The Secret to Applying Face Oil

Photography: Getty Images

Using face and skin oils can be tricky, so take the advice of these skincare professionals to ensure a smooth application: 

Apply oils on damp skin that is either freshly washed or misted. “Oils can be mixed with a bit of facial mist or with serums with a more water-like texture, such as a hyaluronic acid-based serum,” says Sanitas Skincare’s Alexis Mayne. “Mixing them together in your hands makes an emulsion, and as the ingredients complement each other, they subsequently absorb faster.”

Keep in mind that less is more. “Start with a few drops—you can always add another layer should you need it,” says Mayne. “Facial oils also need a bit of time to absorb, so allow for that before morning applications of sun block or makeup.”

Use your fingertips to apply. “Warm a few drops of oil in your palms, then use your fingertips and palms to lightly press the oil into the skin,” says Janel Luu of Le Mieux Cosmetics and PurErb

Before applying oil, lightly mist the face with toner. “The oil will spread smoothly and evenly, sealing hydration into the skin and creating a dewy, youthful glow,” says Luu.

Practice proper dispensing of the oil onto the hands. “Oils typically don’t magically spread evenly on the skin like a serum or moisturizer would,” says Eminence Organic Skin Care’s Brian Goodwin. “A simple solution to this is cupping your hand before dispensing the drops to hold them in a small puddle. You then spread the oil once across your hands and then press the oil into the skin on your face and body before trying to spread. It makes a world of a difference.” 

Massage the oil into the skin dry first. “We are used to mixing our foaming and creamy cleansers with water before applying them to the skin and this is a no-no with cleansing oils,” says Goodwin. “You should massage the oil into the skin dry first. This will allow it to melt makeup, grab onto particles and pollutants that the skin has picked up throughout the day, and dissolve skin’s excess sebum. You then add warm water and massage to emulsify.”