THE TECHNIQUE: So this is how you should apply oil
Don’t you just hate those “you’re doing it wrong” takes all over the internet? ITG regrets to inform you that this is another one. Face oil application. You’re doing it wrong, folks! After moisturizer, lovingly patted onto skin, used every day…wrong, wrong, wrong. Who knew? Danuta Mieloch, for one. The owner and wizard behind Rescue Spa was on hand to explain proper oil application. The nitty gritty. Listen up!
Apply it first
This first nugget is probably the most polarizing. Your oil journey starts sooner than you expect, the moment you finish cleansing your skin. “When my skin is still damp, that’s when I apply my oil,” Danuta says. “I follow it with some cream. I feel like it mixes really nicely with the drops of water still on my skin and seals in the moisture.”
Applying oil first is especially important when it comes to oils with active ingredients, like retinol. These oils need easier, unobstructed access to your skin and shouldn’t be layered on top of other products. As for other oils, you can apply those after moisturizer if you must, but as Danuta says, “that’s a lot messier.”
Massage, don’t pat
Unless you’re working with a super active (and super expensive) blend, massage oil into your skin in swift, upward movements. “You get that more relaxing benefit and this way improves the circulation,” Danuta explains. Save your precious oil pats for your rare, bougie elixirs.
But then pat excess
Now this is when you absolutely should pat. After application. Because oils are, shockingly, oily. Take a towel to lightly soak up any excess that’s sitting on your skin. Just because it’s an oil doesn’t mean you need to be greasy.
Use it as a moisturizer
Some basic cosmetic chemistry for you. A lotion or moisturizer is, more or less, a combination of fat—oils, butters, their synthetic substitutes—and water. You know what this means. Make your own moisturizer, folks. And use your skin as the mixing bowl. Apply when your skin is still damp to help the oil emulsify with the water. And that’s it! Easy enough, and ideal if you haven’t found the super light moisturizer that’s perfect for you.
Don’t over do it
You don’t need to oil up every day. In fact you shouldn’t. “The skin reacts better if you balance,” explains Danuta. “Use exfoliation, serums, modern skincare systems, in combination with your oils, but avoid using [oils] every day because they won’t balance out your skin. Create your own little apothecary and bring things in and out of rotation.”