Face oils and serums for oily and acne-prone skin.

Let’s talk about acne. My sweet readers, brace yourself because it is going to be a long post. As promised on Instagram, I have decided to do a round-up of face oils and serums suitable for oily skin and efficient in healing and treating blemishes and inflammations.

I am not a dermatologist nor a skincare expert, I still have breakouts (skin does not magically clear up after puberty and turning 18…). In fact, I had clear skin throughout my teens, it is in my early twenties that I experienced adult acne linked to hormonal imbalance. Now after a lot of trial and error, I am getting better at controlling inflammation since I have found what works for my skin and what I should avoid at all cost.

After years of using face oils, I can attest that: 1. oils are compatible with oily skin 2. not all oils are created equal 3. once you find the ones you love, it’s hard to go back to cream moisturizers. 4. don’t switch oils after a few days (unless you get a bad skin reaction of course). Consistency is key for a balanced complexion.
antiaging, acne, blemishes

Eyes are the mirror to the soul, skin is the mirror to your gut.

First and foremost, let me highlight the importance of taking care of your physical and emotional wellbeing. A balanced and wholesome “diet” (not a restrictive diet, but one that is nourishing and rich in nutrients) has a positive impact on hormonal balance, and subsequently skin health. As soon as I start eating more sugar, my skin reveals it, clearly not keeping my dirty secrets safe haha. Same applies to physical activity and stress control. Moving your body will keep cortisol levels normal and contribute to a clearer complexion.

If you’re interested in literature that covers beauty on a general level, I highly recommend the book of Nadine Artemis (founder of Living Libations) Renegade Beauty. It’s an enlightening read, providing valuable tools towards self-care in a raw and natural way. While products can help soothe an inflammation they can’t go to the core source, it’s a mind/body synergy that has to operate. If you’re able to make some little changes in every aspect, you’ll see some fantastic results.

The oil-demonizing days are over.

Many studies attest that oils are beneficial for acne-prone skin. The best carrier oils to fight acne are the ones that are light and contain a high amount of linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid which won’t clog the pores. Linoleic acid-rich oils can help fluidify the sebum so it can easily flow out of our pores and reduce breakouts.

Pick oils with a low comedogenic rating (0 being the lowest likelihood and 5 the highest) and packed with anti-inflammatory, balancing and cell-regenerating benefits. While I tend to follow the comedogenic rating list, there are always exceptions to the rules – as well stated by Celestyna, the founder of Moss Skincare. She has an extensive knowledge of acne and skin health. Her line is known for treating problematic skin. I found her post on  “comedogenic” ingredients and why there’s no such thing as a “definitive” list of clogging oils (here), particularly enlightening. These are some of the excerpts I find relevant.

“Even ingredients that are not typically comedogenic can become so by a person’s own unique skin chemistry.” (…) “Formulations matter a ton. A formula is not just a sum of its parts—ingredient combinations can turn a comedogenic ingredient into a noncomedogenic ingredient and vice versa. Same thing goes for ingredient percentage – a comedogenic ingredient included at a smaller percentage can easily become harmless and non-comedogenic. ” (…) Also, the method in which an ingredient is extracted and processed plays a role. The source and the quality and purity of the raw material can also affect its rating.  “Remember, your skin is unique and will respond in its own way to all ingredients and products, even those that the manufacturers SWEAR are non-comedogenic.”

While working on this post, I did research the properties, benefits and “comedogenic” potential that ingredients have. Numerous articles do refer to the “comedogenic scale”. I have chosen to incorporate it for info purposes, but like Celestyna Moss said, each skin might react differently. One can have a reaction to a low comedogenic ingredient and vice-versa. Formulation is key.

Without further ado, here are the oils and serums which worked for my oily and blemish-prone skin. I highlighted the ingredients that are specifically effective to help clear up clogged pores and balance oil production as well as ingredients with various benefits (protective/brightening/soothing) that remain suitable for oily skin.

spot treating oils

The oils that help combat cystic acne and blemishes.

SkinOwl The beauty drops Skin perfecting moisturizer in Lavender.

One of my holy-grails when it comes to soothing inflamed skin. The lavender beauty drops are particularly intended for oily, sensitive skin to combat inflammation, acne, and redness. There are two ingredients, to maximize the effects of lavender. If I start having a couple of blemishes, the beauty drops do not aggravate my skin but prevent the inflammation to spread while healing the existing zits. Over the weeks, my skin clears up and maintains an overall good balance. It feels supremely lightweight and cherry on top, you can create your own skin cocktail by mixing it with other Beauty Drops.

TOP INGREDIENT: LAVENDER –  Thanks to its antibacterial and antifungal properties.  lavender oil is good for healing new or recent acne at a faster pace, especially once the first burst of inflammation subsides. It is proven to increase collagen levels in an accelerated way. On long-term scars, lavender oil is not as efficient though, so as soon as you see the first spots, grab the lavender to prevent acne scarring.
OILY-FRIENDLY: argan oil – As a carrier oil, Skinowl picked argan oil. It is high in linoleic acid with a very low comedogenic rating (0-1). It boasts some reparative benefits without clogging pores. Can also be used to treat acne and acne scars because it regulates the production of sebum and its Vitamin E content helps fade scars and smooth out the skin’s texture.

Ingredients: Raw, organic, unrefined Argania Spinosa Extract, Organic Lavender Oil

Lovelyday botanical skin rescue

Whenever my skin gets out of control or feels particularly fussy and irritated, this one is my go-to. Aptly named “skin rescue”, it is a beautiful evening oil that calms down inflammations and let the skin heal. It feels hydrating without being overwhelming. It’s my evening oil. Rich in chamazulene, my skin remains calm and balanced while healing from pesky breakouts.

TOP INGREDIENT: BLUE TANSY – This is one of my holy-grail ingredients for a clearer complexion. My skin loves it because it soothes irritation and redness like a champ while tackling zits and pimples. Blue Tansy EO has high anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties. If I have a couple of pimples and cystic acne, I apply this oil on my problematic zones. After a couple of days, I can see noticeable improvements already.
OILY-FRIENDLY ingredients: argan and Evening Primrose – Both are low comedogenic and high in linoleic acid (especially evening primrose).

Ingredients: Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil**, Oenothera Biennis Oil**, Tanacetum Annuum**, Tocopherol, Limonene**naturally occurring from Blue Tansy  **certified organic

Skin & Tonic detox beauty oil

A face oil specifically tailored for problematic skin. They truly hit the nail on the head with this blemish-blasting formula. It has been one of my favorite oils to keep in my skincare arsenal. Texture-wise, it is, extremely light and promptly absorbed. The itchiness and pain that comes with inflamed zits are quickly resorbed with the detox oil. I used it last summer and it has prevented my skin from turning into a grease factory. Skin & Tonic are known for their minimalistic approach and the fewer ingredients were carefully chosen to suit people with acne.

TOP INGREDIENTS: BLACK CUMIN SEED OIL & WATERMELON SEED OIL – Watermelon is high in linoleic acid and low comedogenic (0-1). Swiftly absorbing without a greasy feel. It dissolves sebum making it a great oil for getting rid of blackheads and other impurities in the skin. Black cumin seed oil is another powerhouse in the acne fight. Rich in zinc, which has been shown in studies to decrease acne. Also high in linoleic oil to make acne-prone sebum less comedogenic and calm down inflammation and boost the healing process to break up acne scars.
OILY-FRIENDLY ingredients: Jojoba, petitgrain, and bergamot. Bergamot is rich in vit. C, thus good for healing existing scars and wounds. Jojoba has been touted as one of the best oils for acne skin as it mimics sebum production to help balance the production of excess oil, however a purge of  “toxins” can happen in the early stages. Antiseptic, petitgrain essential oil inhibits bacterial growth, it’s a good EO for keeping the moisture and oil balance. Suitable for acne and sensitive skin as it remains lightweight and low-comedogenic.

Ingredients:Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil *, Cirullus lanatus (watermelon) seed oil *,  Nigella sativa (black cumin) seed oil *, Citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) fruit oil *, Citrus aurantium amara (petitgrain) leaf oil *, Tocopherol (vitamin E) ** * = Certified organic **= Non GMO


The clarifying serums

Mukti acne treatment Clarity balm

A very interesting spot-treating serum as it specifically targets blemishes and breakouts. This dries up the zits, yet does not disrupt skin’s natural balance. I found it efficient when I feel a pimple under the surface, to help reduce its size and speed the healing process. The clear gel texture feels a little bit sticky upon the first contact but after a few seconds, the gel is seamlessly absorbed and the feeling is gone.

Aloe vera stimulates collagen production and used for wound healing, it is very cooling and refreshing and my skin enjoys it. Witch hazel has been commonly used for acne due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Lemongrass is also a natural astringent which helps in minimizing and cleansing pore (eliminating blackheads) – without over-drying the skin.
OILY-FRIENDLY: Kakadu plum, mountain pepper, and pomegranate. Kakadu plum possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties. High in vitamin C, it is effective in reducing dark spots. The Tasmanian pepper berry contains a powerful active ingredient called polygodial, an anti-inflammatory agent, that calms skin discomforts. It has anti-allergic and broad antimicrobial activities. Pomegranate is high in antioxidant, very moisturizing and soothing. It creates lasting moisture minus that greasy feel.

Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel)*, Terminalia Ferdinandiana (Kakadu Plum)*, Capparis Mitchellii (Native Pomegranate)*, Tasmania Lanceolata (Mountain Berry Pepper)* Extracts, Lysolecithin, Sclerotium Gum, Xanthan Gum, Pullulan, Glyceryl Caprylate, Kunzea Ericoides (Kunzea)*, Geranium Maculatum (Geranium)*, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender)*, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass)*, p-Anisic acid. *Certified organic by the Organic Food Chain (OFC). Organically produced 95% of products.  Naturally occurring in essential oils: citral, citronellol, eugenol, farnesol, geraniol, limonene, linalool.

Luxe Botanics Kigelia clarifying serum 

Magic in a bottle. First of all, the featherlight-texture is absorbed without leaving a greasy firm yet it provides an amazing cooling and hydrating effect. I’ve used it for a couple of months now and my cystic acne and chin spots have drastically decreased. In combination with a ‘clean’ diet (lots of veggies, fruits no refined sugar or excess carbs), my chin spots have diminished and my skin cleared up. There are also a lot of blemish-fighting essentials oils in this formula (lavender, clove bud, lemon, geranium, and peppermint)

Luxe Botanics refers to a published study claiming that “Kigelia Africana possess an average antibacterial hormone relative to ciprofloxacin. Moreover, the plant was confirmed to be rich in flavonoids and phenolic compounds, which are suspected to be responsible for the antibacterial as well as an antioxidant potential of the plant.” Niacinamide (also known as Vit. B3) offers multiple benefits, including the reduction of the appearance of fine line, enlarged pores, and uneven skin tone. In combination with Vitamin C (also present in the Luxe Botanics formula), the benefits are significantly enhanced.
OILY-FRIENDLY: Fruit Acid Complex – botanical extracts of bilberry, sugar cane, sugar maple, orange, and lemon – a naturally occurring alpha hydroxy acids, which helps smoothen out skin texture, even skin tone, and combat mild acne, black/whiteheads. Normally Salicylic acid (BHA) is usually more recommended since it tackles clogged pores) but gentle AHAs can be applied to oily skin as well.

Ingredients: Purified Water (Aqua/ Eau)‡, Lactobacillus Ferment†, Ethyl Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)†, Kigelia africana Fruit Extract‡, Vegetable Glycerin‡, Niacinamide†, extracts ofVaccinium myrtillus (Bilberry, Sugar Cane),, Sugar Maple, Orange Fruit, Citrus medica limonum (Lemon), Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid)*†, Juniperus virginiana (Cedar Wood) Essential Oil, Cucumis sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Citrus aurantifolia (Lime) Essential Oil,  Juniperus communis (Juniper) Berry Oil, Cymbopogon flexuosus (Lemongrass) Leaf Oil, Citric Acid†‡, Pelargonium graveolens (Geranium) Essential Oil, Citrus limonum (Lemon) Essential Oil, Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Essential Oil, Mentha piperita (Peppermint) Essential Oil, Eugenia caryophyllata (Clove Bud) Essential Oil, Sodium Benzoate‡, Potassium Sorbate‡. Naturally occurring components of essential oils: Citral, citronellol, eugenol, farnesol, geraniol, isoeugenol, limonene, linalool.*Certified Organic †Plant/ Natural Origin ‡As part of Certified Organic Kigelia africana Fruit Extract

The post-healing acne-friendly oils and serums for protection and overall healthier complexion.

A common mistake in certain anti-acne skin care products is the over-drying effect, which worsens the problem since your skin will naturally produce more sebum to compensate. Oily skin is most commonly linked to acne breakouts, but dry skin is not exempt from it either. Mentioned here, oils and serums that are nourishing and replenishing yet not overpowering and clogging.

MUN Aknari n.1 brightening youth serum

One of my favorite serums (reviewed here). To me, it’s one of the best brightening serums ever, perfect to heal and lighten acne scars. It is easily absorbed and keeps my skin soft and calm. I’ve seen a huge improvement in my skin texture and old acne scars.  It contains 3 ingredients (Prickly Pear Seed Oil, Argan Oil, Bulgarian Rose Oil) which goes to show that it’s all about selecting and combining the right ingredients.

TOP INGREDIENT: PRICKLY PEAR SEED OIL – an amazing oil for those wanting to shrink pores and tighten the skin. It’s highly emollient and moisturizing for a velvety soft skin. It’s brightening, anti-inflammatory, and highly nourishing without being pore-clogging.
OILY-FRIENDLY: argan and rose oil. Rose oil has smoothing and antibacterial benefits.

Ingredients: Prickly Pear Seed Oil*, Argan Oil*, Rose Flower Essential Oil *certified organic

Lina Hanson Global baby/sensitive serum

A special formula to soothe baby skin and sensitive skin. Versatile, it can be used as a cleanser and moisturizer. It feels soft and nourishing without leaving a greasy residue. I was astounded by how weightless it felt on my skin. This is a perfect daily moisturizing oil to let your skin heal while benefitting from protective effects.

TOP INGREDIENTS: KALAHARI MELON SEED OIL AND CUCUMBER SEED OIL – Kalahari Melon Seed Oil is rich in antioxidants and nourishing omega 6 fatty acids to stimulate cell growth and help restructure skin. It also keeps skin looking blemish-free by unclogging pores and removing excess sebum. Loaded in linolenic acid, light and soothing and easily absorbed. Cucumber seed oil is also very rich in linoleic acid and low comedogenic. It absorbs relatively quickly and keeps skin soft and moisturized and guards against free-radicals.
OILY-FRIENDLY: safflower, jojoba and grapeseed oil. Safflower oil is a light, non-greasy carrier oil that won’t cause acne or comedones. Highly emollient, it protects skin from moisture loss.

Ingredients: Kalahari Melon Seed Oil,** Safflower Seed Oil,* Jojoba Seed Oil,* Sunflower Seed Oil,* Camellia sinensis (Thea) Seed Oil,* Apricot Kernel Oil,* (Cucumber) Seed Oil,* Avocado) Oil, Vitis vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, (Vitamin E)***

oily acne skin

Botanyblend Meru Omega-rich blend

This face oil has rocked my world. I have been sharing it in my IG stories for several months and in the long term, I have seen a real improvement in the health of my skin. The past few months, my skin has been less reactive, prone to fewer breakouts and some little scars left my hormonal breakouts around my chin have visibly decreased. It also smells divine but that’s for another post. One of the best protective and healing oils for oily skin I’ve had the pleasure to use.

Sacha inchi oil is a regenerative oil, high in antioxidants. Low comedogenic (0-1), it reduces redness, irritation, and inflammation while strengthening and moisturizing the skin. Neroli is an all-star ingredient against acne: an astringent to help balance skin by reducing its oil production and producing a tightening effect on the skin. This shrinks pores, thus avoiding dirt and oil from becoming trapped and cause an infection. Neroli was also found to be effective at relieving pain associated with pimples, especially cystic acne. It is shown to be toxic to P. acnes bacteria, thus preventing infection of the pore and pimple formation.
OILY-FRIENDLY: prickly pear, safflower, jojoba, and lotus –  Lotus is full of compounds that can benefit the skin, including antioxidants, flavonoids, fatty acids, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. It has soothing, tightening, purifying benefits and natural alpha-hydroxy acids that help exfoliate and impart a glowing look.

Ingredients: *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba), *Plukenetia Volubilis (Sacha Inchi), *Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower), *Opuntia Ficus Indica (Prickly Pear), *Citrus Aurantium var. Amara (Neroli), **Nelumbo Nucifera (Lotus), **Tocopherol (Vitamin E) 97% Soil Association Certified Organic Ingredients *Soil Association Certified Organic **Non GMO 100% Plant Based

Rosalena rock & rose face oil

A brand dear to me, everything they do is made with utmost care. Rock & Rose is an amazing energizing/brightening skin nectar. Although it may be feeling rich at first application, it’s seamlessly absorbed, thus revealing a glowing and nourished complexion.

TOP INGREDIENTS: PUMPKIN SEED OIL, ROSEMARY OIL – Pumpkin seed oil is rich in zinc and selenium which are two minerals recommended to treat acne. PSO fights acne-causing bacteria and prevents scars without clogging pores. Naturally high in enzymes, it gets rid of impurities and dead cells and help reduce acne and pimples. Rosemary oil has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that reduce eczema, dermatitis, and acne. It also re-hydrates and tones skin while smoothing fine lines.
OILY-FRIENDLY: prickly pear seed, evening primrose, grapeseed oil – Evening Primrose Oil has high levels of Omega’s 3, 6 & 9 to improve skin tone. Grapeseed oil is high in linoleic acid with a comedogenic rating of 1. Light and swiftly absorbed, it reduces inflammation, redness, and accelerates the healing of acne while keeping skin supple and hydrated.

Ingredients: Safflower Seed Oil**, Pumpkin Seed Oil**, Evening Primrose Seed Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Prickly Pear Seed Oil, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), Ubiquinone (CoEnzyme 10), Rosehip C02 Seed Extract**, Rosemary Leaf Extract**, Patchouli Leaf Oil**, Sweet Orange Oil**, Rosa Damascena (Rose Otto) Flower Oil**, Jasmin Absolute Oil**, Pelargonium Praveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil**, Farnesol*, Geraniol*, Limonene*, Linalool* *naturally occurring ingredients ** organic

Antioxidant-rich oils also suitable for mature and dry skin type.

Furthermore, these are oils that my skin has fared well with, yet not specifically targeted for oily skin due to certain ingredients being moderately comedogenic and richer.

Mayachia the super couple ultra-luxe face oil serum

This superstar oil gives your skin a Hollywood glow. They amped up the antioxidant factor to improve the appearance and texture of the skin. Made my skin smooth, soft and supple. While the carrier oil, chia seed oil, is slightly more comedogenic (2-3 in average), the essential oil blend used by MayaChia is loaded with acne-fighting ingredients, such as lavender, frankincense, myrrh, and carrot seed essential oils. Therefore, I experienced no issues with it, and I could finally enjoy an antioxidant-packed face oil.

TOP INGREDIENT: ASTAXANTHIN – (from the microalgae plant). Maya Chia refers to a university study claiming that astaxanthin is 65x stronger than Vitamin C & 14x stronger than Vitamin E in combating free radicals.
OILY-FRIENDLY: Sandalwood and myrrh (+ the essential oil blend rich in anti-inflammatory benefits). Sandalwood, for instance, is used in Ayurvedic beauty to tackle marks left by breakouts. Myrrh belongs to the Frankincense family, it is antiviral, anti-inflammatory, healing, and antiseptic. Used for treating blemishes and acne scars.

Ingredients: Supercritical Chia (Salvia hispanica) Seed Oil (and) Haematococcus Pluvialis Algal (Astaxanthin) Extract, Aniba Roseodora (*Rosewood) Essential Oil, Santalum Spicatum (*Australian Sandalwood), Lavandula Angustifolia (*Lavender) Essential Oil, Jasminum Grandiflorum (*Jasmine) Absolute, Rosa Damascena (Bulgarian Rose) Absolute, *Carrot Seed Essential Oil, Cistus Ladaniferus (*Cistus) Essential Oil, *Frankincense Essential Oil, *Myrrh Essential Oil, Pogostemon Cablin (*Patchouli) Essential Oil, *Roman Chamomile Flower Essential Oil *Organic or Wildcrafted (when available)

Lyonsleaf marshmallow facial oil

The winter oil for oily skin to heal and restore moisture in harsher climates. It is beautifully nourishing, making my skin feel soft, supple and calm. I am also fond of the scent. I experienced no issues, it kept my skin’s balance in check.

TOP INGREDIENTS: GERANIUM AND VETIVER – When it comes to acne, Geranium heals and reduces the visibility of scars on the surface of the skin. Vetiver oil is a cicatrizant, healing scars by promoting the regeneration of skin and tissue. Used to help remove acne marks and dark spots.
OILY-FRIENDLY: Borage and marshmallow – Marshmallow root boosts skin health, protects, soothes and repairs inflamed tissues as its highly emollient. Borage has a comedogenic rating of 2-3 so it is still fine for topical use. Borage helps reduce skin inflammation, including the swelling of pimples and cysts and skin’s hydration level by holding in the moisture.

Ingredients: Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) oil*, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) oil*, Adansonia digitata (Baobab) oil**, Borago officinalis (Borage) oil**,  Rosa canina (Rosehip) oil**,  Althaea officinalis (Marshmallow) Extract, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E) oil, Calendula officinalis (Marigold) Extract, Essential oils of Vetivera zizanoides (Vetiver) and Pelargonium graveolens (Geranium), Rosa centifolia (Rose) flower extract. Natural ingredients contain: citronellol, geraniol, linolool, citral. *Organic **Cold Pressed

Lani Tropical super serum (reviewed here)

Lani’s first take on face oils was a success, the tropical serum locks in moisture, softens the skin without feeling greasy. While camelia and marula tend to be more ‘comedogenic’, I believe that the combination with watermelon seed oil (see its benefits above), jojoba, and passionfruit contributed in turning it into a weightless and easily-absorbed serum. I did not experience any issues with it and I enjoyed how hydrated and smooth my skin felt.

TOP INGREDIENT: Maracuja Oil – High in linoleic acid and low-comedogenic. Known for its anti-inflammatory & anti-bacterial properties. Highly emollient, it is used for numerous skin conditions, including acne. My skin really loves it and I am always happy to see it in a formula.
OILY-FRIENDLY: Jasmine oil – effective in balancing and evening out the skin tone, non-clogging, and non-irritating.

Ingredients: Watermelon seed Oil, Marula) Seed Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Camellia Seed Oil, Passionfruit Seed Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Jasmine Oil.

Khus Khus Sans Age face serum

Marula is normally more pore-clogging and not recommended for oily skin.  However, I did not experience any issues, probably due to the astounding formulation. Thanks to the helichrysum/german chamomile/blue tansy combo. Sans age is an anti-inflammatory powerhouse. In the winter, this is a stunning oil to replenish your skin and protect it from harsher temperatures.

TOP INGREDIENTS: Blue tansy/german chamomille/helichrysum –  All of them have potent anti-inflammatory properties. Known to heal inflamed tissues, they are very soothing and bring tremendous relief to irritated, temperamental skin. This is an all-star trio for acne-prone skin.
OILY-FRIENDLY: argan, squalane, and sea buckthorn – Sea buckthorn oil is loaded with vitamin-C, it deeply penetrates the skin’s lipid layer and is recommended for redness, inflammation and water loss. Not deemed comedogenic, it contains malic, acetic acids (AHA-like ingredients) flavonoids and fatty acids. Studies pointed out that it decreased sebum secretion of the skin, thus efficient for acne caused by excess sebum. Seabuckthorn is not high in linoleic acid, nor in oleic, so combined with other oils that are higher in linoleic acid, you can enjoy its antioxidant benefits without clogging your pores.

Ingredients: +sclerocarya birrea(marula oil) *adansonia digitata(baobab seed oil) *argania spinosa(argan oil) *camellia oleifera(camellia oil),squalane(olive derived) *helichrysum italicum(helichrysum)  *tanacetum annuum(blue tansy) *chamomilla matricaria(german chamomile) *rosa canina (rosehip Co2) *hippophae rhamnoides(sea buckthorn Co2) vit. E oil mixed tocopherols non gmo sourced

De Mamiel Intense Nurture Antioxidant elixir

This milky-soft serum is a goldmine when it comes to protecting your skin from environmental pollution and oxidative stress. Non-sticky, it leaves the skin intensely hydrated and appeased. Completely suitable for sensitive skin. After a long day out in the heat and in a polluted city, I normally feel my skin a bit red and tense, but I experienced no such thing when applying this elixir morning and evening. Caprylic/capric triglyceride is not clogging and different from plain coconut oil (see Celestyna’s post), Also, Annee de Mamiel added a myriad of inflammation-blasters such as prickly pear, frankincense, geranium, bergamot, ylang-ylang, vetiver, lavender, thus making this serum a must-have for every skin type.

TOP INGREDIENTS: SALICYLIC ACID, FRANKINCENSE, PRICKLY PEAR –  Salicylic acid is a type of beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that can help treat acne by exfoliating the skin and sloughing of pore-clogging dead skin cells- particularly efficient in the fight against stubborn acne. Salicylic acid also cuts down on oil production. It is an anti-inflammatory ingredient.
OILY-FRIENDLY Malachite extracts impurities and pollutants, it also contains copper, which stimulates collagen production, improving its elasticity. Superoxide Dismutase boosts the skin’s oxygen intake to aid cell renewal.

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Diheptyl Succinate***, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Fractionated Coconut), Capryloy Glycerin/ Sebacic Acid Copolymer***, Opuntia Ficus-Indica (Prickly Pear) Seed Oil*, Xylitylglucoside, Olive Glycerides, Anhydroxylitol (Olive), Sodium Hyaluronate, Oryzanol (Rice Germ), Malachite Extract, Benzyl Alcohol***, Xylitol, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline***, Lysolecithin (Rapeseed)***, Sclerotium Gum***, Ceramide 3, Citrus Sinensis (Orange) Peel Oil*, Pullulan***, Xanthan Gum, Salicylic Acid***, Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Flower Oil, Crithmum Maritimum (Marine Samphire) Extract, Superoxide Dismutase, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Glucose, Boswellia Carterii (Frankincense) Gum Oil**, Pelargonium Roseum (Geranium) Leaf Oil*, Sodium Hydroxide***, Sorbic Acid***, Citrus Bergamia (Bergamot – BF) Peel Oil*, Commiphora Myrrha (Myrrh) Resin Extract**, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Leaf Oil**, Vetiveria Zizanoides (Vetiver) Root Oil**, Rosa Centifolia (Wild Rose) Flower Oil**, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Flower Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf/ Stem Oil*, Sophora Japonica (Japanese Pagoda) Flower Extract, Citronellol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Isoeugenol, Limonene, Linalool Menyanthes Trifoliate (Bogbean), Aconitum Napellus (Monkshood), Parnassia Palustris (Grass Of Parnassus), Grand Quintile, Pinus Sylvestris (Grandmother Pine), Trientalis Europaea (Chickweed Wintergreen), Helleborus Foetidus (English Bearsfoot), Linum Bienne (Pale Flax)

Oils that I have reviewed in the past that deserve some love too.

Indie Lee Squalane oil

TOP INGREDIENT: SQUALANE – Reviewed (here). Whenever I suffer from a bad reaction and reach an inflammation peak, I stop everything and stick to this miracle-worker until my skin heals naturally. It is pure, high-quality, non-clogging, readily absorbed, 100% pure, Olive derived Squalane.

Rivelles Oat oil and Activa face oil (reviewed here)

TOP INGREDIENT: OAT – Suitable for all skin types, organic oat oil is an excellent source of essential and omega fatty acids and is effective in healing itchy skin. Oat oil has strong anti-inflammatory properties and possesses a great emolliency.

British oils round-up ft. La belle lune, holistic green beauty, coce, and rosalena – Reviewed (here). All of these are acne-prone friendly, high-quality, antioxidant-rich oils that tend to be more hydrating and protective.

Blue Labelle Moringa and raspberry seed oil (reviewed here)

TOP INGREDIENT: RED RASPBERRY SEED OIL – Suitable for oily skin, but more of a winter face oil. The top ingredient in Blue Labelle’s oil is Raspberry Seed Oil. High in linoleic acid, anti-inflammatory and used for skin cell regeneration. It helps reduce clogged pores. Has a 0 comedogenic rating. Due to its vitamin E and A content, it reduces free radicals that cause premature aging and heal UV damages.

Not reviewed on the blog but tried and approved: Herbivore Botanicals Lapis face oil

Lapis introduced me to the magic of Blue Tansy. Less than 10 ingredients, yet the right ones to soothe inflammation while providing deep hydration.

Bodhi & Birch Neroli Lucé

It also contains the magnificent Neroli. I am mad at myself for not having done a proper review of it because it is definitely an astounding oil to heal and hydrate blemish-prone skin.

Lilfox Miami Seabuck + Neroli youthful vixen nectar

A must-try. it’s a vitamin boost for the skin. Perfect for congested and irritated skin thanks to its super anti-inflammatory formula, which contains numerous top ingredients mentioned in this post.

Finally, if you’ve been reading the whole thing, thank you!  I currently have a more oils/serums on the testing table so if I find some new oily-friendly additions in the future, I can do a part II. Unless you’d prefer a more concise guide, selecting only my top 10. Let me know what you’d prefer.
What is your favorite oil/serum for acne-prone skin?
Take care,




Khodabakhsh, P., Shafaroodi, H. & Asgarpanah, J. J Nat Med (2015) 69: 324. -Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of Citrus aurantium L. blossoms essential oil (neroli): involvement of the nitric oxide/cyclic-guanosine monophosphate pathway
Lee S-H, Heo Y, Kim Y-C. Effect of German chamomile oil application on alleviating atopic dermatitis-like immune alterations in mice. Journal of Veterinary Science. 2010 
Antimicrobial and Improvement Effects of Tea Tree and Lavender Oils on Acne Lesions – Bok Young Kim, Sujin Shin
S. J. Rhie, “The effect of lavender oil on the activity of antioxidant enzymes to ultraviolet damaged skin”, Journal of Korean Beauty Society, vol. 13, no. 2, 2007.
Javidnia, K., et al. “Antimicrobial and Antioxidant Activity and Chemical Composition of the Essential Oil Of Tanacetum Macrophyllum(Waldst. Kit.) Schultz. Bip.” Journal of Essential Oil Research, vol. 22, no. 2, 2010. 
Ozuguz, Pinar, et al. “Evaluation of Serum Vitamins A and E and Zinc Levels According to the Severity of Acne Vulgaris.” Cutaneous and Ocular Toxicology, vol. 33, no. 2, 2013.


*May contain affiliate links. **This post is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide health diagnosis or replace professional medical advice to treat acne or any health conditions. Please seek to consult your health care provider.  



  • Yes you are right I also did the same way. This is the very different approach of using it. We can use these things in variety of types but be careful because its about our skin.

  • Wow! That’s a POST! Thank you for sharing! I’m a big oil lover, I believe in their “magic”, as you said. Healthy, organic way to keep your skin beautiful. And not only skin! Lot of oils work as aromatherapy! My favourite is peppermint oil. Work is sooooo many ways, not only for my skin and the smell is addictive! Love it! I found mine here https://virginic.com/collections/oils/products/japanese-peppermint-essential-oil?variant=8115166117930. Nothing better than PURE cosmetics for PURE skin!

    • Thank you Anna, I am glad you oils have been working wonders for you as well 🙂 xo

  • Thank you so much for this… after reading this i made the decision of ordering this: https://virginic.com/collections/oils/products/golden-jojoba-oil i have insanely dry skin and i mean INSANELY somehow reading your piece inspired me to take care of it more lol. Just wondering what you think of Virginic? I remember seeing something about it in your blog once about it being cruelty free and totally above organic. let me know if im not mistaken because i would love to go back and re-reead that -thanks!

    • Hi Sabrina, thank you for reading and I am so glad you’re taking care of your skin. You must have been mistaken with somebody else, I had never heard of Virginic before. However, I do mention jojoba oil quite often as it is one of the oils that is best tolerated by oily skin. For dry skin, try oils like Marula, Rosehip, Seabuckthorn, argan, avocado, apricot kernel. If you’re looking for more affordable options, brands like Badgers Balm, Derma E and Mad Hippie have amazing products. The Seabuckthorn by Badger Balm is marvelous: https://www.iherb.com/pr/Badger-Company-Seabuckthorn-Face-Oil-For-Normal-Dry-Skin-1-fl-oz-29-5-ml/61656
      Hope it helps 🙂 x

  • Amazing post really helpful! Just wondered which ones you regularly use in your routine, since assuming you wouldnt be using all of them at once?

    • Hi Charlotte, thank you for your comment! You’re right, I do not use them all at once, this is a round-up gathering products I’ve have loved the past several years. The key is to determine which ingredients your skin fares well with and then stick to them. Another helpful tip is to stick to a routine and not switch oils every week. So whenever I pick a serum or a face oil, I use it for a while. I just used up Luxe Botanics Kigelia serum which is excellent for cystic acne. By sticking to it, I was able to reduce chin spots drastically. As a face oil, I have been using the SkinOwl Beauty Drops. They moisturize the skin without being overpowering. Hope it helps and let me know if you have questions 🙂 x


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