Can I Use Facial Oils on Oily, Acne-Prone Skin?

Should you use only oil-free products on your oily, acne-prone skin? Or should you try to fight oil with oil? Neither approach is totally right, but the right facial oil can help reduce acne lesions. We'll show you how to choose one.

Managing oily, acne-prone skin can feel like an uphill battle. That battle is a road paved with products that promise to control oil production and the appearance of spots. Since traditional anti-acne products claim to be oil-free, a facial oil would surely be the worst skincare product you could use ... right?

Actually, that's not the case. Not only are some facial oils designed specifically for oily skin, but there's also a proven reduction in the severity of breakouts when using specific types of oils. This goes against the now-dated notion that an oily skin type cannot tolerate any oils in skincare.

Not all oils are created equal. If you once turned to oil-free products to improve your oily and acne-prone skin, it's time to rethink your approach to skincare.

 

Can I Use Facial Oils on Oily, Acne-Prone Skin?

 

Certain types of oils are beneficial for oily, acne-prone skin.


All skincare oils are composed of unique ingredients, and most oils are blends. Pure oils such as rosehip, borage, avocado, and jojoba aren't necessarily interchangeable. They all contain slightly different mixtures of fatty acids.

The skin's uppermost layers consist of three primary substances: fatty acids, ceramides, and cholesterol. The skin-identical nature of facial oils makes them extremely effective when the formula is appropriate for your complexion type.

Skin that's oily and prone to acne is believed to be deficient in a certain fatty acid called 'linoleic acid'. This deficiency is thought to induce the hyperkeratosis, or thickening of the skin, associated with acne.

Studies have proven that reintroducing linoleic acid to the skin by topical application helps to reduce the incidence of acne microcomedones by 25% when used for just 4 weeks.

 

Can I Use Facial Oils on Oily, Acne-Prone Skin?

 

Which oils are high in linoleic acid?


If you're looking for a facial oil that will not only help to balance sebum production but also help to prevent and treat breakouts, you need to find one high in linoleic acid. Look for the following oils on the ingredients list:

  • Rosehip
  • Borage
  • Linseed/flaxseed
  • Hemp
  • Safflower
  • Grapeseed

You'll find that skincare ingredients, just like food ingredients, are listed in order of quantity. When choosing a facial oil for oily, acne-prone skin, you'll want to ensure that at least one of the above oils is high on the list.

We've carefully scoured our shelves for the facial oils highest in linoleic acid:

These facial oils are best applied at night, because linoleic acid can degrade quickly in the presence of light and become ineffective against acne. Night-time is also the time when your skin is most biologically primed to absorb an oil-based product, which is especially important for an oily skin type.

To understand how your oily skin changes throughout the day and how to incorporate a facial oil into your skincare routine, head over to our Ultimate Guide article, 'When Do I Use a Facial Oil?'

 

Can I Use Facial Oils on Oily, Acne-Prone Skin?