Getting Nerdie With The Skin Nerd: How to Work Oils Into Your Skincare Routine

The Skin NerdDo you remember the days of the oil-free obsession?

Everyone used to scour the backs of skincare products for oils and then eschew them with a firm hand.

Now, it is the oil revolution: we’re seeing retinol oils, essential oils and carrier oils in active skincare (I tip my nerdie glasses to Yon-Ka and REN for that), pre-cleansing oils, facial moisturising oils and body oils galore.

It makes sense for oils to be in skincare as our skin creates oil to protect itself naturally.

Oils when applied to the skin stop moisture from getting in and out, forming an additional protective layer on its surface. If you are of a dryer persuasion skin-wise, you will probably see the benefit of this.

So where can we get oils into our routine?

Oil pre-cleanse

Cleansing using oil sounds bananas and counter-intuitive but think about it – oil attracts oil.

Your face is always covered in oil, whether you can feel it or not, and it intermingles with our makeup too.

Dermalogica’s Precleanse (€46.50, is an oil pre-cleanser that contains apricot kernel oil, sunflower seed oil, orange oil, grapefruit peel oil along with other natural oils and extracts.

The apricot kernel oil is the product’s carrier oil, which means it is used to dilute essential oils in the blend, such as the orange oil in this product.

Follow up an oil pre-cleanse with a traditional foam or wash cleanser for a deep, deep clean that won’t leave your skin stripped of moisture.

Facial oil

By facial oil, I don’t mean slathering your face in baby oil – I mean facial oils formulated for the skin, such as Urban Veda’s Reviving Facial Oil (€39.99,

Their Reviving Facial Oil is a rosehip oil that also contains safflower seed oil, squalene and geranium flower oil among other things.

Rosehip oil is now a beloved part of plenty of people’s skincare routines and for good reason; it has anti-inflammatory benefits and healing properties to boot.

This oil contains antioxidants so it helps to prevent accelerated ageing caused by free radicals which are pretty much everywhere.

Life is basically a free radical exposure site so you need antioxidants in your skincare routine – no exaggeration.

How and when should I use a facial oil?

Your facial oil should be one of the final steps of your skincare routine, as if it is applied before serums, it will stop them from penetrating into the skin.

Pop it on after your serums and moisturisers and if you’re looking to apply it in the morning, make sure it has penetrated properly before you put on your sunscreen.

It makes sense for oils to be in skincare as our skin creates oil to protect itself naturally.

Run your fingers across your face a few minutes after applying it – if you’re left with an oily film on your fingers, you need to let it penetrate for a while longer before putting on your sunscreen as it can interfere with its efficacy.

There are also facial oils that target specific problems, such as the Académie Aromatherapy Treatment Oil For Redness.

Now, some essential oils can be irritating to some skins so a treatment oil for sensitive rosacea souls may seem a bit strange.

However, this is formulated to comfort skin with rosacea. It contains liquorice root extract which has something in it called glabridin that inhibits inflammation in the skin, as well as hydrating glycerine and vitamin E.

Should I use a facial oil if I had acne prone or oily skin?

I personally wouldn’t recommend most facial oils to most people who would suffer from spots and excessive oiliness – instead, opt for a hydrator that increases water in the skin like a hyaluronic acid serum.

Body oil

There are two reasons that people love body oils: they get the job done and they are so bleeping handy to apply.

Literally just slosh them on to your body and swish your hands around.

Image via @stephclairesmith on Instagram
Image via @stephclairesmith on Instagram

Body oils are usually multi-purpose too in that you can also use them on the ends of your hair and your cuticles.

They add an extra touch of glamour when applied just after leaving the house too. Glossy legs? Yes, please.

The recent Yon-Ka Huile Delicieuse Nourishing Dry Oil (€29.33, features jasmine, sunflower oil, baobab oil and Quintessence Yon-Ka, their signature essential oil blend.

It certainly feels nourishing and it absorbs into the skin quickly so you don’t have to hang around in the nude before putting clothes on.

Sunflower oil is fab for hydrating the body as it helps to prevent transepidermal water loss, aka the loss of water from the skin due to an impaired skin barrier.

Seeing as we do plenty of non-barrier-friendly things to our bodies, such as shaving them using alcohol-heavy foams and sometimes over-exfoliating, this is ideal.

How about a body oil that does more than just moisturise?

TanOrganic formulated the world’s first self-tanning body oil to give you all those sweet, sweet body oil benefits whilst safely bronzing you.

The TanOrganic Self Tan Oil (€24.99, contains aloe vera, argan oil and borage seed oil to soothe and hydrate the skin whilst giving you that glow.

So what are you waiting for?! Go oil yourself up!

Jennifer Rock is the founder of The Skin Nerd online skin consultancy and online cosmeceutical skincare store. If you’re interested in having a consultation with one of her expert Nerdettes, click here for more information.

You can follow Jennifer on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (@theskinnerd).