Once feared for their pore-clogging potential, face oils have now claimed a firm place in beauty routines for all skin types. Here, five new elixirs for fall.
THE WAKE-UP CALL: Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate
THE PROMISE: This energizing oil is designed to counteract the signs of fatigue—dullness, dehydration, roughness—that develop over the course of the day, and to bolster the skin’s defences against environmental stressors.
THE TECH: Ginger root oil protects cells against UVA damage and stimulates collagen and elastin. Sunflower seed oil tames redness and improves texture, while tamanu oil (extracted from a tropical tree nut) seals in moisture and soothes skin.
THE TEST DRIVE: “The formula is light and absorbs quickly, and it leaves my skin looking refreshed and more even in tone and texture. With the push dropper, I always get the perfect amount for my entire face.” —Tara MacInnis, assistant fashion and beauty editor, FLARE
THE PROTECTOR: Skyn Iceland Arctic Face Oil
THE PROMISE: Lightweight yet hydrating, this oil helps mend and balance out skin’s lipid barrier, drawing moisture back to parched faces. Over time, it helps ease the look of fine lines while revitalizing and repairing for a softer complexion.
THE TECH: Cold-pressed camelina oil—sourced from a flax-like plant—makes up 99.9 percent of this formula. Its omega-3, -6 and -9 essential fatty acids help skin function at its best, while vitamin E improves resilience and elasticity.
THE TEST DRIVE: “Despite knowing that face oils actually reduce sebum, I’m still shocked this worked so well during a crazy heat wave. My skin looked smoother and—much to my delight—less shiny in a matter of days. Consider me a convert.” —Janna Zittrer, editor-at-large, LOULOU
THE GLOW GETTER: Aerin Rose Oil
THE PROMISE: This multi-tasker gives the face, neck and décolletage radiance, adds shine to hair and nourishes dry cuticles. It’s part of the brand’s rose-infused bath and body range, celebrating founder Aerin Lauder’s favourite bloom.
THE TECH: Rosehip oil, a celeb favourite, is thought to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and scars. Evening primrose oil, rich in essential fatty acids, helps calm inflammation, while moisturizing argan and sweet almond oils soften and condition.
THE TEST DRIVE: “This revitalized my lacklustre skin, giving a healthy sheen without a greasy feel. For a teenage model kind of glow, rub a drop in between hands before pressing it into the skin on top of makeup.” —Lauren Kerbel, writer, Cosmetics
THE NEW CLASSIC: Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream All-Over Miracle Oil
THE PROMISE: Inspired by the cult favourite Eight Hour Cream, famous for its one-stop conditioning benefits, this spa-like, spritzable head-to-toe treatment was made to moisturize all day long and imparts a soft citrus scent.
THE TECH: Popular-in-Asia tsubaki oil (derived from camellia flower) and grape seed oil nourish skin with essential fatty acids. Boswellia resin (a.k.a. frankincense) calms redness and irritation, while ginger root extract works to improve texture and tone.
THE TEST DRIVE: “Applying a quick spritz after washing my face in the evenings helped my moisturizer go on more smoothly and resulted in super supple, refreshed skin in the mornings, like I’d gotten a facial while I was sleeping.” —Caitlin Agnew, contributing beauty editor, Cosmetics
THE ENERGIZER: The Body Shop Oils of Life Intensely Revitalising Facial Oil
THE PROMISE: For best results, apply using the brand’s revitalizing facial massager (sold separately), said to enhance the oil’s benefits, which include improved circulation and skin elasticity and reduced puffiness.
THE TECH: This is a globally sourced blend of three seed oils, each with a distinct benefit: Egyptian black cumin is rich in antioxidants, Chinese camellia contains oleic acid (a hydrating fatty acid), and Chilean rosehip boasts omega-3s and -6s.
THE TEST DRIVE: “I have cranky skin—it’s dry, highly irritable and doesn’t play well with fragrance. This oil didn’t upset it, and was so moisturizing that I skipped my regular day and night creams.” —Carley Fortune, deputy editor, Chatelaine
This article was originally published in the Fall 2015 issue of Cosmetics magazine.