By now, it is no longer a secret that oil and skincare complement each other and there are many benefits to adding a face oil into your skincare routine!
However, when it comes to picking the right face oil for your skin, it can be a daunting task. From familiar oils (rosehip oil and jojoba oil etc) to exotic ones (acai oil, moringa oil etc), the options are seemingly endless.
To help find your soulmate face oil, here’s 3 essential checkpoints for you to keep in mind:
Face oil Checkpoint 1: Do the smell test
If you find the face oil has an obvious and overwhelming scent, it may also contain artificial fragrances to help make the product smell more attractive. These potent aromas may make you “think” you're buying luxury and natural products, when in reality, you're getting a product which can be potentially irritating for your skin and bad for your health.
Action: Again, read your ingredient labels. If you see “fragrance” or “parfum," please leave the product on the shelf! But read labels carefully, as some products use other chemicals to mask scent to misrepresent an “unscented” experience.
Face oil Checkpoint 2: Do the touch test
As an attempt to mitigate people’s fear of greasiness attached with face oil, some face oils would add ingredients such as mineral oil, silicone / dimethicone as the oil base to achieve a light, silky texture.
So, make sure to feel the face oil on your own skin before purchase, and if it’s giving you a fast-absorbing and smooth sensation, check the ingredients list to see whether any of the mentioned ingredients were included for the sake of their illusory skincare effect (besides, these ingredients have less unsaponifiable and antioxidant nutrients compared to natural, plant-based oils).
Action: Read your ingredient labels. If you see the ingredient that includes the following, try to avoid as much as possible:
1. Mineral Oil
2. Dimethicone-related ingredients:
- Cyclotetrasiloxane (D4)
- Cyclopentasiloxane (D5)
- Cyclohexasiloxane (D6)
3. Synthetic skin conditioning agent:
- Isononyl Isononanoate
- Isopropyl Myristate
- Octyl Palmitate
Face oil Checkpoint 3: Watch for red-flag fillers
Apart from smell and touch, if you’re still unsure whether the face oil you are looking for is clean enough, check the ingredient list again and see if you can find ‘water’ as the first or second ingredient (including hydrosols, floral water, aloe vera etc), as it can imply strong preservatives such as: BHA / BHT, Phenoxyethanol and Parabens may have been added to the product.
Other concerning yet scentless ingredients such as artificial colors and -PEG surfactants can also be added to make the product look more appealing and stable. However, these additives can be problematic, especially if you have sensitive skin.
Action: Avoid face oils containing surface active agents such as PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil / PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil / PEG-6 Caprylic / Capric Glycerides.