• Anastasia Pentias

TBN: Face Oils Edition- Personal Favourites

I have been using face oils for many years now, after even more years of avoiding them like the plague. The logic was: since I'm already oily, I'd be mad to add to it. I am eternally grateful to a Clarins salesperson who insisted I got one of their oils, especially formulated for oily complexions. Friends, it was a revelation. I've been hooked ever since.

Nothing keeps my skin as hydrated and plump as a few drops of oil below my moisturiser in the morning. Nothing re-balances my skin better than an oil at night, over my retinol or acids. I am very sceptical of the big claims some brands make about the benefits of their oils; there is no clinical data backing them. If you haven't ventured into face oils already, I would proceed with realistic expectations (no, your sagging will not be reversed, your wrinkles will not be corrected, although they will LOOK softer). What I can say, in my own experience, is that the right oil balances your oiliness and dryness, protects your face from the harsh elements by keeping it reliably hyper-hydrated, nourishes to help heal wounds and irritations like acne scarring, gives your skin clarity and radiance. It is also an excellent buffer for strong retinol. All that makes it worth exploring, right? Below, you can find my personal favourites ever.

Sunday Riley C.E.O. Glow: This has replaced all antioxidant serums in the morning for me: 6 tiny drops mixed with my moisturiser= antioxidant protection and radiance that lasts all day. I develop an allergic reaction to all vitamin C products, except the Lixir cleanser and this: I have not figured out why but I'm not complaining. It contains a stable form of vitamin C that does not oxidize (this active is notoriously sensitive to air, so many products become ineffective very quickly). It is also oil soluble, so it penentrates better and is more effective than other derivatives. You might want to use it at night as well, but that's when I use my retinol or acids and I want my antoxidants to protect my face during the day. It is availably to buy here

Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil: Rosehip oil is marketed as the natural alternative to retinol. Let me assure you, it's not. It will not help your existing wrinkles as retinol does. Let's just stretch our expectations to hope that maybe, it might, delay a few? I wouldn't go further than that. This Pai oil is, however, a super-duper affordable, nourishing oil that you can mix with your moisturisers to give you suppleness, glow, plumpness and nourishment. This makes my occasional acne remnants heal faster. It is VERY rich, so I would only advise it for mature skin at night or morning. It is available to buy here

Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Oil: Ah, Drunk Elephant. How I love thee. This is my favourite oil to calm retinol aggression. And, boy, does it deliver. It's packed full of antixodidants, though, so you might consider it for morning as well. It works well with makeup, when you mix it with your moisturiser, and does not weigh your skin down in the least. Very nourishing, very light. I apply this 30 minutes after my retinol at night. It is a very sophisticated formula and that is reflected in the price I'm afraid. You know I am very value-for-money oriented and do not buy skincare from a certain price-point upward, but this is worth the money because it lasts very long. Six drops at night, three in the morning is what works for me. It is available to buy here

Sunday Riley Luna Oil: This is not an oil, it is a love-affair. It gives you the benefits of retinol without the downside. Such radiance and brightness, such smoothness and tightness, such clarity and calm. I look better when I use it, fact. I use it when I'm not on strong retinols, so 6-7 per year, and also when I stop them for a couple of weeks in between products. Many don't like the herbal smell but I actually love it, it smells like chocolate to me. Use nightly, all year round, forever. I did mention I love this, right? It is available to buy here

Sunday Riley Juno Oil: This is my other favourite for morning use. It benefits my skin from the first application with a well-rounded, antioxidant formula that protects skin from environmental aggressors, makes skin glow and behaves impeccably under makeup. The only reason I prefer the C.E.O. is because it's the only vitamin C I can tolerate, otherwise I love this just as much. It is available to buy here

Caudalie Premier Cru Precious Oil: This was my staple for 5 years. It is a lightweight formula with a divine smell, that makes your skin radiant. This is for people who don't like oils because it absorbs very quickly and seamlessly. It helps with elasticity and make my wrinkles look softer. When you are especially dehydrated, I would recommend it for daytime use as well, otherwise I would use it at night. This is an antioxidant formula that I would recommend to anyone, very young or more mature, any skin type. I always looked for online pharmacy discounts and the price is brilliant for what you get. It is widely available to buy in pharmacies.

Clarins Double Serum: This is a bit of a cheat: it's not an oil per se; it's a mix containing oil. This is the product I suggest when someone asks me about one product to do it all. This serum could be considered a well-rounded solution for people who don't like skincare, who want to use just one thing and get on with their day or night. This is a beautiful, lightweight, antioxidant and reparative formula. I will not buy it again in the near future because I get its separate components in much higher, more potent concentrations from other products nowadays. You won't get glass skin with this but you will get satisfying nourishment and protection, no small feat. This is widely available to buy in department stores.

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photos via http://spacenk.com/, http://cultbeauty.co.uk/, https://en.caudalie.com, https://int.clarins.com/