5 Face Oils for Naturally Clear, Flawless Skin
Acne DIY Skincare & Beauty Face Oils Natural Beauty
Can applying oil to your face actually help keep skin clear and reduce blemishes? Yes! Face oils are the best kept skincare secret to naturally clear, flawless skin. Let’s talk about how face oils help to keep skin clear and which oils are the best for reducing blemishes and scarring from acne.
I have a teeny-tiny little obsession… With oil. That I put on my face.
That’s right, I put oil on my face.
Now there was a time that I would have shuddered at the very idea.
I went out of my way to scan every skincare product I purchased for “oil-free” before giving it the green light, thinking that any oil would instantly clog pores upon contact and turn me into one big walking blackhead.
And when it came to dealing with breakouts, I saw oil as my ultimate enemy. I mean, I even wiped my face with rubbing alcohol at one point (*cringes*).
Ironically, it was in an act of acne-induced desperation that I finally gave oil a chance, and I’ve never looked back.
In this blog post, we chat all about:
P.S. Want to take all the guesswork out of it? I’ve bottled up my best face oil blends — the Body Unburdened Beauty Blends — just for you. Beauty Blend No.2 is my best-seller, formulated to gently but effectively transform blemish-prone skin.
4 Ways the Right Oils Help Keep Blemish-Prone Skin Clear
The fact is, the right face oils can work wonders for acne-prone skin.
1. Certain face oils are high in linoleic acid, helping to bring balance back to blemish-prone skin
This one fascinates me the most. Studies have found that the sebum of acne-prone individuals tends to be deficient in a certain type of fatty acid called linoleic acid, and that topical application of linoleic acid can help reduce breakouts.
And guess what? Certain face oils are loaded with linoleic acid!
2. Antioxidant-rich face oils prevent sebum oxidation, a key player in blemishes and acne
A number of studies have shown that acne patients experience more oxidative stress than people with clear skin. This oxidative stress causes sebum oxidation or the oxidation of the skin’s own oil. Many researchers believe this sebum oxidation is the trigger that kicks starts acne since oxidized sebum is incredibly comedogenic (pore-clogging) and causes inflammation in the skin.
Topical antioxidants have been found to help prevent sebum oxidation and as a result decrease the frequency and severity of breakouts.
3. Face oils help to break up the gunk trapped in pores
When it comes down to it, a zit or blackhead is really nothing more than a sticky mess of oil and dead skin cells. And since like-dissolves-like (in other words, oil and water don’t mix but water and water do mix as do oil and oil), applying oil to the skin can actually help to break up this sticky mess and clear it from the pore.
4. Oils help regulate the skin’s own oil production
Applying oil to the skin can actually “trick” it into producing less sebum (its own oil). Not to mention that often, the skin will produce more sebum to counteract harsh, drying skincare products, and face oils help bring balance by deeply nourishing the skin.
Important note: excess oil production is often a symptom of hormonal imbalance (hello, androgens gone wild!). You can learn more about this and how to balance hormones naturally in my book Glow: The Nutritional Approach to Naturally Gorgeous Skin.
The 5 Best Face Oils For Acne and Blemish-Prone Skin
So which face oils help keep skin healthy, clear and as flawless as can be!?
(And NO coconut oil is NOT on the list! It breaks a lot of people out and I do not recommend it for acne-prone skin.)
PUMPKIN SEED OIL
Pumpkin seed oil is 100% hands-down my favorite face oil for all skin-types — which is why it’s in all 3 of my Body Unburdened Beauty Blends! It’s rich in the antioxidant vitamins A and C, as well as zinc. Vitamins A and C help prevent the sebum oxidation behind many outbreaks while zinc helps calm inflamed skin.
Anddddd best of all: pumpkin seed oil is especially helpful for keeping skin clear since it’s very high in linoleic acid (see above!).
Like pumpkin seed oil, grapeseed oil is incredibly rich in linoleic acid, helping bring balance back to blemish-prone skin. It’s also antioxidant-rich and a very light, easily absorbed oil.
Jojoba oil was actually my first love. When I first started using it, all day I would look forward to bedtime so I could apply it again, knowing that I’d wake up the next morning with clearer skin (it’s a little sad but very true, and if you’ve ever been desperate for clear skin then you feel me).
Jojoba oil is a light oil that is easily absorbed. It mimics the skin’s sebum, tricking it to produce less oil, which is why it’s especially helpful for individuals with oily skin.
Tamanu oil has been used in traditional medicine for ages, specifically for its ability to speed the healing of wounds by fighting bacteria and increasing cellular regeneration. It also has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antibiotic, and antioxidant properties, making it ideal for acne sufferers.
NOTE: Stay away from tamanu oil if you have a nut allergy!
ROSEHIP SEED OIL
I confess that I decided to try rosehip seed oil after learning that Rose Byrne — a.k.a. hilariously awful and beautiful Helen from Bidesmaid — Kate Middleton, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Miranda Kerr all use this oil. You have to admit, these ladies have lovely skin.
Rosehip seed oil is a dry oil that penetrates to the deepest layers of the skin where it regenerates cells, increasing collagen production. It is rich in vitamin C and the essential fatty acids, all of which are known to help heal scar tissue. It is also high in retinoic acid, which studies show reduces the appearance of wrinkles and brightens skin.
There’s no doubt about the fact that rosehip seed oil is fantastic! (Like pumpkin seed oil, it’s in each of the Body Unburdened Beauty Blends!) But a word or warning: I personally find it too drying to wear alone. Yes, an oil can be drying! And of course drying can mean irritating so be careful. So rosehip oil is best mixed with other more emollient oils.
How to use these face oils? Oh, the options are endless!
These oils can be used on their own or mixed with each other in a blend that best suits your skin needs.
Learn how to make a custom face oil blend and check out these top 10 essential oils for skincare, which make a great addition to your face oil blend.
And if you’re not a big DIYer well I’ve got you covered, my friend! After years and years of readers asking me to do so, I’ve finally bottled up my best face oil blends just for you — the Body Unburdened Beauty Blends!
Are you a natural beauty junkie too? Well you’re in the right place, my friend!
Hang around a bit and check out some of these other goodies I know your sweet little natural-beauty-loving heart will definitely enjoy!
A comment about “step by step application” for the OCM. I created a mix for my skin type which is oily, acne-prone…but is also prone to surface dehydration right now (November, dry air, 30 degrees in Chicago). In a 2-oz. brown bottle with dropper, I filled 1/3 bottle with argan oil, 1/3 bottle with castor oil and 1/4 bottle with jojoba oil (as my carrier oils). I then added 20 drops tamanu oil, 15 drops turmeric oil, 10 drops of red raspberry seed oil, 5 drops thyme oil and 3 drops rosemary oil. Every night when I am ready to wash my face, I first wipe off as much makeup as possible with witch hazel on cotton pads. While letting faucet water get hot, I shake up my bottle of oil VERY well (30 seconds or so), get my face wet, apply 2-3 droppers full of the oil mix into my palm and massage onto my face for a minute or more. Then I soak / ring out a clean washcloth in the hot water and hold on my “oily” face for 15-20 seconds. Wipe my face, then rinse out the washcloth and repeat 2 more times. After the third wipe, face is damp. And I will then spray my face with my toner and massage in a couple of drops of tamanu and turmeric oils. In the morning in the shower, I just splash water on my face…no need to rewash. It is a trial and error process in terms of the oil mix you create for yourself. Research what oils (both carrier and essential) are appropriate for your skin type, then play mad-scientist in your bathroom to get your perfect mix. BTW, I suggest getting 100% organic oils. And maybe mix a very small batch (rather than a full 2-oz. bottle) incase you need to tinker with your ratios. Write it down so you know what to modify the next time.
I have thought of 2 more questions as well. Do you have a step by step application guide (day and night) already typed in a blog? Or can you provide me with a brief rundown? Also, I am curious as to why you don’t like the OCM method. I thought about only doing it 2x/week. Thanks again and I look forward to your responses 🙂
Hello! New oil user here. I have recently purchased rose hip, jojoba and pumpkin seed oil. I’m planning on using all three during the day time and maybe just the jojoba at night. I have normal/combination skin and live in San Diego with hard water and no humidity. I have a soft water shower filter on my shower head to help combat the hard water. My questions are: Does this sound like a good combination of oils for me? What are the ratios you recommend? Can I use these in addition to OTC eye creams and moisturizers? Do I apply the oils first, and then my OTC products? Finally, I have read in some places that people see positive results in the beginning but then after a month or so they begin to notice the reverse effects of more dull skin and breakouts because of the oil cleansing method. Is there a trick to avoid this or such a thing as over-using? Thank you so much! I’m excited to try this new regimen out.
Definitely! Oils are a great, all natural moisturizer. And it’s especially important to protect small children from nasty chemicals in personal care products. Coconut oil and jojoba oil both make great skin oils.
Hi nadia…my 5 year old daughter has dry skin..can I use oils for her too
Awesome! I like to layer raw shea butter on top of the jojoba – it’s noncomedogenic and loaded with skin-loving vitamins. Also some light exfoliation works wonders!!
Hi Nadia! I’ve been using jojoba oil every night for some time now and love it. With the winter season approaching my skin gets really dry. What oil would you recommend? Thanks!
Can I just add an AMEN to the proponents of using facial oils EVEN IF you have oily, acne-prone skin!! Getting to this point took years of convincing…but only 1 weeks of trying! A scary concept to wrap my head around after 50 YEARS (literally!) of avoiding anything that had even the tiniest amount of oil. After too many chemicals, acne medicines, AHAs and BHAs, microderm products and treatments at my dermatologist’s office, my skin went into full rejection mode…red, itchy welts with everything! In desperation, I decided to try the OCM. And I’m now a total convert…facial oils for cleansing as well as my daytime and nighttime facial moisturizer . I would say to read as much as you can about appropriate facial (essential) oils for your skin type and concerns…then start. Create your own “oil concoction” for your skin type. Write down the amounts of each that you use so you can recreate the mix…or add/increase/decrease to modify for your skin. BTW, based on how much better my skin looks, my Mom asked me to make her a bottle (her skin is very dry and sensitive after 4 years of chemo) so the mix I made for her is much different than the oils I use for my mix. Good luck to you!!
Coconut oil clogs pores so that may be your issue. I would think lavender would be best, maybe in argan or jojoba oil. if you find something that works, please come back and share with us!
I was wondering what you would recommend for breakouts in the bikini area after shaving. I’m a little hesitant to use the tea tree oil in such a sensitive area. I have tried coconut oil with Lavender eo but the acne isn’t going away and I wasn’t sure if it was the coconut oil that was causing a worse breakout and if I should try a different carrier oil.
Hi! I am definitely going to have to try one, or a few of these!! The only thing that’s consistently worked for my face for the past 10 years is Proactive (and I know it doesn’t work for a lot of people). It’s never given me “perfect” skin, though, just kept most breakouts away, giving me less zits but definitely not zero zits. =I
Anyway, my real question is what do you WASH your face with?!?
Someone once told me to try baking soda, which I did, and then it was too harsh so I used coconut oil to try to balance it, which I am SO glad I now understand that it’s not that my face sucks, but it is actually a clogging oil. Thank you!! I would love to know what you wash with, if it’s just water, or…. ?
I’d start with jojoba since it’s cheap and has worked wonders for my adult acne. If you’re interested, this is the combo I use and really like: https://bodyunburdened.com/diy-natural-face-oil-for-acne-prone-oily-skin/
What would you recommend for adult acne skin? I Have very dry skin all over (currently I have two major dry patches on my cheek and forehead that will just not go away!), but I also have acne on my chin. Any recommendations?
Well, I just started using pure aloe (I extract it from the plant) mixed with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil…my skin feels soft and it’s not sticky or greasy once it dries. I am thinking about using Marula oil, what do you think of it? maybe I can mix the Aloe with it instead of the EVOO. BTW, my skin is pretty damaged from adult acne (in terms of redness and a few bumps and big pores).
I love this list! I recently began using sea buckthorn berry oil for my face with great results. it is not drying like so of the other oils, thus a little goes a long way, but it is really neat oil for my skin.
I use Jojoba Oil everyday! My fav! I have Hemp Seed Oil and will give that a try.
I absolutely love the honey cleansing method. It has helped my face clear up tremendously and my skin has never felt better. I use ACV as a toner. Thank you for all of this information, Nadia.
I apologize if it was listed in the comments and I missed it, but you mentioned that you don’t like the OCM. What do you use to wash your face? Morning and Night? I have cystic acne and a blackhead issue which I have had for over 20 years. I am 38 now and still have issues. I use the OCM at night usually and it has worked okay, but not great on my acne. It is great at getting makeup off though! I purchased all of the above oils and have been trying them out. I haven’t found the right combination yet, but loving the oils! Thank you for your blog and for sharing your knowledge with us!
Hi. Which is the best EO to reduce severe sun tan?
so of these oils can you mix them in a larger amount and not just for a one time use?? and what ones would you say would be best for day time use, mixed together? also can you add some E/O’s to them or is that unnecessary?? thanks