The truth about facials oil!

I just can’t understand the increasing popularity of facial oils! Personally, I do not recommend the use of facial oils. I think they are greatly overrated and, in many instances, the actual cause of many, many skin problems we see in clinic.

In fact, we often get patients coming to clinic who used facial oils at home, that triggered acne or rosacea breakouts. This is an increasingly common problem we see in clinic, as people are brainwashed into thinking facial oils are “natural” and therefore must be “good for the skin”.

For anybody with a tendency for breakouts I strictly advice against using facial oils of any sort, as they clog up pores and ‘congest’ the skin, aggravating breakouts (even if the company swears they don’t…). This is also true for tea tree oil (which is often even marketing for acne – crazy!), which may have mild anti-inflammatory effects, but its pore-clogging properties in my professional experience greatly outweigh its mild anti-inflammatory benefits.

And don’t even get me started on using facial oils on oily skin, which doesn’t make any sense in my opinion as a dermatologist. It’s just not needed (and don’t believe the marketing spiel about facial oils making oily skin less oily!), as the skin produces enough oil on its own. Why would you add more?

And if you suffer with normal, uncomplicated skin (not prone to breakouts), I have to say that I am not a fan of facial oils either, as long term use of facial oils may slow down the skin’s natural renewal process by creating a ‘film’ on the skin surface, which essentially makes the skin ‘lazy’. They occlude the skin unnecessarily and may contribute to the appearance of dull skin. I have seen it many times in clinic – the dreaded ‘facial oil face’ (people keep applying facial oils to give the skin a bit of a glow, as underneath the skin gets duller and duller…).

For people with dry skin, facial oils may cause the least problems, however modern emollients with a clever combination of active, hydrating ingredients are in my experience much better in supporting the skin’s barrier function and thus helping to ease dry skin compared to facial oils.

So my opinion is simple – say no to facial oils, no matter how en vogue they are at the moment. Instead use active ingredients that actually strengthen the skin’s barrier function from the inside out, thus leaving the skin ‘healthier’ rather than plastering over problems.