Would you smear your face with oil? What if oily skin could make you look younger?
You probably spent the years of your adolescence trying to banish oily skin from your face. You may have even used harsh astringents and acne medicines to sop up the grease caused by your overactive hormones. But as we age, most women’s skin gets drier and drier – and dry skin is more wrinkle-prone. Fighting the signs of aging takes the place of fighting acne, and one new weapon in the battle for youth are botanical oils.
In your late thirties and beyond, your skin stops producing as much natural oil. It dries out, causing wrinkles to look deeper and more apparent. Your skin needs oil, and while many moisturizers contain various types of oil, rubbing pure botanical oil directly onto your skin skips the middleman and can be a powerful anti-aging serum.
Natural facial oils can help your skin in many ways. They can protect your skin from free radicals, plump it up and decrease inflammation. Oils with vitamin C can also brighten your complexion and reduce the appearance of age-related spots.
Which type of facial oil should I use?
That depends on which effects are most important to you. Many beauty brands sell fancy blends of various rare oils, but you may see just as many results with a bottle of organic olive oil from the grocery store – many Italian women swear by it! Choose your oil based on what you want to see:
Plumper skin: Collagen production decreases as we age, making our faces look more gaunt and less youthful. The best oils to plump up your skin are coconut and olive, which are both widely available at your local grocery store.
Brighter skin: Pomegranate oil or avocado oil are both high in vitamin C, which helps brighten skin and balance out discoloration or hyperpigmentation.
Decrease inflammation: Sensitive skin can often look ruddy or dry, and it’s particularly vulnerable to inflammation caused by popular anti-aging serums. Try argan, yangu or borage seed oil to calm your sensitive skin.
Protect: Many oils are high in anti-oxidants, which help to protect your skin from the barrage of free radicals we encounter every day. Choose passionfruit, argan or African marula oil to best protect your beautiful face.
For oily skin: Even those with acne-prone skin can get it on this trend! Try lavender oil, which has antiseptic properties and can help kill the acne-causing bacteria on your face as it moisturizes.
How do I apply facial oils?
Massaging the oils into your skin is an important part of the process. You may choose to apply skin oils in the morning, at night, or both.
In the morning, wash your face as usual and pat dry gently. Massage a few drops of oil onto your clean skin, rubbing over your entire face (avoid the eyes). Wait two minutes and apply your sunscreen or foundation.
At night, use the oils in the same way. However if you use an anti-aging serum such as retinol, vitamin C or glycolic acid, decide whether you would rather help the anti-aging treatment work better OR soothe the inflammation it sometime causes (this probably depends on your overall skin type). Combine the two methods, or try both to see which works best for you.
- Apply oil before anti-aging treatments to make the skin more receptive and help the treatment to penetrate deeper.
- Apply oil after anti-aging treatments to soothe the inflammation that they sometimes cause.
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Image: David Gaborit