If skincare had personality types, oils would be Type A, multitasking overachievers
The past several years have seen a wild resurgence in the popularity of oil-based beauty products, and with good reason. Oils are extremely effective in nearly every aspect of skincare from cleansing to moisturizing to nourishing.
Here are 16 oil-based beauty products to add to your skincare routine today...
Top 3 for Lips
Oil-based products are particularly effective for delicate and oft-dry lips. The best way to keep your lipstick looking its best is to ensure your lips are properly hydrated (and exfoliated—but that's another discussion). Using a lip oil shouldn't be considered an add-on or indulgence, but akin to skincare and incorporated into your daily routine, morning and night.
1. Hourglass - N° 28 Lip Treatment Oil
The name and applicator for Hourglass's fantastic lip treatment oil leads you to think the product is a thin oil. In actuality, it's a very thick, balm-like one that immediately relieves dryness and chapping while strengthening the moisture barrier. I layer this on thickly at night using the 24K gold applicator tip to press and smooth the product around the lips (go well beyond the lip line here to maximize skincare benefits). When I wake up, my lips are visibly plump and beautifully hydrated. In the morning, tap what's left on the applicator onto lips and let that sink in before applying lipstick.
$52, available online and in-store at select Sephora locations.
2. Dior - Addict Lip Glow Pomade
Dior's unique oil-gel hybrid pomade is rich with shea butter and provides a rosy tint along with mega-hydration. It's in a traditional squeeze-tube with cushiony foam tip that makes it easy to apply anywhere. The oil formula melts easily on lips, transforming into a glossy sheen that plumps and smoothes for hours.
$41, available online and at Dior counters, Sephora.
3. Lancôme - Juicy Shaker
Think of Lancôme's Juicy Shakers as makeup with skincare benefits. This sheer tinted lip oil is a fun product that offers a wash of buildable colour with the moisturizing benefits of five nourishing oils. The tip is a contoured, bouncy cushion that makes application easy and even fun. All the Shakers are heavily scented (a selling point, according to Lancome) and can be mix'n'matched to customize colours and create graduated effects.
$28, available online and in-store at Lancôme counters, Sephora.
Top 4 for Face
"Won't oils clog my pores?" "Oils break me out!"
If these are your fears, worry not. Refined, cosmetic-grade oils can be highly beneficial additions to your skincare routine. Keep in mind that not all oils are the same—some are heavier and more emollient (these provide hydration and protect the moisture barrier) while others are thinner and more astringent (these can even reduce pore size and help prevent breakouts).
Depending on your skin type and the weight of oil you have, a facial oil can take the place of your regular moisturizer or it can be used on top of one. Try mixing a drop or two with your serum, moisturizer or foundation to bump up the hydration and glow factor.
1. Omorovicza - Miracle Facial Oil
This lightweight oil from luxury Hungarian line Omorovicza absorbs beautifully and quickly into the skin. If you have oily skin, this will be enough on its own; if you have dry skin, you'll need to layer with another product. Either way, fine lines are softened and the face is left feeling hydrated but not oily or heavy.
$150, available online and in-store at select Nordstrom and online at Sephora.
2. Korres - Wild Rose Vitamin C Active Brightening Oil
This is an updated version of Korres' iconic Wild Rose Oil, which now includes "Super C", a super-ingredient that Korres claims is a stabilized form of vitamin C, promising to brighten, tone and reduce fine lines. It also includes actual wild rose oil (and smells deeply of roses), which itself contains mega-amounts of vitamin C as well as Vitamin A and essential fatty acids.
$75, available online and in-store at select Shoppers Drug Mart locations.
3. La Prairie - Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Dry Oil
The sheer, weightless qualities of La Prairie's remarkable dry oil defy its powerful performance. Loaded with antioxidants, plant extracts and anti-aging properties, this oil does an amazing job at preventing, restoring and protecting in a most elegant fashion. It can be used on its own like a serum or mixed with a moisturizer to enhance hydration. It effectively supports natural lipid barrier function and I always pat on a few drops to protect my skin before boarding any flight.
$425, available online and in-store at select Holt Renfrew and Nordstrom locations.
4. Estée Lauder - Advanced Night Repair Recovery Mask-in-Oil
As someone with chronically dehydrated skin, I always end my nighttime skincare routine with a layer of facial oil as a protective moisture barrier. Estée Lauder has validated my multi-step regimen with their brand new mask-in-oil. Based on the wildly popular, cult-favourite Advanced Night Serum, this new category of product combines the potency of a serum, the longevity of a mask and the "blanketing" properties of an oil. The result is a single-step, multi-purpose product that "cocoons" your face with powerful antioxidants, vitamins C & E, and extracts to rejuvenate your skin during sleep, when your body works hardest to repair itself.
$100, available at select Hudson's Bay, Shoppers Drug Mart, Murale and Nordstrom locations and online through Estée Lauder.
Top 3 for Cleansing
Oils are one of your best tools for cleansing. Think of it as "like for like": you need oil to break down the oils in your makeup, sunscreen and in your pores. Many people who blame their products (especially heavy-duty sunscreen) for breaking them out probably aren't thoroughly removing the product from their skin. Using an oil cleanser is simply the best technique for removing all traces of makeup and sunscreen without over-stripping the face.
Use an oil cleanser by massaging the product over your face for a minute. After rinsing away, follow up with your usual non-oil cleanser to remove any residue. This double-cleanse method is the ideal way to clean your face every night.
1. AmorePacific - Treatment Cleansing Oil Face & Eyes
This luxury Korean brand has developed the perfect cleansing oil for anyone who's ever tried one and thought it was too heavy. This cleanser is lighter in texture yet completely effective at removing all traces of the day's makeup and sunscreen, including waterproof mascara. And it smells like a spa—heavenly.
$55, available online and in-store at select Nordstrom and Sephora locations.
2. A-Derma - Exomega Cleansing Oil
This cleanser is actually meant to be used on the body, for those with very sensitive, dry, atopic skin. On the face, it's a silky, rich oil cleanser that leaves the skin protected and hydrated. It's thicker than most other cleansing oils, but doesn't leave the skin oily or covered in a film. This is perfect for hyper-sensitive, winter-ravaged skin.
$18.50, available online and in-store at select Shoppers Drug Mart locations.
3. Rocky Mountain Soap Company - Transformative Cleansing Oil
This is the oil for those who really can't be bothered with a second cleanse or who don't have access to running water (campers wearing sunscreen, I'm looking at you). Apply this cleanser using a cotton pad, then remove excess with toner or micellar water. Now there's absolutely no excuse to not clean your face at night no matter how drunk tired you are. And it's Canadian, to boot.
$41, available online and in-store at select Rocky Mountain Soap Company locations.
Top 3 for Body
Dry skin feels uncomfortable, looks ashy and is physically parched. Why neglect your largest organ like that? Oil-based products for the body have flooded the market in recent years, mostly for the better. All three of these options are sublimely hydrating and nourishing.
1. Butter Babes - Body ButterButter Babes Organic Body Butter
Solid at room temperature, Butter Babes body butter melts upon contact with body heat, turning into a luscious fluid seconds after scooping. Made from a blend of raw oils and butters, this is an antioxidant- and vitamin-rich oil that's deeply nourishing and healing. In fact, the creator of this product initially developed it as a cure for her brother's persistent eczema and psoriasis.
$58, available online and in-store at BeautyMark (1268 Pacific Blvd, Vancouver).
2. Caudalie - Divine Oil
This is France's No. 1 skincare brand, and within their lineup, Divine Oil is one of their top-selling hero products. This is a multitasking dry oil, designed for face, body and hair, but it really shines as a body oil. It smells beautiful, absorbs quickly and contains Caudalie's famous (and patented) grape seed antioxidant polyphenols. After applying to the body, use what's left on your hands to lightly run through your hair for brilliant shine.
$10 - $57, available online and in-store at select Sephora locations.
3. Lush - Ro's Argan Body Conditioner
As the name suggests, Ro's Argan is meant to be used in the shower, as your last step before popping out. After washing, lather on this creamy, buttery conditioner and let the oils do their magic. Massage it over your skin as you would a moisturizer, rinse off, then dry off. You're moisturized head-to-toe in a flash and you'll smell of heavenly roses to boot. Packed with cocoa and shea butters as well as Brazil nut, almond and Argan oils, this luxurious finishing touch will become addictive.
$35.95, available online and in-store at select Lush locations.
Top 3 Hair & Nails Oil-based Products
Some of the thirstiest parts of your body are your hair and nails (there's a reason why your ends and cuticles are always splitting). Treat them with some nutritious oils and you'll see immediate results.
1. CND Shellac - SolarOil
From the creators of the gel manicure comes SolarOil, hands down the best cuticle oil I've ever tried. Infused with jojoba oil and vitamin E, this oil—unlike most others that simply stay on the surface—has the ability to penetrate through your manicure (traditional and gel) to reach your actual nail plate. Used daily, this will not only hydrate your cuticles but your nails as well, so when your gel manicure is removed your nails will look lustrous and healthy, not chalky and dry.
3.7 ml for $4; 15 ml for $14.50. Available at Onyx Aesthetics Studio (421 Abbott St, Vancouver) and other salons offering CND Shellac gel manicures.
2. Phyto - Phytoelixir Subtle Intense Nutrition Oil
This is a pre-shampoo treatment that will completely transform dry, coarse, heat-damaged hair. Apply from mid-length to ends and let it soak in for 20 minutes before jumping into the shower. Tip: apply this before your workout, where the extra heat will help with absorption. You'll be astounded by the results and while you may be tempted to do this before every shampoo, limit this treat to once every week or two.
$45, available at select Sephora locations and online at Phyto.
3. Orofluido - Beauty Elixir
This golden elixir contains three ancient oils: Cyperus (for a silky touch), linseed (for instant shine) and Argan (for its essential fatty acids, which strengthen hair). The tiniest amount goes a long way, as does the intoxicating amber scent. This is a medium-weight hair oil that absorbs quickly (as long as you don't overdo it) and will nourish and hydrate your hair, leaving it glossy and jealousy-inducing.
$29.95, available at select hair salons.