Editor’s note: This post was originally published in September 2020. We’re republishing it because it is now enabled with on-site shopping, so you can buy all of Rio’s recommended face oils without leaving this page. Read more about our on-site shopping tool here.
Over the past few years face oils have become exceedingly popular. Celebrities with glowing skin — from Kate Middleton, to Hailey Bieber, to Lupita Nyong’o — credit their glow to their various oils (rosehip, Vintner’s Daughter, and avocado, respectively).
In case you are wondering what exactly face oils are, the answer is pretty simply: Generally, they’re a blend of fatty, oily plant extracts that can help hydrate, moisturize, and replenish your skin. Due to their thick consistency, face oils should be applied after your moisturizer (to pack an extra punch of hydration) but before your sunscreen (SPF is always last). But the truth of the matter is that not all oils are created equal — every face oil is manufactured with different ingredients and targeted to different skin concerns. Price points can also differ dramatically between products. Below, a list of my very favorites — including J.Lo’s favorite and one especially suitable for eczema.
This is one of my all-time favorite, mid-priced face oils, from the Aussie beauty brand Go-To. The straightforward formula is a blend of ten high-grade botanicals — arnica oil (which is excellent for eczema sufferers), jojoba oil (which is rich in vitamin E), and brazil nut (which is chock full of antioxidants). Not only does it hydrate, nourish, and calm the skin (this once saved me from retinol-induced flakiness), it also feels incredibly luxurious — it leaves behind this faint sweet-meets-woody scent that gets me ready for bedtime. This is suitable for just about any skin type, but it’s particularly excellent for dehydrated or dry complexions.
This Pai rosehip oil is beloved by many (including Natalie Portman), for its omega-rich formula that helps protect, nourish, and hydrate the skin. It’s reasonably priced and absorbs into the skin instantly. It never leaves you with that greasy, filmy feel that so many other oils tend to leave behind, which is why I recommend it to pals with more neutral or oily skin types. Warning: This can leave behind a very faint orange tint (I asked my boyfriend if he noticed, and he didn’t), but for that reason I tend to only wear it at night.
This face oil is definitely expensive, but it works like a dream. The formula is packed with a blend of antioxidants and 500 mg of CBD, which work together to calm redness and irritation, and clarify and detoxify blemishes. At the same time, it also delivers skin-healing and nourishing properties. I personally like using this particular oil the most when I’m combatting acne, as the anti-inflammatory properties can take off some of the redness and swelling of pesky, under-the-skin breakouts.
This is without a doubt one of my go-to holy grail beauty products. It’s an incredibly rich, ultrahydrating oil-serum hybrid that’s chock full of ceramides, antioxidants, and vitamin E to protect, heal, and deeply moisturize the skin. Whenever I’m feeling intensely sensitive, flakey, or rashy, I use this — and only this — on my skin for a few days. It helps nourish and heal my skin back to a calmer and clearer state. I can’t say enough good things about this product — if you’re supersensitive, or prone to eczema, it’s worth the price tag.
For something cheaper: This is one of the best wallet-friendly facial oil options out there. Squalane is a wonderful, highly effective emollient (meaning it locks in moisture) that helps hydrate and quench the skin while protecting it from free radicals. This simple, straightforward oil is 100% squalane — nothing else.
This oil from Vintner’s Daughter is beloved by just about every celebrity you can think of — from J.Lo to Gwyneth Paltrow to Tracee Ellis Ross to Heidi Klum. There’s no way around it; it’s very expensive. But I’ve been lucky enough to try it a few times, and I just absolutely adore it. All of the 22 plant-derived ingredients are incredibly high grade, and it’s jam-packed with powerful nutrients that help heal, replenish, and rejuvenate the skin. I noticed a near-immediate difference in my skin’s overall radiance and clarity after using this oil — something I haven’t seen with almost any other product on the market.
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