Skincare in your 20s is about as easy to navigate as a subway system in a foreign country with a dead iPhone. Most of us are still struggling with bumps and blemishes, and the faint fine lines settling in around our eyes and mouths are looming reminders of a whole new set of problems on the horizon. Weren’t we supposed to get a break? Where were the golden years of zit-free cheeks and chins and a plump, youthful glow? I remember the searing burn of the Clinique toner my mother bought me in the 6th grade like it was yesterday. I would remind myself that this was only my temporary struggle while I felt my top layer of oily skin sizzle away from my face. I was wrong.
As women, we’re up against some unique adversaries when it comes to our skin. Hormones never really give us a break, our stresses certainly aren’t going away, and everyone has a different idea of what’s best for our skin.
The truth is that as women, we’re up against some unique adversaries when it comes to our skin. Hormones never really give us a break, our stresses certainly aren’t going away, and everyone has a different idea of what’s best for our skin. Your mother, your dermatologist, your favorite blogger, your esthetician (when you can afford to see her): All have a variety of opinions about the best way to take care of your acne prone skin as it starts to show subtle signs of aging. The sweet spot for treatment might lie somewhere you’ve never considered going before: oil.
Oil?! You mean the pariah we’ve avoided since middle school?! Well, actually, yes. In recent years we’ve seen major skincare brands pumping out facial oils in droves, pretty much in line with the Western world becoming obsessed with Korean skincare (and the ingredients and processes that were missing from our regimens this whole time). So why oil? We’ve been told since our first breakout that oil was the mortal enemy. But as it turns out, facial oils have a multitude of benefits that might be exactly what your “in-between” skin is missing.
Facial oils provide essential moisture.
The same way your body requires fatty acids and amino acids found in oily foods (e.g. “good fat”), your skin also craves these ingredients. If you’re not supplying your aging skin with enough moisture, it is likely overproducing the “bad oils” that cause breakouts in an attempt to provide this moisture for itself.
The same way your body requires fatty acids and amino acids aka “good fat”, your skin also craves these ingredients.
Look at how many oil-free products you are probably using right now. For years we’ve sought out oil-free moisturizers, cleansers, and makeup because we believed it was what caused our breakouts, but science has proved this is counterintuitive. If you have an oily complexion, it’s likely a sign that your skin is actually starving for these outside fatty acids and will balance out and decrease oil overproduction, and therefore breakouts, once they are implemented.
Facial oils are naturally anti-aging.
Our cells are held together with oil, and as we age these oils begin to rapidly break down. Keeping skin youthful means revving up the way we moisturize and support our skin’s lipid barrier and collagen production to avoid dehydration of our oil glands. In addition to drinking plenty of water, eating a well-balanced diet, and protecting our skin from sun exposure, your 20s are the key years in which to focus on anti-aging preventative measures, and facial oils are an excellent way to achieve this.
Facial oils from most major brands use all natural antioxidant rich ingredients that are inexpensive and highly effective in preventing early signs of aging. Ingesting antioxidant rich foods, as we know, is extremely important to our health. Your 20s are the time when you need to begin topical applications of these ingredients in order to protect your skin.
Facial oils supercharge other skincare products.
We know that oil is produced in the lower levels of skin, and in order to be expressed on the surface, it must travel outward. Chemical substances are attracted to each other based on their similarities; This is why oil and oil will mix and oil and water will not. Placing oils on the skin that mimic the structure of the oils produced within means the topically applied oils travel deeply because of their attraction to each other. Not only does this make them more effective moisturizers, but they also act as agents for other products you’re using, allowing them to travel more deeply. Toners, emulsions, facial mists, and essences—essentially anything viscous and easily absorbed into the surface skin layer (the epidermis)—will make it much farther down with the aid of facial oils.
Source: The Daily Mark
So, it’s not hard to see that the benefits are numerous and far reaching. The only real drawback of facial oils is the cost. High-quality facial oils can be pretty expensive. (Or at least they seem expensive when you see the price tag compared to the size of the bottle.) Keep in mind the nature of the product. Oils last a lot longer than other skincare products, and a little truly goes a long way. Major retailers like Sephora and Ulta will gladly provide samples, and some online retailers provide foil pack trial sizes of their oils. This allows you to at least rule out any major complications and narrow down a consistency that works best for you. The last thing you want to do is cut corners and buy a cheap oil consisting of fillers and synthetic materials. Any facial oils under $30 don’t belong anywhere near your face! There are no drugstore options here, unfortunately.
Best for: Dull Acne Prone Skin and Anti-Aging
Ole Henriksen’s Pure Truth formula is packed with free radical fighting antioxidant ingredients aimed to specifically fight premature signs of aging and acne flare ups. Rosehip seed oil takes down breakouts, while vitamins A and C deeply hydrate to keep skin youthful and glowing. The product also contains three different omega fatty acid concentrates which are essential to curbing breakouts in your late 20s.
Best for: Extremely Sensitive Skin, Dry Skin, and Anti-Aging
While the cost might be a bit much to stomach for some, the quality of Riley’s oils in unparalleled. Sunday Riley has said in many interviews that her oils are cold pressed from the seeds of her ingredients and bottled within only a few days, ensuring no environmental factors can break down the quality of her products. In short, they’ll cost you a pretty penny but they are the purest oils on the market. This is ideal for those with extremely sensitive and easily irritated skin.
Best for: Oily, Dry, and Combination Acne Prone Skin with Dark Spots (Hyperpigmentation)
Kiehl’s is a brand that has survived for more than a century with minimal advertising, and they’ve maintained a cult following through a very basic skincare line. Their products are extremely high quality while still being very simple and natural. This promises to regenerate, restore, and replenish skin during the hours of the night when our natural nocturnal processes make skin more receptive to repairing efforts.
Best for: Irritated, Dry, and Normal Skin
This particular oil is one of the more affordable options, while still containing all natural and top quality ingredients. Bulgarian rose oil and organic argan oil are the two main ingredients in this particular blend, making it both hydrating and calming—perfect for stressed skin in areas of high pollution or following sun exposure. One note: While argan oil is often associated with skincare, it is actually a comedogenic ingredient. Any facial oils with argan in them might break out acne prone skin, so always check your ingredients closely!
Best for: Oily and Irritated Skin
Black cumin seed oil, camellia seed oil, and Chilean rosehip seed oil all combine for another inexpensive but powerful facial oil blend. While the carrier oils are quite hydrating, there are several citrus essential oils in this blend as well, which will make it a little too astringent for dry skin. The oil is thick and luxurious and not terribly pricey. It is definitely best to use at nighttime only.
Best for: All Skin Types
If the idea of facial oils is still a little too much for you, an oil cleanser is the perfect stepping stone. Oil cleansers, especially this one from Caudalie, are an effective way to remove makeup and maintain the natural balance of your skin without stripping away too much moisture. It is 100 percent all natural and perfect for use on all skin types—even the most sensitive.
Best for: Combination, Acne Prone Skin with Dark Spots, Anti-Aging
The minimal branding of this gorgeous (recycled) glass bottle is a reflection of the organic vegan product inside: It contains zero fillers, and cold-pressed, food grade, non-GMO ingredients. The carrier oil in this blend is Jojoba oil, which is the natural equivalent to the sebaceous oil produced by acne prone skin, making this oil an excellent choice for those who struggle with recurrent breakouts.