In recent years, facial oils have emerged as key products in the consumers’ skincare arsenal. This article takes a deeper look into this category and explores the technologies that underlie these compositions.
These products have been growing in popularity in recent years contributing, for example, to the double digit growth in the prestige women’s skincare market in the UK.1
Facial oils can be based on a single oil, but are more commonly formulated with blends of oils that are either predominantly or exclusively plant based. Compositions can be simple blends of botanical oils or more complex systems that combine these oils with carrier fluids, emollients and sunscreens.
Some of the more popular plant oils (fragrant and non-fragrant) used in these formulations are:
Facial oils are used in many categories including Cleansers, Shave Oils and Anti-aging. However, there has been a notable surge in their use as Moisturizers.
Prior to the introduction of the modern moisturizer, earlier generations of women derived skincare benefits for themselves and their children from the use of pure plants oils, e.g. coconut and argan oils.
Facial oils used as facial moisturizers might seem counterintuitive, given skincare trends of recent years when ‘oil-free’ products were heavily promoted. The appeal to the modern consumer is likely fueled by the general interest in all things natural, since plant oils are typically used and spotlighted in these products.
In addition to traditional skincare benefits, the facial oil user is often in search of a “healthy looking glow” or “dewy” skin. Depending on the composition of the particular oil used, manufacturers make product claims such as:
- Nourishes skin with essential fatty acids
- Rich in vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants
A carefully balanced formula will allow for some absorption to effect hydration and retention of oil on the surface to deliver the desired “glow” – but without a greasy feel.
While facial oils are relatively new to the prestige and mass markets, all indications are that they will continue to contribute to the growth of the skincare market.
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- Mcdougall, Andrew. “Face Oils Could Hold Big Opportunity in UK Prestige Skincare” Cosmetics Design (2016)
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