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Oils, I have come to appreciate, are the deceptively simple powerhouses of skincare. Most of them are nutritionally intense. Undiluted by water, they give very good bang for the buck. Additional antioxidants can be added and, because, there is no water, the formulations require no irritating preservatives or other chemicals. So many good cosmetic and anti-aging oils have come on to my radar this year that it is high time to select my Five Best. I wanted to confine this Five Best to face, rather than body, oils and to products whose main business is to be an oil. So with that in mind, a couple of non-qualifying notables worthy of a shout-out are Marie Veronique’s Anti-aging Body oil and Dr. Dennis Gross Active Vitamin D Oil (which is more of a serum and has a squalane base). Even if you think you don’t like oils (I used to think that too), these will win you over.
Snowberry Soothing Facial Oil Massage. Great for sensitive skin. Macadamia oil has over 20% Omega 7 fatty acids and is a great base as its composition is similar to skin sebum and hence is well absorbed. There’s also inca inchi, passion flower, and rose hip oils, which have anti-inflammatory properties and omega fatty acids. Plus, antioxidant pomegranate oil extract, and bisabolol and ginger extracts, which are supposed to reduce irritation. Bearing this out, Kim’s ultra-sensitive pregnant skin was treated very kindly by Snowberry’s oil. Read Kim’s review
Your Best Face Private Reserve ($75 for 1.7oz in the TIA shop). With only four ingredients, Private Reserve proves my point. A simple oil base with a high concentration of two important antioxidants: Lipochroman-6, which is supposed to be a better free-radical scavenger than resveratrol, and spin trap. Private Reserve can be used alone to leave the skin feeling soft and supple (dewy, as our reviewer described it), added to serums or moisturizers and as a great companion to LED light. Read Ki G’s review
Sevani Serum Vitale ($65 for 1oz in the TIA shop) Good for facial massage. Serum Vitale can be used directly on the skin, as a facial massage oil, or by adding a few drops to a favorite moisturizer to give it some antioxidant turbo. It feels luxuriant and rich, without feeling clogging. The oils here are rich in fatty acids: evening primrose, olive, rosehip, argan and sea buckthorn. There’s also antioxidant pomegranate. Read my review
Rodin Olio Lusso ($140). Like Gwyneth Paltrow (who is supposed to be a fan), Olio Lusso is slim, minimalist chic and golden. Star endorsement comes at a price and this falls into the luxury purchase camp. With apricot and evening primrose, rose hip and argan, it has plenty of antioxidants. The instructions say it is best used on moist skin and for a truly decadent experience, I spray Sevani’s Rose Hyaluronic Tonique first. Read my review
Kahina Serum. Argan oil takes center stage in this anti-aging oil and the rest of the cast is pretty A-list as well. There’s coffee seed and pomegranate, which are rich in antioxidants. Sea buckthorn extract also has great credentials with plenty of vitamin C, vitamin E and folic acid. There’s also rosemary, an herb that tends to be overlooked by the cosmetic industry. Carnosic acid and carnosol are the most important active components of rosemary extracts and are responsible for its antioxidant properties as well as being powerful inhibitors of lipid peroxidation. Read my review