When it comes to skin-care products I couldn't live without, facial oils are easily at the top of my list. Which is odd considering not too long ago, oil-free everything seemed to be the way to go. But even though discovering the range of benefits for various types of facial oils has changed some skin-care trends, are we perhaps too liberal with our face and body oils? After all, it's a little difficult to believe that every type of oil that can be found in skin care is good for every skin type. So to find out if certain facial oils can actually be damaging to your skin, I emailed with a couple of experts.
Dr. Clarissa Shetler and Christine Falsetti, PhD, founders of C2 California Clean, and Rachel Winard, founder of Soapwalla, all let me in on which types of oils may not be the best for certain skin types, along with different ways to use them if you don't want to cut them out of your life completely. Because, spoiler alert, one of the oils that isn't as thoroughly beneficial as we all may have thought is coconut oil. So if you want to make sure your skin care is only helping and not hurting, here are three types of oils you may want to avoid or at least start using in a different way:
1. Olive Oil
Although Drs. Shetler and Falsetti agree that most oils are safe when used in small amounts, there are a few that you may want to steer clear of depending on your skin type. For example, they explain that olive oil is heavy and not easily absorbed by the skin. While this could be good for dry skin, the heaviness of this oil could cause breakouts and even skin rashes, especially for those with oily skin.
2. Coconut Oil
While coconut oil seems like it could solve every problem ever, it's actually not always the best choice to use. According to Winard, "coconut oil is fairly comedogenic, meaning it's more likely to clog pores, leading to a higher instance of acne and blackheads." Winard also says that coconut oil can be over-drying, so people with dry or sensitive skin may want to use it sparingly or in conjunction with more emollient oils such as jojoba, grapeseed, and avocado oils. What's more is that those with tree-nut allergies may also be sensitive to coconut oil, especially in higher concentrations. Using coconut oil with a tree-nut allergy could cause skin to "become inflamed and splotchy and feel tight or itchy," says Winard.
3. Mineral Oil
Mineral oil is pretty popular in skin and body-care products, but it may be another oil worth avoiding. According to Drs. Shetler and Falsetti, "Mineral oil isn't necessarily bad for your skin, but it really isn't great for it either." Because even though mineral oil does carry some benefits, it doesn't deliver any nutrients to the skin. Additionally, "studies have shown that some mineral oils contain toxins that are known to be human carcinogens," they say. Yikes.
So even if you may not need to totally cut any of these oils out of your beauty routine, switching up how much and how frequently you use them could prevent unnecessary damage to your skin.