My complete guide to using and buying facial oils

My complete guide to using and buying facial oils

Last week I gave you some tips about caring for acne prone skin (read it here). There I mentioned how much I prefer using oils on my skin, instead of traditional moisturizers. If it looks like a lotion, odds are it will clog my pores. I find this to be true for many of my clients as well. I’ve converted many people over to using oils. Even those who were reluctant at first often find they prefer oils as well, once they got used to them.

I realize many people may still be hesitant to try oils, so here I’ve given you all the info you need to select and use oils on your skin.


First of all, if you do not like an oil, don’t give up! Try another. Finding the right oil can make a great difference in both your acne, and overall skin health.

Don’t be afraid to experiment to find an oil that works for you. You can also blend oils. I like to blend the more expensive oils that my skin likes with the less expensive oils to provide multiple benefits – but to also keep the cost down.

There are a lot of oils available now, but my suggestions below are a great place to start.

Skin Type

Recommended Oil

Very Oily

Safflower* (avoid “high oleic” cooking oil), evening prime rose*, grape seed oil*

Mildly Oily

Jojoba, safflower*, grape seed*, rose hip oil*, hemp oil*, cranberry seed

(part dry, part oily)

Jojoba, grape seed*, olive oil, apricot kernel, rose hip oil*, cranberry seed

Slightly Dry

Jojoba, olive oil, macadamia, hazel nut, pomegranate seed, raspberry seed

Very Dry

Avocado, almond, sesame, sea buckthorn, sunflower, raspberry seed

* These are “lighter” oils, and thus more fragile. See notes under “Storing Your Oils”.


Buy in small quantities whenever possible, especially when you are testing oils. There is nothing worse than buying a large bottle of an oil that your skin doesn’t like. You will not need much anyway. Two fluid ounces of oil can last a couple months. Keep that in mind if you are purchasing an expensive oil. (You’ll likely also blend it with a less expensive oil.)

Most of the oils I recommend can be found either at health food stores, or online. I very much like Mountain Rose Herbs. They have quality products at reasonable prices, have a nice variety and are a good, reputable company. I’ve been buying from them for years.

You can buy some great quality teas from them too! (Green tea is fantastic for skin. Might as well get some while you’re shopping for oils!)

When buying oils, they should be “unrefined” and “cold pressed” when ever possible. If the manufacturer does not expressly say this, the oil is likely chemically extracted. Avoid those. (But CO2 extraction is  fine and does not damage the oils)


To use oil as a moisturizer, you will only need about 5 drops. Rub between palms and gently massage into face.

Oil should absorb after about 5 minutes. If the oil does not absorb well into your skin, use a lighter oil. Conversely, if that does not seem like enough, consider using a heavier oil.

IMPORTANT – Your skin loves oil and water. Traditional moisturizers provide both, but obviously just using oil does not. For this reason, I highly recommend applying your oils to a slightly damp face. It’s best to apply almost immediately after cleansing, or getting out of the shower. Only pat your face dry, leaving it slightly damp, then apply your oil. This will help lock in moisture.


The “lighter” an oil, the more quickly and easily it can degrade. These oils should be stored in a cool, dry place and away from direct sunlight. The shelf life of these oils is likely 6 – 12 months, possibly less depending on how long it has been from the time of extraction to the time of your purchase. I recommend using a permanent marker and writing the date you purchased your oil on the bottle.

“Heavier” oils are more robust, will last longer and not as easily degrade. It is still wise to store them in a cool, dry place. The shelf life will likely be between 12 – 18 months. (Jojoba oil is actually a wax and can last a few years).

Storing your oils in the refrigerator is always ok. Just make sure the cap is on tight.

Those are all my tips, tricks and tidbits about oils. In the comments below, let me know if you’ve tried oils on your skin and how like them. Or if you’re hesitant to try, tell me why.

Until next time Lovelies.

Much love,

Brianne sig logo small



Add yours
  1. 1
    Samantha Brooke

    Using oils has also changed my skin soo much. I use only almond oil on my skin. Sometimes I might use coconut oil as well. All those chemicals and expensive products are pretty much a waste of time. Atleast they were for me.

  2. 3

    I really love oils for skin! I use Argan, tamanu, rose hip seed, and grapeseed oil. They have greatly improved my skin! It is flawless, bright, and glowing……except where I have cystic spots. I still get those and I am trying to figure out how to address it internally. So my skin is beautiful around those spots! I really think more people need to try oils. It is definitely trial and error but quite worth it! I also know that a good, unrefined oil should retain its natural “nutty” and “earthy” scent.

    • 4
      Brianne Grebil

      Those are great oils, glad you find the right combination for you! Yes, oils often has that nutty, earthy scent, which I personally love. Though not all oils will necessarily have that fragrance. It depends on the oil.

      For the cystic acne, without having any other details, I would first consider stress as a culprit, or a possible food connection.

  3. 5

    I have very very dry skin (but also hormonal acne, chin, forehead, cheeks). Once I started using sea buckthorn oil my acne almost completely went away. I have a lot of scarring, that is fading over time, but it is a significant improvement. I do have a considerable amount of stress (young child and an very high stress sales job) but using oil has made a huge difference.

  4. 7


  5. 9

    Hi Brianne, I have been using jojoba oil for about a week now and I seem to be getting even more pimples and flaky skin. Is that normal? Is your skin supposed to purge?


    • 10
      Brianne Grebil

      Hello Haslel,
      Thanks for commenting.
      Unless you are getting A LOT more pimples, then their arrival is just coincidence. It takes AT LEAST a few weeks for a pimple to form, so if the jojoba was causing them, you would see them later. If it is a drastic increase in the number, then your skin may be sensitive to jojoba and you may want to try another oil.

      As for the flakiness, is your skin still damp when you are applying the oil? That’s an important step in the process. Also, a little goes a long way. Too much may cause problems. Only use about 4 or 5 drops.

      Unless the problem continues to get worse, I would give it a few more weeks. If the problem continues, then you may want to try another oil.

      I hope that helps! <3

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