I have a confession. Once upon a time, I used moisturiser religiously and, well, little did I realise how naïve I was. Back in my dogmatic days, I presumed that anything I slathered on my face was good for it. I’d ritualistically moisturise twice a day, soaking up a tub of Nivea Soft like there was no tomorrow. But alas, there was. When I got fed up of discovering that I had an oily nose and forehead by midday, I knew that something would have to give. So when I found myself with an empty tub of cream on a trip to Copenhagen, I ventured out and bought a bottle of organic facial oil by local brand Tromborg. Today, I can safely say that I’ve never looked back.
There’s a common misconception that facial oils leave the skin greasy, or that they aren’t good for people with oily skin. Quite the contrary, my friend. Oil dissolves oil, which means that it’s the most effective thing to combating oily skin. Most moisturisers are occlusive, which means that they form a barrier on the skin. Oil, on the other hand, is emollient, which means that the skin soaks it up and it fills in the bits in your skin where skin cells have diminished.
If you’re sceptical, try using a facial oil while you sleep and applying a thin layer of moisturiser over it to lock it in. You may feel like Patrick Bateman, but if you do, then just remember how flawless his skin is. That could be you. Remember to only use one or two drops of oil when applying to the face — this is important — as you don’t want to make it too oily.
Often, men go for the ‘more is more’ approach when it comes to everything from fragrance to hair product to shampoo. This will not help you here — use facial oil sparingly for best results. It also works best when you’re fresh out of the shower or you’ve just washed your face and your skin is warm and supple.
Like Bateman, I shave my face every day, and since using facial oil, I’ve noticed a dramatic reduction of razor burn. If you do too, then try using shaving oil as an alternative to foam and you wont regret it — Aesop and Ren offer great vegan or organic ones that nourish the skin instead of drying it out. You just need a drop or two, and it soothes the movement of the razor and leaves your skin feeling naturally dewy instead of gasping for slick of cream.
There truly is a facial oil for every man. If you have sensitive skin, you should try oil that is without essential oils — perhaps Peet Rivko’s ‘Balancing Face Oil’ — which is lightweight and doesn’t leave a greasy finish. For those of you with oily skin, try Votary’s ‘Clarifying Oil’, which is clary sage, bergamot and rosemary, which are also natural blemish- and acne-busters. And if you have dry skin, heavier oils that are rich will be nourishing, like de Mamiel’s ‘Winter Facial Oil’, which has ingredients such as macadamia nut oil, arctic cranberry and arctic blackcurrant. If you’re on a budget, go to Kiehl’s, or better yet, any high street supermarket and invest in some jojoba oil.