I’m a bit of a skincare snob.
Back in 2005-ish, I managed one of San Francisco’s premiere day spa’s and was treated to monthly spa treatments and product education and sampling on a regular basis. I know, poor me, right? 😉
I have distilled what I learned from the master estheticians down into two important lessons:
#1 – Not all skincare products are created equal.
#2 – Face oils are a necessity.
When it comes to #2, #1 is most definitely true.
If you’re someone who is a little reticent about the whole oil on your face thing, let me put your fears at ease.
First of all, it makes no sense that someone with oily or acne prone skin should fight fire with fire. I totally get it. It’s counter-intuitive for sure. But contrary to popular belief, face oils actually HELP your skin (yes even oily skin) by improving texture and moisture levels.
A few of of the profound benefits of facial oils:
So, what makes a good quality face oil, in my humble opinion?
First is scent. It can’t be totally unscented (‘cause that’s no fun), but it can’t be overly scented (‘cause that’s just annoying).
Second is viscosity. It needs to be emollient enough to smooth over my face, but not so much that it feels greasy or leaves a film hours later.
Third is quality of ingredients. The list of ingredients in a face oil should be short + sweet. A carrier oil + essential oils and that’s about it. Ideally all ingredients will be ethically sourced, organic or biodynamic whenever possible.
With that in mind, here are the 5 Best Face Oils I’ve tried:
In Fiore Face Oils ($70)
My #1 pick, after more than 10 years of use. In Fiore produces the cadillac of face oils. Meticulously formulated and perfected by creator Julie Elliott, these oils will not only nourish, but they will transform your skin. Each of the oils is blended using a base of antioxidant rich grapeseed and rosehip seed oils, both of which have deep penetrating abilities. The blends are expertly crafted to work with (not against) the skin’s natural chemistry and won’t clog pores or leave a residue. Honestly, if I was stuck on a desert island — these oils would be on my short list of things I’d want with me. For the price conscious, these oils will last you up to a year if you’re rotating with other products. A little goes a long way!
Use Calme if you have super sensitive or reactive skin. It is an antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory oil that will take redness down on contact. I use this after I get waxed or have extractions done. You can use ths alone as a light moisturizer or layer it underneath other serums and moisturizers.
Use Nourrit if your skin is in need of concentrated dose of revitilizing richness. This is a great winter moisturizer. I use it whenever I’m feelin extra dry, or just need a radiance boost.
Use Pur to help nourish and regulate oily or acneic skin (a perfect lightweight moisturizer). I use this whenever I’m feeling congested or my skin is “acting up”
May Lindstorm The Youth Dew ($120)
I first tried May’s products this year and yes, they lived up to their hype (and price tag). All of her products are hand-crafted here in Los Angeles by a team of thoughtful artisans. They have a homemade feel, while being incredibly luxurious (she wins the award for most decadent packaging hands down) and being 110% effective. The Youth Dew is luscious face serum that is packed with over 20 power packed plant and botanical oils, as well as CoEnyzme Q10, which is known to boost collagen production and notably reduce UV damage to the skin. This product might be one case where more is definitely better.
Kahina Argan Oil ($36)
Kahina has been one of my go-to brands for a few years now. What I love most about their products is their commitment to high quality, certified organic, fair trade ingredients. Not to mention the fact that their eye is always on cultural and environmental sustainability (they always give back). Their argan oil is some of the finest and purest on the market. This product boasts one ingredient – argania spinosa (argan) kernal oil. No fragrances, no essential oils, just the good stuff. Rich in Vitamin E and a multitude of antioxidants, argan oil helps restore elasticity, improves skin tone and protects the skin from environmental toxins. Not to mention it magically soothes, tones and treats. This is a high quality natural oil that can be used on face, body, hair, you name it.
Mandy Aftel Organic Honeysuckle Face Elixir ($65)
I’ve written about Mandy a few times here on the blog. And for good reason. Her products are of the highest quality, crafted in her studio in Berkeley by her own hand, in small batches. The result is a collection of perfumes and elixirs unlike any other. I got to try her newest honeysuckle face elixir last week and I am hooked. Featuring a rare honeysuckle absolute from Italy, this face oil isn’t for the scent-sitive. The powerful aromas are powerfully intoxicating. I felt as if I was transported to a fresh garden, filled with flowers, honeybees and the warm sun on my shoulders. Using a base of six organic healing carrier oils, the skin is bathed in moisture, while being enchanted by honeysuckle. I can’t recommend Mandy’s products highly enough. They are exquisite and if you’re keen on scent, a must-try!
RODIN olio lusso ($170)
Ok. I know what some of you are going to say. A $170 face oil?! Are you crazy? But bear with me. There’s a reason why this face oil is a tried and true favorite amongst magazine editors, celebrities and girls-in-the-know. RODIN olio lusso is truly a spectacular product, made from a blend of 11 essential oils derived solely from flowers and botanicals. Creator, Linda Rodin, is something of a legend in the fashion and beauty industry. She spent over a year making this elixir for herself, and then it made its way into the world. The oil makes your skin perfectly luminous. The scent is one of my favorite things in the world — hints of neroli and jasmine are rounded out with apricot and calendula flower (are you drooling yet?). Pricey? Yes it is. But it will last (a little goes a long way) and takes your self-care pampering to a new level.
What are your favorite, all-natural face oils? I’d love to hear your picks in the comments below!