4 Facial Oils To Revive Winter Skin

Face oils from Scentuals, Juice Beauty, StriVectin, The Ordinary

Facial oils make a lovely addition to any skincare regimen, and not just during the winter! I've been rotating between the ones featured in today's post all season long. Facial oils can give regular moisturizers a skin-softening boost, layer over hyaluronic acid and serums to better lock in hydration, or provide plenty of slip for facial rollers and gua sha tools.

A quick note about getting the most out of any facial oil you buy: Natural oils can go bad once opened. It's best to use up the entire bottle as soon as you can (say, within 6-12 months) instead of letting light and air exposure degrade the oils over time. I know I probably won't be able to use up the oils in this post within a reasonable amount of time, which is why I already have backup plans to re-purpose the less expensive ones (like Scentuals and The Ordinary) as all-over body moisturizers.

Scentuals Rosehip Beauty Oil

Scentuals Rosehip Beauty Oil ($29.95, PR sample)

This rosehip oil blend comes in a classic apothecary-style brown dropper bottle designed to minimize exposure to light and air. Rosehip oil is supposed to be great for skin because of its fatty acids and high nutrient value. The formula also features grapeseed, apricot, and safflower seed oils, which I'm guessing help keep costs down and give the formula a light, pleasant, quick-absorbing but still emollient slip and feel. A touch of tocopherol (vitamin E) boosts the nutrient profile while acting as a preservative. I've used this oil on my face and body. It's a good basic oil that sinks into skin quickly and keeps it feeling soft for hours.

Best for: Those looking to dip their toes into the world of facial oils with an affordable and all-natural option.

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Vinifera Replenishing Oil

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Vinifera Replenishing Oil ($94, PR sample)

One look at the price tag and the list of hero ingredients, and you know that this is an oil you want to use on your face and your face alone. Juice Beauty is a natural beauty brand that's been on my radar for years—I've loved everything I've tried from them for the efficacy and spa-like textures and scents. The Stem Cellular Vinifera Replishing Oil is no exception. Fruit stem cells, grape seed oil, and vitamin C nourish and promote skin luminosity; jojoba esters purport to make this facial oil work well underneath makeup; and macadamia, jojoba, and olive squalene oils make it super emollient.

This oil is dual phase and needs to be shaken before use. I do shake it because the instructions say so, but to be honest I haven't noticed any changes in colour or texture post-shaking other than more air bubbles in the formula. Usually I dispense the product into my palms, rub them together to warm up the oil, and then press it into my face, neck, and chest. The oil goes on shiny and clear with plenty of slip and it has a fresh, fruity scent because of all the fruit-based active ingredients, making it a joy to use with my jade gua sha tool. Of all the oils featured in this post, this is the one I keep returning to nightly just because the experience of using it is a genuine pleasure.

Best for: Nightly #selfcare rituals.

StriVectin s.t.a.r.light Retinol Night Oil

StriVectin s.t.a.r.light Retinol Night Oil ($99 at London Drugs, PR sample)

Retinol is one of the few clinically proven skincare ingredients recognized by the American Academy of Dermatology for its ability to improve skin texture and tone over time. What's more, winter is a great time to try this buzzy ingredient for the first time if you haven't already, as retinol can make skin more photo-sensitive and UV rays are typically at their lowest at this time of year. I like how this retinol oil from StriVectin lets me supercharge any moisturizer or regular facial oil with a skin-renewing boost. This oil is meant to be diluted in something else; just 3 drops does the trick. On the nights I used it, I blended it with a silicone-free moisturizer to boost absorption, and I avoided using any other serums with actives. Although the deep orange shade of the oil might be daunting, rest assured that it doesn't stain anything when applied.

Best for: Incorporating retinol into a well-established skincare routine.

The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane

The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane ($7.90, purchased)

Plant-based squalane has been one of the buzziest natural skin moisturizers in recent years and is even the basis for entire skincare lines. The Ordinary's no-nonsense dropper bottle of 100% Plant-Derived Squalane is just that: a clear, unscented squalane oil with nothing else blended in. The oil goes on shiny and clear and sinks into skin quickly, leaving behind a feeling of non-greasy silkiness. I've used this on Lawrence (who hates anything that feels heavy or sticky on his skin) and he has no complaints. Plus at under $10, this is by far the cheapest option in this post. What do you have to lose in picking up a bottle and trying it for yourself?

Best for: Those looking for a no-frills, inexpensive, unscented facial oil that works.


  1. Crap I've been using the Strivectin oil wrong. I was applying it on its own, underneath moisturizer. Your method makes more sense though. Do you feel like there's a difference in texture and absorption between the Ordinary oil vs. everything else?

    1. Both ways are right according to the side of the bottle! I just find I achieve better, more even product distribution across my face and neck when I blend it with something else. As for the Ordinary oil, I do find it's silkier and more lightweight and it sinks in faster, so there's less slip compared to the Juice oil. The latter is much better for gua sha.


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