Let’s Get Oily

Bumble and bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil
Rodin Olio Lusso
Fresh Rice Dry Oil
Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil

Oils: not just for cooking, massages, political leverage, or Shakira videos anymore. In fact, one might venture as far as to say that oils are the beauty trend of the moment...or at least I would say that, considering my medicine cabinet. Why? They're lightweight, hydrating, long-lasting, and the bottles are typically kind of pretty. What’s not to like? There really is an oil for every beautification situation, head- to-toe—no really, see below (sorry for all the rhymes…):

Hair: I’ve been hooked on Bumble and bumble’s Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil since it debuted last summer. Somewhat thick and dense, it’s the perfect ingredient for slightly weighing down your hair, smoothing the fly aways, and solidifying your curls/waves. Though advertised for both wet and dry hair, I’ve found it works the best on my tresses après shower—after wringing out the excess water, with four pumps rubbed between my palms. While the rest of my shower products continue to rotate, H.I.O. has held a highly coveted (I’d like to think so…) spot on my tub ledge for twelve months and counting.

Face: The oil that launched a thousand oils, Rodin Olio Lusso has been mentioned on the site close to thirty times for a reason: it really is the ultimate. Certainly richer than most versions out there (both in thickness and price), it’s best used sparingly. For my very dry facial skin, it’s ideal right before bed, allowing all the hydrating nutrients to soak on up without leaving me looking oily because, I mean, that’s not ideal. We’re going for fresh and moisturized, not greasy.

Body: I’ve been around the body-oil block in my day, though I tend to keep the all random testing of products limited to my legs. The biggest complaint I have in this category is when a product leaves your stems nice and slippery, making it nearly impossible to cross your legs. My solution has been Fresh’s Rice Dry Oil applied while I'm still in the shower (particularly after freshly shaven legs). The hydration still is there but you're not slip-sliding around in your desk chair.

Cuticles: While Essie recommends you use a cuticle oil twice daily, I have to admit I’m not that good. I’m definitely a fan of the at-home (or work) manicure, but my everyday nail care is somewhat lacking in consistency. However, an application of Essie’s Apricot Cuticle Oil (perfect for your fingers and toes) a few times a week keeps me safe from torn, frayed, and/or wounded cuticles.

My late-summer resolution (that's a thing, right?) is to start taking a daily dose of fish oil (it’s supposed to do wonders for your body—mental health, plus fight cancer, help your skin, hair, and much, much more!) but something tells me that the four-month-old unopened bottle I have in my kitchen cabinet means that I'm facing a bit of a challenge, but that’s beside the point… I say: embrace oils in all forms.

—Elizabeth Brockway

Photos by Elizabeth Brockway.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • PradaStole

    Can't I just keep 'borrowing' my roommates jojoba oil and call it a day, this is all quite overquelming. :)

  • Lauren

    RMS Beauty Oil is a wonderful facial oil that also smells amazing, and S.W. Basics has a body oil that is all 100% organic and natural and works so well at moisturizing after the shower: http://store.swbasicsofbk.com/products/body-oil

    • janet

      Have you tried SW Basics cleanser? Would love to know what you think. It looks interesting.

      • Lauren

        Their whole line is wonderful, but my favorites are the exfoliants (face and body) and the body oil. I don't use the cleanser, so I can't speak to it - sorry!

      • icole

        Their makeup remover/moisturizer face oil is EVERYTHING.

    • eastvillagesiren

      It is awesome, and the only oil blend I can use that doesn't give me a rosaseaout. For the price it lasts a long time And I like that it doesn't contain Arnica (Rodin Olio Lusso does), which makes my face burn, plus I'ml leary of using Arnica for anything but short-term theraputic relief: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/arnica.

      S.W. Basics are super-great, simple products, which you could theoretically make at home, but why bother when they do it for you, with high quality, at a reasonable price and pretty packaging too!

      • Lauren

        I agree!!

      • eastvillagesiren

        oops, meant rosacea breakout ; )

      • http://www.champagnerising.com/ heather adair

        Yep -- between the arnica and the jasmine (highly fragrant) there are as many irritants in Olio Lusso as there are soothing ingredients. And I *love* the stuff, but, as I repeat to myself whenever I find skincare that smells *good" -- "Perfume is not skincare."

        So -- my olio lusso gets used sparingly -- because it does contribute to pinkness, irritation, and inflammation, unfortunately..........

  • Emma

    I love the feel of oils, and they are great on my skin when I first apply them. however, if I ever use an oil- the next day my skin will be DRY. As in, dry circle and patches. I've never managed to find out why would love your expertise on this!

    • dania

      The same thing happens to me. If I mix a bit of oil with my moisturizer I won't be as dry, but if all I use is the oil my skin will be very dry the next morning. I'm curious to know why this is as well.

      • sp1315

        I have the exact same problem and I think I also have an explanation. Skin is made of an oil element and a water element. When you apply an oil you tip the scale towards lack of water and viceversa when you put a gel moisturizer you err in the opposite direction. I usually apply the oil after mixing it with a light oil free moisturizer (like the clinique moisture surge). I hope this helps

        • softy

          thank you! what a simple, seemingly obvious explanation. before now, i always just thought the oils i was using (caudalie) weren't good ones. i'll definitely always mix in my moisturizer from now on.

          • sp1315

            Let me know if it works for you too!

      • pamb

        On both of the oils I use, the directions say to mix them with a moisturizer. I never do, and have had no problems, but I have very oily skin. Maybe that's why I love the oils I use; they are actually drying out my skin a bit!

    • Petronella

      Try layering a cream on top, it will "seal" the moisture. Works for my dry skin :)

  • femme_noir

    I'm so intrigued by the Rodin oil; half the Top Shelves seem to include it! Is it really all it's cracked up to be?

    • cynthia

      Not in my opinion. The Darphin face oils are superior. And less expensive. Myrh is amazing.

    • beeswaxnoneofyour

      Honestly, it's great, but you can find equal alternatives out there for a lot less. Green People do amazing facial oils, Fushi does the best hair oil I've ever used (I use it as a leave-in and it softens my hair like no silicone product ever did) and both are all natural and a quarter of the price of Rodin. While I like Essie's oil a lot, I actually spend more and get Decleor's nail oil - I much prefer it. It is stupid expensive, but I buy it from a discount legit beauty place in the Channel Islands so it's like half the price. For a cheap repair hair treatment I get good quality avocado or kukui nut oils and slather my hair in it and soak in the bath, then wash it out. You can source awesome quality coconut and argan oils from any reputable health/oil seller and don't need to pay Josie Maran or RMS prices. It's just about doing some research.

  • janet

    I've used various oils for more years than I'd like to say--mostly sweet almond and olive. They're the ones I always go back to whatever the trend. It's so easy to take a small, dark bottle (to keep it fresh) add a drop of jasmine and I'm good to go. It works for everything. But, I'm all about simplicity--at least when it comes to skin and hair. Don't ask about my makeup and clothing hoards.

  • Cat

    I'm off it for the summer, but when the cold starts showing its ugly face again I'm going back to my NUDE oil. I was very reluctant to put oil on my acne prone skin at first because of course it seems counter-intuitive. But so does quantum mechanics, so hey. It REALLY makes a difference on my skin, and for the best. I usually either mix it with my moisturizer or use it in lieu of my serum, but only at night. Everywhere else (body, hair) I use Caudalie's Divine Oil because I am completely addicted to the smell, they weren't kidding with the whole "divine" thing, It's like crack :)

  • Maquillage Magic

    I'm loving oils at the moment, the body shop beautifying oils are really nice! The Essie cuticle oil looks really good, would love to try that. L xx


  • kryng apostol

    dude, where is Nuxe Huile Prodigieouse in this list?

  • kryng apostol

    dude, where is Nuxe Huile Prodigieous in this list? That stuff can be used for the whole body... That deserves a mention at least.

    • sp1315

      I confess I am not a fan, but it may be because I don't know how to use it.

  • Chantel

    I love using oil on my cuticles.

  • Tory & Kerry

    We love the Suki Balancing oil for night!


  • Alexandra

    I have been taking Nordic Naturals Complete Omega 3-6-9 for a couple of years now and I really, REALLY love it. It makes my skin so, so soft, my hair shiny and healthy looking and I imagine it does some good stuff for my insides too (fingers crossed). This fish oil is the only one I have found that I see visible results from and has NO fishy flavor or "after flavor" (YUCK!)(when it releases in my stomach). Highly recommend.

    • katie

      Whenever I get a breakout or my skin is looking a little oilier than normal, I reach for the fish oil (I prefer the liquid-in-a-bottle variety, lemon flavored, chased by a ton of juice to kill the taste). It really works wonders, and quickly, too! The taste/texture takes getting used to, but It's most definitely worth it.

    • deborah

      You may not need the omega's 6 & 9. check out their ultimate omega which contains just the omega 3's. I use that after reading somewhere it's better for you. I think the 6's can be applied topically with good results.

  • Katherine Clow

    I am so torn about trying oils because I have terribly oily skin, so I don't want to make it a complete slick. But I've also heard great things, so I guess I'll just have to keep looking


    • Janine

      You might want to check out the Burt's Bees Naturally Ageless Serum. Nothing bad in there. I break out from everything and it was fine for me. But...summer isn't the best time, for me, to test oils. Test it and see if it works for you. :)

  • http://www.kimberlyloc.com/ kimberlyloc

    Great to see beauty oils getting their moment in the mainstream! The purer and more natural, the better.

    I'd challenge everyone to reach outside the box of Rodin (though it's fabulous — I'm a huge jasmine fan!) and try other fantastic, luxury oils made by May Lindstrom, African Botanics, Yuli, Osmia Organics, La Bella Figura, One Love Organics, Olie Biologique, Kahina, Odacite and more. You may discover your next true love.


  • NinaD

    For us oilier individuals, face oils can still be amazing! I learned from this blogger Green Derm, who is in dermatology school about good face oils that actually help to balance skin and hinder acne. As popular as Rodin's oil is, it isn't organic and is as stated, on the heavy side. I really love the oils Green derm recommended like de Mamiel, In Fiore, and Yuli. The ME Skin Fuel is what I am using right now and it is amazing especially as it kept the breakouts I always get in summer away, in fact the entire Yuli line is wonderful.

  • kamo12

    It's also worth mentioning natural oils you can buy at the supermarket, that are not branded as beauty products (thus, usually, not as expensive.) Coconut, avocado, jojoba, almond, olive.... I've been having great luck lately using avocado as a moisturizer at night. I have very oily/sensitive skin and it's soothing and doesn't break me out at all.

    • SaraM

      I agree! But be careful with the ingredient list- I purchased "pure" avocado oil that was also mixed with vegetable oil. Not great for my face.

    • Kate

      I like grapeseed.

  • Emily_E23

    Kahina Living Beauty Serum rocks my world. And Marula oil in general.

  • Laura

    My fave face oils? Yuli oils, they are organic and pure and contain high techs such as hylauronic acid (to bind water), peptides, vitamin a, and ferulic acid. Really worth the investment.

  • http://beautibop.com/ Amy

    Have only just started dabbling in cleansing oils, and I have to say I'm really quite impressed with how oils seem to lock moisture into the skin!


  • Sofia

    I read that my model idol Marissa Berenson recommended every beauty lover use barbary fig seed oil and then I did. Two years later I haven't looked back and my skin has never looked better. When a supermodel shares her secrets, you better listen!

  • http://www.vibrantbeautyblog.com/ Jennifer Monforton

    I've tested the Rodin oil in-store and the scent and texture are heavenly! Great feature :)


  • Parisian To Be

    I'm also a fan of oil and I really like putting rose hip seed oil on my face. The Fresh Sugar Body Oil is also really nice for a sweeter, scented body oil option.

    xo Lillian from parisiantobe.com

  • serenamiller

    to oily skinned/acne gals--try Josie Maran's new LIGHT version of argan oil. that, paired with Lush Herbalism cleanser (and ocean salt scrub) have saved my skin

  • http://www.nailgirl.net/ Lexie

    I'm a big fan of L'oreal's Extraordinary Oil for hair. I use it the same as you do and find my hair is just so much nicer! My hair length is just to the top of my tailbone, and I use about 3 pumps of product. Any more, and I worry about weighing my hair down. I find it's also good to travel with to make up for not bringing shampoo/conditioner and having to settle for shitty hotel shampoo, haha.

  • Nina

    I love B&b's hair oil too, but I have fine hair and use only one drop when it's damp. It's really good at preventing tangles and when used sparingly, it doesn't weigh my hair down. I'm dying to try Shu Uemura Essence Absolue though. Can also recommend Oi Oil by Davines.

  • Janine

    Thank you ITG! I would also include Josie Maran's argan oil--for cuticles. (I have sensitive skin, so when I use it on the ends of my hair or on my face, I break out (all argan oils)). I even use her argan oil to make my nail polish dry faster.
    I also love Nude ProGenius for my face. I even wear it under my normal skin care.
    Then, I would also throw in Burt's Bees Naturally Ageless Serum for my face. Great serum. Rose hip oil and every other oil you can think of. It's all good. I love it.

  • just me

    Clarins Lotus Oil has transformed my chin area from chronically broken-out and overstripped to supple and clear.

  • Celia B

    Neutrogena Sesame Body Oil is the move. Its smells awesome, dries fairly quickly and only costs around $10.

  • pamb

    I am OBSESSED with oils; have been since last Spring. My husband doesn't even want to hear it anymore ... ;)

    I've been using a local MN brand, Veriditas Botanicals Rose Regenerative Facial Oil for several months and have seen a huge difference in my skin. I used to get frequent cystic pimples and other breakouts, and that's completely stopped! I also use their Scar Prevention Oil on my son's hernia scar, and have seen a huge difference; even my skeptic husband agrees!

    Based on a rec from another commenter on ITG, I ordered Pai oil, it's OK. I've given it to my tween daughter to use at night. I use Bio Oil on my kids' various scabs to help soften and heal

    I just bought Seventh Generation oils from Walgreen's after reading about them somewhere. My son is using the Hydrating w/jojoba oil, and I have bought the Clearing w/tea tree to alternate with the Veriditas.

    I feel like I am with my people when I can discuss my oils ;)))!

  • Marini Alessandra

    Thank you for sharing!

    I'd like to try...

    abiti da cerimonia economici

  • Josef Šlaich

    My favorites include Olio Lusso, Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse, Caudalie Divine Oil and Nude Progenius. I just can't wait to use them during cold winter months when my skin screams: HYDRAAATE ME!

  • JKTJ

    I love Trilogy Rosehip Oil (for face) applied just before bed for soft morning skin xo


  • Behind the Mirror

    I love that oils have been getting so much attention lately on beauty blogs!!! I have been wanting to try them but I was a little nervous... but I am going to give it the go!

  • Nicky

    I just bought The Sanctuary Spa facial oil ands its amazing - and it's only £11!!! Seriously. I've just Declour, Elizabeth Arden loads but this is great. I have oily spot prone skin usually and using this and Liza Earle cleanse and polish has changed my completion. Try it! X

  • Marianne James

    I use certified organic coconut oil blended with organic almond oil. You can get this at Flora organics here in New Zealand. This does amazing things for the skin on your legs and arms. The extra bonus is the pure essential oils added - four choices. So you smell great as well. :-) Just go to http://www.floraorganics.nz


Bumble and bumble
Bumble and bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil
Fresh Rice Dry Oil
Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil
Nordic Naturals
Nordic Naturals Complete Omega 3-6-9-D