Facial oils are a major trend in the green beauty world, but many of us have been afraid to join the bandwagon because we grew up in the ‘oil free skincare’ era, believing that using oil on your face causes blocked pores and breakouts. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Even oily skin can benefit from using carefully selected oils, especially during harsh winters. One drop of a natural facial oil can moisturise and nourish your skin with vitamins and antioxidants leaving it soft and radiant. The key is to select the right oils for your skin type.

How to choose the right oil for your skin type?

Natural oils are composed of different fatty acids, each of which play a different role in our skin (and bodies). The key fatty acids to look for when selecting oils are oleic acid (omega 9) and linoleic acid (omega 6).

Oils high in oleic acid are very good emollients, they form a thin protective layer, sealing moisture into skin. This makes them great choice for dry skin. Olive and avocado oils are examples of popular high oleic acid oils. Sweet almond or apricots oils are excellent alternatives for those who prefer lighter oils. For mature skin, consider marula and rosehip oils as they rich in antioxidants, which protect skin from damage and premature aging.

Oils high in linoleic acid are lighter and more easily absorbed by the skin, making them excellent for oily skin. Linoleic acid also has anti-inflammatory and skin repairing qualities, which are beneficial for sensitive and acne prone skin. Examples of high linoleic acid oils include grapeseed, sunflower and safflower oils. Pumpkin, watermelon or hempseed oils are great choices for mature skin as they also high in antioxidants.
If you are blessed with normal skin i.e. neither excessively oily nor dry, you can use an oil which has fairly balanced amounts of oleic and linoleic acid. The ever popular argan oil or vitamin e rich rice bran oil are great choices.

Applying facial oils

Facial oils can be used day or night, either alone or in conjunction with other products. If you have very oily skin, you may find that you only need to use one as an occasional night time treatment. For best results, oil should be applied to damp skin or after applying a water-based serum or moisturiser. You only need one to three drops for your face and neck. During the day time, be sure to apply your oil before your sunscreen (a must even for women of colour).

Blended oils

If you’re still undecided about which oil to use, you can opt for a blended oil formulated for your skin type. A quality blend will provide your skin with a good mix of essential fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants. They may also contain essential oils which have therapeutic effects, as well as imparting a beautiful aroma.

Ready to give facial oils a try?

Ziyanda Facial OilThe Ziyanda Kalahari Melon & Marula Facial Oil is a lightweight oil formulated for normal, combination, dry or mature skin types. Star ingredients include skin balancing Kalahari melon seed oil, antioxidant rich virgin marula oil and anti-aging powerhouse, organic rosehip oil. Available now in the Melariche online store.


About the Author: Thembi Pato is the founder of Ziyanda, a natural hair and skincare range infused with fairly traded Southern African botanicals. You can read more about her story and brand in our Meet the Founder interview.