Face Oils: What To Look For In Them Based On Your Skin Type

If the thought of putting oil on your face makes you a bit wary, it may be time to reconsider the super nourishing method of hydrating your skin. While many moisturizers out there contain a long list of unrecognizable ingredients, a simple and pure oil is less likely to irritate the skin and more likely to provide illuminating nutrients.


Of course, finding the right oil for your skin type is key when it comes to selecting a new product. So, you'll want to determine if you have oily, dry, combination, or sensitive skin and your dermatologist can help you do so. It also goes without saying that not all face oils are created with quality ingredients and you'll want to make sure you're choosing one that increases luminosity and gives you that dewy glow. Here's what to look for in a face oil when it comes to your skin type.

Oily skin

Those with oily skin are understandably the most likely to hesitate when it comes to using a face oil, but doing so can make your face irresistibly soft –- and the right face oil won't lead to breakouts or clogged pores for this skin type. The proper formula will have the potential to balance out your skin's oil production and actually reduce oiliness since your skin will be more hydrated. "Jojoba helps with moisture on the skin's surface in the same way natural sebum would — without clogging the pores," Marisa Garshick, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, told Allure. "Additionally, its formulation is lightweight, so it won't leave the skin feeling greasy; it's non-comedogenic and won't clog the pores, and it's also anti-inflammatory, which can also help with acne."


So, if your skin is on the oily side, try jojoba oil. Hazelnut or black cumin seed oil would also be suitable for oily skin. The oils you want to avoid if you're prone to breakouts are coconut, palm, and flaxseed oil. Synthetic oils should also be off the list as they won't nourish the skin cellularly and could lead to irritation if your skin also happens to be sensitive.

Dry skin

Whether you have dry skin during the colder months or year-round, nourishing your skin with a heavier, richer face oil, like sweet almond oil or even coconut oil, will provide the moisture and protection your skin is really craving. You can typically find these at your local health food store in the beauty care section and remember that a little goes a long way.


While you may already have a moisturizing skincare routine down and you know you can add face oil to it, some find the results so satisfying they may even drop their moisturizer. Dry skin will also majorly benefit from doing warm compresses with your face oil. Start by applying your sweet almond oil, then take a warm washcloth and hold it to your face, gently patting all areas. This is not only effective, but it's also deeply relaxing -– like a mini spa experience in the midst of your morning routine. Your skin will be fresh and dewy afterward and hopefully, the dry patches will be far less noticeable.

Combination skin

If you don't feel you fall into the dry or oily skin categories, it's possible you have combination skin -– meaning your skin is generally oily and may be prone to breakouts, but you also have dry patches in some areas. This can feel like a bit of a conundrum when it comes to selecting skincare and you may need to go through some trial and error when it comes to finding the right face oil, but the results should be well worth it.


Grapeseed, argan, rosehip, and pomegranate oils are typically suggested for combination skin as they aren't too heavy, but still achieve the soft, moisturized glow we're after. These are generally absorbed quickly by the skin and can reduce scarring or signs of aging. Many opt for a pure oil, like organic grapeseed oil, as it won't contain fillers or additional ingredients that may cause rashes or irritation.

Sensitive skin

If you have sensitive skin and have to be careful when it comes to skincare products, sunscreens, and lotions, then argan or yangu oil is likely ideal for you. Geranium oil is another suitable facial oil for sensitive skin, particularly if you struggle with redness or rosacea. As always, try a test patch on your wrist first when experimenting with new products –- especially if you have sensitive skin. If you notice irritation, move on to the next gentle option for delicate skin types.


While you likely already scan ingredient labels if you have sensitive skin, you'll certainly want to continue doing so when it comes to facial oil. Something pure without added fillers is your wisest bet. Synthetic fragrances and dyes are big culprits when it comes to irritating ingredients for sensitive skin, so try opting for a singular-ingredient oil at first. Many of these 100% pure facial oils will be gentle, nourishing, and effective.