When you’ve sought out oil-free skin care products your whole life and invested in blotting powders and papers, mattifying primers and the like, it may seem counterintuitive to
apply oil to your face. But there are oils that offer protective and nourishing benefits that your average moisturizer can’t, says Kristen Ma, author of
Beauty: Pure and Simple and co-owner of Pure Simple spas in Toronto. “Your skin needs both water and oil, but a lot of people are scared of shine so they tend to neglect the oil component,” she says.
Bonus: You don’t need to worry about these natural and essential oils clogging your pores as they’re plant-based and the molecules are too large to permeate the skin’s surface.

How to embrace oil into your skin care routine? Ma suggests using oil on your face only at
nighttime until you become more used to it. Also, applying a mattifying mineral makeup powder when wearing it in the day will help reduce shine. When putting it on in the morning, let it absorb for a few minutes before applying anything else (and if you find your skin still feels greasy, Ma says you can blot off any excess with a tissue).

If you prefer, you can mix the oil into your
favourite moisturizer or lotion, but Ma warns that you’ll lose some of the benefits of the oil’s richness when you opt to dilute it in lotion rather than applying it directly onto your skin.

Ma recommends looking to the
base oil of a product (rather than the essential oils) since it makes up the bulk of the product. Some base oils and their skin care benefits:

Coconut oil glides on smoothly and will work well at soothing inflammation.

More oils and essential oils that benefit the skin on the next page…

ELLE-1009-serum-1-NORBERT-MAYER-.jpgAvocado oil will offer a very rich feel when you spread it onto your skin and its emollient properties will help battle dryness and dehydration. Safflower oil offer similar skin benefits.

Sesame oil will help brighten the skin and boost collagen production thanks to its stimulating properties. For the body, mustard seed oil may help stimulate circulation in the areas prone to cellulite (N.B. Avoid using mustard seed on the face, though, as it’s too stimulating for your complexion, says Ma.).

Hazelnut oil is best for those with problem or congested skin as it helps to detox the dermis.

As for essential oils, rose oil offers anti-aging and anti-inflammatory benefits, while lavender oil is antibacterial and will help regenerate skin cells. Chamomile, as you may know from the tea, is calming so it can be used to help reduce inflammation. Suffer from problem skin? Antibacterial oils that often have a medicinal scent – think tea tree, peppermint and rosemary – will help invigorate and clarify.

Read more:
Nighttime skin care essentials
Double duty foundations
The best pore refining products