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All of your face oil questions answered by an expert

In this week’s Healthy-ish Podcast Beauty Editor Kelsey Ferencak, Host Felicity Harley and expert guest Vicki Engsall decipher the myths and misconceptions around face oils.

There’s tonnes of myths and misconceptions around oils (including JLo and the Botox or olive oil scandal) – and specifically face oils. It’s tricky to understand where exactly they fit into your skincare routine, when to apply them (before or after moisturiser?) and if they’ll make oily skin types more oily. Beauty Editor Kelsey Ferencak enlists Co-Founder of The Jojoba Company Vicki Engsall, who is an expert when it comes to oils and how they perform with the skin, to answer all of your oily FAQs.

Listen in to this week’s beauty-themed Healthy-ish Podcast for all the answers, or read on below.

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Myth: face oil make your skin more oily

“Oily skin is usually oily because it’s dehydrated and low in linoleic acid. When not enough oil is in the skin, the skin actually goes into overdrive to produce more oil as it thinks there is not enough in the skin,” explains Engsall. “By adding the right face oil into your skin care regime, you’re treating your skin like the intelligent organ it is, feeding it what it needs and stopping the cycle of the over-production of oil, regulating the skin, balancing oil production and preventing clogged pores.”

What face oil is for me?

Face oils aren’t just for hydration, there are smart, solution-focused formulations on the market suitable for all skin types and concerns.

Oily skin: Choose an oil that has a low-comedogenic rating and is high in linoleic acid such as parsley seed oil, juniper and jojoba to bring skin back into balance.

Dry skin: Choose a highly moisturising and nutritious oil such as rosehip, pomegranate or argan oil.

Sensitive or irritated skin: Choosing an oil high in fatty acids with anti-inflammatory properties such as moringa oil, chamomile, lavender, bisabolol and jojoba will help calm and soothe.

Ageing skin: Choose oils high in omega fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins such as argan oil, jojoba, squalene, bakuchiol or baobab.

Which oils should we steer clear of?

Some oils are comedogenic – which means they can clog your pores and cause breakouts – these are coconut, hazelnut and sunflower oil and they’re not ideal for your face, especially if you have acne-prone skin. That being said, they’re great for your body and hair.

“Similarly, synthetic oils such as mineral oil and lanolin aren’t recommended for those prone to breakouts, as they can clog pores due to their comedogenic nature,” says Engsall. “Choosing an oil like jojoba which is high in linoleic acid and technically not an oil but a liquid wax ester – which is the closest botanical match to our skin’s own natural oil, will not only help the skin reset and stop the over-production of oil, but bring it back to balance.”

Where does oil fit into my skincare routine?

There’s a bit of confusion around skin layering and the order of application. “Many of us think oils are occlusive, which means they provide a moisture barrier on the skin and stop the skin from breathing,” explains Engsall. Which means we they think oils should be the last step, but that’s not always the case.

“Where your oil goes in your regime really depends on the oil you’re using. Oils that have occlusive properties should be applied last in the regime as anything that is added on top of it won’t get through – think oils such as mineral oil, petrolatum and olive oil,” adds Engsall.

“The general rule is to apply thinnest to thickest. So, after cleansing, apply your water-based serum on to damp skin for maximum absorption, followed by your face oil and lastly your moisturiser to lock it all in.”

Our Beauty Editor Picks:

Kora Organics Noni Glow Face Oil from $32 at Adore Beauty

Dermalogica Active Clearing Retinol Oil $132 at Adore Beauty

The Jojoba Company Skin Balancing Oil $39.95 at ​The Jojoba Company

Pai Rosehip Bioregenerate Oil $49 at Sephora

Trilogy Very Gentle Restoring Oil $20 at Priceline

All products featured in this article are selected by our editors, who don’t play favourites. If you buy something, we may get a cut of the sale.