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While the idea of adding oil to your face might sound contradictory (who wants an oily face?), adding a few drops of nutrient-rich facial oil into your daily skincare routine can do wonders for reducing redness, plumping out fine lines, and basically undoing years of sun damage, pollution, and neglect.

However, unlike your more benign drug-store moisturizer, which can be applied as liberally and often as possible, facial oils contain powerful ingredients that can, with repeated use, change the appearance of skin quite dramatically.

Here, we’re introducing you to brands you might not know about – and that surely belong on your shelf if you want to start taking skincare a bit more seriously.

With that in mind, we scoured the earth for the best new facial oils. Read on

The K-Beauty Flex

Oil

Oil

$32

Pyunkang Yul

Buy at OHLOLLY

A good (if slightly arbitrary) rule of thumb for skincare products is: if it comes from South Korea, you’re already doing the most. Pyunkang Yul launched from the Seoul-basd Pyunkang Yul medical institute, which is known for treating skin with traditional Korean ingredients. You won’t find any scents, textural enhancers, or superfluous chemicals here as the line only contains the bits your skin needs to look its best. Accordingly, the Pyunkang Yul facial oil contains essential oils such as jojoba seed, sunflower, geranium, and rosemary. Simply add a few drops to your moisturizer or apply on its own to boost your skin’s hydration overnight.

The Clean & Clinical Approach

Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil

Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil

$40

Drunk Elephant

Buy at Drunk Elephant

After much research, founder of premium skincare line Drunk Elephant, Tiffany Masterson, identified some problematic ingredients that kept appearing in her skincare routines. Now known as the “suspicious six,” Masterson found that by removing these undesirable and completely unnecessary chemicals, she could develop a line of purified skincare products with a method that’s since been dubbed the “clean-clinical” approach.

The Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil contains oil straight from the pip of the Marula fruit, which is obtained using a cold-press extraction and filtration process, ensuring the oil remains rich in polyphenol antioxidants (the stuff you find in green tea basically) and fatty acid compounds. A few drops of this smoothed into the skin before bed will promote a reduction in the appearance of fine lines, redness, blotchiness, and an improvement in skin’s elasticity.

What a K-beauty Blogger Would Use

Rosehip Watery Beauty Oil

Rosehip Watery Beauty Oil

$33

isntree

Buy at isntree

Isntree began as Korea’s first-ever skincare blog in 2008, when a law was passed that meant every cosmetics brand in Korea was required to list every ingredient in its products, so it knows what works and what doesn’t. This rosehip beauty oil contains four botanical oils that are easily absorbed into the skin via a pharmaceutical dropper. The molecules in rosehip oil are small enough to penetrate the deepest layers of the skin, improving collagen levels, making this an ideal product to counter the affects of aging, pre-mature or otherwise.

Editor’s Pick

FACE&BODY Lovely Skin Formula

FACE&BODY Lovely Skin Formula

$19

Youthing Strategies

Buy at Youthing Strategies

“I discovered this handy, all-purpose face and body oil at a place called Optimum Health Institute, a new-age medicine resort based out of a former motel in suburban San Diego. And, according to its website, it also comes highly recommended by Deepak Chopra. Your honor, I rest my case.” – Thom Bettridge, Editor-in-Chief

Health Food Store Realness

Organic Jojoba Skin Care Oil

Organic Jojoba Skin Care Oil

$18

Aura Cacia

Buy at Aura Cacia

Ideally, all our skincare products would look like a health drink plucked off the shelves of an organic food shop in Dallas — like this one. Aura Cacia’s Organic Jojoba Oil is made from jojoba wax, which has a different texture to other facial oils and can be applied to any area of the skin that is feeling a little dry (i.e. the scalp). Compared to other essential oils, jojoba oil will not oxidize, which guarantees a super-long shelf life as well as benefitting the skin by reducing redness and the effect of eczema and rosacea, making it one of the best facial oils out there.

The Glow Up

C.E.O. Glow

C.E.O. Glow

from $36

Sunday Riley

(Available at 6 Merchants)
(Available at 6 Merchants)

Sunday Riley is the eponymous luxury skincare range from the brand’s eponymous “product formulator.” C.E.O. Glow includes turmeric oil (hence that orange tint), as well as evening primrose oil, which work in unison to brighten, hydrate, and give your face a natural glow. However, the real star ingredient here is the THD ascorbate, which is a form of vitamin C that’s been modified to be more lipid soluble — in layman’s terms, it’s the fastest route to get that vitamin C into the deepest layers of the skin, where you want it to be.

The Flawless Swedish Grandma’s Choice

Bio Retinoid™ Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate Oil

Bio Retinoid™ Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate Oil

$69

REN Skincare

Buy at Dermstore

Ren means “clean” in Swedish, which is kind of the adjective we’re trying to achieve here. The Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate Oil has a resplendent texture that feels like applying a lick of liquid gold to your face. Pretty glam. However, as this product also contains a hit of retinoids, you might want to start off using once every other day to build up your skin’s tolerance to this powerful vitamin A-dense chemical that will, with repeated use, encourage a rapid turnover of cell regeneration on the surface of the skin. There’s really no better time to consider dipping into retinoids and retinol oil than our current quarantine conditions.

How’d You Get Such Good Skin, Bro?

'Face Hero' Face Oil For Men

'Face Hero' Face Oil For Men

$45

Bro-To

Buy at Go-To

Bro-To is the men’s range of skincare products from Australian brand Go-To, known for developing “cruelty-free products that won’t piss off your skin.” The tongue-in-cheek website refers to this range as being perfect for “men with skin” — sound like someone you know?

The rapidly-absorbing Face Hero oil contains ingredients including almond oil, jojoba oil, macadamia oil, brazil nut oil, apricot kernel oil, evening primrose oil, buriti oil, rosehip oil, calendula extract, arnica extract, kiwi fruit seed oil, vitamin e, totarol, and rosemary leaf extract. It’s more than enough to replenish your skin’s texture, smoothness, and tone — and who doesn’t love decidedly masculine, pewter-tone packaging?

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Words by Max Grobe
Associate Fashion Editor