The Five Best Face Oils According To The Twenties Club
There’s a common misconception that if you’ve got oily or acne-prone skin you shouldn’t use face oils, and this myth continues to pervade despite experts and insiders telling us All. The. Time. that a high quality face oil will not break you out and will not make your skin greasy.
Personally, I’ve always been obsessed with oils, which means I’ve trialled a lot of them and now consider myself a connoisseur of sorts. The ones I hate are any that are too heavy in fragrance (natural or not, I can’t stand them), those with too many essential oils (they irritate my skin and exacerbate eczema) and those that don’t absorb fast enough and therefore mostly end up on my pillow (the equivalent of burning money). On the other hand, the ones I love are mentioned below!
These five powerhouses are my all-time favourites; the ones I frequently recommend to friends and readers. Most of these oils can be used day and night, but personally I only use them at nighttime in case they transfer to my clothes. But like I said – they’re suitable for the morning too so shoot your shot!
Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Oil, $124 NZD
Marula oil was actually the founding ingredient of Tiffany Masterson’s “clean + compatible” skincare brand. The Drunk Elephant founder has always been ultra-sensitive to fragrances and essential oils, and found marula oil to be one of the most effective non-toxic (not to be confused with “organic” or “all natural”) ingredients on the planet. The marula oil inside this product is in a league of it’s own: it’s extracted straight from the pip of the marula fruit using a raw, cold-press extraction and filtration process, resulting in the purest and most concentrated form of the oil – untouched by any chemicals or fragrance. This face oil is highly absorbable (one of the reasons I love it) and contains greater concentrations of polyphenols than dark chocolate, meaning it’s a powerful antioxidant defence against pollution. Plus it smells so good.
Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil, $34 NZD
I need you to know how obsessed I am with this product (why does nobody talk about it?!), but I also need you to know the story behind this brand. Brand founder Indie Lee launched her company after overcoming an aggressive brain tumour and discovering the link between conventional beauty products and their potential harm to our health. She made it her mission to create luxurious and effective skincare, minus the toxins. It’s beauty with heart and I like that. I didn’t know anything about “squalane oil” when I first received this in a PR send-out, and to be fair I still don’t know a lot, but what I can tell you is that this product contains 100% pure, olive-derived squalane oil and feels incredible. More specifically, reviews often mention it’s ability to reduce hyper-pigmentation and sun spots. It’s non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t clog your pores) and is completely fragrance-free so it’s perfect for anyone sensitive to fragrance (both natural and synthetic). This oil doesn’t get nearly enough praise – it’s like one of those secret beauty hacks everybody wants to keep to themselves.
Mara Universal Face Oil, $130 NZD
My newest favourite! I only discovered this a month ago when it arrived in New Zealand for the first time via beauty e-comm INÈS (and it’s already sold out but I’ve heard it’s being re-stocked imminently). But for women like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Jen Atkin and celebrity makeup artist Katie-Jane Hughes, this oil has been on their shelf for a while. One of the most attractive things about this product is that it’s packed with fatty acids, phytonutrients and active botanicals, meaning you don’t need a separate serum and moisturiser in your routine – this is a good way to justify the price point. It’s also amazing as a post-sun treatment because it calms any redness, plus – and I can’t stress this enough – it makes your skin look bouncy.
La Mer The Renewal Oil, $205 NZD
One of the most healing oils I’ve owned (and one of the most expensive), La Mer’s The Renewal Oil is like a golden elixir. It rises to the challenge of extreme dryness and skin irritation, and with the help of active ingredients like magnesium and sea kelp it strengthens your skin’s barrier and makes it more resilient every time you use it – meaning it’s not just an oil to make your face smell good, it’s actually working it’s butt off. Active ingredients are crucial when you’re paying a small fortune for skincare, and I’d recommend this oil to anyone who does a lot of travel for business and is constantly exposed to those punishing high-altitude conditions (the 15ml bottle is perfect for carry-on). It requires a little shake each time to activate the ingredients and can also be used on the ends of your hair and cuticles.
Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum, $290 NZD
I know I said the Mara Universal Face Oil was a multi-tasker, but when to comes to oils wearing multiple hats, no one does it quite like Vintner’s Daughter. Technically an oil but strategically formulated to have the multi-correctional function of a serum, Vintner’s Daughter contains 22 of the world’s most nutrient-rich antioxidants, phytoceramides (to strengthen your skin) and amino acids. This oil is begging you to say “Fine, I’ll throw out the rest of my skincare and just use you for the rest of forever!” (I actually know people who have done this). Brand founder April Gargiulo used her Napa Valley winemaking background to formulate her toxin-free oil as carefully and precisely as possible. Out of all the oils featured on this list, Vintner’s Daughter is the most targeted formula for anti-ageing; it’s designed to promote cell turnover and elasticity, and inhibit melanin production. It’s also damn expensive but in my experience you only need about three drops to cover your entire face.