A Slicker Future: Why Everything You Were Taught About Oils and Your Skin Is Wrong


Say what you will about oils, their beauty moment has been long coming. The ingredient, which has been warm and cold with industry professionals for decades, suffered its bleakest hour 30 years ago, when dermatologists panned the stuff, and shunned its presence in beauty products from serums to moisturizers, and even SPFs. Oil-free had a certain ring to it after that—until now.

So why the sudden, full body oil embrace? We’ve learned better.

“The beauty industry used to follow the cues from dermatologists back when the only people who went to derms frequently were acne patients,” explains Dermatologist Dr. Colbert. “But, fast forward to 2013, where dermatologists are now the anti-aging experts. Our patients are seeking younger, more dewy skin. Skin scientists now know that oils are the best vehicles to deliver anti-aging molecules.”

Julie Elliott, founder of luxury skincare brand In Fiore, agrees: “As more and more women are paying attention to their diets—going organic, vegan, raw, and juicing—they have become much more aware of ingredients in their products and conscious of what they are putting on their skin. I find that oils won’t undermine the results of other, more invasive dermatological treatments, but rather they will enhance and/or expedite healing.”

Simply put, oils—for the face, body and hair—are no longer something to argue about, and they are enjoying a swell of popularity thanks to their pure and luxuriant formulas, some of which are richly scented with prized essences like rose and lavender and offer soothing sensory benefits.

An effortless addition to any beauty regime, oils work much like serums—but better. Unspoiled botanical elements treat skin with topical vitamins and show a benefit skin by mimicking your own sebum. Today’s breakthrough formulas absorb faster than creams thanks to their miniscule molecular weights, are less likely to clog pores, and promise to leave skin grease-free. What you can expect is to see dry patches lessened in just minutes and well hydrated skin.

An oil convert myself (I’ve been obsessed for 8 years), here are three I’m loving this minute (pictured above from left to right):

The plant-powered Aromatherapy Associates Nourishing Enrich Body Oil ($58) is supercharged with hefty doses of omega 6 and has a deliciously heady scent of Vanilla and Ylang Ylang.

The Vitamin E-enriched In Fiore Pur Face Oil ($65), which hydrates deeply with organic Rosehip oil and helps reduce age spots and fine lines, is perfect for day wear.

Tame the frizz with Sachajuan Intensive Hair Oil ($45); a potent blend of Argan, Sunflower and Rosemary oils that protect the hair from sun and chlorine and provide natural nourishment to neglected tresses.


A native Angeleno, Navdeep Mundi is a Leo, hates cilantro, and has studied beauty products for more than 18 years. She spends her days as a digital media branding specialist and her nights sniffing out slightly quirky yet impeccably pretty things with her German Shepherd, Le Tigre.