Sometimes, no matter how much moisturizer you use, your skin can still lack that deeply nourished, radiant glow you’ve longed for. Often, this happens because traditional facial moisturizers are water-based mixtures of humectants (glycerin, hyaluronic acid, etc.) to draw moisture into your skin and emollients (squalene, shea butter, etc.) to hydrate and soften your skin’s surface. While these water-based formulas are easier for your skin to absorb, that also means they evaporate very quickly, leaving your complexion longing for a drink before your day is over.

Skin oils work a bit differently because they are lipophilic (lipid-loving), so they can merge with the natural lipids in our skin barrier to penetrate deeper past the surface to replenish and lock in moisture. They’re also highly nutrient-rich, delivering a concentrated dose of vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. Those fatty acids, in particular, are necessary to your skin health because they form your natural moisture barrier. When this barrier is compromised, your skin loses its hydration even faster, leading to dullness, dryness, sensitivity, and premature aging. It’s also more vulnerable to environmental damage from pollutants and UV rays.

Incorporating these oils into your skincare routine can replenish these lipids and lock in moisture, giving your skin a plumped, natural glow.

Coconut Oil

Extracted from the mature fruit of coconut palms, coconut oil is rich in fatty acids, particularly lauric acid, to penetrate deep into your skin for long-lasting hydration. Because its fatty acids are so similar to our skin’s, it’s an excellent option for soothing dry, cracked heels or elbows in the winter, as it can lock in moisture to leave your skin soft and smooth. It’s also an effective, gentle makeup remover for sensitive skin because it can melt away even the most stubborn products without scrubbing or harsh chemicals. Unfortunately, coconut oil’s heavy, thick consistency is also highly comedogenic, which means that it can clog your pores. So, it’s a no-go if you have acne-prone or oily skin, but it can give you an intensive boost of hydration if you have dry, flaky areas that need serious TLC. Lock in moisture and prep your skin with jane iredale Smooth Affair Illuminating Primer or Smooth Affair Brightening Primer, both formulated with coconut oil.

Olive Oil

You’re likely more familiar with olive oil as a cooking ingredient than a skincare ingredient. However, it has plenty of notable, skin-loving benefits that, when applied topically, can give your skin a more supple texture. It’s packed with antioxidants vitamin E and K, along with hydrating squalene, a naturally occurring lipid in our skin that is an exceptional hydrator capable of keeping sebum production in check. Olive oil is also rich in oleic acid, which penetrates deeply into your skin to reinforce the moisture barrier for long-term skin health and increased elasticity. Unfortunately, oleic acid also makes olive oil too heavy for those with oily skin, as it can clog your pores and exacerbate breakouts.

Moisturize and tint your lips and cheeks with jane iredale Just Kissed Lip & Cheek Stain available in four shades. Created with natural botanicals, avocado oil, olive oil and rose flower wax, each tint works with your pH to deliver a custom, long-lasting color.

Olive oil Squalane is one of the primary plant-derived alternatives to shark liver squalene. Olive oil squalane goes through a hydrogenation process which makes it lighter weight and more easily absorbed than olive oil. It is a good emollient and generally used as a carrier oil. jane iredale HydroPure Tinted Serum with Hyaluronic Acid & CoQ10 is made with olive squalane and suitable for all types.

Rosehip Oil

Rosehip oil has a natural retinoid effect thanks to its high vitamin A content in the form of beta carotene. These natural retinoids are ideal for aging skin, as they can increase cell turnover and collagen production to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This ability to slough off older layers of skin and stimulate new cell growth also makes rosehip oil worth considering if you have acne scars or hyperpigmentation. Compared to traditional retinoids, rosehip oil is less likely to cause irritation or dryness, so it’s an excellent alternative to synthetic retinoids if you have sensitive skin. You should be mindful of using other exfoliating acids, as combining them with rosehip oil may over-exfoliate your skin. 

Sea Buckthorn Oil

For something extra luxurious, sea buckthorn oil is steeped in rare omega-7 fatty acids and carotenoids, both of which offer skin-boosting benefits. The former helps with skin repair, speeding up healing and reducing inflammation if you have skin barrier conditions like eczema and rosacea. The latter gives sea buckthorn oil its intense orange hue and is a potent antioxidant that can improve your skin’s overall tone and texture. Those carotenoids can temporarily stain your skin, so it’s best to mix sea buckthorn oil with a non-comedogenic carrier oil to dilute the pigments.

Argan Oil

Is there anything that argan oil can’t do? It’s all the rage in hair care for bringing life to limp locks, and you can capitalize on those same benefits for your skin. This oil of the Moroccan argan tree is exceptionally rich in vitamin E, oleic acid, and linoleic acid to give your skin a dose of long-lasting hydration while improving your overall skin barrier health. It’s non-greasy and lightweight, absorbing into your skin quickly and leaving behind a silky, youthful finish. Argan oil is generally safe for all skin types, including those with oily skin, as it can help regulate sebum production without clogging your pores.

Jojoba Oil

The oil of the jojoba plant is a popular ingredient in skincare because of its structural similarity to human sebum, the oil naturally produced by our skin. For those with oily skin, it can help regulate sebum production, keeping it from building up in your pores and causing breakout. As for dry skin, its high fatty acid content keeps your complexion well-hydrated and improves moisture retention for improved barrier health. Sensitive skin? No worries! Jojoba oil is gentle enough to give you hydration without irritation, even when used as a standalone skin oil. Several jane iredale products contain the hydrating jojoba oil including, Beyond Matte Liquid Foundation, HydroPure Lip Gloss, HydroPure Hyaluronic Lip Treatment and the Lip Pencil. You’ll also find it in MEG 21 Advanced Formula for the neck and chest. 

Final Thoughts

Before incorporating any oil into your skincare routine, there are a few general rules of thumb you should keep in mind:

  1. Different oils work for different skin types, so research what’s best for your particular concerns.
  2. Invest in high-quality, organic oils free of additives or dermatologist-trusted products containing the oils you’re interested in. 
  3. Oils are very concentrated, so less is more. Use just a few drops at a time and dilute them in lightweight carrier oils, if necessary. 
  4. When layering oils, apply them after water-based products to lock in the moisture but before heavier products so the nutrients can penetrate through your skin. 
  5. Some oils, especially those with vitamin A retinoid effects, can cause sun sensitivity. Be sure to apply a broad-spectrum SPF and be mindful of how long you spend outside. 

These, of course, are just general rules, so you should always consult a trusted skincare expert to get personalized advice and learn about products that cater to your skin. We encourage you to contact Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Institute to schedule an appointment with board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Elizabeth Briden, for professional insights into caring for your skin.