The best face oils you can buy

The best face oils you can buy

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  • A good face oil can transform your skin and give you a glowing complexion in an instant.
  • It can also be the ultimate skin saver in the harsh winter months.
  • Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil is our top pick because it moisturizes, balances, and rejuvenates any skin type.

If you haven't heard the hype surrounding face oils and their benefits, where have you been? Facial oils have around for millennia and even Queen Cleopatra was fan. They are now the hottest celebrity trend with everyone from Miranda Kerr to Gwyneth Paltrow using them in their beauty routines.


Facial oils can do wonders for your complexion. As well as acting as a sealant on your skin to keep moisture locked in, the latest generation of oils come with many beneficial properties from fighting acne to targeting the signs of aging. Plus, the results are instant.

Different oils target different skin concerns and the right facial oil for you depends largely on your skin type. Heavier oils such as avocado are more suited to dry or mature skin, whereas lighter oils like jojoba that absorb into your skin are better for oily, acne-prone, or sensitive skin. Facial oils can be skin savers in the harsh winter months when your complexion needs a boost.

Although facial oils are usually recommended for your evening skin-care routine, you can use them in the morning too if you feel your skin can handle it. Just like serums, you pat a few drops of oil onto your skin, then moisturize. Or, you can mix it with moisturizer first, which is what I prefer to do. Facial oil can also be used on hands, neck, chest, and any other dry area that needs extra TLC, or on your hair to tame frizz.


We've researched hundreds of shopper and expert reviews and tested the top contenders to come up with the best facial oils you can buy for your skin type.

Here are our top picks for the best face oils for your skin type:

Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.

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The best face oil overall

The best face oil overall
Why you'll love it: Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil is our winner because it helps moisturize, rejuvenate, balance, and nourish all types of skin.

Drunk Elephant's facial oil comes with a smorgasbord of benefits. High in antioxidants and omegas, it targets signs of aging and protects against environmental stressors and free radicals, with clinically proven results. It can reduce fine lines, redness, and blotchiness as well as improve skin's elasticity.

Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil is antimicrobial, which means it is good for problem skin. It is also made from 100% pure marula oil and is cold pressed, resulting in the purest and most concentrated form of oil. This means it remains rich in nutrients and stays fresher longer.

I am a huge fan of clean beauty brand Drunk Elephant and love its Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil. The clear oil is very light and rapidly disappears into my skin without leaving any residue. My complexion feels much softer and any fine lines are less visible. It is expensive, but it's a worthwhile investment as it lasts a long time. It is also a great foundation primer and can be used to tame frizzy hair.

It's not just me who loves Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil. This celebrity favorite is highly rated by beauty shoppers, experts, and editors alike. It also gets great reviews on Forbes, Rank and Style, and Byrdie. It has 100,000 loves on Sephora with shoppers giving it 4.4 out of 5, reporting soft, smooth, and glowing skin.

Pros: Suited to all skin types even the most sensitive skin, anti-aging, free of fragrance, essential oils, and silicone, one ingredient, cruelty-free, fairtrade

Cons: Expensive

Buy the Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil (30ml) at Sephora for $72

The best face oil for dry skin

The best face oil for dry skin
Why you'll love it: E.l.f. Nourishing Facial Oil can provide relief to dry, flaky skin, leaving you with a healthy glow without the hefty price tag.

E.l.f. Nourishing Facial Oil is packed with radiance-inducing ingredients including rosehip seed oil, jojoba oil, grape seed oil, avocado oil, and sweet almond oil, which work together to help moisturize and nourish the skin.

This is the perfect oil to use if you have dull, dry, and flaky skin, and also mature skin, as it has anti-aging properties. It also comes in very handy in the winter months, when skin often needs an extra boost

In testing, this facial oil felt surprisingly lightweight. It gave me a smoother, glowing complexion, which goes to show you don't always have to spend a fortune to get great results. It is heavier than some oils, so better for use at night.

E.l.f. Nourishing Facial Oil is highly rated by Beauty Explore Online and gets top marks from reviewers on Target. One thrilled shopper commented, "My skin immediately looks replenished and it has actually improved the way my skin looks and feels." I love that it's very affordable, too.

Pros: Free from parabens, phthalates, and SLS, cruelty-free, very affordable

Cons: None

Buy e.l.f.Nourishing Facial Oil at Target for $10

The best face oil for oily or combination skin

The best face oil for oily or combination skin
Why you'll love it: Herbivore Lapis Facial Oil is the perfect antidote for oily skin because it hydrates, balances, and stops your skin from producing excess oil without clogging pores.

You might question why you should use a facial oil when you already have oily skin. Well, the right oil can actually act as an astringent to get rid of excess oil, help control oil production, and balance your skin.

Herbivore Lapis Facial Oil is a luxurious, ultra-soothing oil formulated with a blend of 100% natural and plant oils. It gets its name from the Egyptian gemstone lapis lazuli and its blue color from tansy oil, which is high in azulene, a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial ingredient that clarifies the skin.

It contains squalane from olives that can keep moisture locked in without clogging pores and can protect against hyperpigmentation and premature aging. Jasminum Sambac (from Jasmine) gives it a floral fragrance and also improves skin's elasticity.

Although great for balancing oily skin, Herbivore Lapis Facial Oil also may soothe irritated or dry skin and can reduce the appearance of redness, scarring, and enlarged pores, which makes it great for all skin types.

Everyone from beauty editors to beauty junkies love this little powerhouse. It comes in a beautiful, very instagrammable deep blue bottle. It has a herbal scent and feels light. It absorbed quickly and left my skin soft and glowing. It's expensive but worth splashing out on as it will last.

It is recommended by Rank and Style and Cosmopolitan, and gets a whopping 5 out of 5 on Dermstore, with one delighted shopper commenting, "I was blown away by this product."

Pros: Suited for oily, combination, acne-prone, and sensitive skin, good for daytime use under foundation as well as nighttime, cruelty-free, vegan, free of parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, and other synthetic chemicals.

Cons: Expensive

Buy Herbivore Lapis Facial Oil at Dermstore for $72

The best face oil for sensitive skin

The best face oil for sensitive skin
Why you'll love it: If you're looking for a facial oil that nourishes and soothes sensitive skin, opt for The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil.

I must admit I was nervous the first time I tried a facial oil. I couldn't get my head around using oil on my sensitive skin, in case it reacted or even worse, I broke out. If you have sensitive skin like me, it's best to choose a facial oil that is made from simple ingredients and free of potentially toxic synthetic chemicals, which can irritate your skin and cause reactions or breakouts. You should also avoid essential oils as they might irritate your skin.

The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil is made from one single ingredient, organic rosehip seed oil, an extremely mild oil known for its healing properties.

This facial oil has many benefits for your skin. It is rich in linoleic (omega 6) acid, linolenic (omega 3) acid and pro-vitamin A, and is packed with antioxidants and vitamin C. It may reduce the signs of sun damage, minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and target dryness.

It is also suitable for even the most sensitive skin, and can even be used on eczema. The oil is cold-pressed to extract it from the rosehips, preserving its quality and delivering maximum benefits. For only $10, it's a bargain.

When I tested The Ordinary 100% Organic Rose Hip Seed Oil, it felt light and silky. I loved how smooth, healthy, and naturally glowing my skin looked. It does have a distinctive natural scent, which according to The Ordinary is due to the oil being completely unrefined and the high omega fatty acid content, but some buyers reported to find the smell off-putting.

This highly rated facial oil is one of's best rosehip oil products and is recommended by Refinery 29. It also gets 4.6 out of 5 on Influenster.

Pros: Great for all skin types including sensitive skin, 100% pure, very affordable, sustainably sourced, organic, vegan, cruelty-free, cold-pressed, free from artificial preservatives

Cons: Some might not like the scent

Buy The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil at Sephora for $9.80

The best face oil for acne-prone skin

The best face oil for acne-prone skin
Why you'll love it: Kiss breakouts goodbye with Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-clarifying Face Oil, an award-winning medicated facial oil that can work wonders on acne-prone skin.

If you suffer from acne or are prone to breakouts, you're probably worried that using a facial oil might result in breakouts. Not so. U.F.O. Ultra-clarifying Face Oil can clear up acne without drying out your skin. This fast-acting, quick-drying medicated oil is specifically designed to clear congested pores, treat, and prevent acne, and reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. It is also a great antidote if you are using retinols or harsh acne-fighting products.

Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-clarifying Face Oil has a long list of skin-saving benefits. It is packed with powerful ingredients including 1.5% salicylic acid, which clears build-up and debris from congested pores for smoother, blemish-free skin. Tea tree oil and black cumin seed help maintain clear skin, licorice naturally brightens the appearance of old acne discoloration for a more even-toned complexion, milk thistle and cucumber seed oil counter the drying effects of salicylic acid to nourish the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and chamomile and neroli soothe stressed and irritated skin.

When I put this facial oil to the test, I was impressed how lightweight it felt and how easily it disappeared into my skin, although it felt slightly tingly. My complexion looked amazing. It does have a distinctive herbal scent.

I'm not the only Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-clarifying Face Oil fan. It features on many "best facial oil" lists including Rank and Style and Cosmopolitan. It also gets great reviews from Macy's shoppers who reported clearer, healthier looking skin, and some even calling it the Holy Grail for preventing acne.

If you’re still concerned after reading this, we recommend doing a test patch every day for a week on an area of your skin that is prone to acne.

Pros: Suited to all skin types, made without parabens, phthalates, or sls, can be used day or night

Cons: Expensive, some might not be fans of the scent

Buy Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-clarifying Face Oil (35ml) at Macy's for $80