Do Facial Oils Hydrate the Skin?

Skincare is no stranger to misinformation and theories that have been proven to be false. Though there is still much left to research and discover when it comes to skincare ingredients and the benefits of certain products, we do have scientific evidence and recommendations that come straight from the Korean Peninsula, where our formulas are created. If you are still new to skincare or haven’t explored the options of facial oils out there quite yet, it’s important to know before buying whether or not you can use facial oil as a substitute for other products and what facial oil does for your skin.

Are Facial Oils Hydrating For the Skin?

To answer the age-old question, no, facial oils don’t contribute to skin hydration. Though they have grown in popularity in the industry over the past few years and several marketing campaigns have advertised their oils as containing “hydrating” properties, this is another skincare myth that must be debunked.

Facial oils may not contribute to overall hydration, but they are moisturizing and should be incorporated into any routine for these capabilities. Using hydrating lotions or creams will keep the skin from becoming dehydrated, while the use of facial oils helps to retain that moisture in the skin. Oils themselves are devoid of water but they act as a natural sealer so that water that is already held in the skin doesn’t escape.

Essentially, when you are hydrating your skin, you are applying water to your skin, binding it to the other skincare ingredients that work in the skin cells and improve overall health and exfoliation. Moisturizing tends to follow the hydration process, which lubricates the skin with humectants and emollients to reduce skin dehydration and retain water in the skin that was added during the hydration cycle. Contrary to popular belief, “hydrate” and “moisturize” are not interchangeable when it comes to skincare products.

The general structure of oil involves the glycerin molecule triglyceride, typically attached with fatty acids in its formulation. Not all oils have the same moisturization properties and this depends on the lipid content of the particular oil.

Now that we’ve concluded whether facial oils are hydrating or moisturizing, what types of facial oils should you be searching for to add to your routine?

Different Types of Facial Oils For the Skin

Facial oils tend to be available in the form of carrier, essential, or blended oils (a hybrid of the other two). Carriers are base oils, which are richer in fatty acids and nutrients for the skin to absorb. Essential oils, on the other hand, contain higher concentrated formulas and can even be added to carrier oils to increase their overall benefits, including increased skin texture, elasticity, and in the form of aromatherapy.

Some common examples of carrier or base oils include formulas derived from rosehip, argan, grapeseed, and jojoba. Opting for plant-based oils is generally a safe direction for most skincare users, as these are packed with vitamins and antioxidants to maintain skin health. These can include avocado, sunflower, chia seed, and berry formulas, to name a few.

No matter what your concern or personal preference, taking into account your skin type or conditions, if relevant, should always be a top priority. For example, argan and coconut oils have a larger molecular size and can produce acne as a potential side effect. Meanwhile, formulas based on squalene, jojoba, and marula are non-comedogenic and contain a smaller molecular size, often helping to soothe redness and calm the skin.

For those with oily or acne-prone skin, lightweight and non-clogging formulas can be beneficial for more sensitive skin. Lightweight formulas also tend to be better when incorporating facial oils with other moisturizing products. Whereas those with drier, more mature skin should take advantage of richer facial oils, such as rosehip and avocado.

what are the Skin Benefits of Facial Oils?

We are aware that facial oils don’t directly contribute to skin hydration, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t contain other benefits! There’s a reason they have become trendy among skincare users and not only due to the successful marketing campaigns.

Aside from retaining existing moisture in the skin, following application, many users tend to experience softer, brighter skin complexion. Many oil formulas can help with regulating sebum production, reduce blemishes on the skin, and cleanse the skin with its antibacterial properties.

Facial oils can also enhance the skin’s protective barrier when it comes to having a shield against the environment and extreme weather conditions that penetrate the skin and cause damage such as aging signs and dark spots.

Despite many of these incredible benefits, facial oil should never be used to substitute other products, such as sunscreen, moisturizers, and toners. Facial oils should only be applied and previously-cleansed skin and shouldn’t be overused. Excess application of oils can cause clogged pores and flare-ups, though oils do tend to be gentler formulas than other types of skincare products.

How To Use Facial Oil In Your Skincare Routine

A particular favorite aspect of facial oils is that they can be incorporated into any skincare regimen and can be applied daily, both in your AM and PM routine. If you’re in a hurry or don’t prefer multi-step routines, you can speed up the process by adding a few drops of facial oil to your preferred moisturizer so that you can attain simultaneous benefits. A few applications per week are generally acceptable for most users in terms of facial oil.

Once you have cleansed the skin and completed the other steps of your routine, such as applying toners, serums, or moisturizers, facial oils should always be used on the skin as the final step in your routine. Rather than applying oil to your entire face, you can optionally apply it to specific areas of concern to help soothe the skin.

Again, it is important to note that you don’t need to overdo it when it comes to facial oils. Less is more and you should always be using facial oil alongside moisturizer rather than going it solo with oils. Using oil by itself can cause the skin to become greasier, leading to potential breakouts and ultimately weakening the skin’s protective barrier and leaving it more vulnerable to harmful penetration from external stressors.

It’s important to maintain the consistent usage of moisturizers in your routine. Moisturizer formulas are often a combination of hydrating and moisturizing properties, being further emphasized by the moisturizing capabilities of facial oils to retain that existing moisture, rather than adding further water to the skin. Glycerin and hyaluronic acid are fan favorites when it comes to maintaining skin moisture.

If you prefer to only use oil once a day, many users find it beneficial to apply it in the PM before bed. Using facial oils at night allows the formula to condition and repair the skin overnight while you sleep, speeding up the overall process to prep your skin for the following day.

Conclusion : is face oil good for your skin?

What works for one individual won’t necessarily work for your skin. As you’re now aware, you should never use facial oil as a sole substitute for products such as moisturizers and sunscreen. Incorporating facial oils into your routine, whether combining them with your preferred moisturizer or applying oil after a lightweight lotion or cream, provides numerous benefits to your skin and overall health. You have nothing to lose but rather only positive results to gain from experimenting with the variety of oils out on the market. However, don’t fall for facial oils that state they are “hydrating” because that’s just not true.