How to Use Face Oils – Amalie Blog
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Beauty Q&A, Skincare

How to Use Face Oils

Dear Megan,

What are face oils? How should I use them?

– Kendra W.


To me, face oils are the pinnacle of skincare luxury.

A face oil….it seems pretty straightforward right? Just an oil for your face, duh! Surprisingly it’s actually much more complex than that. How you apply face oil, how often you’re using it, and even the order in which you apply it, in regards to your skincare routine, can influence the results you get.

Here are the tried and true, best ways to use face oil so you are getting the most from your product!

 

Finding the Right Method for Your Skin Type:

Believe it or not- how you should be applying your face oil depends on the type of skin you have! Sounds confusing, but luckily celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau breaks down the best ways to apply face oil based on your skin type. Don’t be overwhelmed- once you get it down, your skin will thank you!

Oily/Combination Acne Prone Skin:

For those who are on the oily side and prone to breakouts, Rouleau suggests massaging (or rather, patting) 1-3 drops of oil into your skin after you’ve completed your night time routine (cleanse, tone, serum, moisturizer). Rouleau suggests applying face oil after moisturizer as it will help to prevent water loss. However- use oil sparingly! “You don’t want to overuse a treatment oil because it will create a layer over the top of the surface, which then creates more heat to be trapped within the skin. Heat will cause more oil production and allow for bacteria to grow more quickly, ultimately resulting in a potential for increased acne,” warns Rouleau.

While I agree with this, it may be an oversimplification. Occlusive agents will trap in heat, where as emollients, not so much. So the composition of the oil you’re using may change whether or not the previous statement is true for you.

Normal/Dry Skin

If you have normal to dry skin, Rouleau suggests mixing about 4-6 drops of the oil in with your moisturizers. She also says that those with dry skin can use it on top of moisturizer but should never wear face oil in place of or under a moisturizer. “When you use moisturizer (often containing antioxidants, retinol, or firming peptides) over the oil, the beneficial ingredients will not be able to penetrate the skin effectively because the oil will act as a barrier.” (source)

 

Want to go Solo with Your Oil? Application Makes All The Difference

If you know your oils and your skin type, you might decide to skip the mixing and applying the face oil as a separate step. 

As tempting as it is to vigorously rub face oil into your skin (the way you would with body lotion) that actually is not the correct way to apply it, and can render the product ineffective. By rubbing it into the skin, the product doesn’t have a chance to sink in properly. Not to mention the unnecessary pulling at your skin. What you should do instead is apply the oil to your finger tips and gently press it into your skin. This will allow the oil to literally “melt” into the skin and absorb properly, giving you better results. (source)

 

Where Face Oils Fit Into Your Skincare Routine

Another question that I get all the time is where a face oil fits in an overall skincare routine. With cleansers, toners, moisturizers, retinols.. it can get confusing! Each product is expensive by itself, so you don’t want to accidentally render the effects useless, right? Well, no worries.

Here are some examples skincare regimens, based on skin type. If you don’t use one or more of the products, no worries–this list is hyper-inclusive. Just scratch it out and keep moving along the list in order.

 

For Oily/Acne-prone/Combo Skin:

In the morning:

  • Cleanse
  • Tone*
  • Use your AHA / BHA exfoliant
  • Apply your day serum
  • Apply moisturizer
  • Dab face oil into entire face
  • Apply sunscreen
  • Apply makeup

In the evening:

  • Cleanse
  • Tone*
  • Apply retinoid or prescription cream
  • Apply any night serums
  • Apply nighttime moisturizer or eye cream
  • Apply face oil

For those with acne-prone skin, we suggest using witch hazel or other non-alcohol based toners, in order to avoid excessive drying.

 

For Normal / Dry Skin:

In the morning:

  • Cleanse
  • Tone
  • Use your AHA / BHA exfoliant
  • Apply your day serum
  • Apply moisturizer w/ a few drops of face oil mixed in
  • Apply sunscreen
  • Apply makeup

In the evening:

  • Cleanse
  • Tone*
  • Apply retinoid or prescription cream
  • Apply any night serums
  • Apply nighttime moisturizer + a few drops of face oil
  • apply eye cream and/or WINK!

 

Wait a Second.. What About SHINE?

This is where things take on a second level of complication (are you ready?):

SHINE is both a face oil and a treatment oil.

How and where it fits in your routine depends on how you’re using it. The composition of SHINE is such that it can be both a treatment and an overall face oil.

If you read this post here about where SHINE fits into a routine, you might notice that it’s different than the lists above. This is because some people use SHINE as a face oil (like me!) and some use it as a spot treatment for fading dark spots.

SHINE as a face oil

If you’re using SHINE as a total face oil, you can follow the regimen above for your skin type and sub in “SHINE” for “face oil.”

SHINE as a spot treatment

If you’re using SHINE as a spot treatment, it should sub-in for or next to your “serum.” This is because SHINE in that case is a spot treatment that should penetrate the skin first before any occlusive agents, to give the SHINE a chance to sink in first before it’s locked in.

 

Takeaways: How to Use Face Oils

So there you have it, the best way to apply face oil! Not so scary, huh?

If you haven’t started using a face oil we recommend incorporating one like SHINE into your routine. SHINE uses a blend of awesome oils like pomegranate, jojoba, and argan to brighten and nourish your skin. It’s vegan, cruelty free, and made with 75% organic ingredients. Definitely worth checking out if you want to hop on the face oil bandwagon!

Not sure about SHINE just yet? Don’t worry.. samples are on their way! Soon you will be able to add one to your order for free 😀

 

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5 Comments

  • So, I am confused.
    If you have dry skin (is aging skin dry skin?), you mix your oil with the moisturizer.
    But, then you give instructions about how to apply the oil directly into your skin.
    Your routine also separates moisturizer and oil into 2 different steps.
    Can you please clarify?
    Thank you.

    BTW, I am using Shine, but perhaps I am not getting its full benefit?

    Reply
    • Hi Barbara! Thanks for commenting because YES that was confusing. I made some edits to the post that I hope clear it up.

      First, dry skin and aging skin are often the same, but don’t have to be. I, for one, will still have oily skin clear into my 50s (and probably beyond) because it’s just in my genes!

      About the steps and SHINE – and this is where I helped clear things up (I hope!) by editing the post – it all depends on how you’re using SHINE in your routine. SHINE can be a spot treatment or a face oil, so how you’re using it and what skin type you have will determine what your routine is. Please let me know if this all now makes sense now! 🙂

      Reply
  • I love this

    Reply
  • I have shine and rewind. How’ve do I use both?

    Reply
    • You can use SHINE first as a spot treatment, followed by REWIND as a total face oil. Alternatively, you could use SHINE as a total face oil in the morning and REWIND as your face oil at night.

      Reply

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