More and more people are using a face oil but what exactly is a face oil? Does it work? Is it good for your type of skin? Is it good for men as well? What are the differences between a face moisturiser and a face oil? Are all face oils equal?
We’ll aim to answer all of these questions in this blog post, as well as looking at the common myths and misconceptions about face oil, and introducing you to the range of face oils that we make.
What is a face oil?
A face oil can be a single oil or a mix of oils used in small quantities on your face, to help regenerate your skin during the night or to keep it moisturised and smooth during the day. It can be made of natural or synthetic ingredients but most face oils usually contain at least some natural oils.
A natural face oil is made of fixed oil and sometimes essential oils or other active substances.
What’s the difference between a face oil and a face moisturiser?
Most people use a face moisturiser, but not everybody understands what moisturisers contain, how they work and what the benefits could be of using a face oil instead of, or as well as, a moisturiser
Check out our handy table below for a comparison of face oils and face moisturisers:
|Propreties||Face oil||Dry skin moisturiser||Oily skin moisturiser|
|Number of phases||One phase system||Two phases |
(water and oil)
|Two phases |
(water and oil)
|Risk of irritation||Rare||Sometimes |
(depends on formulation)
(depends on formulation)
|Moisturising effect||Long term||Immediate & longer term||Immediate & short term|
|Type of skin||Dry and oily |
(depends on composition)
The main difference between an oil and a moisturiser is that a moisturiser contains two phases, one comprising oil and the other comprising water, while an oil contains only an oily phase.
Because of the presence of two phases, the formulation of a moisturiser is more complex: it requires an emulsifier to mix both phases together, a thickener to make it thicken and a preservative to avoid contamination of the aqueous phase.
Face oils are more concentrated as they contain only oil, which helps protect the skin and keep it moisturised. However, they don’t give the cold and hydrating feeling obtained with moisturisers.
Face oils are very effective in locking moisture into the skin, making them better to apply after a shower or bath when the skin is still a bit wet, or after using toner.
A face oil can be used on both dry and oily skin. As they don’t contain any water, face oils don’t need a preservative.
Environmental benefits of face oils over moisturisers
Why is face oil good for men?
Most men don’t really like the sticky feeling of a face moisturiser and tend to avoid them. They generally use an oil-free moisturiser as they think oil will make their skin oilier.
However, men can also have sensitive skin and using an oil-free moisturiser can actually result in more irritation and dryness.
A face oil is easy to use, even in the morning, as it’s quickly absorbed. Another benefit is that it can be used on beards as well as the skin, and it won’t irritate the skin after shaving.
Of course, not all face oils are equal, and it’s important to have the right blend for your skin. Face oils for men must be absorbed quickly and not leave the skin shiny.
Adding an essential oil with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties such as rosemary essential oil will help to maintain healthy skin after shaving.
For men, we recommend our Rosemary English Face Oil.
Face oil for young/oily skin
Young skin tends to have more imperfections such as blackheads and spots, and a higher sebum production. Naturally, most people think it’s not good to put oil on this type of skin, but, most vegetable oils are actually really good at cleansing and clearing the skin.
What is important is to avoid comedogenic oils – these are oils that block pores and cause blackheads. These include coconut oil, flax seed oil, linseed oil, palm oil and wheat germ oil.
The composition of the oil is also very important. For acne-prone skin, it’s better to choose oils that are rich in linoleic acid. Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid – this means that it can’t be produced by the body, and we need to find it in our food.
Studies have been shown that acne patients have low levels of linoleic acid in their skin surface lipidsand that linoleic acid applied topically can decrease the size of microcomedones – these are the blocked pores that lead to acne.(Please note that in these studies linoleic acid is applied directly and not as part of the molecules of triglycerides in an oil).
Furthermore, in another study, linoleic acid taken orally in high quantities has shown some improvement in skin ageing.
There are several oils rich in linoleic acid including safflower oil, poppy seed oil, evening primrose oil, grape seed oil and hemp seed oil.
Our Rosemary English face oil is made with poppy seed and hemp seed oils, both grown in the UK, and is ideal for young and oily skin.
 Downing DT et al., Essential fatty acids and acne, J Am Acad Dermatol. 1986 Feb;14(2 Pt 1):221-5.
 Letawe et al., Digital image analysis of the effect of topically applied linoleic acid on acne microcomedones, Clinical and experimental dermatology, vol.23, issue 2, March 1998, pp. 56-58.
Our Rosemary Face Oil
Our Rosemary English Face Oil is suitable for all skin types and is particularly appreciated by young woman and men of all ages, even with oily skin. It is also shortlisted for the Natural Health International Beauty Awards. Click below to know more.
Face oil for mature/dry skin
Mature skins tend to be dryer and sensitive, making it better to use a more nutritive oil that’s rich in omega 3.
The face oil we’ve developed for mature skins is called Pure Omega English Face Oil and is rich in the unsaturated fatty acids omega 3, 6 and 9. It contains poppy seed oil (linoleic acid, omega 6 with two double bonds), camelina oil, hemp seed oil (alpha-linolenic acid or ALA, omega 3) and borage oil (gamma-linolenic acid, another omega 6 with three double bonds).
Linoleic acid taken orally in high quantities has shown some improvement in skin ageing, while some studies have shown that borage oil can slightly improve the appearance of wrinkles around the eyes – although we’re not claiming that this oil is going to remove your wrinkles!
Our face oil for mature skin
Our Pure Omega face oil is free from essential oils, so it can be used for very sensitive skins and even around the delicate eye area.