What Are The Best Facial Oils For Dry Skin?

by Gio
the best facial oils for dry skin

The one good thing about dry skin?

You can use pretty much any oil to fix it without worrying your skin will turn into a war zone.

But too much choice can be overwhelming. Do you go just with the cheapest option? Or pick the one that smells the best (please don’t do this – oils that smell good are usually irritating!)?

Leaving things to chance can work sometimes but not when it comes to your skin. You’ll wear the results on your face (literally!) so you want an oil that does wonders from the get-go.

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Here are my three fave facial oils for dry skin:

1. Best For Dry, Mature Skin: Marula Oil

What it is: a thickish oil derived from the kernels of the fruits of Marula tree. It’s made up mostly of oleic acid, linoleic acid and antioxidants. The best part? It’s sustainable. Only the fallen fruits are used to make the oil.

Why it’s good for dry skin: oleic and linoleic acid are super moisturising. They help skin retain moisture and keep it soft and supple. Add antioxidants to the mix and you’ve got a powerful anti aging moisturiser for dry skin.

What the science says: oleic and linoleic acids strengthen the skin’s barrier and help retain moisture. Plus, it’s full of antioxidants that fight premature aging and has photoprotective properties that reduce UV damage.

Side effects: marula oil is generally considered to be safe. But if you have super sensitive skin that reacts to everything, do a patch test first. Just in case.

Best picks: Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil ($72.00) and The Ordinary 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil (£8.10)

2. Best For Dry, Acne-Prone Skin

What it is: the oil extracted from the hip of a rose plant (usually rosa canina or rose rubiginosa). The hip is the radish-like ball the flower leaves behind after it blossoms. Don’t confuse rosehip oil with rose oil. Rose oil is extracted from the petals.

Why it’s good for dry skin: rosehip oil is loaded with linoleic acid, a powerful moisturiser that nourishes even the driest of skin and makes it soft and smooth again. It also has its fair share of Vitamin A, an antioxidant that fights free radicals, boosts collagen and treats acne.

What science says: studies show that ropsehip oil increases moisture in the skin, boosts collagen and improves the appearance of wrinkles. Linoleic acid also helps reduce mini pimples and the size of clogged pores on your face.

Side effects: too much vitamin A can be irritating. If you’re using rosehip oil, don’t add retinol to your skincare routine, too.

Best picks: The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil (£9.00) and Trilogy 100% Natural Certified Organic Rosehip Oil (£19.50)

Related: Why Rosehip Oil Is My Go-To To Fix Any Skincare Woe

3. Best For Sensitive, Dry Skin Not Prone To Breakouts: Coconut Oil

What it is:  coconut oil is an oil derived from the kernel or meat of mature coconuts. It is high in saturated fats, like lauric, myristic and palmitic.

Why it’s good for dry skin: virgin coconut oil (don’t even think of using any other type) is loaded with fatty acids that strengthen the skin’s protective barrier and antioxidants that fight premature wrinkles.

What science says: coconut oil is gentle enough to treat the driest and most delicate of skins. It helps soothe irritations, treat contact dermatitis and is safe for newborn babies.

Side effects: coconut oil can clog pores. If you’re prone to breakouts, don’t use it. I recommend you use coconut oil only when your skin is particularly sensitive/irritated and switch to another oil as soon as it has fully recovered. Oh, and don’t use it as sunscreen! I don’t care what you read on natural beauty blogs, coconut oil is NOT a sunscreen. I repeat, coconut oil is NOT a sunscreen.

Best picks: Dr Jackson’s 04 Coconut Melt (£12.00) and Narynda Skincare Organic Natural Skincare Virgin Coconut Oil (£8.50)

Related: Can You Use Coconut Oil As Sunscreen?


What are your fave oils for dry skin? Share your picks in the comments below.



TIFANI February 15, 2018 - 4:12 am

Hey Gio, I wonder what about the sunflower oil? My skin is dry, is it ok for me to use sunflower oil?

Gio February 17, 2018 - 8:24 am

Tifani, yes it is. Dry skin can use pretty much any oils but the ones listed above are particularly beneficial imo.

Shellie March 6, 2018 - 5:50 pm

I’m wondering if I use my face oil (very dry where I live) w a sunscreen over top am I covered (bright sun)? I’m concerned that the oil will speed up sun damage.

Gio March 16, 2018 - 4:31 pm

Shellie, if you’re religious with sun protection, you should be fine. 🙂

Siobhan March 9, 2018 - 6:52 am

How do we know when we have taken too much vitamin A ?

Gio March 16, 2018 - 6:54 pm

Siobhan, from skincare you mean? Your skin will become red and start peeling.

Kimayu March 15, 2018 - 6:47 am

Hi Gio,I’m using hyaluronic acid as well as Rosehip oil. May I ask if it can be used concurrently? I have dry skin with occasional breakouts and my skin has hyper pigmentation

Gio March 18, 2018 - 9:18 am

Kimayu, yes they can. For dry skin, it is actually recommended you use an hyaluronic acid serum followed by an oil for best results. 🙂

Gt May 25, 2018 - 5:11 am

Why some people think squalane is the best and other oils are harmful? Do you agree?

Gio May 27, 2018 - 7:48 am

GT, squalane is one of the three oils that doesn’t aggravate fungal acne. If you have fungal acne, I’d agree, stick with squalane. But if your skin is simply oily or have bacterial acne, the oils mentioned here are good for you.

CRAB August 15, 2018 - 4:58 pm

Gio, curious what your thoughts are on Prickly Pear Seed Oil – MUN – Aknari Brightening Youth Serum.

Gio August 16, 2018 - 11:45 am

Crab, prickly pear seed oil is very moisturising and has its fair share of antioxidants but it’s not better or worse than other oils. If you find a cheap option, give it a go and see how it works for you but I wouldn’t invest too much in it.


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