Do Face Oils Work? Find Out if They Are Worth the Hype

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Face oils work. Unlike what you may have believed until now, not every face oil will clog your pores, worsen acne or cause new breakouts. If you choose oils based on your skin type, you would surely get results for time and money spent on your routine.

Face oils are all-natural, oil-based products with high concentrations of essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals that are essential for the health and appearance of your skin. Turning away from oils will be depriving your skin of essential nutrients.

Although they could be quite heavy or thicker on your skin, when compared to other products on your routine, this doesn’t make them less of the heroes they are touted to be. Continue reading to see answers that will clear your doubts about these skincare products.

Do You Need Face Oils?

Yes, you need face oils in your routine. The essential fatty acids contained in oils are best delivered via oils and are not readily available in other ingredients. Face oils are highly nourishing.

More so, some face oils have molecular structures that mimic that of sebum, your skin’s natural oil. Sebum keeps your skin moisturized and protected against environmental irritants. However, when overproduced, it can make your skin oily.

This sebum mimicry helps to regulate sebum production and prevent oiliness. In addition, during certain weather conditions and according to skin types, your body may produce less oil than it needs.

Using face oil can help make up for this insufficiency and keep your skin moisturized. It creates a protective layer over your skin; this layer keeps in moisture and keeps out toxins that can affect the health and appearance of your skin.

Also, you need face oil to fortify your skin and improve the function of your skin’s lipid barrier. This barrier prevents moisture loss and enhances the effectiveness of other products in your routine.

Oils are packed with antioxidants that make your skin more resilient against UV rays and other factors that can lead to the formation of free radicals.

What Do Face Oils Do?

After serving as an extra level of skin protection, face oil hydrates your skin. It has both occlusive and emollient properties. As an occlusive, it keeps the active ingredients in your serum and moisturizer locked in to make them more effective.

Its emollient properties help to soften your skin. Consistent use of face oil will make your skin supple and silky like a baby’s. Applying oil to your face also improves skin glow such that you can go out barefaced and still glow like you have makeup on.

Face oils have found a wide range of uses in different skincare routines. You can use face oil as a primer or mix it in your makeup to give your foundation a luminous appearance. Furthermore, it helps to lighten thickened foundation and prevent your makeup from looking cakey.

Facial massages, facial steaming, and facial oil cleansing are some beauty processes that use face oils as major ingredients. Applying oil to your face before a face massage aids the easy gliding of the massage tools and eases the pressure of using the tools on your skin.

Cleansing your face with face oil is a very effective facial cleansing method because oil best lifts oil. It penetrates your skin and dissolves clogs, thereby effectively removing blackheads.

Do Face Oils Work for Oily Skin?

Yes, they do. People with oily skin have a common fear of adding one more drop of oil to their skin. This may sound counterintuitive but face oils like jojoba oil are not a threat to oily skin if you choose and use them correctly.

Face oils can help regulate sebum production by keeping your skin hydrated. This thereby prevents your skin from overcompensating with an overproduction of oil.

Some oils have antibacterial and antifungal properties which help to make your skin inconvenient for bacteria breeding.

Additionally, oily skin is acne-prone skin and is characterized by low linoleic acid levels. Linoleic acid is one of the essential fatty acids present in face oils. Using face oil can increase depleted linoleic acid concentrations and help manage acne breakouts.

Face oils are rich sources of vitamins A, C & E, powerful antioxidants, which protect your skin from the damage of sun exposure and environmental pollutants.

Do Face Oils Work for Dry Skin?

Dry skin naturally produces less oil than is sufficient to sustain your skin. This makes your skin parched and disrupts the proper functioning of your skin barrier. Face oils provide optimum hydration and keep your skin moisturized.

They are highly beneficial for dry skin, especially during harsh weather conditions like winter. During these times, a moisturizer alone may not effectively boost skin moisture levels.

In such conditions, you’ll need to layer oil over the moisturizer to seal in moisture. Oils can permeate your skin and deliver optimum hydration to the deep layers of your skin.

Furthermore, as an occlusive, they create a seal over your skin and lock in moisture. The extra layer of protection also prevents moisture loss.

Dry skin is commonly associated with fine lines and wrinkles; applying face oils like marula oil and almond oil can help improve the appearance of these features.

Do Face Oils Work for Sensitive Skin?

Having sensitive skin comes with a natural wariness of what goes onto your skin and what doesn’t. Cold-pressed face oils are unrefined and great for sensitive skin. They do not cause any irritations or skin flares.

Your skin could get quite funny when it’s excessively dry or oily and this can lead to breakouts. Face oils have anti-inflammatory properties which help to calm skin inflammation and redness.

Applying oils like moringa oil and avocado oil are lightweight, non-comedogenic oils. None of these oils is likely to cause skin irritations. Moreover, they balance your skin’s pH and inhibit the activity of acne-causing bacteria.

Do Face Oils Work for Aging Skin?

As you age, collagen level drops, and your skin loses its elasticity. As a result, it develops fine lines, and wrinkles and even becomes saggy. Another cause of this is the underproduction of sebum.

Your skin then relies on an external provision of oils to keep it looking youthful and plump. Oils like grapeseed oil, coconut oil, retinol oil, and rosehip oil are great anti-aging face oils.

You can incorporate them into your routine as standalone face oils or as your night cream. These oils are packed with antioxidants that can prevent the onset of premature aging or even prevent the progression of established signs of aging.

Oils are very hydrating; they replenish lost moisture, improve your lipid barrier and restore elasticity. Therefore, they can help reverse aging and restore youthfulness.

Applying face oils can also help to revive dull skin, and firm sagging skin, brighten up your skin and fade age spots that distort your complexion. Overall, they even your skin tone and give it a youthful glow.

Does Skin Absorb Face Oil?

Face oils can penetrate the outer layer of your skin. However, this depends on factors like the type of oil you chose, comedogenicity of the face oil, how much oil you apply, and how you apply the oil to your face.

Dry oils quickly absorb into your skin without leaving residues. Comedogenic oils will rather clog your pores and make your skin unbreathable. Rubbing face oil into your skin can also prevent quick absorption of the oil into your skin.

To aid quick absorption, exfoliate your face regularly to remove dead skin cells that clog your pores and interfere with the absorption of oils. Using oils that suit your skin type quickly absorbs into your skin.

When you apply oil to your face, tap the oil into your skin rather than rubbing it in. Also, you do not need more than 2-3 drops of oil for even coverage. When you have too much oil on your skin, they do not absorb quickly and may end up forming clogs.

How Do You Know Face Oil Is Working?

To start with, it takes around two to six weeks for a face oil to work. You should begin to see improvements in your skin within this period. On immediate application, your skin will put on a natural glow but over time, it’ll become supple and reflective.

Likewise, your skin will feel more hydrated, your complexion will brighten up and your skin tone will be more even.

However, before this happens, according to your skin type, you may experience slight inconveniences like skin breakouts. But not to worry, this is all part of the acclimatization process.

Oils that show this side effect are usually essential oils and face oils that contain additives and fragrances.

How Long Does Face Oil Last?

Face oils remain potent and effective until six months to a year after opening the bottle. Therefore, you should use your oils within six months of purchase and breaking the seal.

This is because, on exposure to air and sunlight, oils tend to become rancid. The oil loses all of its good stuff and becomes less effective. There is a high chance that a rancid oil can cause worse skin conditions than you already have.

When your oils develop a funny smell, when they begin to smell off like melting plastic, or when the oils lose their vibrant golden color, it’s time to say goodbye.

Is Face Oil Better Than Moisturizer?

Face oil is not better than a moisturizer, nor the other way around. Face oils and moisturizers are different skincare products that perform different functions.

Oils are oil-based while moisturizers may be oil-based or water-based, depending on the formula. Both products are occlusive and have emollient properties.

However, a face oil may not hydrate your skin as a  moisturizer would. Face oils help to seal in moisture and enhance the effectiveness of moisturizers.

In addition, they are formulated differently. Moisturizers do not contain the nutrients in face oils and not all face oils contain the active ingredients in moisturizers.

Rather than making a choice, you can layer both products or use them alternately according to the demands of your skin.


Are face oils necessary?

Yes, they are. You need face oils to make up for the underproduction of sebum and to regulate the oil and moisture levels of your skin. Moreover, face oils help to protect your skin from environmental pollutants and can help treat skin issues like aging.

Will face oil clog your pores?

Face oil will not clog your pores if you use non-comedogenic oil like jojoba oil, argan oil, and hemp oil. These oils are lightweight, dry oils that quickly absorb into your skin and leave no residue. Moreover, applying too much oil can clog your pores.

Can you use face oil alone?

You may use face oil alone as a night cream or to moisturize your skin. However, it is not advisable; oils are best accompanied by serums or moisturizers preceding their application.

How often should you use face oil?

Apply face oil twice a day, during your morning and evening routine. Face oil comes at the end of your routine, after moisturizing, and before sunscreen and makeup. However, if your skin demands, you may have a midday application for extra hydration.


Before you go ahead to use any product on your skin, it is only ideal that you have questions and get them answered. Face oils work and you should have at least one on your routine, one that works for your skin type.

This class of products contains essential nutrients that you need to maintain healthy, glowing skin. There are many benefits of using face oil and you can only maximize this from the right formula and application.

Thanks for reading.

If you’ve got unanswered questions about your skincare products, check Serum101 for the best guides.