Oil for your skin?! Oh yeah…I wasn’t a believer immediately, but after some tried and true experimentation, I have fallen in love. Now, if you tried to put oil anywhere near my face or skin just a couple years ago, I would have said good luck. Similar to my initial outlook on healthy eating years ago, my idea of how to get clear and healthy skin was the same: it was plain wrong.
The trick is to use very specific oils to get the benefits and radiant results you’re after, especially if you’re prone to acne or breakouts. When I initially tried techniques like oil cleansing and using oils as moisturizers, I hated what it did to my skin. What I didn’t know is that not all face oils are the same. Oil only clogs your pores if your using comedogenic oils or any ingredient that falls into this category. The fact of the matter, your skin loves to be moisturized, but only with the appropriate oils.
After months of experimenting and researching oils and their therapeutic properties, I have found these 5 face oils to be my favorite for controlling and healing from acne, and of course getting clear and healthy skin.
I’m going to start by saying that coconut oil is NOT something I would recommend for using on your face IF you are acne prone. Now, I love coconut oil (and anything coconut for that matter) and I think it’s one of the best creations made by nature. By all means, cook with it, eat it by the spoonful, drink its water, milk and even slather it on your body (only if you do not suffer from body acne). However, I do not recommend using it on your face. Coconut oil scores very high on the comedogenic list and has the ability to clog your pores and therefore cause you to breakout. You can read more about my stance regarding coconut oil here. Keep in mind that comedogenic ingredients also affect people in different ways, and may not have a negative affect on some (usually those without sensitive skin).
Another word of caution: For any oil you consume or put onto your skin, quality means everything! I recommend only using cold pressed, unfiltered and organic oils (if possible) for the best results. If you’re looking for pure, unrefined sources of single oils, Mountain Rose Herbs in my opinion has some of the best all around products.
5 Facial Oils to Get Clear and Healthy Skin
Usually I save the best for last, but I’m too excited not to begin by sharing with you the amazing properties of Tamanu oil. I honestly have never heard of Tamanu until doing some research on acne-safe and non-comedogenic oils. Tamanu oil is best known in the Pacific islands for use in folk medicine to promote the formation of new tissue and the growth of healthy skin. Its uses range from application as a topical first aid to treat cuts, burns, insect bites and stings, abrasions, acne and acne scars, psoriasis, sunburns, dry or scaly skin, blisters, eczema, herpes sores to reducing foot and body odor. It is popular among Polynesian women for maintaining healthy hair, clear skin, as well as for preventing diaper rash.
With its ability to regenerate skin tissue, antioxidant richness, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, tamanu oil is great for helping with damaged, irritated and inflamed skin. Its cooling effect is extremely helpful for those suffering from acne. I use this as a night repair serum after cleansing and toning or exfoliating. In the morning I also mix less than half a pump with my sunscreen and it dries beautifully. It absorbs wonderfully and leaves you with silky smooth skin. You can use alone or mix it with any of your favorite skin potions (just be sure that they are non-comedogenic and preferably non-toxic). I’ve only been using this for less than a month and have already seen my scars diminish, redness vanish, and my skin feeling and looking better then it previously had both with and without makeup! This is the one I use here. If you’re looking for a light well formulated moisturizer using Tamanu oil, give this Herbal Facial Oil for Oily and Acne Prone Skin a try.
- Topical first aid for cuts, burns, insect bites and stings, acne, psoriasis, sunburns, dry skin, blisters, eczema, herpes sores
- Cooling affect for damaged, irritated and inflamed skin
- Great for scaring, especially acne scars
Think of this as a multivitamin for your skin. Said to be the “next coconut oil” due to its wide variety of healing properties, Rose hip oil is another ancient oil that was used by the Egyptians, Mayans and Native Americans. In fact, the whole rose plant is quite beneficial. You may have heard of rose hip tea, which has its own health benefits and an array of vitamins. The oil is made from the leftover seed pods after the rose petals fall off. It’s full of vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B3 and K, antioxidants, and over 80% essential fatty acids, which works wonders on sensitive and dry skin suffering from eczema and/or acne. The vitamin A in rose hip oil helps repair the breakdown of collagen and elastin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and brightening the skin. It is also known for its ability to correct dark spots, stretch marks, scars and fine lines, especially around delicate areas such as around the eye (amazing “eye cream”!) Its beauty and anti-aging benefits go so far that it has been in the media recently touted by many celebrities including Miranda Kerr, the former Victoria’s Secret Angel, who announced publicly this is her skin “beauty secret”.
My favorite topical benefit of this oil is that it goes on easily and is absorbed almost immediately. It’s extremely light, so I recommend mixing it with another base oil that is more moisturizing if that’s what you’re looking for, OR try this beautifully formulated Anti Aging Serum.
- Loaded with vitamins! A, C, B1, B2, B3 and K, antioxidants, and over 80% essential fatty acids.
- Helps repair the breakdown of collagen and elastin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and brightening the skin.
- Correct dark spots, stretch marks, scars and fine lines (great eye cream!)
Hempseed oil – o% comedogenicty
Simply incredible, this is my new makeup remover and base for mixing with other oils. The best thing about hemp seed oil is that it’s 0% comedogenic (does not clog pores!). Although all the oils listed here are low on the comeodogenicity scale (1-2 on a scale of 5), hemp has zero, zilch, meaning absolutely no ability whatsoever to clog pores. Cool, right?!
In addition to being a great makeup remover, Hemp seed oil is a wonderful moisturizer for the skin, and great at alleviating itching and irritation which occurs often with conditions like eczema and psoriasis. This is because hemp is full of anti-inflammatory fats such as omega 3’s, which can also help with any redness and puffiness that can occur. Dietary hempseed oil in this study indicates that it might be useful in treating symptoms of atopic dermatitis (Eczema) due to its ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essentials fatty acids (EFAs).
The only thing that’s a bummer about this oil is that it needs to be refrigerated due to its delicate fatty acids content. It’s a bit of a pain, but the time it takes you to walk from the kitchen and back to the bathroom is plenty for dispersing a few drops on your hand and rubbing them together to warm it up a bit before applying it to your skin. On the other hand, the coldness may be a plus since it can further help eliminate puffiness. And since you’re already going to be in the kitchen, you might as well steam a pot of water, throw a towel over your head and open up those pores to allow for even better absorption of any skin topicals…just sayin’.
- 0% comedogencty! Does Not Clog Pores!
- Great source of omega 3 fats– reduces redness and puffiness.
- Needs to be refrigerated- Do not keep this in your bathroom (unless you have a mini fridge in there).
Jojoba and I go way back. This was my go-to and the only oil I ever used on my face growing up (it makes for a great makeup remover). Unfortunately, I didn’t research the quality issue of the oil I was using and therefore didn’t really get all the healing benefits of this incredible oil. Unlike Hempseed oil, Jojoba oil has a pretty stable shelf life (naturally high in antioxidants that act as natural preservatives) and therefore does not need to be refrigerated.
Interestingly, Jojoba oil is not technically an “oil” at all. Its chemical structure is extremely unique in that it is a mono-unsaturated liquid wax rather than a large, long-chain molecule that most oils consist of. This allows the Jojoba oil to be more readily absorbed into the skin without a greasy feeling. Its structure actually resembles that of sebum, the collection of wax esters that are found in human skin. When I first learned of this, I freaked out because I thought that this caused acne, but later found it not to be the case. While too much sebum production (usually overcompensation due to an internal imbalance) can cause pores to clog leading to acne, sebum in itself is not a bad thing. This is why Jojoba can help to moisturize and soften the skin: as we age, our sebum production decreases causing wrinkles and the thinning of the skin. So not only can it replace sebum for those who have dry skin, but because of its similarity to sebum, it can also dissolve excess sebum! That’s right, it’s a pretty incredible oil (or wax to be more accurate) that is helpful for those with dry or oily skin. It’s safe for those suffering with acne as it also has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Remember that acne is a bacteria (P. acnes to be precise), so this means that Jojoba oil can actually help fight the bacteria on the skin itself.
- Naturally shelf stable. Loaded with natural antioxidants that act as preservatives.
- Structure resembles sebum, naturally found on the skin, moisturizing and softening the skin.
- Fights P. acnes, the bacteria that forms acne.
Sea Buckthorn oil
This oil has a wide variety of uses and medicinal properties beyond skin, but naturally I want to focus on its benefits for skin. Its fatty acid profile helps with dry patches of skin and restores that youthful plump and smooth look and feel that our skin loses overtime. It’s incredible for healing burns (including sunburns), rashes and overall skin damage due to its impressive nutritional composition. As a “super fruit,” sea buckthorn contains over 190 nutrients, including phytonutrients, vitamin C, three times more vitamin A than carrots, a load of antioxidants, a variety of skin loving minerals and superoxide dismutase (SOD), an important enzyme that fights free radicals in the body. It is also anti-viral and anti-inflammatory when used externally and internally. It is equally beneficial for acne applications, but steals the show for its reputation in treating rosacea. Since it’s known for helping with cell tissue regeneration, it can also be used as a natural cleanser and chemical exfoliator. I find this oil a bit harder to find isolated forms with the quality still intact. This one here is what I use and recommend.
- Heals burns (including sunburns), rashes and overall skin damage
- Contains Superoxide Dismutase (SOD), an important enzyme that fights free radicals in the body.
- Anti-viral and anti-inflammatory, research shows it’s helpful for treating rosacea.
Keep in Mind
No matter what oils you fall in love with and decide to use in your skin routine, always remember that quality matters. These oils are fats, and just like dietary fats we consume, they can go rancid and lose all their health and nutritional benefits. If you use cheap, watered down and low quality rancid oils, you are doing your skin a disservice as this will contribute to premature wrinkles and the aging of the skin as the cell walls will breakdown faster.
Remember that every person will react differently to oils. Although these oils are known for having great success in treating acne and inflammation, and essentially getting clear and healthy skin, they may not work as well for everyone. It’s always helpful to keep in mind that your body and skin are unique, so if these oils don’t work for you, don’t give up, keep experimenting until you find your personal love affair.
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What facial oils are you in love with? Are they on the list above? Please share along with your experiences in using them!