving myself over to the wonderful world of face oils. If you suffer from a slightly oily t-zone and a dry periphery it’s usually because your complexion is all out of whack. Like so whack it has lost its proverbial zen, its stasis, its composure, its equilibrium, its balance (yes, I did just spent the last 3 minutes on Thesaurus.com for funsies). While Apothecary’s 03 Midnight in Corsica Oil is recommended for dry skin, the key ingredients are actually ~perf~ for you and me: Borago oil heals and soothes inflammation and, if you’ve never heard of, Sacha Inchi oil, neither have I, but I’ve recently discovered its balancing, free-radical fighting antioxidant prowess. Prepare yourself for even, plump, glowing skin in the AM. Seriously good stuff.
D is for DRY and/or MATURE
Look for: Argan Oil, Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil, Rose Otto Oil
If you’ve got dry skin, like, really dry skin of italic proportions, look for an oils rich in lipids, squalene and essential fatty acids, i.e. the holy trifecta of Omega’s 3, 6 and 9. The fattier the acid, the better. You’ll also want something high in vitamins and antioxidants along with with a small molecular structure so that it can deliver hydration below the surface layer of the epidermis to plump out fine lines. What on god’s earth ticks every single one of these boxes? Argan oil, for one. The best part of all is that it also doubles up as an ultra-nourishing serum for equally parched, split-ended hair.
L is for LACKLUSTRE
Look for: Rosehip Oil, Marula Oil
Do you want bright, effervescent skin? I certainly do. You most likely do. We all do. If your skin is looking dull and lifeless, it’s probably a little dry and lacking in natural oils and vitamins. Go for an oil rich in brightening vitamins A and E along with essential fatty acids and lipids to restore the skin’s protective barrier, such as Rosehip and Marula oil. Or, you can just look for a blend that does it all, like the Korres Wild Rose Sauvage Advanced brightening & Nourishing Face Oil steeped in rose petals and a powerful Vitamin C complex to maximise on glow, evenness, tone and texture. Yes, I tried it and can confidently vouch for all of the above.
P is for PROBLEM
Look for: Evening Primrose Oil, Jojoba Oil
The fix: Weleda Evening Primrose Oil
Do you suffer from eczema? A heart-warming touch of psoriasis? A delightful combo of hormone induced inflammation and dermatitis, perhaps? All of the above can be a real Debbie downer – it makes choosing skincare a nightmare, lest you cause the problem to erupt further, and often no amount of makeup will make it go away. Evening Primrose oil, taken orally, has long be lauded for its ability to balance hormonal issues leading to the problems in question. It’s also incredibly calming and helps to alleviate inflammation when applied topically due to its high amount of Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA).
S is for SENSITIVE
Look for: Chia Seed Oil, Almond Oil, Borage Seed Oil, Hemp Seed Oil
The fix: Weleda Almond Soothing Facial Oil
Is your skin sensitive like a toothache, like a crying empath, like the depths of your soul after a night of wine and sake and tequila and whisky? Just as you should try and stay away from mixing every alcoholic beverage on the menu (though I can’t safely say that I’ve not guilty of this sin many times over), if you have sensitive skin, try and stick to the same rule. That is, you’ll want to stay away from a face oil with a really long ingredient list. But above all, you’ll want to take a wide berth of essential oils, which tend to irritate an already irate complexion.
Words, Rose Howard.