In a recent Instagram poll, we discovered that many of you are completely new to using oils in your skincare routine!
We get it! For a lot of people, using oils is a scary and counter-intuitive concept. Trust me, I started from the beginning too. Prior to discovering all the benefits of oils, I exclusively searched for “oil-free” claims on skincare labels. Over the course of many years, I discovered that many oil-free products weren't actually helping to heal my acne-prone skin…they were actually making my skin more sensitive and irritated!
That’s why in this post, we want to address two key questions:
Why should I use facial oils and what’s the best way to start using them?
First, let’s talk about the why.
Why Switch to Oil-Based Skincare?
Benefits of Using Cleansing Oils
The ideal pH-level for our skin should be around 5-6 (slightly acidic). Washing your face with traditional cleansers may strip your skin of its natural oils and protecting acid mantle, making our skin’s pH-levels too alkaline (pH-level over 7). This over-dryness stimulates the oil glands to produce more sebum, leading to extra oily or clogged skin. Additionally, the removal of our healthy acid mantle leaves our skin more vulnerable to free radical and environmental damage.
Using an oil cleanser leaves the pH-level of our skin undisturbed. The oils help pull out impurities while still protecting our acid mantle. You’ll cleanse your face of all the bad stuff, stay hydrated, and keep all the good oils that you’re producing all on your own.
***Random (or not so random) fact: We get this question a lot, but there is no measurable pH-level of our oils. Why? Well, pH-level is a measure of the hydrogen concentration in water-based formulas. Since our oil-based products contain no water, there is no pH-level (our oils are insoluble in water)! As for our toners, our Organic Rosewater has a pH-level of ~5, while our Raspberry Vinegar has a pH-level of ~3.5. They are slightly acidic for a reason…so we can achieve the right pH balance! More on why I believe you NEED to be using a toner here.
Benefits to Using Oil-Based Moisturizers
On Dry Skin
Oils keep dry skin hydrated and protected much longer. Oftentimes, using water-based lotions aren’t moisturizing enough for people with dry skin. Not to mention, organic and plant-based oils can deliver much needed vitamins and minerals to our skin. Bottom line: using oils helps provide moisture, vitamins, and antioxidants…and seal them in, too!
On Oily Skin
Oily skin occurs as a defense mechanism to balance out the loss of moisture on our skin. Using the right type of oils that are pure and rich in vitamins, however, help to regulate sebum and oil production. How does that work? The fatty acids and natural oils on your skin signal to your sebaceous glands that it has enough moisture to stay hydrated. This stops the overproduction of sebum dead in its tracks.
It’s counterintuitive, but it’s true! Using oils helps balance oily skin.
On Acne-Prone Skin
I know this is scary and contrary to everything we used to hear, but putting oil on acne can be very helpful. Nutrient-rich, plant-based oils not only help to balance skin’s sebum production, but they also contain antioxidants and fatty acids that can speed up skin turnover (helpful for recent breakouts or acne scarring). Additionally, essential oils, like tea-tree and lavender, contain anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that help to effectively kill bacteria without drying and stressing the skin out.
So now that we know why it’s good to use oils for all different skin types, our second question is…
What’s the best way to start incorporating oils in my skincare routine?
Keep in mind that abrupt and huge changes in your skincare routine can impact your skin and disrupt it’s balance in the short-term. As such, I always recommend being thoughtful and gradual with new introductions. This is particularly important if you are changing the TYPE of skincare you’re using (water-based vs. oil-based).
If you were previously using oil-based products, your face is probably already primed for cocokind and you shouldn’t have to deal with much of a “transition process”. However, if you were using water-based or traditional skincare, I recommend transitioning gradually to our organic, oil-based skincare (so you don’t shock your skin)!
In addition to being thoughtful about the transition, we have some tips on how best to carefully start off your oil-based skincare journey. We often times post about these on Instagram, but we’ve laid them out below too.
Best Practices for Oil Beginners
1. Start at night
Night time is the ideal time to introduce new products into your skincare routine. While asleep, our cells do the much needed work of repairing daily damage. Because our blood vessels dilate at night, there is an increase in blood flow which allows for more nutrients and oxygen to be absorbed into our skin.
As such, our skin reaches “peak absorbency” while we are sleeping, making it the best time to try and use new products! Plus, you know your skin will be undisturbed by external factors (pollutants, UV radiation, environmental toxins, etc.).
2. Mix the oils with a toner so they feel “lighter”
Combining your facial oil with a hydrosol toner helps with quicker absorbency. If you’ve been using water-based lotions, using oils might initially feel overwhelming or slightly heavy on the skin. The best way to lessen that feeling is to mix an oil with our toners. The oil will feel lighter! Not to mention, the oil’s nutrients will be better delivered to your skin using this oil layered with water technique.
For oil cleansing, apply two pumps of our Organic Facial Cleansing Oil to a cotton pad and then spray 2-3 mists of either off our toners to the pad too. Wipe the mixture all over your face until there is no residue left!
For oil moisturizing, simply put a few drops of our oils into your palm and spray 1-2 mists of our Organic Rosewater Toner into the mix. Combine both in your palm and massage the combo onto your face. Feel free to spray some additional toner onto your face after to finish!
3. Take Days Off
Start by implementing oils a few nights a week or every other day to allow your skin to get used to this transition. Rome was not built in a day and it’s ok to slowly introduce the products, while still using your old products on off days (yes, it’s ok to use the other products at the same time). Eventually, you’ll know when the time is right to make the full transition if you’re listening to your skin!
4. Build Your Oil Tolerance With Lighter Weight Oils
A little goes a long way for oils to be effective. Start by using half the recommended amount if you’re nervous about feeling too oily! As you start to build your tolerance and your skin adjusts, you’ll be able to use more oils – both in quantity and in different types of oils.
We recommend starting with our Golden Elixir, as it is our most lightweight an absorb-able oil! Sacha Inchi Oil is the star of this product. This Peruvian plant oil is high omega 3 and 6 content, which help to nourish and repair the skin’s barrier while providing the perfect amount of moisture. Another lightweight oil of ours is our Raspberry Jasmine Oil. The Raspberry Jasmine oil comes in a roller bottle, which helps to apply a thin layer of oil to our skin while also acting as a light facial massage!
Once you get used to these lighter weight oils, feel free to experiment with other oil-based moisturizers. Everyone’s skin is different – so experimenting on your own skin is extremely important!
5. Detoxify with an exfoliator or mask
Especially in the beginning of your transition, we suggest frequently decongesting your skin with a natural exfoliant like our Organic Sea Moss Exfoliator and using deeply cleansing masks like our Organic Chlorophyll Mask. Since both of these products are super gentle, you can use them as much as possible during your oil transition (I recommend 4x per week, especially in the beginning).
Together, these two treatments purify skin and eliminate dead skin and excess oil. This allows for a deeper absorption of our facial oils that won’t overwhelm or clog your skin.
6. Give your skin time to adjust!
Despite doing all the tips above, keep in mind that switching to oils is so different from traditional skincare that you might still experience temporary breakouts. This is extremely common, don’t worry!
Like with any transition, give it some time. We recommend giving yourself at least 2-4 weeks to re-balance your skin. I know that sounds like a big range, but it really depends per person based on your individual skin, what you were using before, and how you incorporate it into your new routine.
I’ve heard some customers see a difference immediately (like next day immediate), whereas some customers have had to adjust their skin for months.
However long it may take to transition, the results can be oh-so-worth-it! Me and my severely acne-prone skin are a testament.
7. Keep other life factors as constant as possible (and avoid PMS week)
It’s best to keep other life factors relatively constant while you’re changing to an oil-based skincare routine. I know this is hard, but stay away from making extreme changes to your lifestyle at the same time (i.e. don’t do it on a week you know you’ll be burning the midnight oil every day).
Your skincare is a factor of diet, sleep, travel, weather, hormones. Big changes to any of those factors could majorly impact your skin (and potentially more so than a new oil skincare product!).
And for my fellow hormonal-acne-peeps, avoid making this introduction during PMS week. Because, well, you know why.
8. Know that your skin is unique
Keep in mind there are many factors that affect the health of our skin, from genetics to environment, diet, and hormone levels. Everyone has different skin and what may work for one person may not apply for the next. While hearing what works or doesn’t work for your friend (or from me) may be helpful, ultimately, your skin is unique and you should listen to you, first.
At cocokind, we aren’t about recommending a strict skincare regime. Do what works for you, when it works. Whether its using oils twice a day, or twice a week, it’s ok to customize and listen to your gut (and face).
We hope this post was encouraging for all our readers that are new to using oils! For a comprehensive run through of how to use all of our specific products, check out my post on how to use cocokind! We know it can be daunting, but the tips above should help make your transition as smooth as possible. As always feel free to leave a comment or send us questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy hump day!
-Priscilla and The Cocokind Team