WHEN YOU WERE a ruddy-faced 16-year-old, your dermatologist probably warned you to steer clear of oil-infused products for fear of triggering a breakout. Conventional wisdom held that the oily should seek out oil-free. Well, like so many things that are better left to teenagers – hello selfie sticks, navel piercings and Justin Bieber – this edict deserves to be tossed out the window, right alongside your Discman and CD tower.
The truth is, slippery scalps and complexions can benefit from an infusion of oil, it's just important to select the right varietal so it balances your skin. While low-quality lanolin and mineral oils are omedogenic, high-quality essences like argan, jojoba, and macadamia oils can actually help extract excess sebum from pores.
Well-formulated oils can also help repair your skin's barrier, stamping out redness and inflammation faster than a face cream since they're more readily absorbed. Here, we mine the beauty aisle's latest launches in search of the best brews for every complexion concern.
Plump it Up: A long-time staple of aromatherapists, geranium oil offers more than just a fabulous floral scent: it helps promote collagen synthesis deep within the dermis. Shu Uemura's Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Oil in Essence combines geranium oil with pro-xylane to tone and re-volumise slack skin.
Scale it Down: Imbued with tamanu oil, a restorative elixir extracted from the Tahitian takamaka tree and traditionally used to protect infants' fragile skin, Helena Rubinstein's Prodigy Oil preserves the delicate lipid barrier. Teeming with natural fatty acids and nourishing omegas, this nutritious oil softens scaly patches upon contact.
Feed your Face: Fresh's Seaberry Skin Nutrition Booster was designed to enhance the efficacy of your favourite face cream. Loaded with antioxidant-rich seaberry oil and moisturising camellia-seed oil, this luxurious formula absorbs quickly for a supple, healthy-looking complexion.
A Head Above: The scalp is often overlooked in skincare regimens but its overall health is often the – ahem – root of the problem when it comes to bad-hair days. Indulge in some hairapy with Melvita's L'Or Bio, which is blended with omegarich kendi and pracaxi oils that help ward off the hair-raising effects of humidity.
Take it Easy: Shiseido's Future Solution LX Replenishing Treatment Oil features an exclusive fragrance that enhances the brain's alpha waves and calms parasympathetic nerves. Lightweight enough for oily skin, a cocktail of argan, evening primrose, safflower, jojoba and macadamia-nut oils rebalances moisture content as it's massaged into the skin.
Oh Glow On: Estee Lauder's Re-Nutriv Ultimate Lift Rejuvenating Oil steeps the skin in a bevy of botanical oils known for their powers of restoration. Evening primrose, patchouli and West Indian rosewood oils work in concert to revitalise areas of dullness.
From Head to Toenails: When you're in need of a total overhaul, swaddle every inch in La Mer's The Renewal Oil. Designed to mimic the skin's hydrolipidic structure, this dual-phase formula is imbued with active oils from its Miracle Broth and can be used from head to toe to enrich skin sans a greasy residue.