Written By: UMA Editorial Team |

Published on: November 20, 2023

Forget what years of applying creams, lotions and moisturizers have taught you about skincare. When it comes to face oils, you’re probably doing it wrong. Face oils are a unique skincare experience, and one that takes a little getting used to. But we promise it’s easy to learn how to use face oil, and totally worth the trouble. Here are five common, and easy-to-correct, mistakes that will change your face oils experience:

1. You’re using too much

With oils, a little goes a long way. You don’t need more than a few drops per application to cover your entire face. Your skin is primed to absorb face oils, and the nutrients and active ingredients within, because they mimic what already exists in your dermis—which means you get more results with less product. Ever notice that your skin never really feels hydrated the morning after you’ve applied your face cream? That’s likely because moisturizers often use paraffin wax, a member of the mineral oil family, which can make your skin feel softer but doesn’t provide the same nourishing or reparative properties that oils do.

3. You’re putting it on at the wrong time

There’s a good rule of thumb for skincare: lightest formulas to heaviest formulas. Lighter products include serums, while heavier products include creams. Oils fit somewhere in the middle. If you choose to use a moisturizer in addition to the oil, the order will depend on the thickness of the moisturizer. Generally speaking, an oil should go under thicker, heavy moisturizers and over lighter (Especially water-based serums). However, in a world where the terms serum, oil and moisturizer are all fungible – trust the lightest-to-heaviest rule when it comes to your products.

4. You’re adding too many other products

If the last tip was confusing, we totally understand—here’s a fact that will make your life easier. Pure essential oils can serve as BOTH a serum and moisturizer. Pure essential oils use smaller molecular structures, especially if they feature a carrier oil like pomegranate, which absorb very readily into skin so they feel like a serum while also acting like a light moisturizer. Unless you have to brave blistering cold (sorry Northern friends), or have extremely dry/problem skin, you can simplify your beauty routine by cutting moisturizers and serums out completely.

2. You’re rubbing it in

This one is simple: pat, don’t rub. Face oil for oily skin is a great option for those who want to moisturize without clogging their pores. We might sound like a broken record, but this is an underpinning of why oils are great: since your skin is used to the composition of face oils, they more naturally absorb into your skin. You may be used to rubbing in lotions and creams—a necessary evil to get the formulas properly absorbed—but your skin will happily drink up an oil with very little effort on your part.


5. You’re not enjoying the experience

Take time to smell the rose oil and indulge in its aromatherapy benefits. Treat your oil application like a mini facial and allow yourself to be mentally transported to your favorite spa. One of the biggest benefits to using many (though not all) face oils is that one of their main components are essential oils—which means there’s a dose of aromatherapy that can be had with every application. And don’t forget about the numerous circulation benefits and lymphatic drainage benefits. But be prepared that only high quality brands with well researched ingredients will be able to provide you with this truly luxurious experience. Amp it up with some incredible facial massage or face yoga techniques.