Well Oiled

February 12th, 2015

February 12th, 2015

Whether you’re using them to perk up skin or to cleanse it of make-up, oils are big news in this business.  No matter what budget or skin type you are working with, there is an oil out there for you.  Formulas are more advanced, lightweight and nourishing than ever it seems, and it makes sense to stock up on a bottle (or three).  We’ve gathered together some of our favourite treatment and cleansing oils to help you keep skin you’re working with in tip top condition.

Model shot

Cleansing Oils

With their lightweight consistency and magical ability to dissolve make-up, there’s every reason to keep a good cleansing oil in your kit at all times.  Oil-free cleansers actually strip away natural good oils, meaning skin is left unbalanced and can over-produce oil to try and rehydrate – not ideal if you’re about to apply make-up.  Even oily skinned types should embrace the speed and efficiency of these cleansers; simply apply to a dry face and watch make-up melt away.

Our favourite budget option comes from The Body Shop in the form of Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil (£10) and if you haven’t had the chance to check out the Camomile cleansing range yet – two eye make-up removers, a cleansing butter and the oil – you could be missing a trick.  With no stickiness or residue after rinsing off, the Silky Cleansing Oil contains skin-softening Camomile and is ideal for sensitive skin.  We’re big fans of the uncomplicated plastic bottle and pump packaging too.


If you’re tight on time for double-cleansing, look no further than shu uemura Cleansing Oils (from £30).  A cult classic, with apparently one bottle being purchased every seven seconds somewhere in the world, it emulsifies upon contact with water, removing the need to cleanse again.  Leaving skin moisturised and silky smooth, it helps to create the perfect canvas for you to begin your look – little wonder it is so popular.  We love the Anti-Oxi version.

Shu U AntiOxi 450

MAC of course has the Cleanse Off Oil (£20), which is a great staple.  Using extracts from olive fruit, evening primrose and jojoba seed, it is 100% mineral-oil free (always a plus) and is truly industrial strength, tested by artists across the board.  Waterproof mascara, stick foundation, SPF, you name it – it cuts through them all, emulsifies easily and the addition of Vitamin E keeps skin conditioned.


We admit that we might be cheating a bit by including the Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel with Marula Oil (£20) given that it appears as a gel formula – but it’s worth it.  A great option for those who aren’t big fans of extremely oily textures, this gel glides over the skin, smoothing into an oil as you work it in and turning into a gentle milk cleanser when water-activated.  The handy squeeze bottle also gets a huge thumbs up, and glow-boosting Marula works its magic on all skin types.  If these oil-in-gel formulas float your boat, you are in luck – look to Yves Saint Laurent for another option.


Our final pick is SUQQU’s Reset Cleansing Oil (£33), with a potent blend of three textured oils to remove even the most stubborn make-up.  The Asian beauty market is really taken with cleansing oils, and this is another prime example of a great one.  Ideal for more oily or combination types, it doesn’t leave skin as moisture-rich as some of the other oils – perhaps exercise caution with extremely dry skins.


Treatment Oils

Whether you’re repairing and conserving skin on an actor over a long shoot, or trying to create a bit of magic with a tired and jetlagged model, treatment oils are a fast and effective way of infusing skin with life and hydration. Oily skins needn’t shy away – although perhaps use more on an ‘as and when’ basis rather than every day.

French favourite Caudalie offers two night oils which are, in a word, incredible.  Choose from either the Vinosource Overnight Recover Oil (£26) or the Polyphenol C15 Overnight Detox Oil (£29).  Both are fast-absorbing dry variants, using 100% plant-derived ingredients.  The brand avoids all synthetic ingredients, fragrances, animal products and non-organic petroleum derivatives (Vaseline, silicone, mineral oils etc) which obstruct pores – ideal for clients who are vegetarian or vegan.  The Vinosource Oil has been developed for dry and sensitive skin – combining Rose, Sesame, Jojoba and Grape-seed essential oils – to soothe skin prone to redness and irritation.  The Polyphenol Detox Oil, on the other hand, is designed to help skin renew and recover from the effects of stress, pollutions, UV radiation and other oxidising free radicals.


Keeping with the plant-power theme, we love Jurlique Skin Balancing Face Oil (£38).  This best seller has a pleasant floral scent thanks to the blend of botanical ingredients, which pack enough of a punch to rival synthetic formulations.  It combines natural Vitamin E (Tocopherol), Safflower, Rose Hip, Avocado and Macadamia Oils, as well and moisturising Shea Butter to restore suppleness.


The delightfully named when hope is not enough oil from Philosophy (£34.50) is chock full of omega 3, 6 and 9 essential fatty acids to help improve elasticity and hydration for dry skin.  Ideal for evening use, to help repair skin after a long day of wearing make-up, it is also perfect to add to face creams to boost hydration.  Although quite dense, it feels very lightweight and absorbs quickly.


We’ve mentioned our love for Swedish-American brand Kerstin Florian before, and their handy essential oil blends are no difference.  Check out the Rejuvenating Anti-Stress Oil (£29) for its gorgeous, calming aroma which is a boon after a long day.  Certified organic, this blend of Geranium, Melissa, Lavender and Jojoba oils is perfect for older skins which may present as dry or weathered.


For chilly location work, we can’t recommend the de Mamiel Winter Facial Oil (£65) enough.  Its petite packaging makes it ideal for stashing in your kit, while packing a hell of punch.  The thick oil spreads and absorbs with surprising ease, and the blend of antioxidant and omega-rich aromatic extracts and flower essences calm and revitalise skin.  With included massage descriptions, this will help work in the product and give the effects of a mini-facial, promoting circulation and relaxation.


It may be the priciest option on our list, but the Colbert MD illumino Face Oil (£100) has won its way into celebrity cabinets with good reason.  Dr David Colbert – the founder and head physician of New York Dermatology Group – has put all of his extensive experience and knowledge into his product line, and it shows.  If you’re aiming to return a healthy glow to a complexion in a matter of minutes, this is the product for you.  Five wonder oils – Marula, Argan, Yangu, Passion Fruit and Borage Seed – work together to leave skin glowing from the inside out.


To round us off, we have the Aromatherapy Associates Soothing Face Oil (£45.50), just the thing for fixing any reactions you may encounter – whether it’s dryness, flaking skin, sunburn or break-outs.  German Camomile reduces the appearance of redness while supporting the natural healing process, Evening Primrose offers immediate softness, and Strawberry Seed helps to repair the natural moisture barrier.




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By Deborah Murtha

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