Clean & Natural Face Oil
Nourish and repair your skin barrier with clean & natural face oil. Incorporating a non-toxic face oil into your skincare routine will make your skin smooth and hydrated. Treat your dry and sensitive skin to the best clean, organic, natural and non-toxic face oils around for a beautiful complexion.
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The high altitude and low humidity where I live combined with my age create the perfect storm for my perpetually dry skin. I’ve found that applying face oil as the last step in my nightly skin routine helps to keep my skin from feeling like a lizard most of the time. For me, applying face oil is the icing on the cake – it’s the last beauty product I use before bed to seal in moisture.
I’ve been testing clean face oil brands for a few months now to find a favorite. There are so many high-quality face oils out there that I narrowed it down to 11 of my top picks. Keep in mind that what works for my dry, sensitive skin may not work for you. You can definitely still use face oil if your skin is acne-prone, just check the comedogenic rating and look for one that won’t clog your pores.
DRY SKIN BASICS
The stratum corneum, or outermost layer of your skin, consists of dead skin cells and oils that help the skin retain water. In turn, your skin stays moisturized. If the stratum corneum breaks down, water can escape and cause dry skin (1). Things like washing with harsh soap and hot water can strip the natural oils from the top layer of your skin and allow dermal moisture to escape.
Dry skin is also a result of the aging process – our bodies produce less water-trapping molecules (natural moisturizing factors, ceramides and hyaluronic acid) as we get older (2). Other factors that affect skin oil production are climate, genetics, environment, and your skin care routine.
HOW DOES FACE OIL WORK
Face oil acts as a sealant to keep moisture in. Since face oils don’t contain water, they won’t hydrate your skin directly – that’s the job of a moisturizer or hydrating serum, which delivers both water and oil. Oils with a large molecular size sit on top of the skin and act as occlusives to lock in moisture (1).
Oils with smaller molecular size small can also act as emollients to soothe, strengthen and repair the skin barrier (2). Face oil is essentially support for your moisturizer, fortifying the skin barrier and indirectly increasing the amount of hydration in the skin.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SERUM AND A FACE OIL?
Serums are traditionally water-based. They tend to be lightweight and are able to penetrate the top layers of skin. A serum contains concentrated amounts of active ingredients that address specific skin concerns (2). Apply a serum right after cleansing. If you use a toner, serum is applied right after the toner. Alternatively, face oil does not contain water. It is either applied right after a moisturizer or it can be combined with the moisturizer. Face oils repair and replenish the skin barrier and seal in moisture.
HOW TO CHOOSE A FACE OIL
- Choose an oil that won’t clog your pores. Check the comedogenic rating to get an idea of how the face oil will behave and how your skin will react. The rating goes from 0–5 and indicates how likely an oil is to clog your pores, with 5 being the most likely to clog pores.
- Did you know? Some face oils come with extra skin boosting benefits like antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
- For sensitive skin: Perform a patch test with a high-quality, single ingredient oil before incorporating it into your skincare routine. Look for oils rich in fatty acids to reinforce the skin barrier and anti-inflammatory ingredients to soothe.
- My skin type: is sensitive and dry. If a product stings when I apply it, I usually get hives on both cheeks. My skin is particularly sensitive in the winter if it’s exposed to cold and wind. I have really dry skin and rarely break out, so my skin can handle oils with a higher molecular weight, like chia seed oil. All this to say is that what works for my skin type may not work for you. Some sensitive skin types are prone to breakouts, so beware of the comedogenic rating if you get acne along with your sensitive skin.
- TIP: The Detox Market has samples of face oil if you want to try before you buy. Choose 3 samples and pay $7.99 plus shipping. It’s a great way to test for sensitivity to products. I used samples to test some of the pricier oils (like Biophile) on this list.
HOW TO APPLY FACE OIL
- In the morning: If you apply face oil in the morning, apply face oil right after your moisturizer and before you apply sunscreen.
- In the evening: As the last step in your skincare routine at night, apply face oil right after your moisturizer. If you have a complicated skincare routine with lots of products, this is the proper order for application: wash your face, apply a toner (if you use one), apply eye cream, apply spot treatment for acne, apply treatment serum, apply retinoid, apply hydrating serum, apply moisturizer, then apply face oil.
- Face oil can also be directly added to your moisturizer (add a few drops of face oil to your moisturizer in the palm of your hand).
- Face oil can be massaged directly into your skin while it is damp. This increases the absorption rate of the oil and seals in some of the moisture. Mist your clean skin with 100% Hydrosol water facial mist, followed by your face oil.
CLEAN FACE OIL TOP PICKS
Bybi Beauty Strawberry Oil Booster
- Cost: $10.00 for 15 ml/0.5 oz
- My Take: This strawberry oil gets great ratings and is budget-friendly. It only has one ingredient: strawberry oil. Strawberries contain ellagic acid, which protect and brighten your skin.
- From the Bybi Beauty website: BYBI Beauty Strawberry Oil Booster is a great skin-softener, rich in Omega-6 and Omega-3 essential fatty acids and ellagic acid and is designed to be used as part of your existing day time routine. These natural ingredients work to improve moisture levels for complexions that are feeling a little dry and flakey. It glides on smoothly and absorbs almost instantly, leaving behind a subtle scent of freshly picked strawberries. This non-toxic facial oil is made from cold-pressed seeds that are waste product from the juicing industry, so extra points for sustainability!
Cliganic Organic Jojoba Oil
- Cost: $9.99 for 120 ml/4 oz
- My Take: I love that this single oil is organic and is super budget-friendly. Jojoba oil balances oily skin, dry skin conditions, mature skin and wrinkles. This brand also gets great reviews.
- From the Cliganic website: Certified organic jojoba oil by USDA is light-weight, unrefined and fast absorbing, it’s gentle enough to be used on even the most sensitive skin.
Acure Moroccan Argan Oil
- Cost: $9.99 for 1 oz.
- My Take: This anti-inflammatory oil has a low molecular weight and works to balance the skin – it can be used on both acne-prone and sensitive skin.
- From the Acure website: A true skin super food. Cold pressed and unrefined, our Argan is incredibly rich in vitamin e, essential fatty acids, and proteins. It helps fight lines, improve cell regeneration, and minimize scars plus stretch marks; all while restoring texture, elasticity and tone. Lightweight and easily absorbed. This oil is often referred to as “liquid gold” so get yourself some beauty bling. Paraben free, Sulfate free, Mineral oil free, Petrolatum free, Formaldehyde free, Cruelty free
Cocokind Organic Chia Face Oil
- Cost: $16 for 30 ml/ 1 fl oz
- My Take: This is a great budget-friendly pick and it works well on sensitive skin. I love that this oil is organic and doesn’t have a scent.
- From the Cocokind website: This replenishing facial oil leaves skin soothed, hydrated, and supple. chia seed oil: antioxidant-packed chia seed oil is the richest botanical source of omega-3s, which help hydrate the skin and support its natural barrier function.
Mad Hippie Antioxidant Facial Oil
- Cost: $24.99 for 30 ml/1.02 fl oz
- My Take: This is a blend of oils, so I would do a spot test first to make sure it doesn’t irritate your skin. The oil has a nice orange scent and did not sting going on. It’s a great buy for a face oil packed with antioxidants.
- From the Mad Hippie website: Make peace with your inner hippie while hydrating & protecting….Our preservative-free antioxidant oil is truly the most natural way to moisturize.
Peet Rivko Balancing Face Oil
- Cost: $44 for 30 ml/1 oz
- My Take: This is a great mid-range oil that has no added fragrance and 3 fatty-acid-rich oils to nourish and protect your skin barrier. Prickly pear seed oil is good for aging and damaged skin as well as rosacea.
- From The Peet Rivko website: The Peet Rivko Balancing Face Oil provides an extra boost of hydration without the greasy finish. Nourish and strengthen your skin with a signature blend of organic avocado, jojoba, and prickly pear oils—it’s rich in essential fatty acids and natural antioxidants. Free from essential oils, this Balancing Face Oil hydrates without irritation, making it especially effective for sensitive skin.
Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil
- Cost: $34 for 30 ml/1 oz
- My Take: This non-comedogenic oil softens and soothes without a greasy feel. It gets excellent reviews and is moderately priced.
- From the Indie Lee website: Plump it up with this pure, intensive moisturizing oil. Readily absorbed, 100% Olive-derived Squalane leaves the complexion soft, nourished and best of all, never greasy. Your skin’s texture and tone will thank you.
Maya Chia Supercritcal Omega-3 Chia Face Oil
- Cost: $60 for 30 ml/ 1 fl oz
- My Take: I love this oil! It has a really pleasant fresh orange scent, and luckily my sensitive skin did not have a bad reaction. It made my skin feel soft and smooth and it got rid of my dry, flaky patches. In the morning, my skin seemed radiant every time I used it.
- From the Maya Chia website: Pure supercritical omega-3 chia seed oil is for anyone who wants to deeply moisturize their skin – naturally. This face oil is ultra-lightweight, soothing and quickly absorbs without any greasy feeling. Reduces the appearance of fine lines. Skin feels smooth and radiant upon rapid absorption. Maya Chia’s supercritical chia seed oil is a powerful yet soothing skin treatment, imparting a luminous glow that lasts and lasts. Works beautifully on all skin types, even sensitive skin.
Beuti Sleep Elixir
- Cost: $70 for 30 ml/1 oz
- My Take: This oil blend totally got rid of the dry, flaky patches on my cheeks. It does have a floral scent which I am not crazy about, but otherwise it is a very nourishing oil that my sensitive skin can handle well.
- From the Beuti Sleep Elixir website: The Beauty Sleep Elixir has a natural blend of 14 plant-based oils, including a Caribbean coral extract, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory as it neutralizes the enzyme responsible for skin aging, plus a sandalwood nut kernel oil to help prevent collagen and elastin break down. These ingredients are combined with a generous amount of camellia oil, chia seed oil, bitter cherry seed oil, strawberry seed oil, pomegranate seed oil, blueberry seed oil, cranberry seed oil, raspberry seed oil, seabuckthorn fruit berry oil, sandalwood oil, lavender herb oil, geranium flower oil, neroli flower oil and capric trglyceride from coconut.
Le Prunier Plum Beauty Oil
- Cost: $72 for 30 ml/ 1 fl oz
- My Take: This oil has the most amazing almond scent that immediately makes me feel relaxed and pampered when I use it. It’s made with only 1 high-quality ingredient: organic plum seed oil. I find that I use this oil every other day since plum oil contains very potent antioxidants. This oil can also be used on your hands and body.
- From the Le Prunier website: Plum Beauty Oil is an anti-aging, multi-purpose oil that balances, restores and refreshes the skin. Our proprietary blend of plum varietals is naturally abundant in essential antioxidants, nourishing omega fatty acids 6 & 9 and powerful polyphenols, all of which help protect the skin from damaging free radicals. 8x more powerful than Argan oil and 6x more powerful than Marula oil in protecting the skin from damaging free radicals.® It’s also rich in pro-Vitamin A & E to assist with healing and hydration. *hydroxyl radical
Biophile Bio Barrier Nourishing Oil
- Cost: $118 for 30ml / 1 fl. oz.
- My Take: This oil is on the pricey side, so I just ordered a sample. It gets great reviews and I love the active ingredients. The oil blend has a bitter greens scent that was fairly mild. If you have a compromised skin barrier (from over exfoliation, cosmetic skin procedures, going outside in cold and windy weather), then I would recommend trying this microbiome-friendly oil to rebuild your skin barrier. All in all, this is a really nice face oil with high quality ingredients, but it’s definitely pricey.
- From the Biophile website: Powered by fermented green tea seed extract, this nourishing, fast-absorbing facial oil delivers a dose of plumping schisandra berry and brightening vitamin C. The unique addition of glycolipids creates a balm-like effect to seal in moisture for a dewy, soft finish.