The conversation around oil and the skin is changing. Once considered an enemy to the complexion, more skincare experts have begun to embrace facial oil as playing a very important role in skin health.
While combating oil has historically been the goal of aggressive skincare products and treatments, the beauty industry is now seeing a surge in facial oils and other oil-based skincare products. Word is getting out that oils are a gentle, yet amazingly effective option for treating the skin.
The importance of oil and your skin
Despite all the known benefits of facial oils, rumors persist that oil treatments are only for certain skin types and off limits to anyone with oily or acne prone skin, but that simply isn’t true. Rather, it’s quite the opposite. All skin types and conditions can benefit greatly from the healing and nourishing power of facial oils.
You see, your skin relies on some pretty complex chemistry to stay balanced. Water, oils and acids all exist in delicate harmony on the surface of the epidermis; functioning together to form your skin’s natural protective barrier. All are necessary to maintain stasis and synergy.
Unfortunately, many factors can disrupt your skin’s natural oil production cycles, including stress, environment, hormones and nutrition. When this happens, even naturally oily skin can become compromised and therefore more vulnerable to issues like acne, inflammation and irritation.
For this reason, incorporating a facial oil (or two!) into your daily skincare rituals can be incredibly beneficial. Facial oils have the potential to not only to aid in repair but also to create softer, smoother and more radiant skin. The secret? Understanding which oils will best support your skin type and concerns. Here’s what you need to know:
Comedogenic ratings: a cheat sheet for combatting congestion
The Comedogenic Rating Scale is a system developed in the late 1970s, which rates various oils and butters according to the likelihood that they will clog the follicles. This research ranks ingredients on a scale of zero to five; zero being not at all pore-clogging and five being the highest likelihood of clogging pores.
While the comedogenic scale can be very helpful in choosing the right oils for your skin, it’s important to note that it doesn’t tell us the whole story. Because everyone’s skin is a bit different, modern skincare science is finding it more relevant to classify oils according to their ratio of two different types of fatty acids - linoleic and oleic. Most facial oils or serums contain both linoleic and oleic acid in varying ratios.
Linoleic vs Oleic acid: which is best for your skin?
Linoleic acid is Omega-6, an essential fatty acid that aids in making hormones and is a component of the skin’s lipid barrier. The sebaceous glands also use linoleic acid as a compound in the production of sebum. In nature, borage, black currant, rosehip seed, argan, hemp, safflower and evening primrose oil are all rich sources of linoleic acid.
As a general rule, non-comedogenic oils have a higher ratio of linoleic to oleic acid and are the better choice for acneic skin. New research has found that acne sufferers tend to have lower levels of linoleic acid on the surface of the skin and this can contribute to more congestion in the pores.
Oleic acid on the other hand is another essential fatty acid - Omega-9 - and is better for dry, sensitive or mature skin. Some examples of oils high in oleic acid include jojoba, coconut, sea buckthorn, avocado and shea.
Oils high in oleic acid are hydrating and anti-inflammatory making them a great choice to boost moisture levels and calm irritation. However, many oleic acid-rich oils tend to rank higher on the comedogenic scale, meaning they have more potential to cause problems for acne prone skin.
Three skin-supporting blends by Plum Brilliance
Understanding both the transformative potency of plant-based oil blends and the intricate nuance of formulating with proper linoleic and oleic ratios, Plum Brilliance has created not just one but three different artisan facial oil treatments:
- Immortelle Wildcrafted Helichrysum Facial Oil Treatment- Harnessing the magical energy of a blood moon and infused with a beautiful blend of rosehip seed, sea buckthorn and black currant oil, this facial oil treatment renews and rejuvenates depleted skin.
- Hydrate Wildcrafted Elderflower Facial Oil Treatment - For skin that feels stressed, tired, dull or all of the above, our replenishing oil serum is the perfect skin-soothing elixir. It contains a moisturizing mixture of six different oils that the skin loves - evening primrose, sesame, carrot seed, rosehip seed, borage and jojoba.
- Balance Wildcrafted Yarrow Facial Oil Treatment - Rich with nourishing argan, hemp, safflower and vitamin E oils, this healing antioxidant treatment oil helps repair skin and restore balance. The result is calmer and more supple glowing skin.
Other important things to know
As an herbalist I adore oils, I can infuse whole plants into them to create complex, potent skincare. While essential oils capture the volatile oil portion of a plant, a whole plant infusion will contain more constituents -including the ones that are too heavy to be distilled into an essential oil. This creates a skin treatment that is gentle yet highly effective, just like nature intended!
Our wildcrafted skincare is small batch and utilizes a plethora of wild and organic ingredients to naturally nourish the skin. All three of Plum Brilliance’s facial oil treatments can be used by all skin types. However, we do have a few tips for best results:
If you are prone to clogged pores, you may want to opt for our Balance oil over the jojoba-based Hydrate blend. Likewise, if you struggle with dry skin you may find that the light feel of the Balance oil isn’t enough moisture for you and instead opt for the Hydrate or Immortelle Oil. Immortelle is the perfect choice for those looking for a regenerative oil to promote healthy, even-toned, glowing skin.
Oils can be used at part of your A.M. routine, P.M. routine or both, but consistency is key to creating results that last. We recommend applying about 2-5 drops in the morning and at bedtime.
Try to spend a few mindful minutes applying your product with intention. Gently massage your facial oil treatment into the neck and face, to stimulate the skin and ensure that the product gets deeply absorbed.
Allow a few minutes to pass before applying moisturizer or makeup and you will love the instant natural glow of your newly-nourished skin.
Comedogenic Scale: What is it? By Sarah Nguyen
Essential fatty acids and acne by DT Downing, ME Stewart, PW Wertz and JS Strauss
Which Non-Comedogenic Oils Are Best for Acne-Prone Skin?
The emerging principles for acne biogenesis: A dermatological problem of puberty