How to choose the right oils for your skin type

Posted by Natasha Dauncey on

It seemed right that my first blog post should focus on how I formulated my face oils. Like many others, my skin type is combination: dry / dehydrated in some patches, but oilier in others. It went through a phase of being prone to breakouts (when I used the wrong products in the past). Finding the right oil and searching for accurate information online can be a bit of a minefield, but the good news is I’ve done a lot of the hard work for you already! I have spent the last couple of years researching different oils, their profiles and properties, as well as trialling them on my own skin. So I have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn’t.

If you have combination or oilier skin, it may seem counterintuitive to use oils, but in my experience I have found that using the right oil has balanced out my skin. Of course, it’s not just about using a face oil – there are lots of other factors that will affect how your skin looks (other skincare products, lifestyle, nutrition etc.) but let’s save that for another post!

The general rule of thumb when choosing products is that if your skin tends towards combination / oily and / or is prone to breakouts, look for high linoleic acid oils. These oils tend to be lighter, thinner, quicker to absorb and importantly, will not clog your pores – they tend to be less likely to clog pores (note there are exceptions to this e.g. wheatgerm oil). However, they are still effective at nourishing and balancing the skin. Good examples of these oils include: hempseed, safflower, evening primrose, grapeseed oil. It’s no surprise then that the first 3 feature in my face oils! In case you’re wondering why I didn’t just keep things simple with one oil, all oils have different textures, smell, shelf-life and one of the things I learnt through my experimenting was that single oils didn’t work as well as a blend of oils for me personally. For example, although hempseed is a high linoleic oil, it’s heavier in texture than safflower oil. Additionally, both oils have different nutrient profiles so every oil has something to offer.

If your skin tends to be dry and you’re lucky enough not to suffer from break outs, you may prefer oils with a higher oleic acid content. These tend to be richer, sometimes heavier oils that will provide a good level of moisture and protect the skin from further moisture loss. Dry skin will still benefit from high linoleic oils (hence using them in my normal to dry formulation), but you need a further boost. There are plenty of high oleic acid oils out there: macadamia nut, olive, sweet almond, apricot kernel oil to name a few. But even if you have dry skin, you don't want to apply something that doesn't quickly and fully absorb into your skin and look really greasy! I chose macadamia nut oil as the fatty acid composition of this oil is similar in structure to the skin’s sebum so it absorbs into the skin easily without a greasy texture, plus it doesn’t have a strong scent (like avocado for example).

It goes without saying that the ingredients in my blends offer fantastic protective / healthy ageing properties as well but I think I’ll save that for another post too!


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