The Beginner's Guide to Beauty Oils

Coating your skin and hair in oil doesn't make them oily. It just makes them soft.

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The Experiment

After having lived through the coconut oil renaissance, we've all accepted that oil can do wonders for our hair, skin, nails—you name it. But exactly how much oil should we incorporate into our beauty regimes? I decided to swap every part of my skin and hair routine with oil-based products for a week to see what wonders oil can do when you use it for everything.

The Products


Nourishing Oil Cleanser by Tata Harper, $68,

Every morning, I wash my face, but this week I swapped out my usual gel cleanser for this oil option from Tata Harper. The natural formula left my skin feeling clean and soft, so I was ready to start the day looking and feeling fresh-faced.

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Formulated with botanical oils, this cleanser easily removed all traces of makeup at night.

This essential oil-based toner helped balance my skin—and since it doesn't contain alcohol, it didn't dry out my skin. After washing my face, a spritz of toner prepped my skin for moisturizer.

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An oil-based serum can actually keep your skin's oil production in balance to prevent breakouts.

Can't decide which face oil to use? With Herbivore Botanicals' mini set, you can spot-treat and switch up your routine as necessary. I used the Phoenix Cell Regenerating Facial Oil at night, the Lapis Oil Balancing Facial Oil in the morning, and the Orchid Youth Preserving Facial Oil around my eyes in the morning and evening.

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It can be hard giving up your favorite trusted lip balm, but a lip oil can also do the trick. This one from Julep comes in four colors to give your pout a boost.

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Ever think you'd use an oil-based foundation? Skin-care brand RéVive has created a foundation that covers up redness and blemishes while also hydrating your skin and encouraging cell turnover. Makeup can be good for your skin!


You can give up shaving cream for good with this oil shower gel. It goes on thick, can be lathered up, and will make your skin feel super-smooth.

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For all the morning shower-takers, Julep's cleansing oil has a citrus scent that's perfect for waking up.

Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Purpose Dry Oil by Nuxe, $29,

And last but not least is this cult-favorite French product that I've fallen head over heels in love with. Nuxe's dry oil is easy to spray all over your body with its atomizer, and it requires little rubbing in to leave your skin silky. I may never use body lotion again.


At first this shampoo looks and feels like an oil, but it starts foaming once you lather it into your scalp. And contrary to what you might think—given that it's an oil—it doesn't leave your hair greasy at all. You're just left with a nourishing, deep clean.

If you have dry, damaged hair (like me!), this oil-based conditioner will revive and hydrate your sad strands and make them feel soft again.

Verb's ghost oil is a Holy Grail product, especially if you heat-style your hair. Just run it through dry strands to make it soft and shiny.

The Results

While switching to oil-based products didn't change my life (I already had a pretty thorough beauty routine), it did soften up my skin and hair. It also proved that a lot of oil can, counterintuitively, leave you breakout-free: on the last day of my oil experiment, my skin was super-clear.

Layering face oils did make me wary of sleeping on my side—I didn't want to drench my pillow in oil!—but they kept my skin hydrated. I'll likely continue using them when my skin feels dry. Body oil has also officially replaced my usual body lotion, and anytime my hair looks a little drab, a bit of oil will be my answer.

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