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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
Great for: Very dry skin
This luxurious balm is basically a ‘solid’ face oil. The melting texture is a real treat for dry skin that needs love. Equally important is the consistency which is similar to coconut oil but is even softer. And it smells divine! Enriched with Propolis and Rosehip Oil, this antioxidant-rich skin balm doesn’t disappoint.
Jalue Velvytt Skin Treat left my skin feeling much more supple. It’s heavier and richer than a liquid oil, so I prefer to use it at bedtime as an overnight treatment mask which works well for my dry skin. It’s also great for ‘problem’ areas such as my knees and neck which tend to need more TLC. It’s also packed with antioxidants which protect from pollution, smoke and anything that dulls the skin. Antioxidants also help reduce pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles. I particularly love the texture and the fragrance of this serum. It’s more of a texture like coconut oil and you can almost smell the goodness in it!
After a particularly blustery day walking my dog my skin almost breathed a sigh of relief when I applied Skin Treat. It might be too rich for some skin types, but my dry, sensitive skin loves it!
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!
Great for: Boosting radiance
This all-natural oil is a blend of 20 clinically-proven natural and organic ingredients including Banana, Sea Buckthorn, Burdock and Horsetail which work together to improve skin texture, tone and overall condition. Infused with fragrant Frangipani essential oil, No. 20 is also incredibly calming, as well as skin-nurturing. With dozens of positive reviews, this oil is in high demand. If you want to boost your skin’s nutrition levels, improve elasticity and minimise wrinkles, then this is the oil for you!
I love the fact that House of Life only uses all-natural plant-based ingredients. This serum really increases ‘youthfulness’ and radiance, so if it’s glowing, dewy skin you’re after, this is the serum for you. The stylish packaging help it really stand out too, making it the perfect present.
Great for: Delicate, irritated or blemish-prone skin
Londe Botanics is a lovely light oil with extracts of chamomile, lavender Borage and Camelina Seed Oils. Perfectly suited for soothing irritated skin. It’s also light enough to use on oily skin as the botanical oils soothe redness and reduce blemishes. Hand-made in the UK, Botanic Evening Oil is not only 100% natural, but it’s also vegan-friendly and the packaging is recyclable.
The calming ingredients also make it the perfect bedtime oil as the aroma of chamomile and lavender help you to drift off into a deep sleep!
I find this lightweight oil perfect for sensitive or problem skin. The ingredients are very pure, and the oil is almost clear, so it’s perfect if you don’t want to overload the skin. It absorbs well, so although it’s recommended as a ‘sleep mask’, I think it’s perfect for daywear and under make-up too.
Hope this post helps you choose a face oil for winter, or maybe it has given you some Christmas gift ideas!
Have you seen my posts on Natural Beauty Christmas gift ideas or Zero Waste Christmas gift ideas yet?
|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!|