Honest Thoughts on the Best Facial Oils

My First Thoughts & Impressions of Facial Oils

When facial oils first started to make waves in the beauty community, I couldn’t help but wonder about how badly my combination skin would react to adding more oil to it. This led me to think about how, as an early teen, I was resistant to the idea of moisturizers for the same reason — it can seem counterintuitive to add layers of stuff to your clean, dry skin, especially stuff that’s oil based.

And, to an extent, this is true, especially if you have sensitive skin like I do. Certain types of products are just no-gos for me. I’ve had terrible luck with drugstore brands, even ones that different bloggers and content creators whose opinions I trust have adored. The combination of perfume and whatever type of oil or whatever is used can just throw my skin for a total loop.

The Best Facial Oils: My Honest Reviews

I’m careful with what I add to my face post-washing. The idea with facial oils is that you add them as your last layer, or one of the last layers, after you use a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. Since my skeptical youth, I’ve come to understand the importance of moisturizers and how they don’t — or, at least, the right kinds won’t — cause my skin any distress.

So, with that in mind, I decided to try out some facial oils.

Facial Oils -- featuring Youth to the People Maqui + Acai Prickly Pear Goji Superberry Hydrate and Glow Oil, Sunday Riley's Luna retinol night oil, Biossance's Squalane + Vitamin C rose oil, and Herbivore products (Pheonix regenerating facial oil and prism natural fruit acid glow potion)

Herbivore Oils

Herbivore’s social media presence made them an obvious first choice. Furthermore, the company pries itself on being “truly natural,” cruelty free, and vegan. When I started out, I didn’t want to spend too much money on this new-to-me type of product, so I turned to Amazon. Unsurprisingly, these are some of the best vegan facial oils, in my opinion, and generally good facial oils for combination skin or even sensitive skin.

Herbivore Phoenix Oil

On Amazon, I found a 0.3 oz bottle of Herbivore’s Phoenix Regenerative Facial Oil for around $30. It’s also available in a larger 1.7 oz size bottle, if you prefer. (Although, while I searched for the product info, I found this mini set that is a great deal – it features two mini oils and a mini jade roller!) I had heard good things so I gave it a shot. So far, I think the Herbivore Phoenix Facial Oil may be my favorite facial oils. It smells great and lasts for forever.

Herbivore Prism Glow Potion

Side note on Herbivore: Beyond the Phoenix Regenerative Facial Oil, I have also become a fan of the Prism Glow Potion. I’m including Prism in this post on facial oils because, although it’s not technically an oil, the process is similar and I group it together with my oils.

Prism is a mild exfoliant that does not sting or interact weirdly with moisturizers or makeup. It does oxidize, though, so my bottle went from being clear to a kind of pinky-brown, which is strange (although normal, according to their website). Other than that, I’m a big fan.

UPDATE: They have updated the formula since I started using the product, and the new formulation is available at Sephora. Read my review of the updated Prism formula here!

Facial Oils -- featuring Youth to the People Maqui + Acai Prickly Pear Goji Superberry Hydrate and Glow Oil, Sunday Riley's Luna retinol night oil, Biossance's Squalane + Vitamin C rose oil, and Herbivore products (Pheonix regenerating facial oil and prism natural fruit acid glow potion)

Youth to the People Oil Review

Maqui Acai Prickly Pear Goji Superberry Hydrate and Glow Oil

I’m a big fan of the Youth to the People Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream, so when I found out about their Superberry Hydrate and Glow Oil, I knew I wanted to try it. The oil — the Maqui Açaí Prickly Pear Goji Superberry Hydrate and Glow Oil — is a mouthful to say, but a good option, financially, since it’s a relatively large bottle and on the cheaper side. A 1 oz bottle from the brand website costs $44 which isn’t terrible, especially for a product of which you use so little at a time.

However, I was not a huge fan of the Youth to the People oil. I really wanted to like it, and I do like it for on my chest and neck, but it feels too heavy for my skin. It smells great and is probably good for people with dryer-yet-less-tempermental skin than my own.

So, for the meantime, I’m going to stick with this brand’s moisturizers and masques.

Facial Oils -- featuring Youth to the People Maqui + Acai Prickly Pear Goji Superberry Hydrate and Glow Oil, Sunday Riley's Luna retinol night oil, Biossance's Squalane + Vitamin C rose oil, and Herbivore products (Pheonix regenerating facial oil and prism natural fruit acid glow potion)

Sunday Riley Oils

A couple months ago, I picked up the Sunday Riley Multivitamins Set from Sephora, which has a cute little vial of their Luna Sleeping oil, a retinol oil. I’m down for pretty much anything with retinol (aka tretinoin, a vitamin C derivative) in it. I’ve had great results with Retin-A for acne and it is an anti-aging powerhouse.

And, if that wasn’t enough, my mom’s dog’s name is Luna, so I definitely needed to try this oil out.

Fair warning, the Luna Sleeping oil has a bit of a funky scent to it. Nothing crazy or overwhelming, but definitely not like the lovely-smelling Herbivore Phoenix.

Scent aside, I’ve really liked this product. The Luna Sleeping oil is not very heavy at all and dries quite nicely — and quite quickly. At first, I was startled to find out that the oil itself is blue, and not the bottle, but it goes onto the skin clear. I’ve felt that my skin is smoother and more even after using this product for a while.

You can pick up a bottle from Anthropologie, Sephora, and Nordstrom.

Facial Oils -- featuring Youth to the People Maqui + Acai Prickly Pear Goji Superberry Hydrate and Glow Oil, Sunday Riley's Luna retinol night oil, Biossance's Squalane + Vitamin C rose oil, and Herbivore products (Pheonix regenerating facial oil and prism natural fruit acid glow potion)

Biossance Face Oil Review

Like with Herbivore, I’m a big fan of Biossance’s reliance on natural, clean products. I’ve actually only ever bought one other Biossance product — their eye gel cream, which I love — before this oil, but I’ve gotten samples from Sephora from time to time.

I had seen the Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil before and was intrigued, but scared away by the price. After seeing some positive reviews online, I decided to give it a shot and ordered it from the Biossance site.

First of all, Biossance’s packaging is great. Super sustainable and thoughtfully designed. Second, this oil is pretty amazing. At first, I thought it might go the way of the Youth to the People oil and be too heavy, but I think I was just using too much at a time. This oil spreads really well and seems to work best if you literally press it into the skin. That is, I rub a small dose around in my hands until they are warm and then pat the different areas of my face, as opposed to rubbing it in like one would a face wash or moisturizer. Pro tip: its also great for the neck and chest because it spreads so nicely!

In my opinion, the Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C oil is the best facial oil to wear under makeup. I add a drop or two of it to my tinted moisturizer before applying powder and blush.

If the price gives you pause as it gave me, be comforted by the fact that you use so little at a time that the 1.01 oz/30 mL bottle lasts months.

Facial Oils -- featuring Youth to the People Maqui + Acai Prickly Pear Goji Superberry Hydrate and Glow Oil, Sunday Riley's Luna retinol night oil, Biossance's Squalane + Vitamin C rose oil, and Herbivore products (Pheonix regenerating facial oil and prism natural fruit acid glow potion)

The Best Facial Oils

Overall, I have found a few great facial oil options. As everyone’s skin is different, the best facial oils for one person may differ from what is best for another. However, I’ve found that squalane oils or rose hip seed oils tend to work best with my skin. Jojoba oil is another popular oil base that works well for many people.

Facial Oils Explained
For more information about facial oils, I invite you to check out Facial Oil FAQ article, which covers:
more about facial oil benefits, when and how to use these oils in your skincare routine, whether facial oils can replace moisturizers, how long facial oils last, and more.

All Purpose Facial Oil for Dry Skin

For daily and all-purpose use, I believe the best face oil ever is the Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose, closely followed by the Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil (discussed more in depth here). The Luna Retinol Sleeping Night Oil is also a great option with a more specialized product design, featuring retinol. If you’re looking to try out face oil generally and don’t have any specific skin issues, I think these are some of the best facial oils to buy.

Facial Oil for Acne or Acne Scars

The Juno Antioxidant and Superfood Face Oil is highly recommended for those with acne or acne-prone skin. This facial oil with vitamin C helps brighten the skin while also fortifying the skin with anti-aging properties.

More recently, I got a small bottle of the Biossance Squalane and Tea Tree Balancing Oil to test out. This oil has been working really well with my acne prone skin. The tea tree purifies and calms skin while the squalane helps provide the necessary moisture. I think, based on how well it’s been working on my own skin, that this may be one of the best facial oils for late 20s acne prone skin.


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When facial oils first started to make waves in the beauty community, I couldn't help but wonder about how badly my combination skin would react to adding more oil to it. After giving a few types a chance, though, I've come to love facial oils!

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