While we often think of summer – with its prospect for sunburn and constant transience between heat and aircon – as the most detrimental to our complexions, in truth, winter is potentially just as devastating to our skin. Biting winds teamed with central heating and hot baths suck out moisture, leaving the face dehydrated, vulnerable and decidedly dull. For me, the remedy is a bolstering facial oil, refined enough so that it won’t leave me looking shiny, but rich enough to combat any environmental aggression that comes my way. These five new arrivals are all worthy of a place on the bathroom shelf – just match the bonus benefit to your skincare needs, smooth it on and embrace the cold snap…
Meet Darphin’s Revitalizing Oil: my new, essential travel companion. From experience, it’s rare that an oil can be equally effective on hair, face and body – where it’s too rich for one place, it just doesn’t deliver in another. But Darphin have nailed it with this light but intensive multi-tasking unction that leaves the face and body feeling supple without being greasy, and hair looking lustrous. In fact, after a quick roadtest, I was convinced enough to pack it as a one-stop wonder for five days in the sun where it keep my face feeling satin soft. Formulated from a blend of plant oils chosen for their richness in fatty acids to strengthen and rebalance the skin, the blissful scent comes from the ylang ylang, rosewood, jasmine and lavender essential oils that encourage a soothed and uplifted feeling. And it works just as well at home too.
This vitamin and mineral-rich recommendation brings skin that’s out of sync back in line from the first application, meaning no matter what your complexion woes, Oskia’s Restoration Oil will whip it into shape. Like the complete Oskia range, the key is fusing natural ingredients such as sea fennel and vine extracts into a high tech formula, making it ultra-effective. For example, rosehip seed oil helps reduces pore size while it smoothes out any rough texture, while tumeric brightens skin tone and sea fennel boosts collagen production for a firmer finish. Added to this, starflower and sunflower seeds help restore the skin’s natural barrier function – crucial for self-protection when the temperature drops – and Heart Seed vine keeps the complexion feeling comfortable. Skin bliss in a bottle.
There’s a deliciously rich consistency to Emma Hardie’s Amazing Face Brilliance Face Oil, packed with the natural skincare expert’s choice of the most potent organic essential and botanical oils for tackling lines, wrinkles and slackness. That’s not to say that it sits heavily on the skin, but rather that it has a velvety consistency perfect for combining with the massage technique that Hardie has devised during years of working on devoted clients to maximise the firming and lifting benefits of the ingredients. Think restorative grape seed oil, anti-inflammatory olive oils and conditioning sunflower oil. Lemon oil acts as a skin pick-me-up and anti-bacterial to fight off breakouts, while rose, mint and sweet orange give a sweet but subtle scent that’s nothing short of addictive.
Fans of the ‘buy British’ ethos will love Kent-based Mitchell & Peach’s quintessentially English Fine Radiance Face Oil. The star attraction is Cobnut oil, grown from trees on the family’s farming estate and cold-pressed to keep it’s potency. Rich in vitamin B that helps even out any redness or pigmentation, antioxidant-rich vitamin E to fight firmness-destroying free radicals, and with a tightening effect too, this unique ingredient behaves almost like a ‘dry’ oil, leaving behind a perfectly matt, powdery finish. Coconut and wheatgerm oil increase the vitamin E content for more protection and the soft rose and ylang ylang scent is perfectly pretty. I found that just a few drops at night had my skin looking more luminous in days, while the aroma lulled me to sleep in minutes.
Don’t let the terminology fool you – it may be called Decléor Intense Nutrition Aromessence Marjolaine Nourishing Serum, but this oil packs a heavyweight punch when it comes to combating seriously dry and dehydrated skin. Another champion of natural ingredients turbo-charged by technology, Decléor have based this (and the accompanying range) around marjoram essential oil, which has a boosting actionon the genes responsible for maximizing our hydration levels and the skin’s own natural defence barrier. Also in the mix are strengthening cranberry and argan oils, with avocado and babassu to help skin repair and regenerate. Even if you don’t suffer from dryness, a drop of this before or added to your regular moisturiser will help your complexion sail through the seasonal shift completely flake-free.