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Myths and Facts: Using Face Oil for Dry Skin

BY: Jess Snively | Jun 6, 2016

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Every generation has its skincare fads, and they’re not always pleasant. Many women my grandmother’s age swear by Joan Crawford’s method of plunging your face into a bowl of ice water every morning. When I turned 25, my mom revealed to me her beauty secret: slathering her face in Vaseline before bed. (I always wondered why her face was so shiny at night!)

Thankfully, my generation’s approach doesn’t seem like some form of torture: our skincare weapon of choice is face oil. More and more, people are turning to face oil for dry skin and anti-aging effects, but it’s not exactly a new concept.

Then and now

Archeologists have unearthed evidence from burial sites that shows the ancient Egyptians were face-oil-obsessed, too. In fact, Cleopatra’s beauty routine included olive and sesame oil. And what is considered to be the world’s first cold cream—Galen’s Wax, created by Greek physician Galen in the second century—was a mixture of olive oil, beeswax, and rosewater.

The same principles apply today. Modern products prominently feature everything from jojoba to argan to grapeseed oil; all are infused with sumptuous essential oils. Despite these oils’ centuries-long history, I still had qualms about putting oil on my face. After all, Clearasil was my best friend in high school, and I have no desire for my face to shine like a butter sculpture again.

The truth is that using oil on your face isn’t actually counter to common sense—indeed, face oils are beneficial for both dry and oily skin.

If you strip the skin of its natural oils with harsh cleansers, it will produce more oil in response, leading to an oil imbalance that is the culprit for many breakouts.

Face oils give your skin the moisture support it needs to beam with a healthy glow.

So that’s all fine and dandy—but would a face oil be as effective as my current moisturizer? That’d be hard to prove without a months-long experiment. However, we do know that face oils are naturally loaded with the properties that make for a good skin cream, including nutrients, fatty acids, anti-inflammatories, and antioxidants. These elements can make skin look radiant and minimize signs of aging. And because face oils are not water-based, they eschew synthetic preservatives and stabilizers.

For your new skincare routine ...

Myriad trusted brands make face oils for dry skin and oily skin, but I decided to branch out on my own to save a little cash by making DIY products. I chose to incorporate lavender essential oil, which does much more than smell nice. It possesses a variety of therapeutic benefits that combat dry skin, such as soothing inflammation and irritation, stimulating new cell growth, and boosting circulation.

Here are some simple instructions to make your own face oils, as well as an all-over body oil. To overhaul your skincare routine, you’ll just need a few supplies and about 10 minutes per DIY product.

Deep moisture: Lavender and jojoba face oil

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For the DIY adverse, this recipe is the simplest—you just mix the ingredients into a roller bottle—but it is a deeply moisturizing face oil for dry skin and oily skin. I apply it while giving myself a quick facial massage for a spa-like experience. You can also use it all over your body, especially your hands, to recover from dry, scaly winter skin. Best of all, it’s small enough to pop into your purse for on-the-go moisturization.

The recipe:

  • 1 oz. glass roller or dropper bottle
  • 3 drops of lavender essential oil
  • Fill the rest of the bottle with jojoba oil
  • Shake it up, and you’re all set!

Exfoliation: Lavender and coconut oil sugar scrub

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This recipe calls upon the skincare darling coconut oil for its intensely moisturizing properties. Lavender essential oil further hydrates the skin and soothes it; the sugar exfoliates dry, dead skin. Use it on your face—and all over your body—for smoother skin.

Pro tip: Give your lips a scrub to make them soft and smooth. Because the sugar scrub is all-natural, you needn’t worry if it gets in your mouth. It actually tastes good, too.

The recipe:

  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 10 drops of lavender essential oil
  • Combine all the ingredients into a large bowl, and blend them with a hand mixer until the coconut oil is evenly dispersed. Store in a glass mason jar.

Beyond the face: Lavender, shea butter, and coconut oil lotion

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Proceed with caution when using coconut oil in a facial lotion. As a comedogenic oil, it can clog your pores, so this lotion is best saved for the rest of your body. Shea butter, packed with vitamin A and essential fatty acids, teams up with coconut oil and lavender essential oil to form an ultra-moisturizing lotion. This skin-softening and healing concoction can be used all over the body, especially dry, cracked heels.

Pro tip: Because coconut oil tends to be a bit greasy, remember that a little goes a long way—a dime-size dollop should do the trick for both legs, leaving them with a soft, dewy glow.

The recipe:

  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup shea butter
  • 10 drops of lavender essential oil
  • Combine all the ingredients into a large bowl, and blend them with a hand mixer until they’re fluffy. Store in a glass mason jar.

Photos by Grant Walsh, Groupon

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