Beauty 101: How to Use Facial Oils

If you’re not already using a facial oil in your routine, you’re missing out - seriously. Facial oils work like supercharged moisturisers, locking moisture into your skin and smoothing out any rough spots. Some oils are boosted with other benefits, too - moisturising skin isn’t all that they can do!

For example, rosehip oil is fantastic for fading away hyperpigmentation, and squalane oil is incredible for soothing inflammation. However, knowing what all these oils do isn’t much use if you don’t know how to actually use them. 

Yes, there is a right and a wrong way when it comes to knowing how to apply facial oil. That’s why you’ve got us at Beauty Affairs - here are our best bits of advice and skin care tips for when to apply facial oil and how to get the most out of your skincare oil.

Guerlain abeille royale youth watery oil product image on white background

Guerlain Abeille Royale Youth Watery Oil | $206
This lightweight facial oil refreshes and moisturises skin with the power of royal jelly and honey.

How to Use Facial Oils: A Guide

When it comes to using a face oil, there’s one crucial thing that trips most people up - and that’s knowing how to use a facial oil the right way in the first place. Knowing where it goes in your routine makes a huge difference! 

If you're sat there thinking, does that really matter? The answer is yes - it does. Using your skincare in the wrong order means you’re not giving all the amazing ingredients in it the best shot at working properly for your skin!

Knowing how to apply face oil starts with having a good understanding of how facial oils work in the first place. Oils on skin act as both emollients and occlusives - and here’s a quick run-through just exactly what that means. Emollients are ingredients that literally grease the spaces between surface skin cells, giving us that feeling of smoothness and suppleness. 

They give the visible effects that you usually associate with moisturiser - softer, more radiant skin. However, that’s just one party trick that oils have - they also act as an occlusive. That means that they can form a barrier of sorts over the skin, preventing anything from the outside from passing through and locking hydration into the skin. 

It’s this barrier-like effect that helps facial oils boost the power of skincare ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin. They help to trap any water-based hydration for skin that’s healthy and moisturised - exactly what you’re looking for. 

L'Occitane immortelle divine oil product image on white background

L’Occitane Immortelle Divine Youth Oil | $142
A deeply replenishing oil rich in antioxidants and potent Immortelle Flower Oil.

Facial Oil: Before or After Moisturiser?

Now that we know what face oils do, the question to ask is when to apply facial oil. Ideally, it comes last in your skincare routine. In the evening, that means it comes after your moisturiser, preferably as the very last thing you put on your skin. However, there’s a slightly different approach if you’re using a facial oil during the day.

It needs to come before your sunscreen. Why? Sunscreen works by forming a film on the skin. If you apply oil over that, you risk disturbing that film and leaving yourself unprotected from the sun’s rays. 

The main reason why facial oil comes after moisturiser is because of the occlusive abilities we mentioned before. If you apply moisturiser after oil, much of all that good stuff in your moisturiser won’t make it through to the skin - especially the water-based ingredients.

However, by waiting to use your facial oil after moisturiser, your skin can still benefit from skincare ingredients such as peptides, hyaluronic acid, and retinol

guerlain orchidee imperiale oil product image on white background

Guerlain Orchidée Impériale Oil | $450
A blend of over 20 incredibly effective botanical oils to moisturise skin and fight off the signs of ageing.

What About Using Facial Oil As Moisturiser?

Ah, the old facial oil vs. moisturiser debate. If you’d rather use a facial oil instead of a traditional cream moisturiser, you definitely can. In fact, there are a few reasons why you’d want to use a facial oil instead of a moisturiser!

One reason would be if your skin is prone to dehydration - since facial oils have that two-in-one emollient and occlusive power, they can help your skin hold on to as much hydration as possible in a single, effective layer. 

Overall, if your skin leans on the dry side (and this goes for mature skin, too!) oils are amazing for adding a dewy, radiant glow back to your face. 

GA-DE Hydra Sublime royal pomegranate overnight recovery oil product image on white background

GA-DE Hydra Sublime Royal Pomegranate Overnight Recovery Oil | $55
Formulated to work with the skin’s natural overnight regeneration process, you’ll wake up with dewy, glowing skin the next morning with this facial oil. 

Tips for Using Face Oil

So, now that we know that facial oil should come after (or even instead of moisturiser), here our our best tips for making the most of your facial oil.

1. Add A Few Drops of Oil to Your Moisturiser
This does a few things - the most obvious one is that it saves you a bit of time! Adding facial oil to moisturiser is a simple but easy way to make your moisturiser just that little bit more nourishing. It’s also a great way to still get the benefits of a facial oil if you don’t necessarily like the feel of oil on your skin.

2. Don't Apply Oil Straight to Your Face
However, if you’ve tried a facial oil before and felt like it was too heavy, sometimes it’s because of overzealous application!

Something that you might have seen on social media is influencers applying oil straight to their faces from the dropper. The truth is, this is a bad idea - and for more than one reason. First off, you might transfer bacteria from your face to your skin care container. This could make your oil go off faster than it should, or become host to breakout-causing bacteria.

GA-DE sense 5 nourishing oil product image on white background

GA-DE Sense 5 Nourishing Facial Oil | $115
Nourish and soothe skin with a unique blend of facial oils thanks to GA-DE. 

The other reason why you should give this method a pass is that it’ll encourage you to overapply your skin care oil. If you’ve tried an oil before using this method and felt like it made you too greasy, it was probably the fact that too much was applied - not the oil itself. 

3. Don't Overuse Your Facial Oil
When it comes to using facial oils, less is more. A rule of thumb to start with is around 3-5 drops - it’ll go a surprisingly long way. A commonly recommended way to use skincare oils is warming it in your palms before pressing it into your skin for a dewy, moisturised finish to your skincare routine. 

Now that you know how to use facial oils the right way, which one will you be adding to your skincare routine?

Still looking for your perfect skincare oil? Try our skincare quiz

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