These Stunning Results Are Proof Enough—No Skincare Routine is Complete Without Face Oils

The love affair continues.

By Isabelle Eyman

As history will confirm, my approach to beauty has always leaned more laissez-faire. When minimalist makeup and pared-down skincare came into vogue, I let out my lazy girl sigh of relief. While I’ve now mastered the art of eye cream application and can *actually* pronounce niacinamide without stumbling over its syllables, my ability to chat face oil benefits with those in the know didn’t materialize until recently.

Why the delay? Well, in my nascent exploration into the wide world of skincare, I assumed face oil benefits didn’t extend to those with oily skin (i.e., me—read why I’m wrong here). In addition, prior to discovering the joy of maximalism and the healing delight of these self-care rituals, I was a low-effort kind of girl who cared little about the results. Face oil, I assumed, was an ineffective indulgence—but my oh my, how misguided how I was.

Since seeing the light, I’ve fallen deep down the rabbit hole of all things face oils, and there’s no reason for me to be slowing down. While you may have been led to believe that a quality moisturizer can replace face oils in your routine, the two work effectively in tandem for undeniably dewy results. Light, non-comedogenic face oils, as dermatologist Michelle Henry has shared with us previously, help lock in moisture—a key step in achieving the healthy skin we’re all after.

Featured image by Teal Thomsen.

Image by Tom Medvedich

To be frank, the many face oil benefits have been one of my most game-changing beauty revelations to date. Nowadays, in my late twenties, I’m throwing less caution to the wind when it comes to skincare (and more when it comes to everything else… ). By incorporating face oils into my routine, I’ve discovered the happiness inherent in the practice and my favorite products as well as their positive impact in keeping my complexion fresh and bright.

Ready to join team glow? I chatted with Linda Wang, founder and CEO of Karuna, to get the full scope of all things face oil benefits—because as I said, I can talk about them for days. Karuna’s Multi-Tasking Face Oil is one of my ultimate favorites. Turmeric, as it turns out, isn’t just the magical, anti-inflammatory ingredient that’ll spice up all your beverages and baked goods. It’s a key antioxidant that, alongside avocado oil and hyaluronic acid, works to balance and brighten skin in this powerhouse product.

With that all-star formula, it’s clear that Wang knows a lot about face oil benefits. Feeling confident that she’d be able to share the secrets to incorporating face oils into your skincare rituals, I asked Wang everything—from benefits to application to skin types suited best for their use.

Let’s get to it—you’re in for a skin-lovin’ treat.

Every product is curated with care by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

Linda Wang

Linda Wang is the founder and CEO of Karuna Skin and sister brand Avatara, known for being the first to bring Asian sheet masks to the U.S. In 2007, she discovered the revolutionary sheet masks on a trip back to Taiwan, which offers the hydrating and rejuvenating benefits of a facial without the expense or time commitment. Sensing an opportunity, she launched Karuna sheet masks in 2009.

Camille Styles guest bedroom makeup and skincare products_face oils benefits
Image by Michelle Nash

Let’s start with face oil benefits. How can these products and formulas support our skincare goals?

While I’ve leaned into the fun of experimenting and trying out a range of new products, when it comes to my everyday routine, I want to be sure that what I’m regularly using is doing its job. Part of the fun when it comes to face oil benefits is that the list is lengthy. As Wang shares, because face oils employ targeted formulas, you can mix and match to fit your unique skin types and concerns. Some of the major face oil benefits include:

  • Moisturizing
  • Brightening
  • Defense from environmental stressors
  • Balancing a compromised skin barrier

What skin concerns do face oils target?

Building upon the above, face oils’ ability to address specific skin concerns varies by the type of face oil you use. Wang shares a few examples: “Something like Jojoba Oil is very similar to the oils your skin naturally produces, so it can be great in helping achieve skin barrier balance whereas Avocado Oil is ultra-moisturizing and plumping and Rosemary Leaf Oil can help clarify skin.”

Her short-and-sweet answer? “Honestly, there’s an oil for any type of concern, really.”

Shani van Breukelen applying face oils_face oil benefits
Image by Michelle Nash

What skin types are face oils best for?

I have good news for those of you hesitant to start a face oil routine. According to Wang, all skin types can benefit from face oils. The trick is simply to select oils “designed to target your individual concerns.” As I touched upon before, and as Wang is quick to address, the myth that oily skin types should stay away from face oils is exactly that—false. “There are plenty of oils out there that actually help skin achieve balance,” notes Wang. Otherwise, your skin will overcompensate and overproduce oil on its own.

How do the benefits of face oils differ from moisturizers? Can you use both in the same routine?

If you love your moisturizer like me (this is my ride-or-die pick), it can be hard to imagine ever parting ways. Thankfully, you don’t have to, because as Wang confirms, moisturizers and face oils can both be part of your skincare routine. “Moisturizers are generally water-based and provide some great hydrating benefits to the skin whereas oils are excellent for moisture-locking and targeted treatment benefits,” says the beauty brand founder.

You can take comfort as well in the fact that there’s flexibility in how you use your oils and where they fall into your skincare rituals. Wang prefers to apply Karuna’s Illuminate Face Oil first to exfoliate and prime the skin to fully absorb her moisturizer. “Since the skin needs both water AND oil to thrive, incorporating both into your routine can do wonders for your complexion.”

Divya Gugnani applying face oil_face oil benefits
Image by Alex Spigle

How often should we use face oils?

While we all love a black and white answer when it comes to understanding how frequently we should be applying products in our skincare routine, the verdict is often nuanced. And according to Wang, it also depends on what your skin needs. However, she confirms that “most are appropriate to be used daily as a part of a morning or evening routine.” What’s more, if your skin is responding well to the product, you can feel confident in applying it both at the beginning of your day and at night.

Wang is quick to include a reminder: “Remember that it’s all about assessing what your skin needs and incorporating the products that are going to benefit you the most.” Like I said, experimentation can oftentimes be the most fun part of developing your skincare routine—and it provides plenty of opportunity to learn.

Karuna Multi-Tasking Face Oil

u003cpu003eWhile I gave this face oil glowing reviews above, Wang adds that it’s a good choice for u0022helping calm, soothe, and nourishu0022 skin. If you’re struggling with texture, uneven tone, or dark spots, she recommends opting for the u003ca href=u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopener nofollowu0022u003eIlluminate Face Oilu003c/au003e instead.u003c/pu003e

Supernal Cosmic Glow Oil

u003cpu003eWhen I interviewed Melissa Medvedich for our Wake Up Call series, I dove deep into understanding the ins and outs of her impressive career trajectory. But, of course, I wanted to save space for getting the secrets of her skin’s enviable glow. She chalks it up to applying her brand, Supernal’s Cosmic Glow Oil on the reg. I’ve since taken her advice and can confirm: this is a luxurious product well worth the splurge.u003c/pu003e

Protéger Dermal Sérum

u003cpu003eAs an editor, I’m the lucky recipient of many a brand’s pride-and-joy products. And while it’s true that some impress me more than others, nothing has improved my skin’s texture better than this satin-y serum. And because I haven’t totally ditched my minimalist ways, I love that this non-greasy formula can be used on both the face and body. Who doesn’t love a twofer?u003c/pu003e

Crafted Beauty F. Miller Face Oil

u003cpu003eI’m always blown away by how a stunning bottle of face oil can pack in so many hard-working nutrients. The F. Miller Face Oil boasts a blend of 22 active botanicals, and the result is nothing short of transformational. Upon application, I saw my skin become visibly more radiant and soothed. If you’re a city girl like me, this is a must for protecting against environmental stressors and pollution.u003c/pu003e

Onekind Golden State Nourishing Facial Oil

u003cpu003eCarrot Seed and Rosehip Oils team up to produce a gentle, but effective formulation that, as the name suggests, restores and rejuvenates skin with an enviable golden glow. Stop me on the street and ask me what’s in my bag—I guarantee this will be the first thing I pull out.u003c/pu003e

Summer Fridays Heavenly Sixteen All-In-One Face Oil

u003cpu003eMy love affair with every single last Summer Fridays product knows no bounds. Since featuring co-founder u003ca href=u0022 Irelandu003c/au003e on Camille Styles, I knew I needed to amass every single last miracle cure the brand puts out. I now reach for this restorative face oil for a quick-fix, but sustaining solution to dull skin. The result of my skincare shopping spree? Nothing short of magic.u003c/pu003e

AMLA Booster Oil

u003cpu003eThe best face oils pay attention to every detail—and when I opened this bottle to reveal its beautiful floral fragrance, I knew it would leave no stone unturned. With this one in particular, I love blending a few drops into my moisturizer for the ultimate going-out glow. u003c/pu003e