Beauty

The Best Clean Face Oils

The Best Clean Face Oils

But will it make me break out?! And: But do I really need another product?! These are the face oil questions. The truth in all but the most extreme cases is, not only will face oil not make you break out, it will absolutely change your life, not to mention your skin. Your skin will look and feel better. You will probably need less makeup. And you will probably need fewer skin-care items altogether.

Perhaps the ultimate skin secret, face oil has been used by indigenous people all over the world in various forms for millennia; nothing lasts that long unless it works. Makeup artists, who love only what makes the person sitting in their chair look (quickly) fantastic, have been slathering it on clients for years; slowly, word spread. (Sophia Loren credits a lifetime of olive-oil baths as one of the reasons her skin remains so beautiful in her eighties.) One of the best-looking older women we’ve ever met, stylist and former model Linda Rodin, has made her fortune late in life by mixing oils in her kitchen to create the runaway success Olio Lusso that launched her entire beauty company.

The Benefits of Face Oil

1. You See Instant Results

No matter your skin type, try face oil for the first time and you’ll see serious benefits right away. Conventional moisturizers, which combine waxes with water and oils, seal moisture in the skin with the wax. But they can also seal out some of the oil and water, not to mention the treatment benefits included in the formula. With oil, it all sinks right in. And most oils are already naturally infused with ingredients like antioxidants, polyphenols, and omega fatty acids.

2. They’re Beyond Multipurpose

You can use face oil for basic (and really effective) moisturization, but it’s also amazing for makeup touch-ups—instead of adding more makeup, pat some oil on to revive the makeup you’ve already got on. In either case, avoid the T-zone unless you’re the driest person on earth. In a pinch, it’s makeup remover, frizz fighter, cuticle and undereye cream, lip balm…

You really need an oil if you use retinols or other drying or antiblemish products. Treatments like Retin-A, AHA peels or creams, or breakout fighters from astringent toners all the way to prescription Accutane can really help your skin, but they can also seriously dry it out. Face oils return moisture and life to your skin, smoothing lines and soothing it in the process.

On the flip side, even skin that’s decidedly not dry can also benefit from oils. While synthetic and mineral oils are comedogenic and clog pores, most natural plant oils are not. Believe it or not, the right face oil can actually help balance skin.

For super dry skin, massage in some face oil, then layer a rich moisturizer over it. Another layering trick: Pat on face oil, then smooth all-natural mineral SPF over it. The sunscreen seals in the oil a bit, but it also slightly mattifies your skin, so it’s less shiny. You can also use oil just the way you would serum or moisturizer when thinning out foundation or bronzer formulas.

3. Oils Feel Amazing

Moisturizer formulators spend an enormous amount of time, money, and unnecessary (sometimes toxic) ingredients on texture—how it feels when you actually put the moisturizer on your skin. Texture is important: If you don’t love using a product…you tend not to use it. And definitely tend not to buy it again. Oils have a naturally gorgeous, instantly skin-comforting texture—they need no extra ingredients to make them sink in.

4. Clean Face Oils Are Actually Better

While conventional beauty companies have (finally) gotten into the face-oil business, the all-natural, pure options are absolutely superior, not just from a clean perspective, but because a) there’s no improving on perfection—adding in extra ingredients often just dilutes the benefits of the base oils, and b) most clean face-oil makers have been making it much longer than the conventional newbies, and they’ve learned what really works on skin.

Find Your Perfect Oil

Which oil texture you’re going to end up loving depends on you and your skin. Creamier, heavier-feeling oils are great for people with the dry, tends-to-sting sort of sensitive skin. Lighter, instantly absorbing ones work best for people with the oilier, more breakout-prone type of sensitive skin (or those who simply would rather feel like they’ve got nothing on). Here, the nine best face oils we’ve found (and sourced for you!).

Our Favorite Clean Face Oils

  • goop by Juice Beauty Enriching Face Oil

    goop by Juice Beauty Enriching Face Oil

    $110/$98 with subscription

    This is the same bestselling, ultranourishing, potent miracle oil as always, now in a beautiful, easy-to-use package. Made with a pure blend of organic oils, it sinks instantly into skin and starts to work, leaving skin remarkably supple, soft, and glowing. It turbocharges any moisturizer but also hydrates beautifully on its own. It can even be patted on over makeup for a midday pick-me-up. The Enriching Face Oil is formulated with USDA-certified organic ingredients and contains approximately 99 percent total organic content.

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  • Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum

    Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum

    $185

    It’s not surprising that this oil has a cult following: It’s an infusion of twenty-two active organic botanicals mixed with powerful essential oils. Phytonutrients and minerals help balance skin; phytoceramides, nourishing fatty acids, and antioxidants stimulate and brighten dull complexions. The revolutionary formula beautifully sinks in, leaving skin smooth and glowy.

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  • Tata Harper Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil

    Tata Harper Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil

    $132

    For supple skin with increased clarity and smoothness, this rich face oil helps soften the appearance of lines as well as breakouts, creating dramatically healthier-looking and healthier-feeling skin overall. Made with naturally occurring retinoic acid extracted from rose hips, the formula combines antioxidants, amino acids, and minerals to nourish and renew dull, lackluster skin. It feels incredible going on, and you’ll notice the glow almost immediately.

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  • Rodin Olio Lusso Luxury Face Oil

    Rodin Olio Lusso Luxury Face Oil

    $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 eleven flower and plant oils, including neroli (full of vitamin C for glow), arnica montana (treats puffiness and is especially amazing under the eyes), evening primrose, rose hips, argan, and calendula. Former model and 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.

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  • May Lindstrom The Youth Dew Hydrating Facial Serum

    May Lindstrom The Youth Dew Hydrating Facial Serum

    $140

    Apply this moisturizing, enzyme-spiked botanical serum before bed and wake up with a plump, gorgeously hydrated complexion.

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  • Lavido Replenishing Facial Serum

    Lavido Replenishing Facial Serum

    $59

    GP’s Israeli makeup artist Angela Levin always starts with this oil from Israel before foundation—it’s her secret for glowy red-carpet skin. Made with extracts from nineteen different plants including pomegranate seed, lemon myrtle, and cold-pressed mandarin oil, this plumps skin with moisture, antioxidants, active plant acids, and minerals. The oil is super moisturizing, its texture is gorgeous, and its scent is subtle and beautiful—plus, it’s vegan, gluten-free, and made using organic, cold-pressed essential oils.

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  • Herbivore Botanicals Lapis Facial Oil

    Herbivore Botanicals Lapis Facial Oil

    $72

    Without a doubt the most gorgeous, luxurious treatment ever for troubled or combination skin: This ultrasoothing solution gets its name from the Egyptian gemstone lapis lazuli and its color from precious blue tansy oil made with azulene, a powerful compound that helps clarify skin. Combination, oily, and blemish-prone complexions need this drop-dead-beautiful bottle in the medicine chest.

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  • Balmyard Beauty Moonlight Lover Facial Oil

    Balmyard Beauty Moonlight Lover Facial Oil

    $95

    Made from a potent blend of botanicals, this golden oil is a seriously nourishing overnight treatment. Prickly-pear-seed oil works while you sleep to reveal brighter, softer, plumper, super hydrated skin. Rose hip seed, evening primrose, and sea buckthorn deliver powerful support to promote healthy, glowing skin—and they smell incredible, too.

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  • Living Libations Best Skin Ever Face Oil - Sea Buckthorn

    Living Libations Best Skin Ever Face Oil - Sea Buckthorn

    $31

    Made with sea buckthorn, this dual-use (okay, triple-use), glow-inducing oil works as a cleanser, a face oil, and even a body moisturizer. The luxurious, golden oil combines sea buckthorn with organic tamanu, jojoba, and vetiver essential oils into a skin elixir as supremely nourishing as it is balancing. It gives you exactly what the name suggests—your best skin—plumping it with moisture so it’s supple, soft, and luminous. And the sustainable, ’70s-beach-vibe packaging is irresistible.

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