Can I Use a Facial Oil on Oily Skin?

Facial oils are the new 'it girl' on skincare shelves. If you have oily or combination skin, you've probably been avoiding these nourishing newbies. But some facial oils are formulated specifically for your skin type.

Packed with conditioning omegas and protective antioxidants, facial oils have been a big hit on skincare shelves over the last few years. Not only do oils offer a concentrated dose of active ingredients, but they're also great at creating the luminous glow that only truly healthy skin has.

Can I Use a Facial Oil on Oily Skin?

If you have oily skin, you might have felt left out of the fun of this new beauty staple. You likely think that: 

  • An oil treatment would surely worsen your oiliness.
  • Your skin makes enough natural oils to keep it healthy.
  • Oil-free skincare options are better at balancing your skin.

Most people with oily or combination skin make these mistaken assumptions. On the contrary, oils can be very helpful when it comes to balancing an oily complexion.

There are many botanical plant oils to choose from, and each one is unique in its composition. That means some will work best for dry skin and others will work best for oily skin.


Can I Use a Facial Oil on Oily Skin


If you have oily or combination skin, several perfectly suited facial oils can work wonders to nourish and balance your skin.

Finding the perfect facial oils for your skin type is based on the science of composition. Every botanical oil has a different blend of ingredients and may include:

  • Fatty acids
  • Essential fatty acids (EFAs)
  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Ceramides
  • Cholesterol

The ingredients towards the top of the list are typically present in higher concentrations. The ingredients at the bottom of the list are skin-active at a low concentration. The important ratio that determines whether a plant oil is beneficial for oily skin is the ratio of essential fatty acids to fatty acids.

Many studies have found that oily skin tends to be rich in fatty acids, such as oleic acid, and deficient in EFAs, such as linoleic acid. Additional supporting research shows that pre-pubescent complexions have a healthy balance of EFAs, whereas post-pubescent, acne-prone complexions are deficient in EFAs.

Facial oils that work for oily or combination skin are rich in EFAs such as:

  • Linoleic acid
  • Linolenic acid
  • Gamma-linolenic acid

There are several natural oils rich in these EFAs, including:

  • Rosehip
  • Evening primrose
  • Hemp seed
  • Grapeseed
  • Safflower
  • Flaxseed
  • Borage

Each of these oils is rich in linolates—at over 50% concentration—when compared with their oleic fatty acid content. This ratio makes the oils on this list perfect for oily or combination skin.

Using a facial oil high in essential linolates provides the conditioning benefits of an oil while also helping to balance sebum composition, leading to healthier, happier skin.

Some of our favourite linolate-high facial oils include:

When incorporating a facial oil into your skincare routine, remember that it should always be the last product you apply. Facial oils are, by nature, more dense than other skincare products, which means they can block lighter products such as serums from absorbing.

Remember how oil floats on top of water? This is why oil is always the final step in a perfect facial routine.