Face oils are the product du jour these days. It seems like EVERY skincare brand is coming out with an anti-aging face oil. It’s a little overwhelming. If you feel confused and unsure of which ones are worth your hard earned dough, you’re not alone. I decided to test and compare twenty eight anti-aging face oils on my dehydrated, parched skin to make your life a little easier.The oils were rated out of 100 points; twenty points for each of the five categories.
-Hydration: does skin feel moist, hydrated, nourished immediately? Did it need an added moisturizer to provide hydration?
-Radiance: was skin brighter, clear, radiant?
-Texture: how does the product feel on the skin? It is heavy or light-weight? Sticky or smooth?
-Smell: is the fragrance strong or just right?
-Results: how quickly are improvements in skin seen?
100 – Tatcha Gold Camellia Beauty Oil
In the world of face oils, the Tatcha Gold Camellia is Beyonce. This bitch has it all and then some. Instantly hydrating! Rough patches on elbows, cheeks, neck and décolleté were improved right away. Everything felt smooth and it absorbed quickly leaving a dry finish. After a couple of uses my skin saw immediate smoothing of lines and upped moisture levels. My skin was beaming!
98 – Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Face Oil
After two nights of using this oil, my skin was gleaming! I couldn’t believe how radiant I looked, even in my terrible florescent bathroom lighting. It visibly smoothed fine lines, sank into my skin readily and there is absolutely no scent (yay!). #Winner.
97 – REN Vita Mineral Omega 3 Optimum Skin Oil
Aside from a few points knocked off for the subtle “artificial” scent, this oil is perfection. It does everything you want: hydrates well, sinks into skin immediately, feels light weight, brightens and plumps skin!
93 – Arcona Wine Oil
If an oil is going to have a powerful scent, it better be a good one. The very intense fragrance is so delicious (clove, cinnamon, grapes and rose notes come to mind). The product absorbs nicely. My skin looked smooth, fresh and clear after a few days of use. And no additional moisturizer was needed on top. Love this oil!
91 – Jouer Daily Age Repair Oil
It’s no wonder this product has been out of stock at Nordstrom for a while. This oil is fantastic. I love the soft, feminine, light and barely noticeable scent. And the medium, not too thick or too thin texture feels great on the skin. Within days my skin looked radiant, plump and hydrated in the morning. Great product!
89 – Peter Thomas Roth Purified Squalene Oil
This oil is proof that thick texture does not equate to moisture. The feel of this oil is almost watery it’s so thin, but the hydration it imparts to your skin is beyond. My skin instantly looked brighter the next morning and the absence of fragrance was nice.
89 – Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oil
This product produces fast results. Smooth, hydrated skin is visible after a few uses. My skin looked really radiant. The texture is a little heavy, but not too off-putting. Now the scent, yikes. Very parfum-y. Also, this oil has retinol and is very “active.” I wouldn’t recommend this for breakout prone skin. It’s more for mature dry skin.
89 – Amore Pacific Green Tea Oil
This itty bitty bottle packs a powerful punch. After the first night, I noticed my skin looked smooth, plump, pores were visibly smaller, and my skin glowed. The light green tea scent is really nice. I just wish it wasn’t so expensive and the bottle so small…
88 – Korres Black Pine Active Firming Sleeping Oil
The luxurious feeling of this product makes washing up at night feel special. I love the silky texture and soft floral scent. The hydration level is high. This did not need an additional moisturizer on top. While this oil is very solid, visible signs of anti-aging weren’t immediate.
86 – La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Dry Oil
I was testing out the Instant Facial by Goop Skincare and it basically, burned my skin. The AHA exfoliator was too strong for my skin and left my face bright red. I decided to pull out the big guns and applied this dry oil all over. Within an hour my skin looked normal. Well, better than normal. The redness was gone. My skin was smooth, plump and hydrated almost immediately. I love the thin texture, but the scent is overpowering. It is reminiscent of Elizabeth Taylor’s QVC perfume, Diamonds. My grandma used to wear it if that gives you any idea of the scent.
85 – Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Bio Repair Precious Oil SPF 15
The rose fragrance on this product is soft and beautiful #Love. And the lightweight texture seeps easily into parched skin. I didn’t see any radiance boosting and it did need an additional moisturizer applied on top. My skin felt parched. Overall this product is nice for daytime use and if you have normal, combination or oily skin. Dry skin types might need a little more hydration.
83 – Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Brightening Oil
If you can handle the intense sweet, pungent smell of this oil, I highly recommend it. It hydrates well without additional moisturizer on top, and you will see immediate brightening results. The lightweight oil is almost watery it’s so thin, and absorbs quickly leaving a smooth finish perfect for makeup application. But again, the scent is reminiscent of pungent dried fruit…
79 – Caudalie Premier Cru The Elixir Dry Oil
The results were really fast with this oil. I noticed almost immediate brightening, smoothness, and improved hydration after a couple of days. The fragrance is light, not offending. As far as hydration goes, for daytime it doesn’t really need additional moisture on top, but for night, I felt adding an extra cream on top was. The texture is light, but it’s almost too watery. It would have been nice if it was a little more substantial.
79 – Algenist Advanced Anti-Aging Repairing Oil
I’m a big fan of Algenist products and this one is good, but not much wow factor. You can use this without an additional moisturizer. It’s very hydrating and the texture feels good. Substantial, but not thick. My skin looked soft, hydrated and smooth in the morning. This is a nice oil, but it lost points for the faint chemically/seaweed scent.
78 – Jurlique Skin Balancing Face Oil
Aside from the strong Oriental floral notes, this oil is really nice. It imparted rich hydration and had my skin glowing radiantly by the morning. But if you need heavy lifting anti-aging benefits, this one may not be able to do enough in that arena.
74 – Clinique Turnaround Revitalizing Treatment Oil
If you need a brightening oil, for the price point, this one is a winner. It hydrates okay on it’s own, but does much better with an added moisturizer on top. My skin looked radiant and bright the next morning and I love the thin, quick absorbing texture. The only drawback, and the reason this oil didn’t get a better score is the plastic, artificial, chemical smell. If you can get past that, I definitely recommend this oil for brightening under your usual day or night moisturizer.
70 – Marula Pure Marula Facial Oil
As you can guess, I’m not a fan of thick textured oils, but this thick oil actually feels really nice on my skin. SUPER hydrating and rich. I also love the smell. My skin looked really plump and hydrated in the morning, but there was no radiance boost to my complexion.
67 – Philosophy Back to Nurture Gelee
The scent of this oil is a combination of pencil erasers and some sort of plastic chemical. Terrible. Which is unfortunate since everything else about this product is beautiful! It hydrates and plumps skin. The texture is lightweight and absorbs to a smooth, almost powdery finish. My skin saw immediate improvement in hydration and all around glow. If you can get past the smell, this is a great oil.
If the Tatcha oil is Beyonce, then now we’re starting to get into Beyonce’s back up dancers. These bitches are on point, but maybe more entourage, than star…
66- Nude Skincare Progenesis Omega Treatment Rescue Oil
By the time I got through half of these oils I was really surprised by how many of them, once compared side by side were average. This is one of them. It hydrates well without a moisturizer, feels light-weight, and spreads nicely, but other than that it doesn’t impress. Compared to some of the others that showed immediate radiance boosting or fine line smoothing, this oil did not wow.
65 – Sisley Black Rose Precious Face Oil
The texture of this oil is beautiful – lightweight, spreads nicely, very smooth – as one would expect from a high end brand. It sank seamlessly into the skin and felt nourishing and hydrating, but did require added moisturizer be applied on top. The smell imparts soft floral notes. But there were no visible radiance effects, nor any visible anti-aging benefits in the first week of use. For the price, I was hoping for more.
64 – Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Youth Activating Oil
This oil has beautiful brightening effects, but the texture I found to be a little sticky and heavy. Hydration level was good, no additional moisturizer was needed, but the scent was overpowering. The fruity, citrusy, over the top scent is what brought the rating down for this oil.
60 – Kiehl’s Day Oil
The texture of this oil is on the heavy side, but it does seem to absorb well. Hydration is good and the citrusy fragrance is nice. Kind of smells like orange juice. I was surprised by how fast this thick textured oil sank into my skin, but other than that there aren’t too many benefits to this oil. Just okay. This is good if all you want is something to moisturize, but do little else.
55 – Caudalie Vinosource Overnight Recovery Oil
This oil is made for dry, sensitive skin types and it does indeed hydrate really well. You do not need an additional moisturizer on top of this oil, but it doesn’t absorb well. It sits on top of the skin. The subtle rose scent is the only redeeming quality of this product.
55 – Fresh Seaberry Face Oil
No “wows” here. Just “meh.” My favorite part of this oil is the scent. While it does hydrate the skin nicely and doesn’t require moisturizer on top of it, I found the texture too heavy and thick for my liking. It made makeup application difficult. I’d say pass on this one.
50 – Bobbi Brown Extra Face Oil
I can’t really say I was let down by this face oil because my expectations were already pretty low. Whenever a makeup brand tries to do skincare I’m suspicious. This product proved my suspicions right. The oil is underwhelming. The texture feels thick and sits on the skin. And there were no radiance boosting effects, though the hydration was good. The smell is very natural and herbal, but it left me longing for more.
49 – Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate Face Oil
This oil feels very heavy, like it sits on my skin. It did provide lots of moisture and the smell was natural and soft, but I did not see any immediate visible improvements to my skin. I had high hopes for this product, but it felt average.
47 – Kate Somerville Dilo Oil Restorative Treatment
I was so underwhelmed by this oil. First off, the scent is really off putting. I don’t know how to describe it – floral, but chemically – thankfully, it fades right away, but applying it is unpleasant. I needed to apply an additional moisturizer on top of this oil, as skin felt tight and dry after thirty minutes with just the oil as moisturizer. The texture is light, but if applied directly on dry skin it feels a little sticky and pulls on the skin. Application was better when used on damp skin after toner.
45 – Lancome Absolute
Hydration was good and it didn’t need an additional moisturizer on top, but I saw no improvements in skin radiance. The texture felt heavy and it did not absorb well into my skin. Overall, I saw little improvement in my skin after using this product.
32 – Caudalie Polyphenol Overnight Detox Oil
I was very let down with this oil. I am a big fan of Caudalie products, but this oil did not perform well. The texture was extremely thick and it felt heavy on my skin. It did not absorb well and left my skin feeling thirsty. After subsequent nights of use, I didn’t really notice any improvements in my skin.
-by Amy Chang
Photographed by author