Ask Jean: The Best Face Oils?

Dear Jean,
You sell a lot of face oil at goop, but I still don’t get when to apply it—do I treat it just like moisturizer? Use it instead of moisturizer? Do you layer it?—Erin W.

Dear Erin,
I use face oil just the way I’d use moisturizer—to make my skin feel and look better instantly. I feel like oil—which women have been using for centuries, whereas moisturizer is a relatively new invention—just works a little better for me. It plumps up my skin, makes it feel infinitely softer and more elastic, and leaves me with a glow.

My very favorite use for oil is for the 4pm slump—you’re at work, you look as lackluster as you feel, and you’re inclined to search for candy and layer on more makeup: Stop, do neither. Put a few drops of face oil (I naturally have goop’s brilliant oil at my desk; I also have it at my boyfriend’s house) between your fingers, smoothing so the oil is spread super-thin, and pat lightly onto your face, avoiding eye makeup but hitting everywhere else, especially the under eye. Wait a minute or two, and have a look: Your skin should be refreshed and glowy, and, miraculously, it should also look like you just did your makeup. If the oil got involved with any mascara or shadow, wipe it away before the oil sinks in, then reapply if necessary, or re-dab on a touch of concealer. Face oil is the definitive solution to the 4pm slump, appearance-wise; cold water, hot tea, and a pile of crudites will have a similar re-animating effect on the rest of you.

goop by Juice Beauty Enriching Face Oil

goop, $110

This nourishing, potent miracle oil sinks instantly into skin and starts to work. Made with a pure blend of organic oils, it leaves skin remarkably supple, soft, and glowing. It turbo-charges any moisturizer, but also hydrates beautifully on its own. It can even be patted on over makeup for a mid-day pick-me-up. The Enriching Face Oil is formulated with USDA certified organic ingredients and contains approximately 99% total organic content.

But when I’m not wearing makeup, I use even more face oil: Right now I’ve got the heavenly deMamiel Winter oil on my sink upstairs, neroli-and-jasmine-infused Rodin oil on my kitchen counter, and the seabuckthorn-fortified one from LilFox on the ottoman by my TV. I seriously put it on whenever I think of it.

de Mamiel Autumn Oil

goop, $114

Made by hand to work specifically with the changing temperatures to nourish skin as the seasons transition, this miracle worker deeply hydrates, decongests and detoxes, brightens and smooths the signs of aging, and protects and rejuvenates skin. Combining herbs and practices from Chinese medicine, essential oils from aromatherapeutic traditions, deep experience as an aesthetician, along with meditation and prayer, Anne DeMamiel’s oils are utterly unique in feel and results—and this new season’s face oil is especially incredible. Press a few drops between your palms to warm the oil, breathe it in deeply, then enjoy a profoundly relaxing, uplifting exhale—you’ll feel better already. Then, work it gently into your skin in small circular motions—repeat as often as you like for a supremely healthy glow.

Rodin Luxury Face Oil

goop, $170

Rich and just deluxe, deluxe, deluxe, this is the face oil that put face oils on the map. It treats wrinkles and dry skin, seriously improves elasticity, and leaves skin luminous. It also smells amazing—it’s made with 11 flower and plant oils, from neroli (full of vitamin C for glow), arnica montana (treats puffiness, and is especially amazing under the eyes), evening primrose, rosehip, argan, calendula… Former model/stylist Linda Rodin created it; one look at her skin, and you’ll want to have what she’s having. It’s a favorite among other models as well.

LILFOX Seabuck & Neroli Face Nectar

goop, $75

A light but super-effective moisturizer for normal to combination skin, this mix of active botanical seed oils and essential oils revitalizes skin as it deeply hydrates. Seabuckthorn oil—rich with vitamins A, C, B2 and E, carotenes, and flavonoids—nourishes and encourages cell regeneration, while watermelon seed oil from Africa unclogs pores, and grapeseed oil floods skin with omega 6 and linoleic acid. The nectar sinks in beautifully, leaving skin soothed, healthy, and glowing.

And yes, when it’s super-dry outside, I layer face oil and moisturizer: Put the face oil first, wait a minute to let it sink in, then go over it with something super-thick like the goop by Juice Night Cream or May Lindstrom Blue Cocoon (this layering is a save-your-skin strategy, not a makeup moment, just to be clear).

goop by Juice Beauty Replenishing Night Cream

goop, $140

The Replenishing Night Cream is a luxurious, highly active night cream that works to plump, brighten, and firm skin overnight. The nourishing formula visibly improves skin texture, reduces the appearance of wrinkles, and increases luminosity for a noticeable, healthy glow. Sandalwood nut oil helps to increase elasticity, while linseed extract and hyaluronic acid hydrate, lift and firm. The Replenishing Night Cream is formulated with USDA certified organic ingredients and contains approximately 79% total organic content.

May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon

goop, $160

This deeply luxurious, miracle-working pale-blue balm genuinely (and immediately) transforms irritated, sensitive, or delicate skin, and it feels incredible, no matter what your complexion. Intensely moisturizing, it melts into skin on contact and calms, nourishes, and softens with anti-inflammatory concoction of blue tansy, botanicals, and oils. Created by reactive-skin-sufferer/former model/gorgeous-skin-guru May Lindstrom, the glacial-blue formula is as gorgeous as it is effective.

(You may wonder, after reading here about Vintner’s Daughter a few weeks ago, whether I’m the most fickle person on the earth; here’s the thing: For me, Vintner’s Daughter is a full-on, super-active anti-aging treatment. I use it at night, instead of Retin-A. So while it is technically a face oil, I use it in addition to face oil.)

Vinter’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum

goop, $185

It’s not surprising that this oil has a cult following: It’s an infusion of 22 of the world’s most active organic botanicals mixed with powerful essential oils. Anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, skin-firming phytoceramides, plus nourishing fatty acids and anti-oxidants stimulate cellular turnover, enhance elasticity, strengthen capillaries, inhibit melanin production, prevent wrinkles, and protect against free radicals. The revolutionary formula penetrates deeply, restoring moisture, clarity, smoothness, and glow to your skin.

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