While Snowmageddon 2015 didn’t happen, there’s plenty of cold weather ahead; and anyone who has ever spent a winter in the Northeast knows winter weather can really wreak havoc on your skin.
Facial oils are a great way to hydrate and protect your skin from not just the elements outside, but from the drying central heating inside. I asked New York City facialist Jillian Wright, of Jillian Wright Clinical Skin Spa. As a fan of face oils, she was kind enough to share her thoughts.
“There are many wonderful oils to choose from”, said Wright. For example, she listed squalene, jojoba, rosehip, prickly pear, coconut, olive, argan, maracuja, borage, rice bran, avocado, sea buckthorn, grapefruit, safflower, macadamia nut, walnut, pumpkin (which naturally contains beta-carotene, zinc, salicylic acid, and retinol), grapeseed, pistachio, and evening primrose.
Wright said she uses oils for facial massage in the treatments at her spa and mixes them
with a few drops of essential oils such are sweet orange, clary sage, bergamont, lavender, ylang ylang, juniper, or rosemary.
“Oils are full of antioxidants, vitamins, and naturally occurring ingredients that benefit skin repair and health, so they are easy to incorporate into your daily routine,” said Wright. A few drops is all you need.
If you are going to layer an oil with a serum, Wright suggested applying the serum
first and then the oil. “Serums are typically water based and will penetrate deeper into the skin.” she explained.
However, be careful the oils do not cause breakouts. “I’m not inclined as a professional to recommend oil for acne-prone or congested skin. I recommend serums instead,” said Wright. The last thing someone with acne wants to feel is heaviness or a thick, occlusive layer on their face, she said.
The same goes for rosacea. For those with rosacea, “I am inclined to keep things very simple and light. Less is more,” said Wright. She has a product in her line called Breakout Blocker that contains tea tree oil, probiotics, and Chinese herbs. Tea tree oil is great for both acne and rosacea, but too much of it can sting, Wright said. She advises against putting a concentrated essential oil directly on the skin. “Make sure it is in a carrier oil.”
Trying out different oils with their various ingredients and characteristics made a perfect indoor activity on a cold, snowy day. Read about them below and choose the ones perfect for your skin.
Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil slightly reminds me of a men’s cologne. And it didn’t feel too heavy on my skin, which is good, because I don’t have particularly dry skin, even in the dead of winter. It contains essential oils of blue orchid and patchouli to refresh and tone the skin, and hazelnut oil to moisturize the skin. Perfect for after you shovel out your car!
Oils are Darphin’s signature products, if you will, and this is one of their newest offerings. It smells like baby powder, and feels nice and light on my face. Darphin Revitalizing Oil For Face Body and Hair is a blend of four essential oils and nine precious plant oils. It contains omega-3 fatty acids from raspberry seed oil, and omega-6 fatty acids from evening primrose, tamanu, and rose hip oils. It also contains omega-9 fatty acids from sunflower seed, apricot kernel, sweet almond, and argan oils. It has ylang ylang, rosewood, jasmine, and lavender. The combination of these ingredients is meant to restore balance to your skin and strengthen your skin’s natural barriers. I want to try it on my hair, because even though my skin is not very dry, I have the driest hair on the planet.
Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Oil
My favorite! This oil smells like a French herb garden, and the scent is not overpowering. It also felt the lightest on my skin of any of the oils I tried, so I can keep using it as the weather warms up. Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Oil contains seaberry oil, also called sea buckthorn oil, an antioxidant rich in moisturizing omega-3, 6, 7, and 9 fatty acids, which protect the skin from free radical damage. It also has cranberry seed oil, which contains omega-3, 6, and 9 as well as vitamin E to maintain elasticity and smoothness. Lastly, there’s camellia seed oil, grape seed oil, and sweet almond oil keep skin soft and hydrated.
Shea Terra Organics Namibian Marula Oil
The Shea Terra Organics Namibian Marula Oil felt the heaviest of those I tested; and if you have dry skin, or spend lots of time out in the elements, that’s a good thing. It also has no scent, which may be good, especially if you are sensitive to fragrance. The marula tree (Sclerocarya birrea) is native to parts of Africa. Marula oil is full of antioxidants and fatty acids to fight aging and keep skin hydrated and protected. I love the company’s story, which you can read about here. I put this on to go to the grocery store before the worst part of the storm hit, and my skin stayed smooth and hydrated, with no chaffing.
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Oil
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Oil is pretty light, as oils go, and smells delicious, like chocolate icing. It can be used all over the body, including the face. Palmer’s says its Cetesomate-E complex helps maximize penetration of the oil into the epidermal (outer) layer of skin, and they claim it improves the appearance of scars and stretch marks. There is also a Skin Therapy Oil with rose hip fragrance, which smells like a Valentine’s Day bouquet!