The skincare industry is churning out new product categories every day and face oils seemed to be the latest must-have product for every skin type, in every weather. Whether you seek firmer skin, a brighter glow or deeper hydration, there’s a formula promising to deliver. But oil for Indians is inherently a beauty-duty treatment rather than an indulgence. Blame the age-old association of a good ol’ champi with oil! But while we desi women have been oiling our hair all our life, adding oil to your skincare routine is new for many.

Kama Ayurveda’s in-house specialist Dr Sharad Kulkarni talks about the different kinds of face oils, how to find one for your skin type, and how to introduce it into your existing beauty routine.

1. What are face oils & what’s usually their base ingredient?

Facial oils are oils which can be used or applied on the face for multiple benefits. They are usually enriched with herbs that are known to be good for the skin. Some common herbs include:

  • Kumkuma
  • Aloe vera
  • Manjistha
  • Tea tree
  • Moringa
  • Orange 
  • Rosehip

The oil base usually is coconut, sesame, almond and some other common oils we’ve been using in our hair or body for years.

2. What is the difference between a carrier and an essential oil? 

Essential oils are distilled extraction oils from aromatic parts of a plant or tree. They shouldn’t be applied directly to the skin. Carrier oils are those which are thick and form the base. They are used to dilute essential oils to allow penetration of the essential oil into the skin. 

Some common essential oils include:

  • Lavender oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Grapefruit oil
  • Sandalwood oil
  • Patchouli oil

Some common carrier oils include:

  • Almond oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Olive oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • Argan oil

3. How do facial oils work on one’s skin? How should you choose the right face oil for your skin type?

A component of the Pitta dosha termed as Bhrajaka Pitta resides in the skin, and is responsible for absorption of facial oils applied on the skin.  

Facial oils like Kumkumadi Oil and Moringa Oil formulated with natural oils are completely safe for all skin types. They can be applied directly to the skin every day without having to worry about any side effects. 

  • Dry skin: Based out of Sesame, Almond 
  • Sensitive skin: Highly diluted essential oils
  • Oily skin: Better to avoid 
  • Combination skin: Diluted essential oils or Kumkumadi oil/serum 

4. Can you skip a moisturiser if you put face oil? When in the day and in which step in the skincare routine must one use face oils?

Yes, you can skip moisturising your skin if you use a facial oil. It is better to use a facial oil at night, as that allows better absorption. If you still wish to use a moisturiser, then the oil can also be used with a moisturiser, by incorporating 1-2 drops and massaging it all over the face. Check out these recipes for homemade moisturisers to nourish your skin with the goodness of natural ingredients.

The face oil goes on last in your skincare routine. Cleanse > Exfoliate > Tone > Moisturise > Seal with face oil or serum. Serums are better for people with oily skin. Base on your routine, introduce the face oil into your beauty regimen at night before bed to allow it to amplify the reparative function of your skin.

5. How to understand if your face oil is not suiting your skin? Are face oils recommended for acne-prone skin?

If your skin develops rashes, pimples or itching, then your face oil is not suiting your skin. But the key is also in the application. Don’t lather. You need very little face oil to hydrate your skin. Just 2-3 drops rubbed between your palms and patted on to your skin is enough.

As for acne-prone skin, facial oil is recommended only when your acne has subsided or is in control.

6. Can you help us understand how face oils help slow down signs of skin ageing?

Oil is one of the main agents that balances Vata Dosha. When imbalanced (increased), this speeds up the ageing process, thereby making facial oils highly beneficial for ageing skin. They hydrate and the moisturise the skin which improves the elasticity. They’re especially beneficial during winter months when skin tends to dry out and crack more easily and a heavy-duty moisturiser is needed. In such weather, adding a face oil to your routine can really help make your skin look and feel more youthful.

7. What are the benefits of the following facial oils for our skin?

  • Jojoba oil: Antibacterial and moisturizing
  • Argan oil: Anti inflammatory 
  • Sunflower oil: Moisturizing and nourishing 
  • Olive oil: Antioxidant and anti-ageing 
  • Coconut oil: Moisturising and healing 

TC46’s Top 3 Favourite Kama Ayurveda Facial Oils

1. Organic Moringa Oil

This is a deeply hydrating oil that helps repair skin damage caused by pollution. A light oil extracted from the seeds of the Moringa Tree, Organic Moringa Oil is natural cold-pressed oil. Rich in antioxidants and vitamin A and E, this oil protects the skin, by fighting free radicals. The high content of oleic acid makes it a deeply hydrating oil, protecting the skin from pollution and other environmental aggressors.

2. Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil

It is a pure, natural and organic oil treatment that nourishes and smoothes from head to toe. A highly versatile oil that can be used to condition the skin and hair. An ideal moisturiser for the body, it makes the skin smooth and even textured. Applied directly to the skin or hair before washing, Coconut oil makes a very effective conditioning treatment. Soothing dry sensitive skin or scalp and adding lustre to damaged hair. Highly recommended for baby massages. There’s more! It is cold-pressed to retain its unique balance of nutrients. You can use it as a makeup remover on a cotton pad to wipe off that waterproof mascara and eyeliner.

3. Organic Sweet Almond Oil

A light and gentle conditioning treatment with the delicate sweet smell obtained from the ripe seeds of the Sweet Almond tree. In Ayurveda, Sweet Almonds are considered a nutrient for the brain and nervous system and also said to induce high intellectual level and longevity. Rich in Vitamins A & E, it nourishes and improves complexion reviving its natural glow. Useful for lightening dark circles, spots and marks and can be used even by delicate, irritated and sensitive skin types.

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