Updated 10 April 2014

How facial oils can give you beautiful skin

Facial oils are popping up on beauty counters around the globe. We take a look at how they work.

Most of the new facial oils that have hit the market contain essential oils - some, such as Weleda Almond Soothing Oil have one only while other such as L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Extraordinary Face Oil, up to 8.

It's these essential oils that provide the biggest benefit to skin - not only for their antioxidant properties but also for the natural healing and nourishing properties of the ingredients they are made of.

In 2010 Professor Yiannis Samaras and Dr Effimia Eriotou, from the Technological Educational Institute of Ionian Islands in Greece, conducted research into the effectiveness of essential oils in the search for an alternative to antibiotics.

They tested the antimicrobial activity of eight plant essential oils and found that thyme essential oil was the most effective and was able to almost completely eliminate bacteria within 60 minutes.

What are essential oils really?

Mother Nature Network explains:

"Despite their name, essential oils are not oils but are aromatic, volatile substances or essences extracted from a plant, herb or flower by distillation or expression.

It is a labour-intensive process resulting in a potent oil that is not cheap, but due to its concentrated nature, a small amount can be used very effectively for a range of ailments, skincare and even natural homemade carpet cleaner."

Can it be used on an oily skin?

Contrary to intuition, experts say using an essential oil on an already oily skin won't make matters worse. If you have an oily skin and you continuously strip the natural oils through cleansing, your sebaceous glands will only produce more oil.

By using oil on your skin, you replace missing fatty acids. Over time a balance in oil production is reached and the glands stop over-producing oil.

The essential oils found in facial oils and what they do
  • Lavender for antioxidant protection
  • Marjoram and rosemary for anti-bacterial properties
  • Geranium contains soothing agents
  • Argan is a great skin nourisher
  • Roman chamomile for calming goodness
  • Rose helps improve skin tone
  • Grapeseed tightens and tones
  • Orange peel for collagen protection 
  • Lavandin (a different type of lavender) to help promote collagen and elastin
  • Lemon clears up acne and restores balance
  • Eucalyptus dislodges blackheads
  • Clary sage fights hormonal acne

How they help the skin

Top quality facial oils, used regularly, will reduce fine lines by plumping up the skin, increase the skin's elasticity, accelerate cell turnover, calm inflammation and combat dryness.

It also nourishes the skin and protects it against extreme temperatures, dry climates, and over-cleansing. Used under foundation, facial oils makes foundation easier to apply, it stays put longer and doesn't accentuate signs of ageing.

Use it alone, or add a couple of drops after moisturising your skin. 

Read more:

Points to take note of when using essential oils
How lavender oil can protect against candida
Visit our acne centre for all the latest in treatments and causes

Sources: SkinInc, Allure, Science Daily, Mother Nature Network, Health24
Image: Shutterstock

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