How to Use the Best Facial Oils for Oily Skin

It seems like every week I’m asked the same question: can I use facial oils on oily skin? The answer is a resounding YES! You can use oil on your oily skin, and even on skin with acne, but you need to use the right oil and use it in the right way.

Let’s take a deeper look at the best oils for oily skin types. If you have combination skin, or skin that has dry and oily patches, you can still use these guidelines to find the kinds of oils that your skin will love.

I used to have very oily skin, and for many years — all through my 20s, 30s, and 40s — I had a love affair with oil. I must have spent thousands of dollars experimenting with different facial oils and oil serums because I really didn’t understand what to look for. Hopefully, we can save you some time and money with these tips!

But First… Let’s Talk About the Elephant in the Room!

What about sebum? Although it gets a bad rap from those of us with oily skin types, sebum is actually very important for the health of our skin. It works to keep moisture close to your skin, and the film that it forms protects us from the environment. Problems begin to arise only when our skin decides to produce an overabundance of sebum. Why does that happen?

When our skin is unhealthy, or there is an imbalance or dehydration, our sebaceous glands begin to produce excess sebum. Excess sebum can then build up, clogging pores and leading to blackheads, blemishes, and a pool of shiny oil on our skin! For some people, this excess sebum is a daily issue, and it doesn’t seem to matter what we eat, drink, or do. But if we look deeper, that may not necessarily be true.

If your skin is producing excess oil, it may actually be telling you something. It may be screaming for you to drink more water or less alcohol, eat more veggies, cut out the potato chips, and so on… in fact, our body has so many great ways of telling us when we aren’t paying attention to it, and one of the ways is acne! Before you start trying to find out the best oils for your oily skin, you need to look at if you’re getting enough sleep, check your water intake, and explore your overall health and stress levels.

It is also important to make sure you’re using quality skin care — organic, if possible — and certainly do not get lulled into using harsh glycolic acid and alcohol-laden acne products as part of your everyday skin care routine. Avoid harsh ingredients like salicylic acid, alcohol, benzoyl peroxide, and other ingredients often promoted for acne-prone skin, as your skin will likely need a gentler, more sensitive approach.

Which Oils are Bad for Oily Skin?

The comedogenic scale lists oils by their ability to clog pores. It goes from an oil like Jojoba, which is a zero, to oils like coconut oil, wheat germ, and others that are more prone to clog pores. If your skin is oily or acne-prone, you’ll want to avoid using oils like coconut oil on your face, even though it’s a wonderful oil for many other reasons.

By the way, each person is unique, and some people have really good genes. My husband is a great example! You can smear anything on that man’s face, and he’ll be fine. But if I even look at a pore-clogging oil, I’m in trouble… which brings up another point: sensitivity.

Many types of skin are sensitive. Although we generally associate skin sensitivities with dry skin, there are many people (myself included) who have sensitive skin whether they are oily or dry. Any deviation into a new product, or even just eating too many potato chips, can result in acne. So, when looking at oils for your skin care routine, not only is it important to find facial oils designed for acne-prone skin — you’ll want to look at the entire routine, too. Make sure that you have something in your skin care routine that will help bring moisture to your skin, and then lock it in with the oil.

Which Oils are the Best for Oily Skin?

Two oils that are really great for oily and combination skin are Jojoba and Argan oil. There’s a reason they’re so popular! Jojoba, in particular, mimics the sebum of our natural skin and is actually a plant wax. Both oils absorb quickly, but Jojoba is our favorite and the one we’d choose as the best oil for oily skin.

Serenity Facial Oil in front of green leaves

When we were formulating our Serenity Balancing Blue Tansy Facial Oil, we used two excellent oils as carriers for the facial oil blend: Jojoba and Camellia oil. Camellia oil, or green tea oil, is an ancient oil used by the Geisha for their incredibly beautiful skin. The combination of these two oils, along with our Fair Trade Baobab and Moringa oils and organic Prickly Pear Seed Oil, made for the perfect blend. Each oil brings something to the table, whether it be absorption, antioxidants, deep nourishment for the skin, or other effects. This is a perfect facial oil for acne-prone skin, oily skin, or combination skin, and a wonderful complement to existing skin care routines.

Although our Virgin Marula Oil also absorbs quickly, it’s more of a favorite among our customers with combination or dry skin. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend it for acne-prone skin. That being said, all of these oils do have a few things in common other than absorption: they are all highly nourishing, great for anti-aging, and will not clog pores!

Virgin Marula Oil with floral background

So, What Do We Suggest?

I remember the frustration of spending so much money without having a clue as to whether my skin would like something or not. Having a combination of oily and sensitive skin made acne an everyday event, and it got to me and made me feel bad about my appearance. If you’re having issues with your skin, start from the ground up. Here are some of our suggestions:

  1. Press pause on extreme acne products — just set them aside for a month. You can always come back to them later.
  2. Try a gentle cleansing bar, like our Calm Facial Bar, that’s designed for sensitive skin. You can use it morning and night, and it’s very gentle on skin that’s prone to irritation or acne flare-ups.
  3. Choose our Serenity Balancing Blue Tansy Facial Oil. Not only does it contain Blue Tansy, which balances sebum, but it features other incredible nourishing ingredients. It also includes turmeric, which is very popular at the moment for its skin-rejuvenating properties — there’s some incredible research out there! We use turmeric in our Calm Facial Bar and our Serenity oil.
  4. Make sure you are not scrubbing your face too intensely! Your face requires gentle cleansing and exfoliating. Exfoliation should happen with a mask or a gentle AHA fruit acid exfoliator like our Reveal Gentle Exfoliating Foam Facial Wash.
  5. Make sure you’re drinking water, getting sleep, and avoiding oils in your diet, like canola. If you can, try going without wheat and dairy and see how you do, and try to avoid caffeine. My favorite thing to recommend is the Whole 30 diet, which takes away most skin irritants for a 30-day period so that you can add them back in one at a time. You may find that you’ve developed an allergy! We’re not doctors, but we do suggest doing some research to determine what might trigger your skin breakouts.

With some care and patience, your skin problems can become a thing of the past. By the way, pictured below is our Healthy Skin Combo, which includes all of the products listed above — Calm, Reveal, Serenity, and our Awaken eye serum — for a whopping 25% off regular prices, if purchased together. It’s a great way to try these amazing products, and we offer a 30-day money-back guarantee if you experience any reactions!

I hope that you find a way to help balance your skin, and be patient and gentle with yourself (and your skin) as you learn what works. We are always happy to help you find the best facial oils for oily, acne-prone skin, and we have an esthetician on staff if you need additional guidance.

I suffered from acne almost my whole adult life, until I stopped using harsh ingredients and developed this natural skin care line. We’re here to help you find what works best for you!

Bye for now!

Kirsten xx

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