Have you tried a face oil? Do you have a favorite? Certain plant oils and their fatty acids have been extensively studied, with many showing to provide multiple benefits when topically applied.
If you are acne prone or have oily skin and have been hesitant to try a facial oil, research actually shows that skin lipids of acne-prone individuals are deficient in Linoleic acid (an omega-6), and topical use of Linoleic acid has been shown to reduce clogged pores, and balance sebum production. And for more even skin tone, topically applied Linoleic and alpha-linolenic (omega-3) acids have been shown to lighten UV-induced hyperpigementation.
But beware of oils high in Oleic acid, which is inflammatory in higher concentrations. While Oleic acid can be good for dry skin, it has been shown to cause clogged pores in certain individuals. It is best to mix these types of oils with oils high in Linoleic acid to balance it.
And now, my favorite skin loving oils through my extensive research and experimenting, in no particular order:
Pomegranate Seed Oil
Pomegranate seed oil contains an exceptionally high content of antioxidants and the Omega-5 fatty acid Punicic acid, the perfect duo to help slow the aging process and reduce inflammation on the skin. It is a light oil that leaves behind no greasy feeling.
Jojoba Seed Oil
Technically speaking, jojoba is a liquid wax, not an oil, and it contains vitamins B and E, copper, zinc, and selenium. Jojoba is most famous though, for being a nearly skin identical ingredient. This allows it to seamlessly blend into your skin and mix with your natural skin oils, where it breaks down and dissolves sebum. It sends a signal to your skin that it is sufficiently moisturized, and to stop producing oils. This balances the skin, keeps the pores clear, and makes it an effective emollient.
Grape Seed Oil
Grape seed oil is prized for having youth promoting properties. It is a very light oil high in linoleic acid and rich in vitamin E and antioxidants. It blends seamlessly into the skin without an oily feeling, reduces inflammation and redness, lightens hyperpigmenation, and stimulates collagen production in the skin.
Prickly Pear Seed Oil
This oil is highly emollient, nourishing, rich in vitamin E (the amount is 3x higher than argan oil), vitamin K, and loaded with antioxidants. Despite it's rich, thick consistency, it is considered to be non-comedogenic. It penetrates easily into the skin with a velvety feel, leaving the skin feeling soft and moisturized.
Squalene can be derived from olives, shark liver, and most sustainably from sugarcane. Squalene is also naturally present in our skin's sebum, hydrates our skin, and diminishes as we age. For topical use, it is best to use the hydrogenated version of squalene, called squalane, which is highly stable and not prone to oxidation like squalene (oxidation equals clogged pores). Squalane acts as an excellent emollient, prevents moisture loss, and keeps skin soft, supple, and flexible.
Sunflower Seed Oil (high Linoleic variety only)
Rich in vitamin E, this oil keeps your skin balanced and moisturized. In a study comparing sunflower seed oil and olive oil, sunflower seed oil was shown to speed wound healing and improve hydration levels in the skin. Olive oil, on the other hand, was shown to significantly damage the skin barrier. This is proof that not all oils are created equal. But reading the results of this study came as a surprise to me, as olive oil has a long history of being used on the skin. However, we need to take into consideration the fact that the olive oil used in the study may not have been pure. The supply of olive oil cannot always meet the demands of consumers, and there have been reports of adultered olive oil being sold in stores.
Avocado Seed Oil
Contains a higher amount of oleic acid, has a heavier feel, and should therefore be mixed with other carrier oils if you are using it on your face. It boasts a high amount of antioxidants and impressively, research shows that this oil can actually repair sun damage in the skin.
Sea Buckthorn Oil (Personal Favorite)
There are two types of seabuckthorn oil, one is extracted from the seeds, and the other from the berries/pulp. Both are lightweight and absorb into the skin quickly.
The berries are most famously known for their high level of the rare Palmitoleic Acid (Omega-7), which is a component of our skin lipids. This Omega-7 stimulates regenerative processes in our skin, activates physiological skin functions, aids in wound healing, and reduces scars. The amount naturally present in our skin declines with age, and topical use has proven to be useful. They also contain gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), and are rich in Carotenes (vitamin A precursors), vitamins B1, B12, C, E, K, and P; flavonoids, phospholipids, catechins, ferulic acid, and phytosterols.
The seeds and their resulting oil contain a near 1:1 ratio of alpha-linolenic (Omega-3) and linoleic (Omega-6) acids and are an impressive natural source of vitamins A and E, carotenes and flavonoids. They are also high in vitamin C and rich in several other vitamins, including B1, B2, K and P as well as more than two dozen microelements.
Sea buckthorn is a total powerhouse of skin loving nutrients to keep skin soft, supple, reduce inflammation, and slow the aging process. Both forms have a vivid red/orange color, and it is best dilute with other carrier oils - unless you don't mind an orange glow on your skin!
Borage Seed Oil
Borage is an herb, sometimes known as starflower. The oil is pressed from the seeds and is considered one of the richest sources of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an Omega-6 essential fatty acid. It is anti-inflammatory, and is especially useful in regenerating the skin, moisturizing, soothing, and balancing.
Borage, evening primrose, and black currant seed oils all have similar skin nourishing properties, and unfortunately, they all smell like fish. This oil is best mixed with other oils to dilute the smell. They are also fragile oils with a short shelf life and should be kept in the fridge. This is the reason I did not include this oil in any of my formulations. It is, however, a good addition to add in separately if you choose, just be sure to replace your bottle of borage oil every couple of months just in case of oxidation.
Rosehip Seed Oil
High in linoleic acid (omega-6) and a-linolenic acid (omega-3). It most impressively contains all-trans retinoic acid (also known as tretinion, a form of vitamin A shown to be an effective anti-aging ingredient according to clinical research) at about 0.357 ml/L, beta carotene (vitamin A precursor), and L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) at about 0.03-1.3%. This oil has been shown in studies to be effective in reducing the appearances of fine lines, stretch marks, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation. Rosehip seed oil also has a pretty short shelf, so if you choose to use it, be sure to replace it every few months just to be safe.
While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained on this site is obtained from reliable sources, Sophia Dee Skincare is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. All information in this site is provided "as is", with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information.