We updated this article in November 2022 to add more information about each product, testing details and expert shopping advice. In addition to our original picks, selected by the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab, we’ve added two editor-loved face oils from Indie Lee and La Mer.
If you want to do everything you can to combat dry skin (or you want to use a gua sha), consider adding a facial oil to your routine. “Facial oils are a good way to complement everyday skincare products (like your daily moisturizer or night cream) for an extra moisturization boost, especially during dry winter months,” says Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab Chemist Danusia Wnek. “The benefits include leaving skin feeling soft, smoothing texture and improving radiance.”
Face oils “should be applied on clean skin by gently pressing onto the face and the décolleté rather than rubbing it in,” Wnek says. After using a face wash, try applying “when your face is damp, as applying it on wet skin will lock in moisture.” Use a small amount to start (think a drop or two) and build up if you need more. You can even try adding a drop to your moisturizer, and then apply it to your skin.
The Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty, Health & Sustainability Lab has tested thousands of skincare products, including the best face oils. In the Lab’s most recent face oil test, our scientists started with 56 face oils, narrowing it down to the top 16 products. At the end of extensive in-Lab and consumer testing, consumer testers answered 18,904 survey questions collectively and 1,800 Corneometer measurements (a device used to calculate moisturization) were tallied to find the winners. Ahead, we’ve rounded up the best face oils for all skin types and needs, including drugstore picks and natural formulas for anti-aging, extremely dry skin, oily and acne-prone skin, according to GH Beauty Lab testing and experts. Here are the best hydrating face oils for glowing skin.
Our top picks:
You can read more about how we evaluate face oils in our Lab and consumer tests — plus everything you need to know to shop for your perfect hydrator — at the end of this guide. Looking for more ways to moisturize your skin? Check out our guides to the best hyaluronic acid serums and the best natural face moisturizers for your money.
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Best Overall Face Oil
Nourishing Rose Oil
|Skin type||Dry, normal, combination|
|Key ingredients||Rose water, starflower oil and a cocktail of several other oils|
Best Value Face Oil
Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Oil Face
|Skin type||All, including aging skin|
|Key ingredients||10 oils, retinol, vitamin C|
Best Face Oil for Oily Skin
Squalane Facial Oil
|Key ingredients||Squalane oil|
Best Luxury Face Oil
The Renewal Oil
|Skin type||Normal, dry, combination|
|Key ingredients||A mix of several oils, including meadowfoam, jojoba, sunflower and cranberry|
Best Natural Face Oil
Purely Age-Defying Firming Face Oil
|Skin type||All, including aging|
|Key ingredients||Safflower, macadamia and avocado oils|
Best Moisturizing Face Oil
Arctic Face Oil
|Skin type||Dry, normal, combination|
|Key ingredients||Camelina oil, sunflower oil, vitamin E|
Best Face Oil for Acne-Prone Skin
Retinol Clearing Oil
|Key ingredients||Jojoba, salicylic acid, argan oil, rosehip seed oil, pro-retinol|
Best Face Oil for Glowing Skin
Gold Camellia Beauty Oil
|Skin type||Sensitive, mature|
|Key ingredients||Camellia oil, gold flakes|
Best Face Oil for Fighting Wrinkles
Jasmine Aromatic Care Essential Oil Elixir
|Key ingredients||Jasmine, essential oils|
Best Face Oil for Extremely Dry Skin
Restoring Facial Oil
|Key ingredients||Argan, carrot, jasmine, pomegranate oils|
Best Face Oil for Brightening Skin
C.E.O. Glow Vitamin C + Turmeric Face Oil
|Key ingredients||Pomegranate seed oil, vitamin C, turmeric, evening primrose oil|
Best Multi-Use Face Oil
Nectar Vital Rose Drops
|Key ingredients||Argan, pumpkin, rosehip oils|
Best Pure Face Oil
Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil
|Key ingredients||Marula oil|
Best Antioxidant Face Oil
Eminence Organic Skin Care
Rosehip Triple C+E Firming Oil
|Skin type||Combination, normal, aging|
|Key ingredients||Rosehip oil, jojoba oil, vitamin C, vitamin E|
How we test the best face oils
In the GH Beauty Lab’s category test, 56 face oils across price points were label-masked and then tested by 1,112 volunteers of various skin types to narrow the field to the top 16 products.
Next, testers used the products at home in their regular skincare routines, evaluating them for effects on skin including hydration, softening, radiance-boosting, firming, wrinkle reduction, texture smoothing, irritation and breakouts. They also took note of attributes such as scent, dispensing, texture and absorption.
In the Lab, scientists used the Corneometer device to measure the moisturization effects of each formula over six hours after application. When all was said and done, consumer testers answered 18,904 survey questions collectively and 1,800 Corneometer measurements were tallied to find the winners.
What to look for when shopping for the best face oils
To find the face oil that’s best for you, consider the following factors:
✔️ Applicator: When perusing your face oil options, look for the newer-style “push-button” droppers. They feature a bulb top, and “our consumers overwhelmingly favored these devices for dosing a proper amount of oil,” Wnek reports.
✔️ Fragrance: While some consumers like fragrance in their skincare products, others don’t. Before purchasing, confirm whether or not your face oil is scented. “It is a good practice to sniff your facial oil before you buy it as many of them incorporate natural and synthetic fragrances that may be overwhelming for some,” she advises.
✔️ Bottle: Many face oils come in a glass bottle. Both the GH Beauty Lab and some of the testers suggest caution when handling them with oily hands. To avoid dropping the bottle and risking breaking it, “pipette a small amount of oil and place it on the top of your hand, close the bottle and then proceed to apply it on the face,” Wnek says.
Can you skip a moisturizer or serum if you use face oil?
No. While face oils are a great supplement to your skincare routine, they should not be your primary or sole source of moisturization. GH Beauty Lab testing has found that they don’t provide the same level of hydration that moisturizers like lotions and creams do. In addition, if you’re searching for additional benefits such as anti-aging, many face oils aren’t the best choice. “Most facial oils lack sunscreen protection and/or anti-aging ingredients, which is something that is typically found in serums and/or moisturizers,” Wnek says.
Can you use a face oil if you have oily skin?
Yes! In addition to our Beauty Assistant using a face oil even though she has oily skin, Wnek shares that GH Beauty Lab testing showed that many face oils are non-greasy. Test winners “had a nice texture that wasn’t too heavy, greasy or tacky,” Wnek says. “Additionally, on average, consumers found that facial oils weren’t irritating to skin.”
Why trust Good Housekeeping?
Good Housekeeping Beauty Director April Franzino has over 15 years of experience researching, writing and editing skincare-related content, utilizing the expertise of the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab scientists and top industry professionals such as dermatologists and aestheticians. For this piece, April worked closely with GH Beauty Lab scientists to report on the Lab’s face oil test protocols and results.
Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab Chemist Danusia Wnek worked with GH Beauty Lab Senior Chemist Sabina Wizemann to conduct the Lab’s face oil test, measuring changes in skin moisture levels after use as well as consumer feedback. Wnek also provided advice on what to look for in an effective face oil and tips for best usage.
Good Housekeeping Beauty Assistant Catharine Malzahn updated this article by adding new product picks, GH Beauty Lab product testing details, shopping information and expert commentary. She works closely with the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab to help deliver fact-based, science-backed beauty coverage.
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