Natural Face Oils & How To Use Them

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What are Facial Oils and How to Use Them

An absolutely essential component of healthy facial skin is moisture. Moistirized skin is happy skin. It just looks and feels good and is the key to retaining a healthy glow. The most basic function of a moisturizer is to soften the skin by preventing water loss.

Adding a gentle facial massage with a natural moisturizer helps improve circulation, promote natural lymph drainage, protect delicate facial skin, and promotes hydration.

Whether you call them face oils, facial oils, or facial serums, nourishing organic, unrefined oils can moisturize, soothe and help restore natural balance to facial skin.

What is a Face Oil?

While you may think that facial oils are a recent addition to moisturizing skin care, they have have had a major role in beauty and health for a long time. 

Over 2000 years ago, the Roman naturalist and philosopher Pliny the Elder wrote in his ancient text, Natural History, oil “effaces wrinkles on the skin, improves the complexion, and, in combination with honey, removes spots on the face.”

Applying a facial oil gives your skin a hydration boost and I like to think of it as a way to help replenish the natural oils of your skin.

Pure and natural organic face oils are an easy way to feed your skin.

  • They are made using simple botanical ingredients for radiant skin.
  • Unrefined plant-based oils are prized for their skin-nurturing properties and penetrate deeply bringing essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to the skin.
  • Nourishing oils such as Jojoba and botanical-infused Sunflower; healing oils like Argan, Sea Buckthorn, and Tamanu; and potent seed oils such as Pomegranate, Rosehips, Sesame, and Pumpkin help replenish the skin's own natural oil and promote a healthy complexion. 

While there are some essential oils that are good for facial skin, over the years we have received many emails from customers who are sensitive to even the most gentle essential oils, so we have chosen not to include them in our facial oils.


Why Use a Face Oil

Our skin naturally produces oils that help keep our skin looking youthful, supple, and healthy. However, as we age oil production tends to decrease and our skin begins to lose the ability to retain moisture. Our facial skin tends to become thinner and lose its elasticity. Since our skin produces less oil it dries out more easily which can exaggerate the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Facial oils can help prevent water loss and keep skin looking plump.

The biggest misconception surrounding facial oils is that they only people with dry skin. But a good wholesome facial oil can work on all skin types. You just need to find the right facial oil for you. (See suggestions below)

Facial oils are great to use all year long but please remember that skincare needs often change from season to season. Face oils can help soothe dry winter skin and add moisture to summer skin dehydrated by the Sun.

Our organic face oils are great for all skin types. Think of them as nourishment for beautiful skin.


Oily Skin

Facial oils are not just for people with very dry skin!

While many people, especially those with oily or acne-prone skin tend to shy away from oil-based moisturizing, it can be an important step in daily skin care. An organic facial oil helps to increase the moisture content in the skin and prevent further moisture loss. Always look for an unrefined high-quality oil that is light in texture.

Each person's skin is unique, but if you have oily skin, nourishing organic oils can help mimic the natural skin sebum which in turn sends signals to oil-producing cells that say, "Hey my skin is moisturized so stop producing oil."

Using products created to "dry out" oily skin, in an attempt to get rid of oily shine, will actually trigger the oil glands to increase oil production, which only exacerbates the oily skin problem. A good moisturizers actually helps balance skin oil production.

However, if your are struggling with acne or oily skin, nourishing oils like Argan and Jojoba, which have natural components similar to the skin’s natural secretions, can actually help balance skin oil production.

Some synthetic additives can actually clog pores causing acne and blackheads. Stripping the skin of its natural oils will cause the skin to overcompensate by producing even more oil.

Organic Facial Oil - Rosehips SesameDry Skin

If you have dry skin an organic facial oil made from unrefined botanical oils creates a protective but breathable barrier that slows moisture evaporation and thus helps lock in moisture. A facial oil can also be used to compliment a natural face cream.

Maturing Skin

It is especially important for those (like me!) with maturing skin to keep your face adequately moisturized to help with fine lines and wrinkles. As we age, the skin's natural oil production decreases, the skin dries out more easily and wrinkles appear deeper. A nourishing oil helps prevent water loss and plump the skin.

Irritated Skin or Sensitive Skin

A natural face oil is ideal for sensitive and irritated skin. Sometimes, adequate hydration alone can help calm inflammation and soothe red irritated skin. Despite the fact that our face oils are organic and plant-based, they can still cause irritation in those with sensitive or highly reactive skin. It is always best to try the product a few times with a tiny test patch on the face before applying to a larger area. Stop immediately if any irritation starts to appear.

For some, products that contain essential oils can wreak havoc on sensitive facial skin. So again, if your face oil contains essential oils be sure to test a small area before using. 


No matter why type of skin you have the main thing is to make sure that you are using the right kind of moisturizer.

The most nourishing face oils are those made with unrefined, certified organic plant-based oils. Unrefined oils are either cold-pressed or expeller-pressed.

They are minimally processed without chemicals under temperature-controlled conditions which ensures a nutrient-rich, high-quality natural oil. USDA Certified Organic means the botanical oils are free of synthetic additives, pesticides, and preservatives.

Stay away from petroleum-based products that contain mineral oils that can clog pores, cause breakouts and interfere with the skin's ability to breathe. 


The Best Way to Apply a Face Oil

Less is More

For those who have tried facial oils but do not like them, often an incorrect application method is the problem. Since facial oils are very concentrated, a little goes a very long way and less is usually better than more.

If your skin feels oily hours after application, you should reconsider your technique.

Can a face oil replace your moisturizer? For some yes, but for others maybe not. If you have very dry or maturing skin a face oil alone may not contain enough of the "heavier" ingredients found in an organic oil-based moisturizing cream. The two products play different moisturizing roles and support each other.

For my 70 year old facial skin, a face oil alone is enough during summer months but not during the drying winters. If you are going to use both, apply the facial oil first and allow a few minutes for it to absorb before apply your face cream.

Is Your Face Ready?

The best way to apply facial moisturizers is on freshly cleaned, warm and damp (not wet) skin. Clean skin allows oils to better penetrate deep layers and stop leftover makeup from clogging pores.

Creams and oils work best with a little damp moisture. Facial oils are better able to lock in moisture when the skin is more pliable after a warm wash and damp skin also ensures that the oils spread evenly and absorb effectively into your skin leading to more hydrated, plumper skin.

Note that your skin should not be wet, just a bit moist, or the skin will be unable to hold the oil. Remember that oil and water do not mix!

How Much to Use

Again, facial oils are very concentrated, so start slowly. The key is to use them sparingly.

The recommended amount for your décolleté, neck, and face is about 4 to 6 drops. If doing your face only, you need about 2 to 3 drops of oil per treatment. If your skin is extra dry a couple more drops may be helpful. Just don’t overdo it. This might appear to be a very small amount but start out small, you can always add more. 

Application Technique

Now that your skin is ready you need to choose an application method.

While many people have their own special technique for applying face oil, here are two favorites. Always be sure that your hands are clean and remember to begin with clean, damp skin. 

Dropper Method

How to apply natural organic facial oil serumWe suggest applying our facial oil directly to your skin with the dropper. Placing the oils on your hands first will probably give you soft hands, but you want to get the most benefit for face!

While it may be called a facial oil, the sensitive skin on your neck is especially prone to signs of aging or dryness.

Begin with only a drop on each cheek, one drop on your neck, one on your décolleté, and one on your forehead, focusing on problem areas (remember you can always add more if needed).

If you choose to do your face only, place one drop on each cheek and one on your forehead. If you have an oily T-zone, but dry flaky cheeks, limit your facial oil application to dry problem areas only.

Patting the oil onto the skin with your fingertips is often thought to be more effective than rubbing the oils into your skin. Patting can aid in oil absorption and nourish deeper skin layers. But using a gentle "rub" in sections will also work, especially if time is a factor.

EYES: Take extra care around the eye area since rubbing or pulling that delicate skin may help encourage those annoying eye wrinkles. My eye technique:

  • I place less than pea-sized amount of oil on my left ring finger to use a my "dipping pot".
  • Then I use the ring finger from the other hand to dab small amounts of oil gently around the eyes. 
  • Using a dabbing motion, I gently smooth the oil into the skin, beginning at the inner corner of the eye to the outer corner of the eye.

When applying moisturizer to your neck or décolleté, massage in an upward soft stroking motion, until completely absorbed.

A face oil is a great product to use with facial massage. Using small circular strokes in an upward, outward motion, massage slowly and gently with your oily fingertips until most of the oil has been absorbed. The gentle massage will also give your skin a nice circulation boost and can help with lymphatic drainage.


  • Any oil left on your fingers can be used anywhere that needs some extra TLC, like the ends of your hair or your cuticles.
  • If your skin is very dry it may need an additional application during the day.  We suggest taking a tiny spray bottle filled with clean water to give your face a quick mist before reapplying.
Palm Method

While your skin is still slightly damp, place a few drops of face oil in the palm of one hand and then warm the oil by gently rubbing the palms of your hands together. Then press both your palms onto your face with firm but gentle pressure and hold for a few seconds. Then gently massage until it feels absorbed. Some believe that this warming process helps to better activate all the goodness in your oil and enhance absorption. 


When To Use a Facial Oil

It is usually suggested that a facial oil be used in the morning. If your skin is extra thirsty, apply the face oil and allow a few minutes for it to absorb. Then use your natural cream moisturizer as usual for extra hydration.

There is a debate as to whether you should apply moisturizers at night. You need to pay attention to YOUR skin!

One school of thought is that you should not moisturize at night. While you sleep skin cells are hard at work naturally repairing, regenerating, balancing oil production, and flushing out impurities.

Applying moisturizers may prevent your skin from breathing, interfere with the skin’s natural regenerative activities, and may cause your skin to become dependent on moisturizers.

The other school of thought is that since cell repair and regeneration is higher at night, skin loses more moisture and needs the extra moisture. Also, since the skin’s ability to absorb ingredients peaks at night, your skin may be able to better absorb the nourishing, moisturizing ingredients.

When applying a face oil at night, we recommend applying the oil at least 20 to 30  minutes before going to bed. The oil needs time to soak into your skin, rather than into your pillow.

If you choose to moisturize day and night, a light facial oil may be better than a heavy cream. Just remember that your skin needs time to breathe. Using too much over time can make your skin lazy. Over moisturizing signals your own sebaceous (oil) glands to slow down natural moisture production, which can result in chronic dry skin.


About Chagrin Valley Face Oils

Many face oils and serums on the market promise miraculous results with eye-catching ingredients and come with a steep price tag. Be sure to choose a facial moisturizer formulated with simple, organic ingredients that are easily absorbed and allow the skin to breathe.

It is very difficult to discuss "facial oils" in general since every manufacturer has their own formulations and they are quite different. So, I will talk about our facial oils.

Our silky nectars for your skin "harness the power and simplicity of nature" using unrefined, organic plant oils and botanicals.  

Our fragrance-free organic facial oils are an easy way to nourish even the most sensitive skin and keep it healthy and hydrated.

Which Facial Oil To Choose?

We make 4 different face oil formulations each using unrefined plant oils that have not been bleached or deodorized. These oils retain their natural scent, color, and nutritional benefits.

Recommendations are based on our experience and customer feedback.

Seabuckthorn Tamanu Facial Oil

Recommended for

  • Red, irritated or inflamed skin
  • Itchy skin
  • Rosacea
  • Eczema
  • Minor Burns
  • Scars
  • Maturing skin
Organic Facial Oil - Argan PumpkinArgan Pumpkin Facial Oil

Recommended for

  • Normal to oily skin
  • Skin that needs help balancing oil production
  • Skin that is sometimes shiny but sometimes needs moisture
  • This is our lightest facial oil
Sesame Rosehips Facial Oils

Recommended for

  • Dry skin
  • Itchy skin
  • Flaky skin
  • Maturing skin
Pomegranate Argan Tamanu Facial Oil

Recommended for

  • Normal to maturing skin
  • Skin that needs some TLC and moisture
  • Irritated skin
  • Dull skin


Ingredients We Use in Chagrin Valley Face Oils

Natural Organic Skin Care Argan OilArgan Oil (Argania spinosa)
Argan oil is a light- to medium-weight oil that absorbs into the skin instead of sitting on top. Prized for its ability to improve the quality of skin, argan oil, rich in vitamin E, natural squalene, phytosterols and essential fatty acids, helps ease wrinkles and fine lines and makes skin feel softer and look more radiant. It contains naturally soothing anti-inflammatory agents that help calm inflamed or itchy skin. Argan oil can help balance oil production, is noncomedogenic, and is not likely to clog pores. This makes it a wonderful ingredient to use if you have an oily or acne-prone skin. 


Natural Organic Skin Care Evening Primrose OilEvening Primrose Oil (Oenothera biennis)
A rich source of vitamin A and fatty acids, including gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), evening primrose promotes healthy skin by restoring and retaing moisture and helping to maintain skin elasticity. Soothing evening primrose has been used to help with conditions like eczema and is an excellent oil for dry, maturing skin. Some people believe the GLA in evening primrose oil may help acne by reducing skin inflammation. (Used in our Rosehips Sesame Oil)


Natural Organic Skin Care Jojoba OilJojoba Oil (Buxus sinensis)
The structure of jojoba oil closely resembles our own skin sebum and is considered nature's most effective natural moisturizer and skin softener. It is so great for balancing oil production that it actually helps your skin find its own natural balance. It penetrates the skin easily, has anti-inflammatory actions, and can be used on oily and acne-prone skin. Great for any skin type, this mild and gentle oil is also good for maturing or sensitive skin. (Used in all of our Facial Oils)


Natural Organic Skin Care Pomegranate OilPomegranate Seed Oil (Punica granatum)
This rich, nutritious, highly absorbent oil contains high levels of antioxidants that help calm skin inflammation and soothe minor skin irritations. It helps protect and moisturize dry, cracked, dehydrated, or mature skin, revitalizes dull skin, and improves skin elasticity. This oil is rich in punicic acid, also named Omega-5, which helps to nourish and protect the outer layer of the skin making it more resilient against environmental stressors. Pomegranate seed oil is very expensive. It takes over 200 pounds of fresh pomegranates to produce one pound of pomegranate seed oil!


Natural Organic Skin Care Pumpkin Seed OilPumpkin Seed Oil (Cucurbita pepo)
A highly nourishing and emollient oil rich in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that may be helpful for inflamed skin. Rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin A that help regulate skin oil (sebum) production, it is great for both oily/acne-prone skin and dry damaged skin. Pumpkin seed oil readily absorbs into skin, helps soothe irritation and dryness, and promotes a youthful glow.


Natural Organic Skin Care Rosehips OilRosehips Oil (Rosa rubiginosa)
The natural retinoic acid found in Vitamin A-rich rosehips oil can help brighten your skin, prevent blackheads, calm inflammation, and ease fine lines and wrinkles. It easily penetrates dry skin to restore needed moisture. Rosehips oil, rich in antioxidants, offers many benefits to facial skin due to its essential fatty acids, vitamin E, vitamin C, and B-carotene and make it an excellent option for hydrating dry, itchy skin.


Natural Organic Skin Care Sea Buckthorn OilSea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides)
Uniquely rich in Vitamin C, omega-3 oils, antioxidants (like vitamin E), B vitamins, and beta-carotene (which gives the berries their characteristic color) Sea Buckthorn Oil is a powerful skin-repairing moisturizer treasured for its anti-inflammatory activity that helps promote healing, ease scarring by encouraging tissue regeneration, even out skin tone, and improve overall skin tone, texture and elasticity. 

When used topically, sea buckthorn oil may help promotes the healing of eczema, rosacea, and burns, including radiation and sunburn. There are claims that sea buckthorn oil kills Demodex mites that often cause rosacea. Sea buckthorn oil is very expensive. Over 10 pounds of berries are needed to produce one pound of oil. It is so concentrated that it may temporarily stain the skin.


Natural Organic Skin Care Sesame Seed Oil Mature SkinSesame Seed Oil (Sesame indicum)
One of the best oils to moisturize and nourish skin, sesame seed oil contains loads of vitamin E along with vitamin B complex and vitamin A which helps nourish and rejuvenate skin. Sesame oil, used for massage and health treatments in Ayurvedic medicine, contains a potent antioxidant called sesamol that is beneficial for maturing skin and helps ease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Sesame oil is gentle and soothing as it revitalizes and cares for irritated and sensitive skin for a glowing complexion. 


Organic Unrefined Tamanu Oil Skin CareTamanu Oil (Calophyllum inophyllum)
Tamanu Oil is wonderful for all skin types that are in search of hydration. Readily absorbed into the skin, tamanu oil is believed to help fade stretch marks, improve the appearance of scars, promote new tissue formation, and encourage healthy skin growth to aid in healing skin conditions. Tamanu oil is a remarkable topical healing agent with skin healing, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antibiotic, and antioxidant properties. 
The oil has been well researched, and the evidence of its ability to heal damaged skin is quite impressive. Tamanu is a costly oil. It takes 20 pounds of Tamanu fruit, the amount that one tree produces annually, to yield just ONE pound of oil!


Organic Carrier Oil Sunflower OilSunflower Seed Oil (Helianthus annuus)
One of the most moisturizing vegetable oils, sunflower, is easily absorbed and can be used on all skin types. It is rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin E making it especially helpful for dry or delicate skin. Its low comedogenic score means that it is less likely to block pores which could lead to blemishes. The sunflower oil we use in our facial oils is infused with a variety of different organic botanicals depending on the formula.

See our Facial Herbs page for information on botanicals for facial skin


Shelf Life

As with all of Chagrin Valley products, our organic face oil contains no GMOs, petroleum-based ingredients, parabens, and of course no preservatives. It is important to store your facial oil in a cool place out of direct sunlight. Since you only need a few drops of facial oil per application, a 1-ounce bottle will last a long time. The shelf life is approximately 4-6 months after opening.



Natural Skin Care Blogs

Creating A Facial Skin Care Routine

Clay Facial Mask Recipes & The Science Behind Them

What Is A Facial Cleansing Oil? How Do I Use It?

Using Herbal Teas For Facial Skin Care & Toners

This blog has been updated. Originally published in 2015
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