After much anticipation (and just in time for a crisp and chilly winter), it's here... Living Pretty, Naturally's official 2013 Best in Facial Oils Feature. It took months upon months of researching and testing, but I've nailed it down to the Top 7 Facial oils for daily use. Take the guessing out of your next online shop and get the details on these high quality anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, anti-redness, anti-blemish, antioxidant miracle oils. In my (humble) opinion, these beauties are the best oils on the market right now.
But wait! What's the difference between facial oils and serums?
This post is focusing on facial oils - that is, pure nourishing plant based oils for hyper-hydration, anti-aging, and healing. In another upcoming post, I'll be giving you the low down on my Top Serums (many of which come in oil form). So, what's the difference you may ask. Well, a serum, while it may come in cream, oil or "serum" form, are concentrates packed with antioxidants and vitamins that we put on BEFORE moisturizing. Serums tend to be lighter, made for a specific purpose (i.e. anti-aging, brightening, smoothing etc.), can be worn under makeup easily, and can also be used in place of a moisturizer in some cases. That being said, they don't deliver the moisturizing punch that a facial oil does, but they do transport vital nutrients direct to your skin. It is for this reason, I have separated my best natural facial oils from the best natural serums (coming at you soon).
How did I select the winners? Here were my requirements:
- Purity of ingredients (no synthetic crap, obviously)
- Quality of oil processing / extraction method (if processed at all - the more unrefined and pure, the better)
- Efficacy in maintaining my skin's moisture through the day and/or night
- Anti-aging ingredients and/or effects
- Sourced from ethical companies (i.e. they source their ingredients fairly and, as always, no animals were tested upon)
- Overall texture/consistency/viscosity and scent
And the Winners are...
*Please note, the numbers are not meant to differentiate the products in terms of 1st place, 2nd place etc. These made it on my Top 7 list, and they are all wonderful products. Wondering about the differences? Read the descriptions below.
1. Kahina Giving Beauty Argan Oil - The All-Round Essential Facial Oil
This 100% organic argan oil is the go-to oil for all around healthy, beautiful skin. This luxurious oil is certified organic, crafted in small batches and based on fairly traded argan oil (the only ingredient in Kahina's superstar oil). Argan oil could be the only oil you need as it treats everything from fine lines to eczema and dry hair to acne. Some superstar properties of argan oil include, its vitamin E content (restore elasticity and skin tone), antioxidant rich(fights and protects from free radicals helping to minimize signs of aging)
I used Kahina's Argan Oil for several weeks and found it to be a thick and luxurious moisturizer. I recommend this oil for the no-fuss beauty who wants a high quality and effective oil that protects, heals and beautifies. Kahina's argan oil was beautifully rich and kept my skin hydrated through the night, even while traveling and staying in dry hotel rooms. This one is an essential for every skin type - although I found the oil to be so hydrating that some may find it too much for day use. On a final note, the company also gives back - I love supporting companies that promote gratitude.
Where to Buy:
$36 for 30 ml or $86 for 100 ml
2. Amala Rejuvenate Treatment Oil: The Luxurious Anti-Ager
When it comes to luxurious natural beauty, Amala has this one down pat. Their beautiful line is packed with organic ingredients and superstar additions that you won't find easily. Fair trade organic cocoa bean (stimulates microcirculation and restores elasticity), Andiroba seed (contains essential fatty acids to retain moisture) and Amarant seed (stimulates cell renewal) are packed with some serious life force. These powerhouse ingredients are perfect for both mature skin and those who want to help prevent the signs of aging.
The ingredients of this oil are wonderful - and 95% organic - so I was delighted by that. The oil is moisturizing, certainly, but no so thick that you couldn't wear it for both day and evening. The scent is light and slightly floral, and I did not use a separate moisturizer over this oil. I feel this is the perfect oil for women with more mature skin, that are looking for a product that is potent and effective. While it comes at a price, this oil will never leave you feeling high and dry... and they certainly don't leave anyone in their supply chain without fair compensation either - read about their sustainability and philanthropy here.
Where to Buy:
$186 for 30 ml
3. Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Fruit & Seed Oil Blend: The Rosehip Warrior
We all know about my love of rose oil (or, if you weren't aware you now know), so it shouldn't be a surprise that a brand I love - and their rosehip oil - made it on my Top 7. Both manufactured and distributed out of West London, Pai's line is completely plant-based and clean. When it comes to their Rosehip oil, it is just that - organic rosa canina seed extract and organic rosa canina fruit extract, with the addition of some natural vitamin E (from sunflower). A lot of people looking for anti-aging skin products turn to retinol products - which are actually damaging to the skin, can cause reproductive issues and even cancer. Instead of reaching for a synthetic retinol based product, get the benefits from this rosehip blend which contains 'Trans-Retinoic Acid" that turns into Vitamin A helping to heal scars, sun damage and fine lines.
A super-concentrated rosehip oil blend, this oil is a powerful multitasker. It is great for any skin type (yes, even combination skin) and is effective at helping with elasticity, fine lines and firmness. I used this oil morning and night - but be warned, it's natural orange colour may turn your sheets, pillowcase and/or white robe yellow. With daily use, this oil is especially useful for hyperpigmentation due to melasma (patchy discolouration), sun damage or scarring. This oil has also been extracted using C02 supercritical extraction, meaning it's properties are left intact, making the oil that much more powerful - oh, and it's pretty darn affordable too! This is my mom's oil of choice at the moment - seeing her gorgeous skin is enough to make anyone convert.
Where to Buy:
$35 for 30 ml
4. RMS Beauty Oil: The Lightweight Champion
Another one of my favourite natural beauty brands makes a great oil for the combination /oily-skinned beauties. My fair ladies, this is your go-to. The RMS oil is a radiance boosting oil that is light enough for under-makeup application. With a base of rosehip seed oil and jojoba, it is still moisturizing without being too "shiny". It's additions of Buriti fruit and Tamanu seed oil bring about some serious antioxidant benefits. It's both a nourishing and protecting oil and certified organic.
While this oil was a little bit too light for me, it would make the perfect oil for any lovelies with skin on the oilier side. It's light and vanilla scent was just lovely and it went on brilliantly under makeup. As with all oils, you only need a few drops. I used this oil for one week and preferred it for day use over night use. As with most high quality oils, it is on the pricey side, but still affordable considering 3 - 4 drops will get you through the day.
Where to Buy:
$70 for 30 ml
5. Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil: Your First Facial Oil
No surprise here that a second rosehip oil has made it on the list. Trilogy's Certified Organic Rosehip Oil is a fantastic oil for all skintypes. It contains 100% Rosehip seed oil, so it has all the benefits that you would expect from a rose oil - anti-aging, healing and balancing. It's lightweight so it absorbs easily into the skin and is on the more affordable scale when it comes to the oils.
This oil is actually slightly more lightweight than Pai's Bioregenerate, so it is great for combination skinned beauties as well. It smells like a rose oil should, and absorbs relatively quickly for an oil, making it great for day as well as night use. Again, watch with your white pillow cases with this oil, as it does have a tendency to stain. The affordability of this oil may be largely because of the extraction process, which I was unable to find much information on - but they do guarantee a minimum of 80% essential fatty acids in every bottle.
Where to Buy:
$25 for 30 ml
6. Living Nature's Radiance Night Oil: The Nighttime NecessityBased out of New Zealand, Living Nature is committed to pure and natural skincare. The Radiance night oil combines rose and rosehip with calendula to facilitate skin's rejuvenation over night. The rose oil stimulates collagen production while the rosehip seed oil helps with repair and regeneration (as we have noted earlier). The calendula has a calming effect and is great for those suffering from rosacea. This night-time anti-aging remedy will have you bright eyed and glowing by morning.
I used this oil during nights only, again while on the road. It kept my skin moisturized right through until morning and I have to say the combination or rose oil and rosehip was a favourite of mine. I like to think of this oil as "treatment" since it feels like it's healing my skin overnight. It's rose scent is lovely and it's a heavier oil so it's perfect for dry or mature skinned belles. That being said, the addition of frankincense also helps heal blemishes, so it could be used for acne-prone lovelies as well. On a per millilitre basis, it is again on the pricier side, but this is what you can expect from high quality oils.
Where to Buy:
$70 for 10 ml
7. Blissoma Restore Deep Healing Oil: The Deep Moisturizer
Last, but certainly not least on my list is Blissoma Solutions' Restore. You might remember this little lovely from a previous post I did a while back on Blissoma products (find that post here) I loved this oil so much that I had to include it in my Top 7 of 2013. Packed with 10 cold-pressed seed oils, this oil is deeply nourishing and hugely moisturizing. Containing organic cranberry seed & grapeseed oil (natural Vitamin E sources), organic rosehip oil & seabuckthorn berry (anti-aging Vitamin A which builds collagen and fights fine lines) - this is just the beginning. Evening primrose oil and pomegranate oil combine well for those with hormonal skin (making this great for mature skin or those dealing with any hormonal skin issues).
This rich, deep moisturizing oil is beautiful for mature and dry skin types - especially those who are looking for anti-aging effects. Don't be turned off by the green colour, it comes from organic hemp oil which is packed with phytonutrients,. The addition of Calendula CO2 (supercritical extract) is a uniquely helpful ingredient for cell regeneration. I used this oil some mornings (it's very rich and can be a bit too much for days I'm wearing makeup) and all nights for 3 weeks. It was extremely nourishing and potent in its ingredients. I would argue it's my favourite oil for cold and dry Norwegian winters. I have put this one on Kate's Faves for a reason, and it continues to stay put.
Where to Buy:$30 for 30 ml USA - Irie Star Website Canada - Amazon International - Irie Star Website
Well, there you have it beauties, the best facial oils of 2013. I'm already looking forward to next year's additions!
Stay tuned for the Best Serums of 2013 - coming soon!!!
Don't forget to comment below if I missed out on your favourite facial oil! What is yours?