A very Sad Thing is that I suffered from chicken pox-like acne as a teenager because I was deathly afraid of putting even more oil or moisturizer on my face. What I didn’t know was that dry skin caused an overproduction of sebum, further contributing to my acne. After lots of prodding, I finally tried facial oils made from natural botanicals, and my skin became smooth as a baby’s bottom within weeks.
Typically, you first want to wash your face with a gentle cleanser (I use Lancôme Crème Radiance Gentle Cleansing Creamy-Foam Cleanser). Then, apply a toner with a clean gauze pad to tighten pores (so far, No B.S. Purifying Facial Toner has suited me quite well). Let it dry, then create a smooth canvas with a serum (I’m hoarding the very little of Rodan + Fields Redefine Intensive Renewing Serum I have left). Then, you want to apply a little spritz like Mario Badescu Facial Spray With Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater to help absorb your facial oil—alas, your final step.
I promise—a multi-step skincare routine sounds daunting at first, but it’s all worth it when you’re in bed with a book and a scented candle and your skin is smoother than it was than the day you were born. Facial oils are having a moment, and now’s your time to shine.
Everyone will tell you that their massive jar of coconut oil is their catch-call for all things beauty and skincare. Congrats to them. Mazel tov. Tell them about this lightweight coconut oil blended with Shea butter, avocado oil, and invigorating coffee extract, which provides a more targeted approach. It not only penetrates deep into your pores for added moisture and vitamin E, but also creates a barrier locking it in. Sure, you can use it to remove makeup, but it smells too much like an all–expenses paid vacation to Bora Bora for that. - Kopari Beauty Save Face Oil, $44
Who knew that organic plums did more than help you go to the bathroom? Billed as the skincare industry’s “best-kept secret,” this elixir of soon-to-be-patented plum varieties is so concentrated and fast-acting, you’ll enjoy a balance in skin tone almost immediately. Rich in antioxidants, omega fatty acids and polyphenols, it works to maintain skin elasticity and help you look lit from within. - Le Prunier Plum Beauty Oil, $72
The label reads “fragrance-free,” but that’s kind of a misnomer. Earthy botanicals like chia, pumpkin, green tea, pomegranate, hemp, broccoli and carrot make this gorgeous blend feel like you’re dipping your face into a salad that an angel made with its bare hands. What it lacks in typical floral aromas it makes up for in effectiveness: apply it directly onto your skin or mix it with your daily moisturizer to boost its efficacy. - Votary Super Seed Oil, $90
U.F.O is their low-key way of suggesting this facial oil is out of this world, which it is. Rarely does a facial oil come equipped with acne-zapping salicylic acid, but this game-changer contains 1.5 percent of the stuff. So yes, you get that signature baby’s-bottom smoothness of your standard oil, but with a slight extra tingle so you know it’s working double duty to dig out those clogged pores. - Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil, $40
Summers are best spent taking long walks in the evening completely immune to mosquitos. This brilliant facial oil evokes those memories with its fresh citronella scent that keeps not only pests, but acne at bay. Don’t worry, though—it’s not made of actual citronella. Organic ingredients like chamomile, geranium, Palma rose, orange, mint, vanilla and lavender all work together to awaken tired skin and give you a year-round zit-free glow. - Emma Hardie Brilliance Face Oil, $55
It’s no secret that, to overcompensate, dry skin produces oil, resulting in acne. This hydrating formula lines your skin with a luxurious moisture barrier. Rich in sunflower seed oil, a great source of vitamin E, it works to combat inflammation and hyperpigmentation AKA those pimples you shouldn’t have popped, but did. - Amala Rejuvenate Treatment Oil, $186
CoQ10 dramatically increases collagen production to maintain elasticity, while neroli oil promotes regeneration and chia seed reduces inflammation that leads to acne. Coupled with its signature floral scent we all know and love, this facial oil is a dermatologist’s visit in a bottle—minus the long office room wait and ridiculous co-pay. - Herbivore Botanicals Phoenix Facial Oil, $88
Of all the facial oils I’ve dabbled in over the years, this one leaves the least oily residue. That makes it great for those looking to dip one toe in at a time. Lavender flower cleanses pores and puts you right TF to sleep, while white sage leaf reduces discoloration. Made of 100 percent tea oils, your skin will drink this one right up. - Teami Soothe, $39
Gone are the days of super-drying acne treatments that leave your skin feeling worse off than when you started (we’re looking at you, Accutane). Enter this perfect potion that uses grapeseed oil to even skin tone and hemp, chlorophyll and golden jojoba to unclog pores. Sure, it works great as a makeup primer, but now is as great a time as ever to go fresh-faced. - Aphorism Clear Sailing Balancing Face Oil, $79
If it feels like this super luxurious oil can do anything besides your taxes, you’re not wrong. This cult-favorite is basically a farmer’s market in a bottle. Not one, but 22 botanicals like avocado, sea buckthorn and avocado work to balance, protect, hydrate, nourish and every other promising verb you could ever want in a facial oil. If it’s good enough for Gwyneth Paltrow, who has never been in the same room as a pimple, it’s good enough for us. - Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum, $185
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