Oil cleansing and moisturizing may seem like a new-ish trend, but in reality, people have been reaping the rewards of it for centuries. It’s making a big comeback, and the results speak for themselves.
If you’ve been resistant to using oil on your lovely face, we totally get it. It seems contradictory to some conventional beauty rules. But if you’re looking for a vegan and all-natural face moisturizer, a quality plant-based oil checks all the boxes.
Let’s dig into the rationale behind an oil or oil-based moisturizer, as well as which oil might suit your skin best. We’ll also let you in on our top picks for each category.
What Are the Options for Natural Face Moisturizers?
When it comes to hydrating and restoring your skin, you’ve got a few options. There are pros and cons to each, and ultimately you may decide to use a combination.
- Moisturizers: We’re probably all familiar with a typical moisturizer. It’s a blend of water, oil, preservatives, wax, and whatever active ingredients the manufacturer chooses. Meant to lock in moisture, it should provide a protective barrier over your skin. Since the water requires preservatives, you can end up with some questionable ingredients. Depending on the product and your skin, the wax can also build up and clog your pores.
- Serums: Often used alongside other products, a serum contains smaller molecules and penetrates the skin deeply. They are highly efficient and typically more expensive. Serums are popular for targeting a specific concern, such as sun damage, acne , and signs of aging
- Oils: A major advantage to oils is that you can thoroughly hydrate without the problematic ingredients found in many conventional moisturizers. Because they have a similar structure to our skin’s natural lipid barrier, even hypersensitive skin types respond well. A quality plant-based oil can help regulate your skin’s natural oil production.
If you elect to use all three options, be conscious of the order you apply them. Begin with the serum before adding a moisturizing cream. Seal the deal with oil, which will lock all that good stuff in.
Why Choose an Oil-Based Natural Face Moisturizer?
Now that all the options are on the table, let’s elaborate on why oils have our vote as the ultimate vegan face moisturizers. For starters, when you buy oil, you know exactly what you’re getting. Instead of googling various ingredients and trying to figure out what they’ll do to your skin, you can purchase a transparently pure product.
As mentioned earlier, plant-based oils mimic our skin’s natural sebum production. Because of this, our skin treats the oil as another layer of its own. They work in harmony to create a restorative and protective barrier. This is also why dermatologists sometimes recommend a face oil for acne-prone and oily skin, despite how counterintuitive that initially sounds.
Many oils inherently contain ingredients our skin loves, such as antioxidants, fatty acids, and vitamins. All these qualities enable them to both seal in our skin’s existing moisture and protect it from external toxins.
What Oil is Right for You?
There’s no one-size-fits-all oil that works perfectly for every skin type. Your skin’s history and unique needs also play a role in this decision. However, everyone should look for non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging) oils. Most natural, plant-based oils are safe in that department.
- Acne-Prone or Oily Skin
If your skin is susceptible to acne or producing excess oil, opt for a lighter oil with strong antibacterial properties. Jojoba, tea tree, squalane, and sea buckthorn are all great options. Jojoba oil, for example, so closely imitates human sebum that your skin will recognize it and begin balancing your own oil levels. It’s also a proven anti-inflammatory, helping with skin infections and acne.
- Normal to Dry Skin
If you aren’t prone to acne or oily skin, feel free to experiment with any oil that catches your interest. We particularly love argan and rosehip oil. Studies show that daily use of argan oil can improve skin elasticity and hydration. Meanwhile, rosehip oil’s high level of unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants makes it a solid protector against inflammation and oxidative stress.
TIP: Whichever oil you decide on, look for products with air-lock caps or pumps for safe storage. To prevent UV rays from deactivating ingredients in your oil, opt for a dark bottle and store it in a cool, dim place. If you live in a hot climate, consider putting your oil in the fridge.
Our Favorite Oil or Oil-Based Natural Face Moisturizers
Ready to bring the wonders of oil moisturizing into your beauty routine? As the popularity of oils has skyrocketed, so have the purchasing options. It’s easier than ever to find natural, cruelty-free moisturizers. To make your shopping as painless as possible, we collected our favorite oils for your consideration.
Keep in mind that every face is beautifully unique, so you may need to experiment with a few products to find your personal preference.
We know you want a non-toxic face moisturizer, so all these oils are 100% pure and EWG-verified. You can use these oils on their own, as a base, or blend them with essential oils. Remember to do a patch test if it’s your first time using an ingredient.
Biossance 100% Squalane Oil
Weightless and non-greasy, this Squalane Oil is made from renewable sugarcane. It reduces redness while locking in moisture. For the frequent traveler, it also comes in a 12mL travel size.
Aromatica Organic Rosehip Oil
Aromatica extracts this Rosehip Oil from organic-harvested rosehip fruit grown in the Andes. It’s completely cold-pressed and undergoes zero decolorization or deodorization, keeping its nutrient value.
Kate Blanc Rosehip Seed Oil
Want an oil that’s restorative for both your skin and your hair? Consider this Rosehip Seed Oil. It’s USDA certified organic and comes in an amber bottle to protect from UV light. This oil will absorb into your skin quickly, leaving no greasy residue.
Aromatica Golden Jojoba Oil
Unrefined and organic, this Golden Jojoba Oil comes straight from Israel. The oil will give you a glow without looking oily. We love that Aromatica also plants jojoba trees to fight desertification.
Pura D’or Golden Jojoba Oil
Whether you want a moisturizer for your face, hair, or nails, this Golden Jojoba Oil has you covered. You can even use it as a makeup remover or cuticle oil.
Kate Blanc Argan Oil
Another USDA certified organic product, this Moroccan Argan Oil is cold-pressed and unrefined. If you’re prone to frizzy hair, try applying a few drops of this oil to tame and revitalize.
Cliganic 100% Pure Organic Argan Oil
The lightweight and fast-absorbing Organic Argan Oil is both certified by the USDA and Non-GMO Project Verified. We particularly like the mild, nutty aroma of this one.
Oil Blended Formulas
Looking for a ready-made, oil blended formula? Here are our top recommendations.
Want your oil in an aesthetically designed bottle with an adorable badger on the front? Look no further than this Seabuckthorn Face Oil. It has a floral scent and will nourish your skin without leaving a residue.
Living Libations Best Skin Ever – Seabuckthorn
This Seabuckthorn product doubles as both a cleanser and moisturizer, depending on your preferences. You can even use it as a mild exfoliant. It includes a variety of oils, including seabuckthorn, jojoba, coconut, and lavender.
Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil
You only need 2-3 drops of this Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil to nourish your skin. It’s ideal for all skin types, including eczema-prone and sensitive skin. It comes in both a 30ml and a 10ml travel size.
Aromatica Tea Tree Green Oil
Calm and refresh your stressed skin with this Tea Tree Green Oil. This product uses a combination of tea tree, Boswellia, and Centella Asiatica to fight blemishes and maintain clear skin.
The Buff’s Clarify + Hydrate Facial Oil
To benefit from both jojoba and rosehip oil, check out this Clarify + Hydrate Facial Oil. Its non-comedogenic ingredients help manage breakouts, hyperpigmentation, scars, and dry skin.
Herbivore Emerald Oil
This green Emerald Oil does more than add pretty personality to your bathroom cupboard. With hemp seed oil, shiitake mushrooms, and ashwagandha root, this oil soothes irritation and combats environmental stress.
Youth to the People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Oil
We love the unique combination of ingredients in this Hydrate + Glow Oil. Thanks to the maqui fruit, acai, and goji, it’s full of antioxidants. It has a balance of jojoba and sunflower oil to hydrate without weighing your skin down.
Still debating which oil might be best for your skin? Vitruvi and The Buff both offer a handy quiz to figure out your optimal ingredients. Once you answer the questions, they’ll give you a formula for a custom blend.
Have you found the magical oil that gives you a dewy glow all day? Tell us about it in the comments!