We tend to hold very strong opinions about facial oils. Some of us use them passionately, virtually bathing in them morning and night, while others (often those with acne-prone skin) refuse to touch them with a 10-foot pole. Perhaps the greatest myth about facial oils, though, is that they all clog the skin and lead to breakouts. Whilst this may be true for some, it isn’t true for all. On the contrary, the right oil can not only help calm the skin and reduce inflammation and flare-ups but they are packed with a swathe of other anti-aging and ‘wow what have you done to your skin’ benefits too.
Why does our skin need oil?
Our skin lipid barrier is our defense mechanism against bacteria and viruses and is crucial for both protecting against damage and boosting moisture retention. If it’s not nourished, skin can become dry and brittle. More surprisingly, without sufficient oil balance, skin will compensate by producing more sebum resulting in breakouts and blemishes.
As with nutrition, exercise and alcohol consumption, balance is key.
So which facial oils should I be looking for?
The oil you chose is everything. You need to seek out a non-comedogenic oil. Translation: a facial oil that won’t clog pores and therefore won’t lead to unwanted skin eruptions. Oils to avoid are ones that suffocate the skin - these are more commonly the synthetic ones often derived from the petrochemical industry such as paraffin, mineral oil, liquid petroleum and baby oil to name a few.
At 35 Thousand we use oils that encourage skin to function optimally. We only use natural oils within our formulations that are easily recognized by the skin, won’t glue your pores, enable normal cellular turnover, and allow skin to breathe and help to keep it balanced and happy. These are our favorites.
If there was an Oscars of the skincare world, marula oil would get a standing ovation. Present in Clever Cleansing Balm, Refresh & Revive Mist and Really Radiant Cream, this natural wonder oil can beautify your skin today but also help defend it against the onslaught of tomorrow. With intense hydration-boosting effects, it also works as an occlusive layer, reducing any moisture loss and therefore leaving your skin immediately and noticeably plumper and more radiant than before.
Marula’s spectacular portfolio of skin benefits doesn’t end there - it's also high in antioxidant-rich vitamins C and E which help to defend against aging free radicals. Claire Bristow, Director of Product Development at 35 Thousand, says, “Perhaps the best thing about marula oil is its fatty acid profile, which is very similar to the oils naturally found in skin, making it highly bioavailable.” Plus marula has been proven to inhibit enzymes that break down the elastins within the skin, meaning it constantly works to ward off the development of fine lines.
Clever Camellia Seed Oil
Firstly, it has a molecular weight that is very close to the skin’s own sebum, resulting in rapid and deeper absorption and making it a fantastic choice for blemish-prone skin. Secondly, with over 98% long-chain fatty acids (which are vital to help combat signs of aging and dark spots), camellia seed oil can also aid in the production of collagen. Thirdly, camellia seed oil has fantastic anti-inflammatory qualities combined with a very mild astringent profile, meaning it not only helps to keep skin clear and blemish-free but it also does so without irritation. Genius.
Squalane has become somewhat of a skincare superstar in recent years for good reason. Used in both Clever Cleansing Balm and Really Radiant Cream, it has steadily grown in popularity as a protective powerhouse. Claire explains why: “It can help to neutralize damage caused by UV light, and it has natural antioxidant properties to help protect skin and fight pigmentation. It is also an incredible natural emollient that locks moisture into the skin despite its incredibly light texture.” Its ability to hydrate without clogging or blocking pores also makes it ideal for spot-prone complexions. Add to that the fact that it's proven to scientifically strengthen the skin barrier, without oiliness or surface residue, and we think we’ve found skin primer perfection.
Crazy for Castor Oil
No newcomer to the world of beauty, castor oil has been used medically and cosmetically for thousands of years. Taken from castor beans, castor oil naturally hydrates the skin without blocking pores, which is why we are trialling it in some new products in development. It's also rich in ricinoleic acid, a chemical compound that has been shown in early studies to have the potential in reversing hair loss. While the jury is still out on whether it can promote hair growth, it's a fantastic nourishing ingredient for glowing skin and a great conditioner for eyebrows and lashes.
If you liked reading about facial oils then you'll love learning more about our ingredients.
Read more about 35 Thousand founder Misty Reich here