From what they are to when to use them, we tell you all about face oils & why they might just be your new skincare staple

This article is sponsored by Erborian

You might know your serums from your SPFs and your cleansers from your creams, but what about facial oils? We’re here to lift the lid on these little bottles of goodness and delve into how, why and when to use a face oil in your skincare routine… and the one we’d choose from Erborian.

What is a facial oil?

At its simplest, facial oils are oil-based liquid formulas that complement the natural oils produced by your skin. Their main job is to work as an occlusive barrier, which means they lock in moisture and stop it escaping from the top layer of your skin, a process also known as transepidermal water loss (TEWL). But there are a whole host of other benefits of face oils which we tell you more about below.

Some facial oils might be made of one single oil such as rosehip, jojoba or marula oil, to name just a few popular ones. Or, they could be made of a blend of complementary oils and a range of other skin-loving ingredients, too.

What’s the difference between a facial oil & a moisturiser?

Generally speaking, moisturisers are often water-based formulas that add moisture and hydration to the skin whilst facial oils seal all that moisture and hydration in. But with the sophisticated formulas of today, many moisturisers and facial oils actually do both of these jobs whilst still working in harmony with each other, meaning you can still use both in your routine if you choose.

What are the benefits of a facial oil?

When it comes to the benefits of face oils, it doesn’t just stop at sealing in moisture. They also lock in all the goodness from the rest of your skincare regime since they’re usually used as one of the last steps in your routine.

Plus, they’re great at smoothing, softening and plumping the look of skin thanks to their nourishing properties. Many are formulated with hardworking ingredients which address specific skin concerns such as fine lines or uneven skin tone. Not to mention, they leave your skin looking supple and dewy with that coveted glow!

Which facial oil should I use?

One quick trip down the skincare aisles, and it’s easy to be overwhelmed by choice. The shelves are packed with facial oils, all with different formulas and benefits. So, let us take out the guesswork with our top recommendation from Erborian…

Try: Erborian Skin Therapy Multi-Perfecting Oil-Serum

• Available in sizes 30ml and 10ml

• 90% natural origin ingredients

• Vegan*

• Non-comedogenic

• No oily finish

• Lightweight

• Adapts to all skin types

This multi-perfecting oil is packed with 17 plant extracts that get to work while you sleep, including bamboo to moisturise skin, red pepper to boost the look of radiance and centella asiatica to help relieve discomfort. It’s promise? To help you feel confident in your bare skin, in just one night!

After the first night, it leaves your skin smooth, intensely nourished and plump with moisture for a fresh and radiant complexion.** But the results don’t stop there. Over time, wrinkles and fine lines appear visibly reduced whilst your skin looks clearer, more even and lastingly radiant.**

A true skin saviour, this night oil is also enriched with ingredients typically found in serums, including hyaluronic acid to add hydration, zinc PCA to help reduce the look of blemishes and PHA which is a chemical exfoliant that removes dead cells and supports skin cell renewal. What more could you need?

How & when to use a facial oil in your routine

Whilst it might be obvious that your cleansing steps happen right at the start of a skincare routine, things aren’t so clear cut with a facial oil. It’s actually a hotly debated topic!

Some people follow the rule of applying your skincare products in order of thickness, going from thinner water-based products first (toner, serum, moisturiser) to thicker oil-based products last (facial oil) to lock everything in and sit as a barrier on top of your skin. Whereas others like to use a facial oil before moisturiser to let the ingredients directly reach the skin.

If you’re using a facial oil in the morning, most people agree it should be used before SPF so as not to interfere with any sun-protecting properties.

Ultimately though, every facial oil is different and the best advice is to check the instructions that come with yours. In the case of Erborian Skin Therapy Multi-Perfecting Oil-Serum it’s brimming with moisturising and hydrating properties typically found in serums and moisturisers, meaning it can actually simplify your routine and do a few jobs in one. Here’s how to use it in your night-time skincare routine…

Step 1: Remove make-up & SPF

The first part of a night-time routine should always be to remove any make-up you might be wearing as well as SPF, which is an everyday must-have to help protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays.

We love to use a cleansing oil for this job (not the same as a leave-on facial oil) to really dissolve away make-up and SPF. Erborian Centella Cleansing Oil is a great option since it’s rich in soothing botanical oils and leaves skin feeling hydrated and comfortable.

Try: Erborian Centella Cleansing Oil

• Size: 180ml

• Non-comedogenic

• Vegan*

With a botanical blend of soothing centella asiatica oil extract, nourishing sweet almond oil and moisturising sunflower oil, this ultra-fine cleansing oil removes make-up, excess sebum and impurities all while maintaining the skin's natural hydration.

Apply directly to dry skin and massage it gently over the face and eye area before adding a little water to turn it into a milky lotion. Don’t forget to rinse thoroughly to complete the first step of your cleanse.

Step 2: Double cleanse

The secret to a great night-time routine is to follow the double cleansing method, a popular Korean skincare ritual for perfectly clean skin.

After removing your make-up and SPF with an oil-based cleanser, it’s time for a water-based cleanser like the gentle and purifying Erborian Centella Cleansing Gel to remove the last traces of the day and any other impurities from the skin.

Try: Erborian Centella Cleansing Gel

• Size: 180ml

• Vegan*

For clearer and more luminous-looking skin, try this gentle daily cleanser to intensively cleanse the skin whilst keeping it feeling hydrated. It’s enriched with centella asiatica, the star ingredient to purify the skin without making it feel tight.

Apply it to a damp face, including the eye area, and massage it in gently with circular motions before rinsing away thoroughly.

Step 3: Lotion

Whilst lotion can sometimes be another word for cream-based moisturisers, in Korean skincare a lotion is a liquid skincare product that adds an energising step to boost your beauty routine. If you’ve never tried one, then why not give Erborian Eau Ginseng Anti Ageing Lotion a go?

Try: Erborian Eau Ginseng Anti Ageing Lotion

• Size: 190ml

• Vegan*

Help make your skin glow with this instantly hydrating lotion. It’s brimming with white ginseng complex to fight the signs of ageing, liquorice root extract to brighten the look of skin and ginger and vitamin E to restore its radiant appearance.

Pour three to five lotion drops into your palms and apply them all over your face and neck by gently pressing, patting and tapping into your skin to instantly moisturise, soothe and freshen up skin.

Step 4: Add Erborian Skin Therapy Multi-Perfecting Oil-Serum

This might be the point in your routine where you’d normally reach for a serum, but thanks to the power of 17 plant extracts, it’s time to go straight in with Erborian Skin Therapy Multi-Perfecting Oil-Serum.

• Shake the bottle before each use to mix

• Empty the dropper first, then fill it

• Add three to four drops of Skin Therapy into the palm of your hand or directly onto your face, then pat gently

• Enhance penetration by massaging the night oil in upwards and outward motions

Don’t forget to enjoy the experience! Why not use this opportunity to do a complete facial massage by using your night oil alongside a gua sha tool or jade roller?

Step 5: Finish with an optional night cream

Erborian Skin Therapy Multi-Perfecting Oil-Serum can be used before your night cream of choice, or instead of a night cream if you feel like you don’t need any extra hydration.

All that’s left to do is to enjoy a good night’s sleep and wake up to beautiful glowing skin!

Perfect your morning skincare routine

Need some recommendations for your daytime routine? We’re big fans of Erborian Ginseng Infusion Tensor Effect Day Cream to help skin look radiant and feel firmer. Pair it with Erborian BB Cream Ultra Soft Flawless Perfector SPF20 for the most natural-looking coverage.

Try: Erborian Ginseng Infusion Tensor Effect Day Cream

• Size: 50ml

• Suitable for all skin types

Look no further for your perfect day cream to help skin appear radiant and feel firm with every use. White ginseng helps soothe, smooth and reduce the signs of ageing, whilst ginger invigorates and revitalises your complexion.

Apply to your face every morning for skin that looks firmer and younger.

Try: Erborian BB Cream Ultra Soft Flawless Perfector SPF20

• Size: 45ml (also available in 15ml)

• Available in three shades

• Suitable for all skin types

• Non-comedogenic

• Vegan*

Make-up meets skincare in this 5-in-1 complexion enhancer. This hard-working BB cream evens out and mattifies skin, reduces the appearance of blemishes, moisturises skin and leaves it feeling velvety soft, whilst protecting with SPF20.

Apply onto your face and smooth over the skin, working outwards from the centre. Use a brush or blender to even out your coverage and say hello to baby soft skin.

Plus, don’t forget to check out Erborian’s full skincare and make-up line for glowing skin every day.

*Vegan formulas do not contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products.
**Results based on clinical scoring and/or consumer use test.