Of all the skin care products in all the world, I'm giving face oils the title of most intimidating. As someone with oily skin, I've spent most of my life trying to de-grease my face, so the idea of buying something that has the word 'oil' in its name seems more than counterintuitive. But the ingredients in these formulas are actually loaded with antioxidants and fatty acids that protect and nourish the skin, and rather than exacerbate any skin concern you might have, they can actually help — including with excess oiliness — once you've found the best face oilfor your skin type.
It turns out there are tons of oils and oil combinations out there, so finding one that works with your skin can get a little confusing. In general, if you have dry skin, you want to go for richer oils like marula and almond, since they're high in fatty acids, which helps skin retain moisture. Sensitive skin types should look for gentle oils like sweet almond, as well as oils with anti-inflammatory properties like aloe vera. You'll also want to avoid fragrant oils (think lavender and grapefruit), as they tend to aggravate skin.
If your skin is already oil central, the key to soaking up all of those moisturizing and environmental-damage-protecting benefits without the added grease factor is looking for the lightest oils possible, like jojoba and squalene. These same oils can work with acne-prone skin as well, but you can also look for added bacteria-killing ingredients like salicylic acid. And funnily enough, applying oil to oily skin can actually help curb excess sebum production, since it might only be producing so much oil to compensate for a lack of it in the first place.
Regardless of which oil you choose, the rules for applying it are largely the same. Because oils create a barrier on the skin, you should apply it as the last step in your skin care routine. Once you cleanse and tone, you can either mix a few drops of your oil into your nighttime moisturizer, or put your moisturizer on first and then gently press the oil onto your face to seal everything in.
Still unsure of how to find your face oil match? Check out this list, which breaks down the best face oils by skin type.