SKINCARMA APPROVED : MY FAVE FACIAL OILS FOR WINTER SKIN
It wasn't all that long ago that I thought, like about 99.99999% of people on the planet, that facial oils were some sort of sinister skincare product that clogged pores. They just weren’t for me. Then, about two years ago I began to understand facial oils and truly appreciate their unique benefits. And it’s not because I’m just getting old and my skin needs more oil replenishment! Though that’s certainly the case during the cold winter months in New York City. I used to joke that my skin aged the entire year in winter alone. I always seemed to emerge in March with more visible fine lines around my eyes and, let’s call them “character lines” on my neck. They go horizontally, vertically and diagonally. You can’t get more interesting than that! Honestly, New York City can be treacherous most days, but on any given day in January or February, it’s particularly treacherous. Even if I manage to artfully navigate the filthy brown sidewalk slush without soaking my shoes, I’ve still got to be concerned about what the dry, cold air around me is doing to my skin.
Okay, maybe I’m being a little extra.
Or maybe I’m not. The winter skin struggle is real! And that’s where a great facial oil comes in. A facial oil is, well, the perfect product for combatting excessive moisture loss in winter. And this is where my enlightenment over the benefits of a facial oil is most signifcant. I’ve come to realize that facial oils are simply another form of moisturizer. They’re not sinister pore cloggers. If you’re like me you’ve been conditioned to think of a moisturizer as a thick, white cream in a jar. And many moisturizers are. Most are, in fact. But when I think about the kind of product I want to moisturize my skin, I don’t think first of a cream in a jar. I think of specific ingredients I need — not conventional, old-school skincare products made with 87 ingredients that are intended to deliver everything your skin needs in one fell swoop. Does your body get all the nourishment it needs if you just eat a sandwich? What about a cupcake? A salad? Like your body, your skin needs nourishment from multiple sources throughout the day.
The ingredients I prefer to moisturize my skin with are non-fragrant plant oils that can fill the skin’s outer layers with oil-based moisture. They’re both replenishing and occlusive — meaning they prevent loss of moisture and hydration. I prefer gentle plant oils like squalane, argan, jojoba, grape seed and sea buckthorn, to name a few. Simply, when used in any skincare regimen, a facial oil will help keep skin healthy.
This winter, I’m crushing on four facial oil products — all of them discovered over the past several weeks, and three of them new to the market this season. Each of them has a unique texture. One is a super lightweight “dry oil,” meaning it dries down rather quickly, leaving a low-key, barely discernible glow. On the other end of the spectrum is a much heavier oil that is perfect for cold winter nights when the air around you is super dry. All of them are relatively well-formulated products or they wouldn’t have made my approved list!
Laneige Water Bank Dual Layer Face Oil
The first of the new facial oils is the Laneige Water Bank Dual Layer Face Oil. It’s got the most unique texture of the four and feels as light as a silky serum. Like all of the K-Beauty brand’s products, this formula features a unique water technology; in this case, it’s Hydro Ionized Mineral Water, a blend of minerals which helps to regulate water dispersement in the skin. High up in the ingredient list are both Squalane and Grape Seed Oil, both non-fragrant plant oils and outstanding skin replenishers. Laneige rather wittily refers to the formula’s complex of “skin-friendly oils” as a Moisture-Roof, which is essentially a blend of plant oils that includes Passion Flower Seed Oil (aka Maracuja Seed Oil), a botanical extract that contains skin-strengthening fatty acids and antioxidant Vitamin E. Because it’s so lightweight, it’s ideal for oilier skin in cold weather, though it makes all skin types happy.
The Ordinary “B” Oil
When I first got my hands on a bottle of this, I was excited by the intriguing blend of ingredients but would only truly appreciate it over several weeks. The Ordinary’s “B” Oil Daily Support Formula is a terrific mix of soothing, non-fragrant plant oils and anti-inflammatory extracts that has become a go-to when my skin is acting up. To start, “B” Oil is a blend of many of the single-note oils The Ordinary already offers, including Squalane, Argan Oil, Rosehip Oil, Marula Oil, and Borage Oil to name a few.
And it certainly would be an effective moisturizer if the Deciem chemists had stopped there. But they went much further! In addition to the dozen or so skin-replenishing plant oils in the formula, “B” Oil includes two very interesting anti-inflammatory extracts. The first is Bisabolol, the active component of chamomile used in traditional medicine and known to possess effective anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial benefits. I heart Bisabolol and appreciate the fact that it’s in this formula at a very high level (ingredient #4!). Perhaps just as interesting is Isochrysis Galbana Extract, an algae derivative that’s found in several of the company’s products, including the newish Abnomaly lip balms and in the sensitivity calming NIOD Modulating Glucosides. If you have a concern for irritation or sensitivity, this is the perfect facial oil for you!
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Oat & Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the wave of new Hemp Oil products that have hit the market since the beginning of 2019. You can read all about them here in my blog article entitled The Buzz On Cannabis (Hemp Oil) in Facial Skincare. Since that post just four weeks ago, several new products that feature the once illegal ingredient have launched. That includes the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Oat & Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil. FAB makes the rather intriguing claim that its facial dry oil oil is a “soothing treatment oil infused with cannabis sativa seed oil from hemp and colloidal oatmeal to help de-stress, relieve, and nourish dry, reactive, and sensitive skin.” You can’t beat that glowing claim, but I have my doubts that its treatment of reactive, sensitive skin is attributable in the least to that Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil.
In fact, the ingredient in the formula that has legitimate scientific evidence behind its ability to soothe dry, irritated, distressed skin is Colloidal Oatmeal. Look, it may not be a sexy ingredient, but it works! When I was working at Kiehl’s, we used to get these amazing customer letters, often handwritten, thanking us for our Deluxe Hand & Body Lotion with Aloe Vera & Oatmeal — first introduced in the 1960s. I remember one letter in particular from a woman whose grandmother had terrible eczema on her legs. The only thing that treated her grandmother’s skin condition? Yup. Kiehl’s classic oatmeal body lotions! According to my skincare guru, Paula Begoun, Colloidal Oatmeal is categorized by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) as a skin protectant, allowing it to be listed as an active ingredient on skincare products. Research has shown that “avenathramides, potent types of antioxidants found in oats (and colloidal oatmeal), can help soothe skin.” FAB’s dry oil is an antioxidant-rich formula containing a blend of 16 cold-pressed active botanicals including Jojoba Seed Oil (ingredient #1!), Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Borage Seed Oil, and Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil — rich in omegas and fatty acids. Because it’s a dry oil, it leaves no greasy look to the complexion, but I kind of like the subtle, healthy glow.
KPS Essentials Super-food Elixir
It’s no mystery that I love science and skincare brands based on scientific ingenuity, not marketing spin. I recently reviewed one of my fave science brands, KPS Essentials, on the Skincarma blog here. KPS was actually founded by a rocket scientist and an oncology aesthetician! I appreciate all of their well-thought-out formulas and was excited to try the brand’s new Superfood Elixir. Superfoods are nutrient-rich foods considered particularly beneficial for overall health and wellbeing. Superfood ingredients are known to have high levels of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals that are really good for skin.
KPS’s superfood formula is a 100% organic elixir made with bioactive essences, solar-charged herbal extracts, and nourishing omega fatty acid-rich oils. It has a very tight ingredient list! Among the superfood components are several skin-replenishing non-fragrant plants oil like Sweet Almond Oil, Argan Kernel Oil, Coconut Oil and Olive Fruit Oil. In addition to this nutrient-rich blend are several antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients, including Cacao Powder, Turmeric Root Powder, Rosehip Fruit Powder and Nutmeg Powder. Guess what? That’s it, eight ingredients in the whole formula! It’s a silky textured oil that my skin loves — especially on those super cold, dry winter nights when I can’t seem to get enough moisturizer in my skin diet.
**EXCLUSIVE FOR SKINCARMA FOLLOWERS** Enjoy 10% off all KPS skincare on kpsessentials.com. Use code SKINCARMA10 at checkout.
If you haven’t incorporated a facial oil into your cold weather skincare routine yet, these four distinct products are a great place to start. You, too, should wake up glowing — like Orpheus and I do every morning!
**WATCH MY VIDEO REVIEW OF MY FAVE FACIAL OILS FOR WINTER SKIN ON MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL HERE.**
The Ingredient List of the Laneige Water Bank Dual Layer Face Oil:
Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Squalane, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Decyl Cocoate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Triethylhexanoin, Glycerin, Passiflora Incarnata Seed Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Chenopodium Quinoa Seed Extract, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Tocopherol, Calcium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Disodium Edta, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Fragrance.
The Ingredient List of the FAB Ultra Repair Oat & Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil:
Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Colloidal Oatmeal, Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Seed Extract, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Chrysanthemum Parthenium (Feverfew) Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Glycerin, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ricinoleth-40, Butylene Glycol, Aqua (Water, Eau), Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Phenoxyethanol, EDTA, Citric Acid, Limonene, Linalool.
The Ingredient List of The Ordinary "B" Oil:
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Squalane, Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil, Bisabolol, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Isochrysis Galbana Extract, Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Rosa Canina Seed Oil, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Oenocarpus Bataua Fruit Oil, Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil, Bertholletia Excelsa Seed Oil, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit Extract, Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Tocopherol.
The Ingredient List of the KPS Essentials Super-food Elixir:
*Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, *Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, *Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, *Olea europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, *Theobroma Cacao (Cacao) Powder, *Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Powder, *Rosa canina (Rosehip) Fruit Powder, *Myristica fragrans (Nutmeg) Powder, *Proprietary Blend of Essential Oils. *Organic Ingredients.