Which Face Oil Is Right For You?

Face oils are one of those things that just make people nervous. A mere mention of the words and images of a greasy T-Zone and gnarly breakouts come to mind. We get it: A Slip 'n Slide face isn’t a good look. But, long before creams and serums, oils were the secret to youthful skin. Cleopatra (the original beauty junkie) washed with it daily. Today, the trend is gaining traction thanks to celebs including Gwyneth Paltrow, Emma Stone, and Miranda Kerr, who swear by these slick picks.
Why? Unlike a lot of beauty products on the market, the benefits of oil are proven and dramatic. “The extra fatty acids and lipids in face oils help thicken the skin and give it a glow,” says Dr. Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, director of Dermatology and Laser Surgery Center in NYC.
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So, why the bad rap? Well, not all oils are created equal. “There a lot of options and it’s important to select the right one for your skin type,” says Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mt. Sinai Hospital in NYC. “The wrong one will lead to more problems.” To help avoid that, our experts spill on the face oils that will leave your skin type flawless.
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Dry Skin
There’s nothing like dull, dehydrated skin to kill a beauty look. But, there is a simple solution. “Coconut oil is the most saturated plant source of fat around,” says Dr. Alexiades-Armenakas. “It is 91% saturated compared to 14% for olive oil.” Slathering on this lipid-packed oil creates “a heavier barrier” helping skin stay supple and smooth.
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Oily Skin
Tea tree oil is often associated with spot treatments, but using it all over the face can help prevent breakouts and soothe irritated skin. “It has antimicrobial properties that help fight a variety of infections,” says Dr. Zeichner. “It also kills bacteria that are involved in developing pimples.”
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Combination Skin
For centuries, sandalwood has been used in Ayurvedic medicine, massage, and fragrance. Only now are people starting to see the benefit to using it in skin care. “Sandalwood oil is 90% sesquiterpenic alcohols — or what I call fatty alcohols,” says Dr. Alexiades-Armenakas of why it’s the perfect pick for combination skin. “It hydrates but doesn’t cause acne.”
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Aging Skin
Starting to notice some fine lines and wrinkles? Dr. Zeichner recommends applying argan oil to the face, neck, and hands. “It contains essential fatty acids and antioxidants, like vitamin E, which keep cells healthy and functioning.” Translation: Plump, firm skin is a just a swipe away.
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