There is something so deliciously nourishing about applying a fine layer of oil over the surface of your skin. Whether it’s a brightening and hydrating oil you put on in the morning to prepare for the day, or a deeply penetrating oil to address fine lines or bothersome skin conditions in the evening, using facial oils is a habit that offers many benefits.
Adopting a facial oil skincare regimen that’s truly effective requires a bit of background knowledge. Unfortunately, there is no formal “Face Oil 101” course to help you understand when and how to use face oils properly. Unless you know the basics, you could be going about it all wrong, thus depriving your skin of some impressive benefits.
Face oils are botanical extracts that, either alone or paired with a base oil, can be applied to your skin to help balance your skin microbiome. These highly concentrated oils are used to target specific areas, dermal layers, and conditions, offering desirable skincare solutions when used conscientiously.
Enjoying the signature glow facial oils are prized for is just one benefit. But there’s so much more to the art of practicing this ancient skincare ritual. Face oils work behind the scenes, beyond the layer of your epidermis, to help you in other, more targeted, ways.
Using Ayurveda face oils the right way can benefit you by:
The silky application and soothing sensation of facial oils can sure make you feel like you’re reaping the rewards. But you may not be getting all of the benefits that these special oils can offer your skin. Understanding how to effectively select and apply the face oils that are right for you can exponentially boost the benefits. Knowing the optimal way to use face oils not only ensures better results, but you’ll also be getting more bang for your beauty buck!
Just like you change your wardrobe for the seasons, the oils that best benefit your skin should change as well. In Ayurveda, the term for adapting to seasonality is Ritucharya. Ritu is the term for season, and charya is discipline. When you use the right oils with respect to the changing seasons, it helps keep your microbial, hormonal, and dermal balance in check.
The moisture level of your skin when you apply a face oil directly affects absorption. When the oil mixes with water, it will pull in that additional moisture. Using a facial mist just before applying your oil is ideal. Too much water on your face can potentially dilute the oil, and too little moisture won’t allow it to absorb quite as effectively. After spritzing your skin, simply warm the oil in the palm of your hand with your fingertip by rubbing them together, then apply the warmed oil to moistened skin. Try massaging the oil gently into your facial Marma points for added relaxation benefits.
Facial oils are concentrated products, so you don’t need more than 1-3 drops. However, if you’re also applying the oil to your decolletage and neck area, you’ll need a bit more. Oils spread easily, so you can simply massage them in until it has fully absorbed, especially if you’ve spritzed your face with a humectant before using the face oil. Massage it in thoroughly to ensure coverage. Your precious bottles of Ayurveda oils will last a lot longer this way.
Often when you’re browsing beauty shelves or online shops, it’s easy to be romanced by the allure of product marketing. But it’s hard to choose the right “gift” for your skin when you lack a true understanding of the recipient. In other words, it’s important to use the right combination of oils for the specific behaviors of your skin.
Your Ayurvedic skin type is based on the balance of your tridosha, or the three doshas. Together, these make up the life forces of your unique body constitution.
The three doshas are as follows:
Vata | Wind: Skin that is generally dry and tends to be thin, rough, and wrinkles easily if not moisturized regularly.
Tips and Oils to Use: Oil-based moisturizers are good for vata skin types. Sesame oil or olive are excellent also help reduce dryness.
Pitta | Fire: Skin is sensitive, often a bit oily, and may be prone to hyperpigmentation, breakouts, freckles, moles, acne, and rosacea. Congestion is common as well as whiteheads & Blackheads.
Tips and Oils to Use: Cooling elements like aloe vera, anti-inflammatory turmeric, and sandalwood for reducing redness and irritation. Coconut oil and olive oil are good choices for pitta skin types.
Kapha | Water and Earth: Skin tends to overproduce oil and retain water, resulting in a dull complexion. Pores can appear large, and skin is often prone to pimples and whiteheads.
Tips and Oils to Use: Avoid heavy creams and use Ayurvedic face masks regularly. Beneficial oils are sesame oil, almond oil, and neem oil.
Facial oils are occlusives meaning they are one of the last, if not the final, steps of your skincare layering routine. Their role is to help lock it in. So, in order to apply the layers of your skincare correctly, you should follow these layering best practices:
After cleansing and gently exfoliating (if that is part of your routine), apply products in this order:
It’s also important to use a different oil during the day versus what you use at night. Heavier, more deeply penetrating oils might feel greasy and uncomfortable for daytime wear but are perfect for doing their work while you sleep. Our Day & Night Face Oil Duo offers a simple way to separate daytime-duty oils (saffron, rose oil, and turmeric) from their night-time counterparts (sesame oil, manjistha, and licorice).
Your skin is an organ, which means it has specific requirements that need to be met in order to function. Additionally, it needs more than one type of nourishment. Since your body constitution can change with internal (hormones, bacteria) and external (weather, stress) stimuli, it becomes important to approach the needs of your skin accordingly.
Just because your skin is dry one day doesn’t mean that it’ll be that way throughout the week, month, or year. Pay attention to your skin and dial into its momentary needs for the best results. Start by learning more about how to select the best face oils for your skin and dosha type.
Face oils are natural botanical products with ingredients that break down over time. When these breakdowns occur, chemicals become altered. Some can be harmful or irritating to your skin, especially if you have a pitta (sensitive) skin type. To avoid the potential pitfalls of expired face oils the date of expiration (Some companies put the 'date of manufacture' and the number of months till it can be used for, so make sure you calculate the right date). It’s also best to discontinue use if the oil has been overexposed to sunlight since this will likely encourage a breakdown of the chemical structure and integrity of the product.
Face oils can be one of the biggest boosters in your Ayurvedic skincare routine. With their ability to penetrate beyond the visible layer of the skin, their benefits run deep. That’s why when it comes to facial oils, it’s especially important to know how to use them properly. These elegant little bottles offer rewards that are backed by science, paving the path toward a healthier, happier, and more confident you…as long as you know the ins and outs of how to make them work for you. Avoid these seven mistakes and your skin is sure to thank you!
Check out the best Ayurvedic Oils below!