Whether it was for medicinal purposes or any array of health and wellness applications, skin oils have been used for centuries. And these oils, including jojoba, marula, and, yes, even olive oil, are packed with rich fatty acids, vitamins, and antioxidants—all which are great for your skin. Moreover, skin oils are suitable for all types of skin (yes, even oily skin); it’s just a matter of figuring out which one is best for your particular concerns.
So whether you’re looking to eliminate redness, calm irritation, or moisturize your dry skin, we’ve picked a few skin oils that you may consider adding to your skincare routine.
1. For deep moisturization: coconut oil
Coconut oil has been a pantry staple for years, but its myriad skincare applications make it an indispensable item in medicine cabinets as well. Because it’s made up of 90 percent saturated fat, coconut oil replenishes lost moisture and restores your skin’s natural barrier, keeping it well hydrated. Not only does coconut oil make an excellent moisturizer, but it has anti-inflammatory properties to soothe irritated skin. If those weren’t enough, coconut oil also contains lauric and capric acids, both known for their antibacterial and antifungal prowess, making coconut oil a powerful ally in the fight against acne, too. Coconut oil has a wide range of applications and it can be used anywhere on your body. While you can certainly use it as a body moisturizer in place of your regular body cream or to soften your hands and repair dry cuticles, coconut oil also makes an excellent facial cleanser and hydrating eye cream.
Use the Kopari Coconut Melt, made of 100 percent coconut oil, as a makeup remover, a deep conditioning hair mask, or as a shaving oil. While the $28 price point may seem questionable in comparison to grocery store oils, Kopari’s coconut melt may be more “user friendly.” Reviewers rave that it smells amazing, absorbs quickly, and it may not go rancid as quickly as coconut oils you find at the grocery store. One Sephora reviewer writes: “I used to be outraged by how expensive this is for being simply coconut oil (still do, to some extent), but then I gave it a try … I was very pleasantly surprised! The smell is amazing (and non-sensitizing), and the oil itself is much lighter in feel than regular coconut oil and absorbs very nicely. It also provides such a beautiful glow that I felt ready to go down a catwalk.”
Get the Kopari Coconut Melt on Sephora for $28
2. For balancing oily skin: grapeseed oil
For those who have oily skin, adding more oil to your skin might be a hard sell, but hear us out. Grapeseed oil can regulate your skin’s natural oil production, as it moisturizes and, when you use it, your skin won’t overcompensate for its lack of moisture by overproducing oil. It also contains antioxidants that protect your skin from the ravages of free radicals and from the damaging effects of sun exposure that lead to wrinkles and discoloration. It also contains linoleic acid and vitamin E, both of which can hydrate your skin and reduce inflammation. Suitable for all skin types (including sensitive and oily skin), grapeseed oil is also safe enough to use daily. And while it has plenty of applications, it’s frequently used as a moisturizer and applied directly to the skin after cleansing.
The US Organic Grape Seed Oil cold-pressed to preserve its nutrient-rich composition, and it’s certified organic. One Amazon reviewer shared: “I love this product! I use it on my face every other night. I mix it with hyaluronic acid. It has literally changed the texture of my consistent dry patches and makes my makeup apply nicer.”
Get the US Organic Grape Seed Oil on Amazon $12.99
3. For relieving dry skin: olive oil
Your surprise for the day may be that olive oil is useful for more than just a good sauté. The real beauty of olive oil lies in its ability to minimize water loss and moisturize the skin. And while it can relieve extremely dry skin, it’s an occlusive oil, which means that you should use it sparingly to avoid clogging your pores. With its antioxidant properties, olive oil also protects the skin against environmental damage, and with vitamins A, D, E, K, and moisturizing squalene, it fends off early signs of aging. For the best skin effects, opt for cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil, as that retains more nutrients than oils that are heat-treated (like some of the ones you may find in your pantry). You can apply olive oil directly to your skin (including your face) as a moisturizer; for best results, apply it right out of the bath or shower to really seal the moisture in.
The Hollywood Beauty Olive Oil blends olive oil with other oils like soybean and coconut to relieve dry skin or an itchy scalp. One Amazon reviewer gushed: “This is one of the most amazing oils out there. I love it, and it works great, not just for hair but as a beauty oil on my skin as well!!!”
Get the Hollywood Beauty Olive Oil on Amazon for $9.66
4. For reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles anti-aging: rosehip seed oil
Extracted from the rosa canina rose bush, grown primarily in Chile, rosehip oil is teeming with Vitamin A, which has been shown to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by way of boosting the skin’s collagen production. Rosehip oil also contains powerful antioxidants like linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linoleic acid (omega-3), both of which are known to fight potential damage from UV rays and pollution. Moreover, these same fatty acids play a crucial role in boosting your skin’s moisture levels, making rosehip oil an excellent choice for those with dry skin as well. Rosehip oil is mild enough to use every day, and it can be used on its own or mixed with your favorite moisturizer and applied directly to your skin.
Snag the The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed RoseHip Seed Oil, which reviewers rave about for delivering exceptional results at a bargain price. One Sephora reviewer writes: “This is a product I can never go without, I put it on every night, and it is absolutely amazing! I have combination skin that gets super dry in the winter, and this is a lifesaver.”
Get The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil on Sephora for $9.80
5. For calming skin irritation: jojoba oil
Extracted from the jojoba plant (also known as Simmondsia Chinensis), which is native to the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, Northern Mexico, and California, jojoba oil was initially used by Native Americans for medicinal purposes. Today, however, it is primarily used in the cosmetics industry. And for good reason: Jojoba oil is packed with vitamins A, D, and E, which means that it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. So when applied topically, jojoba oil can calm skin irritation, reduce redness, and ease the symptoms of psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea. Studies have also shown that the high concentration of vitamin E in jojoba oil plays a crucial role in its ability to expedite wound healing, which may account for its efficacy in treating acne and healing acne scars. Jojoba oil can be used as a cleanser, a spot treatment, or a moisturizer, and it’s safe enough for daily use. If you decide to add jojoba oil to your beauty routine, look for 100 percent pure jojoba oil or choose a moisturizer or serum that contains pure jojoba oil.
This Leven Rose jojoba oil is 100 percent organic and cold-pressed, so there’s nothing added and nothing taken away. This oil is also packaged in an amber bottle to protect the contents from premature oxidation. One Amazon reviewer shares: “I’m very pleased with this oil! I have been using it as a face moisturizer (with a few drops of essential oils mixed in) for about three weeks now, and my skin has significantly improved […]. My skin is softer, more dewy and way less blotchy, dull, and stressed looking.”
Get the Leven Rose Jojoba Oil on Amazon for $9.97
6. For reducing the effects of sun damage: marula oil
Reaped from the marula tree found in sub-Saharan Africa, marula oil has become increasingly popular in skincare. Packed with 60 percent more antioxidants than other oils (vitamins E and C, specifically), marula oil can protect your skin against the damaging effects of UV rays and minimize the look of dark spots. What’s more, it’s loaded with fatty acids (like oleic and linoleic), meaning it’s a natural emollient that actually seals in moisture. It’s also lightweight and absorbs quickly, making for a dynamite moisturizer. Safe enough to use daily, marula oil in its pure form can be applied directly onto your skin, or you can mix it with moisturizers or serums of your choosing.
Drunk Elephant’s marula oil is suitable for all skin types—even the most sensitive, and it absorbs quickly to deeply hydrate your skin. One Sephora reviewer writes, “This is worth every penny! I used my beauty points to get this duo with the drunk elephant baby facial item. I used the exfoliating mask, which definitely made my face burn, and as instructed, I put this on right after, and when I woke up the next morning, my face was smooth and flawless. I have oily skin and use prescription grade tretinoin, and this makes my face so soft and hydrated. I’ve even used it during the day a couple of times, and even with my oily skin, it absorbs so well. I immediately purchased a full size.”
Get the Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Face Oil on Sephora for $72
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.