Contrary to what their name might suggest, face oils should leave skin glowing, not greasy. These typically tiny bottles house concentrated levels of vitamins, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids that work to nourish and protect skin from things like environmental damage and pollution, leaving you with a luminous complexion. But the secret to finding the best face oil for glowing skin doesn't necessarily come down to one glow-giving ingredient. Instead, it's finding ingredients to counteract what could be preventing you from your brightest complexion in the first place.
Oils like jojoba, avocado, and sweet almond help to moisturize dry and dehydrated skin, while oils like rose hip, camellia, and apricot kernel have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce redness and even out skin tone. You may also want to look for an oil with detoxifying ingredients, like carrot oil and algae extract, to combat the effects of toxins (think sallow, tired looking skin).
No matter which oil you choose, the the proper application method remains the same. Whether you're applying your face oil in the morning or at night, always make sure your skin has been properly cleansed. Since face oils act like a barrier on your skin, anything you apply after a face oil won't be properly absorbed. That means you should put your sunscreen on first in the morning, and at night, apply your toner and serum beforehand. Depending on your preference, you can mix a few drops of your face oil into your nightly moisturizer, or, apply your moisturizer first and seal everything in with your oil on top.
Again, since the ingredients in a face oil are super concentrated, you don't need be slathering your face with it. Two to three drops should do the trick, and patting the oil onto your skin (as opposed to rubbing it in) will help your skin absorb it more easily. To really boost your glow during the day, try mixing your face oil in with your foundation for an extra hit of hydration that will leave your skin looking dewy and refreshed.
To help get you started, here are some of the best face oils for glowing skin, no matter your skin type, budget, or primary concern.
1. Best Budget-Friendly Face Oil For Glowing Skin
The Ordinary has gained a cult following since it launched in 2016 for being super effective and super affordable. Their 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil is free of alcohol, silicones, and water, and the rose hip seed oil itself moisturizes skin while brightening and evening out the complexion, thanks to its high level of vitamin C. Rose hip oil boasts countless benefits and is one of the most beneficial oils for skin out there: it can help fade hyperpigmentation, heal scarring, and prevent breakouts. Proof that good skin care doesn't have to break the bank.
2. Best Natural Face Oil
Honest Beauty's face oil includes jojoba and avocado oils to deeply nourish skin. Meanwhile, the chia and apricot kernel oils have anti-inflammatory properties that can calm redness and soothe skin conditions like eczema and rosacea. The clean formula is made with USDA certified-organic ingredients and without parabens, silicones, petrolatum, synthetic fragrances, or dyes.
After you apply your makeup, Honest Beauty recommends dabbing the oil across the high points of your face (cheekbones, the bridge of the nose, and your cupids bow) as the finishing touch for luminous skin sans highlighter.
3. Best Detoxifying Face Oil
If sallow, tired looking skin is your primary concern, a detoxifying face oil like Caudalie's Vine[activ] Overnight Detox Oil is the solution. Elements like stress, pollution, and exposure to UV rays and free radicals can take a toll on skin, which is why Caudalie combined antioxidant-rich and detoxifying oils, like grape seed and carrot, to eliminate toxins and promote healthy skin cell renewal. Best used as part of your nightly skin care routine, this oil helps to smooth out skin and protect it from future damage, restoring your glow.
4. Best K-Beauty Face Oil
K-beauty gave us the term "glass skin," so when it comes to achieving that impossibly dewy effect, using a Korean-made face oil is a safe bet. 100 percent camellia seed dry oil is the only ingredient in this Blossom Jeju face oil, and its lightweight and fast-absorbing qualities make it perfect for oily skin types or anyone wary of potentially pore-clogging formulas.
5. Best Splurge
Everyone knows Oribe is the ultimate brand when it comes to luxurious hair products, but they've also expanded into skin care (and makeup!), too. And the Oribe face oil means serious business when it comes to glowing skin — it does have the word "golden" in its name, after all. The tiny bottle houses a mega blend of 13 natural oils that moisturize your skin and protect it from environmental damage and pollution. It can also help keep skin firm and even out both tone and texture. Included in that mix are edelweiss flower, evening primrose, sweet almond, and neroli oils, which amp up the glow factor with their moisturizing, toning, and brightening benefits.
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