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Plant-Based Beauty: How To Use Oils as Your Moisturizer

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Thinking about breaking up with your moisturizer this year? If so, you might consider making the switch to a facial oil as your skin’s primary source of hydration.

Although it may seem counterintuitive, oils are actually one of the most impactful ingredients in skincare, with the ability to support all skin types and integrate easily into any routine. To learn more about why oils work so well, and how to leverage the benefits for yourself, keep reading! We’re sharing all of our favorite tips and tricks in today’s blog. 

The Many Benefits of Using Oil As Moisturizer

Benefit #1: Oils are packed with skin nutrition – As skincare ingredients go, few are as naturally effective and inherently nourishing as pure oil. Because the majority of oil-based ingredients are plant derived, they’re chock full of many of the nutrients skin needs to repair, rejuvenate, and carry out essential daily functions.

In particular, we love that oils are antioxidant rich, containing a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals, as well as an ideal source of omegas and essential fatty acids. When applied directly to the skin, they provide an instant boost that's rarely replicated with synthetic ingredients.

Benefit #2: Oils absorb quickly and get to work ASAP – One major advantage to including oils into your skincare routine, in any capacity, is that they mimic the skin’s own naturally occurring oils – also known as sebum – in terms of weight, texture, and molecular composition.

What this means for applying botanical oils topically is that they are easily recognized and utilized by the skin. Oils such as squalane and jojoba are some of the most remarkably similar to natural sebum, making them a great choice. Or you can also opt for a blend of multiple oils for added nutrition and equally impactful results.

Benefit #3: Oils promote balance and optimal function – A common myth or misconception surrounding the use of oils is that applying them will cause the skin to become more oily. However, the way oil works with the skin is actually much more nuanced and synergistic.

Regardless of how dry or oily your skin is to begin with, something incredible about the epidermis is its ability to react to external factors and adjust accordingly. In most cases, application of oil-based products topically can be very helpful for supporting equilibrium, and regulating the body’s oil production cycles, allowing your skin to achieve a perfect balance.

Benefit #4: Oils layer well with your other favorite products – If you still love serums and moisturizing creams for your skin, some more good news is that you don’t have to give these products up. You can simply incorporate oils in place of, or alongside, other staples according to your skin’s needs, on a daily basis.

The versatility of most oil formulas makes them easy to apply before or after moisturizer and makeup if desired. You can also add a few drops to just about any facial care product as a way to keep your skin extra happy, healthy, and hydrated.

For Your Face: Tips for treating the skin with oil

One of the most common (and best!) ways to use botanical oils in skincare is for the face. If you aren’t already incorporating an oil or two into your routine, here’s what we recommend:

Tip #1: Look for oils that support your skin type – Because most botanical oils feature their own unique set of benefits, you may find it helpful to choose one according to your individual skin type and concerns.

For acne prone skin, good options include jojoba, squalane, and grapeseed, which promote balance and reinforce the skin’s protective barrier. Meanwhile, dry or aging skin responds well to argan, rosehip, and vitamin E, which help to soften, hydrate, and protect the skin against stressors that break down collagen and elastin. Additionally, all skin types tend to do well with CBD, which has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Tip #2: Don’t be afraid to experiment with order of application – A question that comes up often when using facial oils is when to include them in your skincare ritual. Some experts recommend using oil as your last step – following cleansing and application of other products – whereas others assert that oil should be layered according to consistency, coming before thicker products like moisturizer or cream. 

If you opt to use oil in place of moisturizer, you can simply layer it on as your finishing step before makeup and SPF. However, in the event that you do want to include moisturizer in the mix, we recommend trying both and seeing which approach yields the best results for your skin.

Tip #3: Stay consistent for best results – In order to really enjoy the benefits of facial oil, a best practice we suggest is making oil-based products the foundation of your everyday routine. The more often you are able to incorporate oil formulas, the easier it is for your skin to adjust and start reflecting positive results.

Oils can be used in the morning, or at night depending on your preference. However, you may actually find that they work best when used for both. For example, a few drops of oil can be added to your A.M. routine, followed by a more generous layer as the finishing step in your P.M. routine, which will allow your skin to soak up all of the benefits overnight.

For Your Body: How to use oils as your all over moisturizer

Besides using oils for the face, it’s worth mentioning that oil-based products are an amazing option for your entire body. If you have yet to add an oil step to your body care routine, here are a few pointers for getting started:

Tip #1: Make oil a part of your post-shower ritual – One of the best ways to utilize oil products for maximum absorption is to apply them to skin that is slightly damp. Right after showering tends to be a perfect time because the skin is already freshly cleansed, warm, and ready to absorb topical products.

To try this trick, we recommend applying a few drops or about a quarter size amount of oil to the palms of the hands and massaging the product gently into the skin until it is fully absorbed.

Tip #2: Treat yourself head to toe – One more thing to love about botanical oils and oil-based products is that they can be used just about anywhere on the body.

The hydrating and moisturizing properties of an oil can be equally effective for softening cracked heels on the feet, pampering the hands and cuticles, or even the hair and scalp to combat seasonal dryness. All you need is just a few drops and you’ll be good to glow!

Tip #3: Refresh and replenish as needed – Although dermatologists and other skincare professionals will tell you that applying oil to freshly cleansed skin works best, it can still be beneficial to use a little oil anytime your skin is feeling dry.


As long as your skin doesn’t feel overly greasy and your oil is quickly absorbed, that’s a sign that the product is being well-tolerated, and you can safely re-apply to keep your complexion nourished and ensure a long-lasting effect. Again, just a few drops are all you need to keep your skin moisturized for hours at a time.

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