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Nothing feels more restorative in winter than the application of a luxurious, skin-nourishing facial oil, serum or balm. At this time of year, the skin is prone to dehydration. It’s not only battling the cold, but it’s also facing the challenge of central heating, and in my case, being blasted by my car heater turned up to the max!
Skin is also more likely to dehydrated as we drink less water at this time of year. Almost always, I head straight to the kettle for a warm drink rather than my usual glass of cold water when the temperature drops.
The good news is that oils, serums, and balms help to ‘lock-in’ moisture, as well as delivering lots of beneficial skin-enhancing ingredients.
What’s the difference between an oil and a moisturiser?
Like moisturisers, oils are also emollients and they form an oily layer over the skin’s surface to prevent water loss. But while moisturisers tend to ‘sink’ into the skin, oils stay on the surface.
If you want more intensive hydration, you will probably need to use a moisturiser alongside an oil. A great tip is to mix a little moisturiser with your facial oil or serum to give drier skin a boost. However, for combination or oily skin types, oils on their own are often enough to keep skin supple.
The benefits of facial oils, balms and serums
Normally, I find that oils, balms and serums definitely keep my skin nourished and supple, and less prone to feeling parched. Incorporating face oils into your daily skincare routine is one of the most positive things you can do, even if you’re prone to spots, oily skin, or acne.
Plant-based oils, balms, and serums not only lock-in moisture and help protect the skin, but they can also help to re-balance the skin. Oily skins will benefit from oils that contain oil-zapping ingredients such as Tea Tree, Lemon, Lavender, or Rosemary which are astringent and anti-bacterial.
How to use a face oil
Oils and serums really lend themselves to facial massage. Their texture is perfect for allowing your hands or fingertips to ‘glide’ easily over your skin to get the maximum benefit from a DIY massage. Your skin will thank you for spending a few minutes each morning and evening massaging in a few drops of face oil.
Normally I apply my oil immediately after cleansing then wait a few minutes before applying my moisturiser. Some facialists say that it’s best to apply your oil like a ‘top coat’, so I’ve been road-testing that technique too. Both ways work for me!
And if you’re pushed for time in the morning, adding a couple of drops to your moisturiser will give skin an instant boost. The most important thing is to find an oil that suits your skin and that works with your skincare routine.
Oils and serums do tend to be more expensive than other skincare products, but a good quality oil should last a few months as you only need to use 1 or 2 drops at a time.
With all of this in mind, I’ve been trialling a selection of plant-based oils, balms, and serums. And I’ve picked the 5 that really stand out.
Trust me, your skin will lap these up!
My top 5 face oils, serums and balms for winter skin
Rodin Olio Lusso Face Oil
Great for: Parched or super-dry skin
Shop Here (cheapest price anywhere!)
This oil really is a cult beauty classic. It definitely comes under the heading of ‘expensive but worth it’ products, and although the initial cost is high, a few drops go a long way! There are 3 different oils to choose from – Jasmine Neroli, Lavender Absolute, and Geranium & Orange Blossom – and each oil is a blend of 9 luxurious, pure plant-based oils.
There aren’t many products I would spend this amount of money on (£105) but Rodin’s Olio Lusso Face Oil really is exceptional in every way. My favourite blend – Geranium & Orange Blossom – smells absolutely incredible and a few drops applied to damp skin is enough to make my skin really ‘glow’. It’s also incredibly versatile. I add a few drops to my daily moisturiser to give my skin a boost, mix it with my foundation to create a lighter, more dewy finish, and as an emergency hair de-frizzer if my hair is badly behaved! I literally only need 4-6 drops at a go to see a real difference.
Packed with Argan Oil, Spanish Apricot Seed Oil and rich in plumping Omega 3, 6, 7, 9 Essential Fatty Acids and Vitamin E, the oil nourishes and boosts radiance in a flash. If you can only afford to buy one skin treat for the next few months, you can’t go wrong with Olio Lusso.
Jane Scrivner Rose Gold Ultimate Replenish Facial Oil
Great for: Sensitive or delicate skin
This lightweight oil is especially good for sensitive or delicate skin as it’s fragrance- free. Organic Jojoba Oil is thought to increase collagen and elastin production, and help to rebalance unsettled skin. There’s also Organic Bulgarian Rose Otto which soothes, moisturises and reduces redness. Plus it’s light enough to apply under make-up. It also contains Spilanthes Acmella extract, which is reported to be a muscle relaxant. (Similar to the action of Botox, but plant-based and non-invasive) This can help to soften fine lines.
Firstly, this oils glides on your face, leaving it soft and scented with a beautiful rose aroma. It absorbs easily, creating a healthy glow. Light enough to wear under make-up in the daytime, and the perfect consistency for a night serum too. A lovely luxury product. I love the natural ‘Botox’ effect too!
Great for: An overnight boost
24K Gold sounds luxurious, and this oil really is! Gold extract helps to combat the effects of pollution, while retinol smoothes and brightens the skin as you sleep. (Retinol is an active ingredient that can sensitise the skin to sunlight, so it’s best used at night).
Apply before bedtime, and you really will wake-up feeling 10 years younger! A quick and easy way to promote glowing skin.
This serum has been getting rave reviews! In a recent survey by Good Housekeeping, around 73% of panellists reported that their skin was softer and more supple after using the serum. One tester said that ‘skin tone appeared more even’ while another commented that the product ‘made my skin glow’. Others reported that after 28 days of use, their skin was firmer, and one said that ‘deeper lines around the mouth looked less obvious’. And a healthy 53% of testers believed that the appearance of lines and wrinkles decreased after using the cream.
If you want to rehydrate your skin, this serum delivers overnight results. But if reducing fine lines, wrinkles and pore-size is your prime concern, it takes more time to see results, as the retinoids in this serum work differently to others on the market.
Give this product time to work, and you will be delighted with the results!
Aesop Fabulous Face Oil
Great for: Out-of-balance skin
If your skin is looking a little bit lacklustre or you’re experiencing unwelcome breakouts, Fabulous Face Oil is the perfect rescue remedy for dull or troubled skin. Packed with botanical extracts including Juniper Berry, Ylang Ylang, and Jasmine Petal, this light-textured oil absorbs quickly and easily. Not only that, but the delicious aroma is a real stress-buster too!
Even if you’re not a fan of face oils, your skin – and your senses – will love Aesop’s Fabulous Face Oil. It’s so light that it literally disappears into my skin, needing very little in the way of massage. I like to use this oil before bed to work it’s magic overnight. The perfect nighttime skin treat, it smells so soothing and the non-greasy texture means that I don’t wake up feeling ‘oily’, just refreshed!
Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil
Great for: Healing and repairing
Power-packed with healing Rosehip Oil, this facial oil offers emergency care to sun-damaged and super-dry skin. Highly concentrated, it instantly soothes and comforts skin, and when used regularly, it helps to reduce scarring and improve firmness. A real little miracle worker in a bottle!
If you’ve over-indulged in sunbathing, past or present, I’d highly recommend that you invest in this facial oil. It absorbs easily to soothe and comfort skin – perfect for some DIY facial massage. Antioxidant Vitamin E helps to repair damage while Pro-Vitamin A combats fine lines and uneven texture without irritating skin. A real treat for skin that needs some extra TLC
|Natalie Shirlaw is passionate about healthy living and writes posts about wellbeing. If you enjoyed this article, be sure to pin it or share it!|