I am Dr. Ebru from drebru.com (aka ChicScience). I am very honored to be invited by Sara to write this guest post for you from Atlanta today! During the day, I am a molecular immunologist and as someone said “Scientific truth isn’t final, but constantly evolving.” The science of makeup and skincare products is constantly evolving as well. Thus, in my free time I love to share my passion and knowledge for beauty combined with science at my blog and here with you today. Facial oils are part of the evolving skincare products and gaining popularity fast. I am very happy to be given the chance to write about the ins and outs of facial oils today.
Skin care trend: What are Facial Oils, really?
Face or facial oils have become one of the key products in our beauty regimen. It could sound weird to some to apply “oil” to our faces, when we are trying to prevent oiliness (especially those of us with oily complexions).
The new developments in the skincare area shed light on our complexion and oils. Our face does need oil. Our face oil, or in other words, sebum is composed of fatty acids that are also the building blocks of any natural oil. Balanced sebum means healthy skin, less irritation or even breakouts. Disturbance in the sebum production could lead to even severe acne.
Facial oils with hydrating, anti-aging, soothing, revitalizing new formulas can revive our complexion and provide a healthy glow. They emerged around 2010-2011 and now we can see several different versions of Facial Oils nearly in every beauty store.
How do facial oils work?
My personal preference is a facial oil that would be absorbed fast. The size of the individual oil molecule is important to determine the speed of penetration to the skin. Low molecular weight oils would be absorbed much easier through the outer layer of the skin compared to heavier or synthetic oils. The smaller and more lipophilic the molecule, the faster it passes down the follicular and sebaceous ducts in the skin, The faster it will be absorbed by the skin, the quicker you will see a more nourished and revitalized skin.
What does lipophilic mean and which oils have a small molecular size?
Oil loves oil, which means it is lipophilic. Certain oils resemble the oils on the skin and our skin welcomes them. Plant oils like jojoba oil has a structure that is similar to skin sebum and it is used in most facial oil formulas. Plant oils harvested from fruits, seeds, flowers or leaves have a very fine molecular structure that enables their quick absorbance by the skin. This makes them ideal ingredients for good quality facial oils.
Who can use facial oils?
Answer is simple: Everyone. Even ones with oily complexions. People with oily skin may be worried about increased greasiness, blocked pores or breakouts with Facial Oil use. Interestingly, facial oils can balance the sebum production, which can decrease formation of breakouts. If the natural oil balance of the skin is disturbed with excess cleansing, sebaceous glands start to produce more oil trying to replace the loss. Excess sebum can lead to unwanted breakouts or irritation. A layer of easily absorbed plant oils on your skin could trick your sebaceous glands to switch off. Result: No more oil production, because the skin already has some. If you have dry skin, Facial Oils are definitely for you. They can hydrate and soften your skin while helping you get rid of flakiness and dull appearance.
How do we use Facial Oils?
You can use couple drops of the oil straight on your skin and massage it gently after your cleansing, toning routine. If you have really dry skin, apply the oil when your face is damp to boost the moisture. You can mix your Facial Oil with your serum or night cream to enhance the benefits. You can even cleanse your makeup or your face with facial oils. Such a multi-tasking product! If you are new to facial oils, use your oil every night and do not give up. Continue at least for four weeks for the best results, since your skin goes through a renewal process every 4 to 6 weeks. In my personal experience, I notice the difference in couple days.
Can I apply Baby Oil as a Facial Oil?
No. Baby oil is predominantly mineral oil and it will not be absorbed by the skin. It will just sit on top of your skin feeling greasy. Instead of products with mineral oils, prefer products with plant and /or seed oils. Try to choose plant oils that are light and easily absorbed. We will discuss the plant oils in another post.
Facial oils with rejuvenating or anti-aging ingredients?
Natural plant oils on the skin prevent water loss and support moisture of the skin. Plant and seed oils can provide essential nutrients such as gamma linoleic acid, Vitamin E, essential fatty acids, anti-oxidants and minerals, which are great for the elasticity and firmness of the skin. Plant oils do not possess strong anti-aging capabilities. To reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, look for facial oils that have Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), Vitamin C, Vitamin E, retinol or peptides.
Can I only use facial oil and be done with my skin care?
No. Facial oils should be used with your skin care routine that includes a cleanser, toner, serum, day/night cream and a sunscreen to keep the skin hydrated, nourished and happy.
- Dr. Ebru