March 07, 2019 7:07 am
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Josie Maran/Getty Images/Marie Lodi

During the warmer months, your skin tends to produce more oil, which, at best makes you look dewy and exude radiance, and at worst, makes you look like a greaseball. The winter can have the opposite effect, leaving your skin dry, dull, and longing for that natural oil production. Adding oil into your skin care routine is a simple way to repair your skin from the winter stresses while allowing it to retain moisture. Oil also brightens and strengthens the skin while fighting off acne-causing bacteria. And yes, you can use oil in your skin care routine even if your skin is usually always oily.

We’re not kidding when we say oil is beneficial for all skin types. According to celebrity skin expert and esthetician Renée Rouleau, there are a few reasons why we all should use oil in our skin care routine. “Many people think if they have acne-prone skin they should avoid face oils, but this is not the case,” Rouleau says. “Not all oils are alike, and not all are pore-clogging! The purpose of using a face oil is to add a layer of protection for your skin and lock in hydration.” She says that treatment oils can be incredibly effective for most skin types, but the ways in which the oil is applied to the skin will vary depending on your skin type. “I typically recommend using face oil at night, as this is when the skin can rest,” Rouleau says before adding that there are other times when your skin could benefit from a face oil, like when you’re on a flight and have to deal with extremely dry air.

Here are six simple ways you can use oil in your skin care routine:

Apply oil before or after your moisturizer

This is the beginner-friendly way to incorporate oil into your skin care regimen. If you’re using a dry oil (usually lightweight and fast-absorbing), you should apply it directly to your skin before using a moisturizer. If you opt for a wet oil (usually heavier and takes more time to absorb) apply it after moisturizer to help seal in hydration.

If you’re still confused about the difference between dry and wet oil, Rouleau helped us break it down: “Dry oils are formulated to dissipate (absorb) much more quickly than ‘wet’ oils. It is thought that a wet oil will protect the skin from moisture evaporation (loss) longer than a dry oil. Wet oils are preferred in dry climates.”

Boost your favorite moisturizer by adding a few drops of oil

Mixing oil into your moisturizer is a great way to reap the benefits if you don’t like how it feels when directly applied to your skin.

Mix a few drops of oil into your favorite foundation

This is a great trick if you want your foundation to appear more natural. It will apply more smoothly and look skin like—trust us on this one.

Use oil-based cleansers as a makeup remover or facial cleanser

Many facial cleansers can leave your skin feeling dry. Some people think this means your skin is extra clean, but in reality, it’s been stripped of some of the natural oils that help protect it. Oil-based cleansers, on the other hand, cleanse your skin of dirt, oil, and makeup while keeping it hydrated. While some people swear by oil cleansing, Rouleau shares with us her “unpopular” opinion about the trendy method.

“I don’t recommend oils as a facial cleanser to my clients. Many people are fans of the popular double cleansing method, but I steer away from this,” she says. “When you first cleanse your skin with an oil or balm, it leaves behind a residue, even if you rinse it off really well. When you follow with a water-based cleanser, it can cut some of the oil, but there may still be a coating left on the skin which may prevent your nighttime serums from performing their best and penetrating deeper into the skin.” Rouleau believes a more efficient way of cleansing to properly remove makeup is to use a lightweight, water-soluble, cleansing lotion with emulsifiers applied directly to dry skin, and massaged in circular motions for 30 seconds. In other words, oil cleanse at your own discretion.

Mix oil and exfoliants such as ground coffee or sugar to make a natural skin reviving scrub 

While the exfoliant of your choice works to get rid of dead skin cells, the oil will help keep moisture in your skin. For the face, it’s best to use smaller gentle grains such as sugar and ground coffee. And if you’re looking to use this for the body, opt for a salt-based mixture. If you’re too lazy to make one of your own, you can purchase one.

Use an oil-based mask to give your skin a summer glow any time of the year 

Oil-based masks are great for adding much-needed hydration to the skin, especially when it’s cold. Use them two to three times per week to help your skin look radiant, even in the dead of the winter.

If you’re looking for ways to add oil into your skin regimen, check out these 14 oil-based skin products.

1 Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil, $52


This ultra-moisturizing oil is great for all skin types and will help your skin retain moisture even when it’s cold af.

2Beauty Bakerie Wake & Bake Baking Oil For Face

Beauty Bakerie
$28 Beauty Bakerie SHOP IT Opens a new window

This hydrating blend is infused with marula oil, aka Africa’s beauty secret.

3 Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra Clarifying Face Oil


This acne-treating oil contains 1.5% salicylic acid, making it the perfect skin-clearing oil to add into any liquid foundation or use alone.

4Bobbi Brown Soothing Face Cleanser Oil


This organic cleanser is a special blend of sunflower, olive, and jojoba oils that cleanses skin while jasmine flower extract hydrates.

5Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate


This powerful oil blend helps your skin repair itself from environmental stressors while you sleep. Now that’s what we call beauty rest.

6Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil

Enriched with vitamin C, this weightless oil gives your skin much needed hydration while brightening and evening your skin tone.

7Tarte Maracuja Oil


This formula will help promote overall brightness while balancing your skin.

8Josie Maran 100% Argan Oil Light

Josie Maran

This lightweight oil is the perfect primer for foundation. Not only will your skin feel hydrated all day, but your foundation will also look flawless.

9Kopari Coconut Crush Scrub


This brown sugar and coconut oil body scrub will help buff away dry skin and leaving your skin soft to touch.

10Nyakio Marula & Neroli Brightening Oil


Cold-pressed marula oil and Moroccan neroli in this formula protect your skin from the harsh environment.

11Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oil


This overnight oil, which is made with soothing blue tansy, works to reveal the best version of your skin. From evening skin tone to correcting the appearance of fine lines, there’s nothing that this oil can’t do.

12Renee Rouleau Pro Remedy Oil

Renee Rouleau
$68.50 Renee Rouleau SHOP IT Opens a new window

Celebs like Demi Lovato love Rouleau’s face oil, which helps heal skin after it’s been irritated by stressors like airplane travel, eczema, and sunburn.

13Mara Beauty Algae Retinol Face Oil

Mara Beauty

This vegan face oil gives your skin the balance it needs, no matter how hectic life gets.

14Saint Jane Beauty Luxury Beauty Serum

Saint Jane Beauty
$125 Saint Jane Beauty SHOP IT Opens a new window

This luxurious blend of oils and botanicals, aka liquid gold, will have you glowing like never before.