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Oil be right: When to use oil or moisturiser

Keira Stephenson 01 February 2017, 3:58PM
Oil be right: When to  use oil or moisturiser

Moisturiser has long been the mainstay of the cosmetic industry, but there is a new kid on the block that is threatening to unseat the king of skincare.  

Oily skin is often associated with acne and pimples, and oil was, for a long time, not recommended for use on the face. However it has been used as a moisturiser for centuries and has become increasingly popular the past few years.  

So does it really matter whether you use a cream or an oil?  

They both have pros and cons, but when it comes to choosing between oil and moisturiser for your face, there's no right or wrong answer. Both perform different tasks on different layers of the skin. 

As one of the early adopters of rosehip oil, launching their company based on rosehip oil products in 2002, Trilogy is unashamedly pro-oil.  

When it comes to beauty oil, it's really important what sort of oil you choose, Trilogy beauty expert Corinne Morley tellsPharmacy Today. 

"Pure plant oil has a similar molecular structure to skin, so it's easily accepted and won't clog pores," Ms Morley says. The purer and less processed, the better for your skin and she would stay away from mineral oils. 

A good oil should have more colour - an orange, gold or rose glow, while a pale, clear colour can indicate more processing.  

Pure plant oil can help bind moisture to the skin, especially if it's slightly damp after cleansing, and provide extra hydration. 

Another positive of plant oil is that you use so little. Three drops, warmed in the hand, is all you need for the face, neck and décolletage, Ms Morley says. 

"If you have an oily residue left on your face after application, then you're using too much." 

People are often worried putting oil on their face will increase greasiness and acne, but oils such as rosehip actually help rebalance the skin's oil and moisture production, she says. 

Louise Nixon, Estee Lauder counter manager at Life Pharmacy Takapuna, agrees. 

The only time oil is bad for skin is when you are already experiencing an acne breakout, Miss Nixon says. 

In her pharmacy, moisturiser is more popular than oil and the main reason is that there is a type of moisturiser for every type of skin, she says. 

"But what most people don't realise is that moisturiser doesn't penetrate deep enough into the skin's layers." 

It sits on the surface or acid mantle, helping strengthen and hydrate the outer layer and acts as a barrier to prevent bacteria getting in. If you don't use moisturiser, your skin will be prone to redness, dryness and breakouts, she says. But if you want something with anti-ageing properties that can help with dryness and fine lines then a beauty oil or serum, which can penetrate to the cellular level, is your best option. 

Ms Morley adds that moisturiser is good because it can contain other ingredients you can't add to a plant oil, such as vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and sunscreen. However, the cheaper moisturisers may be mostly water, with few skin conditioning products. 

While it's fine to use either on their own, both beauty experts suggest combining the two. 

Miss Nixon advises using the oil as a "pre-moisturiser" to "grab" hydration and help the moisturiser stay on better.  

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