While dry skinned people, love all the oils and yearn for the great moisturization and hydration that oils offer them, People with oily skin dread to apply any kind of oil to their skin, but what might surprise you is that the excess sebum production in oily skin is due to deficiency of a fatty acid called linoleic acid and by applying an oil with a high linoleic acid content, your skin is actually going to produce less sebum and make your skin look less oily.
In this article, we will learn about what are facial oils, why do we need them and what are the different skin types that suit these oils.
What are facials oils?
Facial oils are single or combination of plant oils extracted from the flower, seeds, roots, bark and other parts of the plants. These oils are either used as emollients i.e., to soften the skin or formulated to alleviate a facial skin condition such as acne, dryness, hyperpigmentation, rosacea and more.
Facial oils are Anhydrous in nature, i.e., they contain only oil-soluble ingredients and are typically applied after cleansing and before a moisturizer. These mostly contain vegetable oils and optionally a combination of Vitamin E, Oil-soluble ingredients and essential oils.
Facial oils Vs Moisturizers
Oils are emollients, which means they can soften the surface layers of your skin, but because of their molecular size, they cannot penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin and provide enough moisturization, as opposed to the moisturizers, which are formulated to penetrate deep into the skin.
Different types of facial oils
Depending upon the purpose of its use in the formulation of skincare products, facial oils can be divided into three categories
- Essential oils
- Carrier oils
- Treatment oils
Essential oils are compounds extracted from leaves, bark, roots and other aromatic parts of a plant. These oils are highly concentrated and cause a lot of irritation when used directly, so the essential oils are diluted in what are called Carrier oils before using them in skincare products. Essential oils are great natural solutions for alleviating skin problems, such as acne, dry skin, ageing, rosacea and acne scars.
Some of the popular essential oils used in skincare include tea tree oil, peppermint oil, ylang-ylang, lavender, lemongrass, cinnamon, eucalyptus etc.,
Carrier oils are mostly pressed vegetable oils derived from the fatty parts of plants, generally from seeds or nuts and kernels. Sometimes carrier oils are also extracted from animal fats, for example, EMU oil or fish oil. Generally, carrier oils don’t carry any odour, per se., but sometimes can have a nutty odour depending on the oil and extraction process.
Some of the popular carrier oils used in skincare include Jojoba oil, Hemp seed oil, Hazelnut oil, Grapeseed oil,
Treatment oils are oils formulated by combining different essential and carrier oils, to target specific problems of our skin.
Fatty acid profile of oils
All the carrier oils are composed of different kinds of fatty acids, such as Oleic acid, Linoleic acid, Alpha-linolenic acid, Palmitic acid, Stearic acid, Palmitoleic acid, eicosenoic acid, erucic acid etc., Mostly importantly among these, the composition of Linoleic acid vs Oleic acid in that specific oil determines if it is a light oil or heavy oil and what skin type will it suit for.
For example, Jojoba oil which is light oil and has a very runny consistency can be used for all skin types, including oily skin versus olive oil, which is thicker and much richer, can only be used for dry skin.
Different face oils and skin types, they are best for
This is a carrier oil, extracted by cold pressing Jojoba bean. The fatty acid profile shows oleic acid 5-15% and linoleic acid 0.3%, alpha-linoleic acid 0.2%, making it a light oil, which gets absorbed into the skin very fast. Jojoba oil can be for all skin types and is great for all mature skin, dry skin and even oily skin.
Jojoba oil improves the elasticity, suppleness and protective abilities of the skin.
Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp seed is a heavy oil extracted by cold pressing hemp seeds and has a fatty acid composition of oleic acid 12%, linoleic acid 55-77%. Even though it is heavy, it has a fast absorption rate and is suitable for all skin types especially sensitive, oily & acne-prone, and ageing skin.
Hemp seed oil is very good at replenishing the skin, hydrating it, softening it, toning it, smoothing out wrinkles, lifting tiredness, sagging and the general signs of ageing.
Hazelnut oils is a light, dry and thin oil extracted by cold pressing the hazelnut, and has a fatty acid composition of oleic acid 66-85%, linoleic acid 25%. This is a long oil with a medium absorption rate, so it is used for massaging. This oil is suitable for all skin types including dry skin, mature skin, and oily skin.
Rich in vitamins A, B and E, Hazelnut oil is great for moisturizing, nourishing, softening and soothing for the skin, encourages skin cell regeneration, tones the skin and prevents dehydration. It also relieves dry eczema and itching.
It is best to avoid hazelnut oil if you suffer from a nut allergy.
Grapeseed oil is a light, dry and long oil with a fatty acid composition of oleic acid 12-30%, linoleic acid 58-80%. It has a medium to slow absorption rate and is suitable for all skin types especially oily skin, skin with large pores, acne-prone skin, thin and sensitive skin or damaged skin.
Evening Primrose Oil
This oil is a light oil with a fatty acid composition of oleic acid 8-11%, linoleic acid 70-75%. Evening Primrose oil has fast absorption and is suitable for all skin types, especially oily and acne-prone skin, sensitive skin and mature skin.
Evening Primrose oil is good for the treatment of specific skin conditions like sensitive skin, eczema and psoriasis, acne and acne spots, cuts and wounds.
Cold Pressed Coconut Oil
Cold-pressed coconut oil is a light oil with a velvety composition. It has a medium to slow absorption rate and is suitable for all skin types especially dry, damaged, cracked, chapped, sensitive, irritated, inflamed, fragile, and mature skin.
Cold-pressed coconut oil is an amazing cure-all skincare oil with strong antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-itching and anti-fungal properties.
Fractionated Coconut Oil
Fractionated Coconut oil is a light oil that is easily absorbed into the skin and has a moderate absorption rate. Fractionated coconut oil is extracted by cold pressing the kernel and meat of the coconut and refining the oil. This is also suitable for all skin types.
Castor oil is a very thick and long oil, with a fatty acid profile composing oleic acid 2-7%, linoleic acid 2-6%. This is used for massaging and has a slow rate of absorption. Castor oil is suitable for dry, chapped and damaged skin as well as mature skin.
Castor oil is useful for healing skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis and also in removing age spots and brown patches.
Camellia oil is a medium to light oil, with a fatty acid composition of oleic acid 80%, linoleic acid 9%. This is easily absorbed into the skin and is best for Irritated, inflamed, broken, sensitive and dry skin as well as mature skin.
Calendula Infused Oil
Calendula infused oil is a dry and light oil with a fatty acid composition of oleic acid 3.1%, linoleic acid 27%. This is suitable for all skin types, especially inflamed, sore, irritated, broken and sensitive skin.
Borage oil is a light oil that is easily absorbed into the skin. This is suitable for all skin types, especially dry, sensitive and mature skin.
Avocado oil is a thick and heavy oil that is easily absorbed into the skin with a fatty acid composition of oleic acid 59-70%, linoleic acid 7-14%. This is suitable for sensitive skin, inflamed skin, dry & mature skin types.
Apricot Kernel Oil
Apricot kernel oil is a light oil with a medium to slow absorption rate, with a fatty acid profile of oleic acid 56-68%, linoleic acid 25-34%. This is suitable for sensitive, inflamed, dry & mature skin.
This is a light and thin oil with a fast absorption rate and has a fatty acid composition of oleic acid 50-78%, linoleic acid 1-10%. Moringa oil is suitable for all skin types especially aged, sensitive and inflamed/dry.
This is a Fatty oil with moderate texture with a fatty acid composition of oleic acid 55-83%, linoleic acid 4-21%. Olive oil is suitable for dry, mature and sensitive skin types.
Rosehip oil is a light and dry oil with a fatty acid composition of oleic acid 13-19%, linoleic acid 44-48%. It has a fast absorption rate and is suitable for all skin types especially mature, sensitive, oily skin and damaged skin.
Rosehip oil is the only vegetable oil to naturally contain tretinoin (a form of vitamin A) which helps to repair damaged skin and scars, alleviate acne, and reduce wrinkle.
Sea Buckthorn Oil
Sea Buckthorn oil is a thick and fatty oil with a medium to fast absorption rate. The fatty acid composition of Sea Buckthorn oil is oleic acid 10%, linoleic acid 1% and it is suitable for all skin types including dry, oily, sensitive and mature.
This article is medically reviewed by our expert dermatologist, Dr Nagakeerthana Sunder, M.D. DVL