Can Face Oils replace your Moisturisers? Here are 3 things you need to know

By Aysenur Yashar

Last Updated on January 3, 2023 by Aysenur Yashar

Face Oils instead of moisturiser? Think again!
Photo by Alia Hasan on Unsplash

Are you thinking of ditching your moisturiser and going all in with the Face Oils? Or you are just here like “who would ever do that??”

Ahah, well if you are a little bit of both, you are in the right place!

It was only after using Vinter’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum’s amazing serum that I realised the power of the facial oils. This serum is packed with the most powerful and amazing face oils and essential oils.

According to some of the users, using this serum completely eliminates the need for moisturising.

As someone whose sensitive and dry skin depend on face creams, I could not help but doubt these comments.

Having this in mind, during my next visit to one of my favourite clean beauty stores, I grabbed couple of organic facial oils and headed to my university.

I do not know if you call this a sign, but after couple of days I ran out of moisturiser! Hahah

So I was just left with 4-5 Face Oils to maintain my hypersensitive and hyper dry skin 😃.

So started my 4 month long experiment with facial oils.

In this blog I am going to be sharing my experiences with using facial oils without a moisturiser. I will talk about the three things I have learnt and talk a little about the science!

What are Face oils exactly?

Face Oil bottle

Avocado, Rosehip, Tamanu, Evening Primrose Oil and many more and more. Face Oils have been used for decades or maybe centuries as components to enhance beauty and bring out youthfulness.

They actually are plant oils (ahah which makes sense) applied to the face.

It is because we can apply them on our face they are commonly known as beauty oils.

They are usually one of the main active ingredients in our skincare products. Even in some of our make-up products.

Just grab your closest skincare product and read the ingredients list. You will see that there is a plant oil as an active ingredient!

I am a true sucker for natural skincare and plants and botanics and all those feminine things but why exactly are those plant oils essential? Are they a little overpriced and oversold?

Why are face oils important in the first place?

As every single plant and leaf has its own flavour and advantages so do the different oils. Their power comes from the plant species they belong to, so from the nature, herself.

But let’s see what the science has to say

Plant Oils have a remarkable place in pharmacology, becuase of being packed with active ingredients.

These ingredients are phenolic compounds, free fatty acids, triglycerides, sterols, lipids and many more. This explains their oily features.

I broke down only two of the many properties of these facial oils!

Trap the moisture into your skin

Application of these oils can protect the skin barrier by retaining and trapping the moisture. It prevents water loss, making them great for dry skin.

This is mainly due to the occlusive properties. This means that they can penetrate to the first layer of the skin. This makes some sort of a barrier so the moisture cannot escape.

This property is seen especially in avocado, jajoba, almond and soybean oil.

It is the presence of linoleic acid which protect the water barrier of the skin. Which is in veyr high amounts in our favourites – Avocados!

Potent anti-oxidants!

Plants are a reservoir for antioxidant so are their oils. Face oils so can protect against oxidative damage caused by UV light or pollution.

The main reason for this is the presence of phenolic compounds. They act to repair the damage of UV lights and can even help wound healing.

Face oils packed with high amounts phenolic compounds are grape seed oil and olive oil.

Three Important things to know before you replace your moisturiser with face oil:

1. You can Personalise according to the needs of your skin

We all have different skin types. Yours might be too oily, too reactive or just super dry. Or maybe all of them depending on the environment and your inner peace. So I have always dreamt of personalised skin care – tailored to my dry and sensitive skin.

Since every skin is different it needs its own treatment. Plant-based face oils might be just the thing we are looking for.

Different face oils have different characteristics and properties. So if you find the plant oil which targets just the worries of your skin then woalla!

Just mix-and-match the facial oils and add to your skincare routine for some potent boost!

If you know your skin type, you are one step closer to personalising your skincare. You can read about some face oils or just start experimenting with them right away. Which is really fun!

I have listed the most potent characteristics of some of the facial oils, so you don’t have to dig deep:

Example of Potential Use of some Face Oils
Rosehip Oil Pai Skincare

Rose Hip Oil (highly recommended): Packed with antioxidants (carotenoids), reduces inflammation. Could be applied to any skin type even the most reactive and driest ones. Brightening and softening effect. Check Pai’s award winning Rosehip Oil for certified clean and organic product.

Photo credit: Pai Rosehip Oil picture taken from Credo Beauty

Avocado Oil: Contains Vitamins A,D,E and C. Each one adding more glow to your skin and especially Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant. Contains many free Fatty Acids such as oleic acid, linoleic and linolenic acids. The rich content makes it very suitable for dry and chapped skin types.

Tamanu Oil: This dark coloured oil is a potent anti-microbial and anti-fungal agent. It is well-known for its anti-microbial properties. It not only actively inhibits the bacterial growth but pumps up skins natural defence barrier. This face oil has strong anti-inflammation properties, antioxidative and wound healing.

Grape Seed Oil: What is good for your gut is good for your face as well! Grape Seed Oil just the beloved wine, is a potent antioxidant rich with phenols and vitamin E. Moreover it has anti-inflammatory benefits as well, helping to calm your skin and brighten it!

2. Be ready to Glow like you have never glowed before

Glowing skin

Honestly isn’t glow what we are all looking for? Radiant skin? Can face oils be what we are really looking for? Face Oils are, well, oils. But healthy and active ones.

So it comes as no surprise that they would add a little shine to our face!

But the question is how can face oils result in radiant and plump skin then?

Along side with the high lipid and free fatty acid content there are numerous of nourishing ingredients packed in them.

Plant based face oils usually can only enter the surface layers of the epidermis, meaning they are almost always stuck in the surface of you skin.

Unless you add another compound that allows them to go deeper.

Because of all the lipid content and the vitamins they contain, your skin absorbs it slowly. This means that your skin is not dull for a long time. The absorbed nutrient, on the other hand, make your skin softer and more even.

Face oils really makes your skin as soft and as glowing as it can get!

3. Face Oils actually cannot replace your moisturiser

Until now we talked about really amazing benefits of facial oils. However, it is very important to keep in mind that face oils are not hydrating but hydration trapping.

As mentioned above, they act to form a barrier over the first layers of your skin. This barrier lowers the natural loss of hydration and water. Loss of hydration from the skin is referred as Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL). Plant Oils act to decrease the TEWL, in other words they want to keep your skin as hydrated as possible!

Before adding your face oil, make sure to add a hydrating component – like hyaluronic acid and/or moisturiser!

So you need a moisturiser or hydrating ingredients in the first place, to boost the hydration into your skin. This will allow your facial oils to maintain the hydration level.

So applying your moisturiser before will help you activate your plant oil. This will hydrate your skin and your face oil can happily trap your hydration, so you stay youthful!

Hydrating beforehand will also allow for all the nutrient to penetrate deep into your skin.

Can you really replace your moisturiser with facial oils?

The straightaway answer from my own experience is NO. That could be specific only to my skin only and my own experience of course.

My face remained quiet dry and sensitive, but bear in mind, I am a medical student crammed with hardcore exams!

On the other hand, face oils have made my skin as soft as it can ever get, slightly more even and have reduced the breakouts!

But it was only after I added Hyaluronic acid to my cocktail of face oils I started seeing the major effects!

Take Away Message

Hence take away message is – if you want all of the nutrients and ingredients of the face oils to be in action, you need to lay the base with a hydrating agent!

Thank you so much for reading! I hope you loved exploring this topic!

active plants

If you are wondering what to add to your skincare next why don’t you stop on some skincare with probiotics in your skincare and read here!

If you are new here, read what Academy Skincare is about here!

Have an amazing day!