5 Face Oils for Naturally Clear, Flawless Skin

Acne DIY Skincare & Beauty Face Oils Natural Beauty

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.

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.


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.

Here’s how:

1. Certain face oils are high in linoleic acid, helping to bring balance back to blemish-prone skin

Science!

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!

The 5 best face oils for acne and oily skin help to gently but effectively heal blemishes while deeply nourishing the skin

2. Antioxidant-rich face oils prevent sebum oxidation, a key player in blemishes and acne

More science!

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 best face oil blends for oily and acne-prone 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!).

GRAPESEED OIL

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

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

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!

Learn how these 5 face oils for acne and blemish-prone skin help keep skin healthy and clear.

MY NEW BOOK "GLOW: THE NUTRITIONAL APPROACH TO NATURALLY GORGEOUS SKIN" IS FINALLY HERE!

Get Your Copy

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  1. Hi just wondering if hemp oil that u talk about is the same oil u buy in the refrigeration section at the health food store. The type u take with a spoon

  2. Hi Nadia! Great post. Wondering if you have thoughts on Emu oil? I’ve been using it for a few years now and really love it. I found your post in wanting to add some scent to it. Also, great tip about clear vs. blue/brown dropper bottles. I didn’t know that! Thanks so much!

  3. Nadia,

    Have you made a blog with your moisturizer recipe you referenced in the comments below?

  4. Hmm I do not believe any oils “cancel each other out” – at least not that I know of. Rose hip seed oil and hemp seed oil ARE carrier oils, so you’d dilute the EOs in those.

  5. This thread rocks!! I have to figure out my skin type, I’ve always had good skin and never wear a lot o makeup. BUT nt being in turn with “the ways of the woman” I have tiny pores and my skin feels suffocated a lot so I had never worn moisturizer, nor really exfoliated or get facials. But I’ve done a lot of damage to myself as a drug addict and years of depression and suicide attempts and not caring about things that will effect me when I was older because I didn’t think I’d make it to older. (sorry for TMI, just trying to present where I’m at or best results possible) Trying to make up for lost time (I’m 40 now), my skin is starting to show the wear and tear of that damage. So the oils excite me in terms of being light, thank you soooo much or all this detailed info, Nadia. So I have to go get a facial to figure out my skin type (so sad I dont really know this by now) but my main question is: what are some things you suggest for taking off eye makeup? Thanks, I sincerely appreciate it!!

  6. Hi there! Thank you for the great information on carrier oils. I used to use just coconut oil on my face then switched to grapeseed for the winter and at first, both of these oils seem to do wonders for my skin and helped reduce breakouts but thats no longer the case. I was thinking about mixing some essential oils with the greased oil (such as tea tree) and I’ve been trying that for some weeks now but it doesn’t seem to be helping with the breakouts. I didn’t know there was a ratio of carrier oils to essential oils so I’ll experiment with that.

    My questions are the following: If i have multiple conditions and results i want to achieve (eliminate breakouts, reduce the size of my pores, moisturize, eliminate acne scars, even out skin tone etc…) would i just mix equal parts of the essential oil into a carrier oil? so lets say i mix 1 drop of rose hip with 1 drop of hemp seed, 1 drop of lavender, 1 of frankincense (4 drops of EO total ) with 80 drops of a carrier oil? Will any oils cancel each other out when mixed? I’ve been struggling with gross skin all my life and i’d love to find a natural solution if possible 😀

  7. LOL I have also heard that! I have not had experience with this but I heavily dilute castor oil when I use it since like mentioned in the post it can actually DRY your skin out. With so many other great options though, if you’re concerned, you can simply use something else that I’m sure will work great with your skin.

  8. Hey there, thanks for the fantastic article <3. I have been using Tamanu oil for maybe two years. But idk it makes my skin so so oily. I've recently stopped because doctor has prescribed a topical cream for cystic acne and I'm not sure if I should keep using Tamanu oil. Like should I put it on before the topical cream or after? Also currently trying lemon juice on acne spots, it does work a bit. But then those spots are dry….but I'm a bit scared to use Tamanu on it.

  9. Hi, thanks for a great article. I´ve read somewhere that the castor oil, as it helps the hair(s) growth, it can help the facial hairs to grow and get darker.. As I´m naturally hairy as a monkey, I´m a bit afraid of this 😀 Do you have any experience with that? Thanks. Lenka

  10. Thanks so much for the great article! I have recently started experimenting with oils as a facial moisturizer, starting with ones I have in my house. Quick question though…is there a certain amount of time that is recommended to try out a new oil? I have been using Sweet Almond oil for about a week now and while I haven’t necessarily had any problems with it, I’m not sure that it’s really doing much for my skin as far as moisturizing goes. But I wonder if I should just give it more time. Also, what are your thoughts on olive oil and grapeseed oil for the face? It’s fun feeling like a mad scientist experimenting with homemade all natural recipes! Thanks again!

  11. AWESOME NEWS!!! Let us know how the other recipes work out for you 🙂 Remember: everything can be tailored for YOUR skin needs. So for example, if the lemon in the exfoliant is too harsh for you, you can just use water instead. Have fun!!

  12. Nadia, THANK YOU SO MUCH! It’s very clear now! I am doing your wash, your exfoliant, your honey mask and your oil mix this weekend! From what I read (been reding you for the last two days obsessively) my skin has the same problems that you had when you started. And I did tried for the last two days jojoba oil on my face (would have never ever put any kind of oil on my face before) and I see a diffenrence already! Unbelievable! Even my husband noticed

  13. Hey, Pilar! Yep – the ENTIRE recipe can be customized – this is just the blend I use.

    As for EOs, I do recommend a 3-5% dilution. So if you want to do lavender, frank, AND geranium equally (nice trio, BTW!) and keep the carrier oil at 2 oz, you’d want to still have 18 drops of EO total – so 6 drops of each. Does that make sense?

    Some people do less of a dilution, but EOs are so strong and can irritate the skin if not diluted properly – it’s dependent on YOUR skin. I play it save and do 3%.

  14. Hi, I want to make your face oil. I understand that I have to use 3/4 of jojoba oil and a 1/4 of tamanu. Could this 1/4 : be half Tamanu and half rosehip?
    and for the 9 drops of frankincense plus 9 drops of lavender could I add 9 drops of geranium too?
    Thank you very much for all the info and your time!

  15. i’m new to all of this and was wondering what can I use for dry, flaky skin on my face? What oils do i use/mix? i’m confused..

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