Whether you’re a face oil newbie or a devotee, we’re here to demystify the face oil myth and teach you how to use them the right way — because many people we know who are using oils are actually missing a step.
The face oil myth, debunked.
We understand why you might be tempted to choose cream or lotion over face oil. We’ve been there! The truth is that we’ve been conditioned to think that anything oily can clog pores and cause acne. Well, we’ve got good news! This is a big fat face oil myth and it’s simply not the case. In fact, there is a face oil for every skin type, oily types included. When used correctly they are hydrating and balancing, and non-comedogenic formulations can actually help to keep the skin clear.
Face oils vs. hydrating creams.
Face oils are more potent versions of hydrating creams. True oils don’t need preservatives, require less processing, and impart a concentrated dose of plant medicine to the skin.
Face oils don’t require the same level of preservation that creams and lotions do because water (often listed as “aqua” on the label) is the main ingredient in hydrating creams. The water requires preservatives to keep the formula shelf-stable and safe to use. To be clear, not all preservatives are “bad” — thank goodness. In fact, there are several safe synthetics being developed that are much “cleaner” than current options like parabens and phenoxyethanol. These and other commonly used preservatives are known as endocrine disruptors, as they have been linked to hormonal issues. Pure oils don’t contain any water or water soluble ingredients, thus alleviating the need for any preservatives including these potentially hazardous ones. Our guide to finding the best natural skin care products explains this in greater detail.
Whew, that’s the deep stuff! Taking a step back, it’s wild to think that some of the most luxurious and expensive creams on the market are made of mostly water. Let that sink in for a sec. With oils, you get more bang for your buck. It’s a concentrated version of an emulsified lotion or cream.
How to use face oil as a moisturizer.
Okay, folks. This is super easy and simple. Remember how we mentioned that pure face oils omit water soluble ingredients? In order to use the oil correctly, we’ll need to manually add water to the routine. You see, pure oil on the skin becomes a barrier. Nothing can enter or exit the skin. Using oil without a tonic, hydrosol, natural (alcohol-free) toner, or face mist will actually deprive your skin of the moisture it needs. Here’s how to apply face oil the correct way:
- Find a natural hydrosol or tonic void of essential oils and alcohol. We recommend the Empress Tonic.
- Spritz this all over the face and neck.
- Rub 3-5 drops of oil between the palms and press oil into your skin while it’s still moist from the hydrosol.
This video of our co-founder Britta applying our Empress Tonic and Empress Oil shows you exactly what to do. This way, the oil traps moisture between the oil and the skin. You can also combine your oil and a few squirts of hydrosol in your hands, mix them together, and pat the mixture onto your face.