How to use face oils
• Like most skincare products, oils should be applied on damp skin for better absorption. Apply it immediately onto skin after a shower or after applying a skin-softening essence.
• Pour a drop or two onto palms, rub hands to warm oil, wrap hands on face and press oil into the skin. Add more drops if needed. Do not rub drops of oil - unless it is a facial massage oil - into the skin because it will not be absorbed as well.
• If you find richer oils too greasy, use them as a night treatment.
A good, viscous oil can double as both a serum and a night cream.
• Lighter oils are best used in the day and in place of a serum.
• Oils are good primers as they hydrate the skin well so that make-up goes on more smoothly.
• Oils can easily be added into your skincare routine, even if you do not want to apply it "neat" onto your face.
Add the oil into your regular products - not directly into the bottle or jar, but upon application.
Oils can make your foundation more hydrating, easier to blend and give it an extra dewy finish. Squirt a pump of foundation onto the back of your hand, add a drop of oil and blend the mixture with a brush or clean fingers.
Oils can make your moisturiser richer too - this is useful in colder, drier climates. Blend a drop or two into one pump of your cream.
You can also add a few drops of oil into a dollop of clay mask or hydrating gel mask to make them more nourishing.
• Viscous face oils can also be used on cuticles, hair ends, dry elbows and knees.
Best for oily to normal skin types. These leave skin matte
Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Oil In Essence, $145, available at Shu Uemura counters from next month
More like a gel serum than an oil, the product contains moisturising jojoba oil, olive oil and shea butter oil, as well as geranium oil which supposedly aids the production of collagen.
Clinique Turnaround Revitalizing Treatment Oil, $75, from Clinique counters
This watery oil is a mix of salicylic acid for gentle exfoliation; clary extract to boost cell turnover; hydrating olive and mango seed oils; as well as vitamins C and E, lady thistle and cranberry seed oils to protect.
Aesop Fabulous Face Oil, $77, from Aesop counters
Made to clear clogged pores, this blend hydrates while balancing skin with macadamia seed oil, evening primrose oil and sweet almond oil. Scented with ylang ylang and jasmine, it smells good too.
Lancome Absolue L'Extrait Ultimate Essence, $600, available at Lancome counters from next month
A watery serum that leaves skin silky. Made with the rejuvenating Lancome rose extract, its texture is perfect for blending with foundation or a gel moisturiser.
Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Precious Oil SPF15, $156, from Sephora stores
An anti-ageing concoction of stem cells and extracts from a dozen species of roses.
La Mer The Renewal Oil, $370, La Mer counters in November
This formula contains both oil and water, so it leaves skin feeling fresh and moisturised. Infused with antioxidants, it is a cocktail of the brand's signature lime tea concentrate as well as nutrient-rich sea kelp ferment.
Estelle & Thild Super Bio-Active Repairing Oil Complex, $101, from Sephora stores
This oil from the Swedish organic brand contains moisturising hyaluronic acid, the antioxidant marine microalgae and the anti-ageing polyhydroxy acid. The fresh and green floral scent is a plus.
Estee Lauder Nutritious Radiant Vitality Essence Oil, $102, from Estee Lauder counters
An infusion of anti-oxidant-rich pomegranate extract and vitamin E. Use it on its own in the day or under a night cream before bed.
Tom Ford Intensive Fusion Concentrate Extreme, $360, from Tom Ford counters
A watery oil-based serum that contains skin-energising caffeine and noni extract. Works best when worn under make-up.
Yves Saint Laurent Beaute Huile Voluptueuse, $289, from Yves Saint Laurent counters
A luxurious cocktail of rapeseed oil, sunflower oil and avocado oil, and infused with saffron extract, known for its anti-ageing properties.
Shiseido Future Solution LX Replenishing Treatment Oil, $232, available at Shiseido counters from October
A mix of evening primrose oil, jojoba oil, macadamia nut oil, argan oil, safflower oil and Japanese yuzu oil. This multipurpose unguent can also be used on the body, hair, nails and hands.
Best for dry to normal skin types, and thosewhoprefer adewyskin texture. Although these oils are more viscous, they sink easily into the skin. They are especially useful in keeping skin hydrated in harsh environments.
The History Of Whoo Wild Ginseng Ampule Oil, $258, from The History Of Whoo counter at Tangs
Wild ginseng extracts make up more than half of this potent blend. Layer under a rich cream to keep skin protected in wintry conditions.
The Body Shop Oils Of Life Intensely Revitalising Facial Oil, $65.90, available at The Body Shop stores from next month
Ninety-nine per cent of the oils in this bottle is natural. It comprises Egyptian black cumin oil, Chilean rose hip oil and camellia oil from China.
Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Essential Oil, $148, from Sulwhasoo counters
Get this skin-nourishing product if you love the scent of ginseng. Made with ginseng seed oil, camellia oil and sunflower oil.
DHC Olive Virgin Oil, $68, from selected Watsons stores
Made of 100 per cent extra virgin olive oil pressed from handpicked, antioxidant-rich Spanish olives. It supposedly helps to reduce the appearance of scars.
Fresh SeaBerry Moisturizing Face Oil, $82, from the Fresh boutique at Ion Orchard
The powerful blend of seabuckthorn oil, cranberry seed oil, camellia seed oil, grapeseed and sweet almond is rich in fatty acids and antioxidants to keep skin supple. It has a rather strong herbal scent.
Kiehl's Daily Reviving Concentrate, $80, Kiehl's counters in October
A refreshing citrus-scented oil blend of ginger root, sunflower and tamanu to perk skin up.
Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil, $68, from Clarins counters
This includes skin-softening essential oils of rosewood, blue orchid and patchouli, as well as hazelnut oil to help prevent wrinkles.
Origins Plantscription Youth-renewing Face Oil, $89, from Origins counters
A skin-calming blend of sweet almond oil, jojoba seed oil, lavender oil and safflower seed oil. It also adds a glow to the skin.
Images: IStock, Shu Uemura, Clinique, Origins, La Mer, The Body Shop, Fresh, History of Whoo, Khiel's, Clarins, Sulwhasoo, Yves Saint Laurent Beaute, Estee Lauder, Shiseido, DHC, Aesop, Lancome, Peter Thomas Roth, Estelle & Thild
This story was first published in The Straits Times on August 13, 2015. For similar stories, go to www.sph.straitstimes.com/lifestyle.
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