As emollients, face and body oils make wonderful moisturizers — but their benefits don't just end there. Thanks to their ability to "strengthen the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the skin)," according to Dr. Kristel Polder, M.D., they can also be used for skin repair. But not just any oil is going to do the trick. The best oils for skin repair will contain added ingredients, in addition to their (typically) plant-derived oil bases, to enhance their effectiveness and treat more targeted skin concerns. These can be ingredients that have antibacterial properties or help with things like hyperpigmentation, run-of-the-mill inflammation, or unevenly textured skin. Ahead, you'll find eight great face oils that tackle all of these things and more.
Most people can use facial oils, but patients who are acne-prone should "proceed with caution when starting," Dr. Polder tells Bustle. Mix one to two drops with a moisturizer a few times a week and observe how your skin responds. If you don't experience an increased frequency of breakouts, you can start to incorporate the oil as part of your nightly routine. Facial oils for acne-prone skin commonly contain tea tree, jojoba oil, and aloe vera, Dr. Polder says, which help combat dryness from acne medications without causing further breakouts.
For people with dry skin or conditions like seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema, many of Dr. Polder's patients find coconut, olive, sunflower, and rosehip oils to be helpful, thanks to their soothing and healing properties. And if you have sensitive skin, Dr. Polder recommends applying a small dab of oil on the lateral neck area a few times per week and observing the area to see if there's any reaction before putting it all over your face.
Don't forget how beneficial oils can be for your body, too; Dr. Polder says they're effective at hydrating skin while improving elasticity, so your skin will look (and feel) smoother and more moisturized. She advises looking for formulas that contain grapeseed, coconut, and/or sesame oils when shopping for a body oil.
To repair your skin from your head to your toes, scroll on to shop the best face and body oils on the market right now.
1. The Best Budget-Friendly Face Oil For Most Skin Types
This affordable face oil from Burt's Bees contains a blend of jojoba, calendula, soybean, and sunflower oils, plus the extracts of rosehip, rosemary, and evening primrose. These vitamin- and antioxidant-rich botanicals work together to promote smoother skin and a more radiant complexion all day long. For less than $10, it's a great, affordable pick that should work nicely for most skin types, though keep in mind that it does contain naturally derived fragrance.
2. The Best Luxury Face Oil For Most Skin Types
Pai's Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil has achieved cult status thanks to its fatty acid- and vitamin-rich formula that's capable of tackling basically every form of skin repair imaginable. It's amazing for healing and repairing dry, irritated skin and helping with conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. But since rosehip is an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory benefits, this oil is also frequently used to help with acne, inflammation, unwanted scarring, and hyperpigmentation. A few other reasons that justify this oil's $40 price tag: It's 99% organic (and even boasts The Soil Association's organic certification), it contains just four ingredients (rosehip seed oil, rosehip fruit extract, rosemary extract, and vitamin E) — so you're only getting the good stuff (no unnecessary additives here!) — and it's surprisingly non-greasy once absorbed into skin. Put it anywhere in need of some repairing and/or evening out, whether that's on your face or your body.
3. The Best Face Oil For Oily Skin
It can be hard to find a face oil that works for oily skin, which is what makes this CeraVe gel-oil such a unicorn. It contains sunflower oil for hydration and barrier-repairing ceramides, both important features for keeping oily skin properly balanced. Other perks: Its non-greasy, noncomedogenic formula won't clog pores or feel heavy on skin, and it's fragrance-free, so it shouldn't irritate reaction-prone skin, either.
If you use a topical acne medication, this oil would be a nice way to add moisture back to areas of your skin that have become dry, irritated, or red.
4. The Best Face Oil With Retinol
This cult-favorite face oil from Sunday Riley is Dr. Polder's top pick. She says the Luna Sleeping Night Oil "contains a lot of great ingredients such as avocado, chia, retinol, and grapeseed oils." The retinol, a skin-enhancing powerhouse that encourages skin cell turnover, works to promote a brighter, clearer, and more even-looking complexion, while a host of botanically derived ingredients counteract retinol's potentially drying effects, thanks to their moisturizing and hydrating abilities. In short, if you want to bring out the best in your skin, this splurge-worthy face oil is your new secret weapon.
5. Another Doctor-Recommended Detoxifying Facial Oil
This is another face oil favored by Dr. Polder, who says she sees the Caudalie VineActiv Organic Overnight Detox Oil all over Paris. The oils featured in this formula are derived from grapeseed, sweet almond, and sunflower seed, though you'll also find several essential oils here that purportedly have antibacterial and purifying properties, such as white sandalwood and carrot. That's why Caudalie calls this a detoxifying oil, since it works to heal and renew your skin while you sleep, so you wake up with a rejuvenated and radiant complexion. Keep in mind that while this oil is free of synthetic fragrance, the essential oils in the formula could potentially cause a reaction if you have very sensitive, allergy-prone skin.
6. The Best Body Oil For Sensitive Skin
Another pick from Dr. Polder, The Honest Company Organic Body Oil is gentle enough to use on skin of all ages and types, including the sensitive skin of babies and young children. Spray it all over your (or someone else's) body for long-lasting moisture and nourishment. The hypoallergenic formula contains a blend of olive, jojoba, coconut, sunflower, avocado, and tamanu oils, and it comes conveniently packaged in a pump-top bottle. It's even certified-organic by the USDA, which is rare to find in skin care products in general.
7. The Best Body Oil Uneven-Looking Skin
Bio-Oil can be used for all types of skin repair, including to soothe and moisturize burns. It's also great for promoting smoother, more even-looking skin; pregnant women and new moms have been swearing by this stuff for ages. Key ingredients including vitamins E and A, lavender, calendula, and chamomile, which have moisturizing, calming, and soothing benefits. It's even non-comedogenic, so it won't clog your pores if you're prone to body acne, and it absorbs quickly, too.
8. Another Great, Lightweight Body Oil To Consider
Compared to thicker oils, "a lighter amount of hydration can be found in sesame oil, which Neutrogena's Body Oil contains," Dr. Polder says. It's lightweight and sheer, and it absorbs quickly without leaving behind a greasy residue, so you can put on your clothes just a few minutes after application. This fragrance-free oil comes packaged in a huge, 8-ounce bottle, so you'll be stocked for ages. Pro tip: Add a few drops into your bath to achieve silky-soft skin sans fuss.
Kristel Polder, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist practicing at Dallas Center for Dermatology and Aesthetics in Dallas, TX.