I don’t think it’s a secret how much I love face oil. Not only is it versatile (you can use it to remove makeup, help with acne, aging, inflammation, sun damage, etc.), but the benefits it provides your skin are unmatched. They are a great way to add a boost of moisture to your skin, too.

That being said, not all face oils are created equal. Some are fantastic for your skin, while others can do more harm than good. So before you go slathering just any oil all over your face–I’m looking at you canola oil, you nasty traitor–take a look at some of the best (and worst) oils listed below.


Argan: Now, I am always hesitant to jump on the bandwagon of products with a lot of hype and celebrity endorsements (Proactiv kind of ruined that for me), but argan is worthy of the hype it receives. Argan oil is extracted from the kernels found in the fruit of Moroccan argan trees, and contains high levels of vitamin E, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids, and antioxidants. Professor of Dermatology Joshua Zeichner claims “the fatty acids help our skin cells make healthy membranes, reduce inflammation, and promote healthy collagen.” The FDA even put out this awesome article touting argan oil’s greatness. Go argan oil!

Flaxseed: This oil doesn’t get as much hype as some other oils (like argan or coconut) but make no mistake- it’s just as good. “It has anti-inflammatory properties, and studies have shown that if taken daily, it can improve skin conditions such as eczema in just three months” says Howard Sobel, MD. Adding a few drops of flaxseed oil to damp skin can help with hydration.

Avocado: Jennifer Linder, MD, explains “This oil is high in vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids, which help proper cell function and decrease inflammation.” It’s best to purchase cold-pressed avocado oil. The minimal refinement of cold pressed avocado oil preserves more of the important plant sterols, chlorophyll, vitamin E and other antioxidants.(source) Avocado oil is thicker than other face oils you may want to use, so be wary that it could take longer to absorb into the skin.

Pomegranate: One of the few known oils high in vitamin C, a natural brightener and UV protectant, pomegranate seed oil is the ONLY known natural source of Omega-5 fatty acids, also known as Conjugated Linolenic Acid (CLnA). Omega 5 is a very powerful antioxidant, at least 6 times more powerful than grape seed extract(take that red wine!). Pomegranate seed oil is EXPENSIVE, but that didn’t deter us from making organic pomegranate seed oil the main ingredients in SHINE, our brightening face oil. We ain’t scared of a price tag in the name of beauty. Nuh uh.


Coconut Oil: Alright, I know I am going to get a lot of crap for this but hear me out. Coconut oil has a comedogenic rating of 4 (out of 5) so it most likely will clog your pores and cause acne. Now comedogenic ingredients are normally not a problem, but coconut oil contains high doses of lauric acid so it may cause acne for some people. (source)

So while I know that coconut oil is the internet’s favorite oil–and I am not saying it doesn’t have amazing benefits for the body–but proceed with caution if you want to use this on your face. It makes a great makeup remover, but I would recommend not leaving it on the skin as a moisturizer. There are much better oils for that. Plus, with only an 8% composition of essential fatty acids, what are you really providing your skin with that it can’t do on it’s own? Pass.

Olive Oil:  Olive oil should theoretically be great for your skin. Olive oil is high in Omega-3 fatty acids–which are actually harder than you’d think to come by in vegan nature–and is high in Vitamin E. Sounds great! What’s the rub?

Do not – under any circumstances – grab the olive oil from your kitchen – and slather it on your face – unless you paid a massive chunk of change for it.

The problem is that up to 80% of the world’s olive oil is fake. Olive oil, like honey, has it’s own massive black market. Too bad for those of us craving the good stuff for our face. For now? Just pass.

Vaseline: Honey, just no. We’re getting no benefits here except protecting your skin and trapping it under layers of petroleum jelly. Only apply this to your face if you’re about to step into a Russian warfront with Napolen Bonaparte.


As with any new skincare product you should do online research BEFORE incorporating it into your routine. You should also patch test them before applying them all over the face to see how your skin reacts. I hope this guide was helpful- now go forth and get the glowiest skin of your life!

As for us, we’ll be here researching more and more until we can pull together a full comprehensive guide for you.

Dr. Vanessa Rodriguez is a board-certified general practitioner with more than 15 years of patient care experience. She takes an integrative approach to patient care that considers the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and is deeply committed to assisting her patients in achieving and sustaining optimal health. Dr. Vanessa is also a skilled writer and medical reviewer, specializing in preventive care and health promotion. Her articles are written in an approachable manner that is simple to comprehend and implement in one’s own life. Dr. Vanessa’s mission is to equip her patients and readers with the knowledge and resources necessary to live their greatest lives.

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