I’ve always considered myself to be ‘pro’ ageing – it’s obviously much better than the alternative – but the strangest thing happened as I sat down to write about my love of face oils.
I started to catch myself describing my skin in derogatory, harsh terms. Certainly in ways I wouldn’t let myself talk about my body. And it struck me that while we as a society might be past normalising negative talk around body image, we are a million miles away from that kind of acceptance on ageing. And yet it’s something we (hopefully) ALL endure.
Disclosure: I’ve tried Botox once, two years ago. I’m not saying I’ll never do it again but at the time I felt nothing but disappointed in myself, for succumbing to societal expectations around how a woman in her 40s should look.
I’d always been pretty happy with my skin but I’d started to notice I was ageing more rapidly than others around me. Or perhaps just ageing, while others weren’t.
Friends, colleagues, acquaintances – as I naively quizzed them about moisturisers, retinols, night creams, I started to realise that the reason I looked different from many of them was that I wasn’t getting injectables.
No judgement here. I’ve been dyeing my grey hair since my early 20s. If my face had aged at the same rate as my hair, I don’t doubt I’d have been an early adopter.
But for now I’m happy to take pride in all my happy laugh lines, and even the sun spots that tell the stories of every amazing summer holiday and tropical adventure I’ve been lucky enough to experience.
Perhaps it’s this love of the sun that makes me love oils so much. I have reasonably dry skin and love the glow that comes from drowning my whole body in oil. I’ve always loved face oil and endeavour to buy and try as many as I can.
This is an amazing entry level face oil for anyone who is wary about putting oil on their face, those whose budgets don’t stretch to exploring other options, and those who want to slather their whole body in it. Featuring purely organic, cold-pressed rosehip oil, it’s also an amazing natural treatment for stretch marks and scars (I discovered it after my mastectomy).
Considered by many the gold standard of face oils (thanks Gwyneth!), I was so excited to try this. It felt incredibly rich and nourishing on my skin (which was a plus) and I loved what it did for my skin texture and tone. However, I hated its heavy scent. I used the serum before bed each night and found it quite sickening to fall asleep with. I also became quite stressed about the famous ‘Push Pull’ method of application and spent far too long researching if I was doing it right (for the price you’re paying, you’d think they could invest in some simple video tutorials). Basically I think if you take the time to massage any beautiful oils into your face, you’ll have a good outcome - although Vintner’s Daughter does boast 22 active botanical ingredients and an infusion/extraction process that takes three weeks. A really beautiful night serum if you can handle the scent.
This is ‘lighter’ than many face oils I’ve tried and yet I prefer it as a night cream. It seems more active and as such takes a while to absorb into the skin. It’s brimming with the usual ingredients, like jojoba, rapeseed and sweet almond oils, as well as a splash of the legendary La Mer miracle broth, which is basically a fermented algae. I definitely notice a glow to my skin while using it, especially when I’ve been feeling quite stressed/hormonal or spending too much time in central heating/air conditioning. Once a week I also mix a few drops of it to Weleda Skin Food for the ultimate high/low mash up face mask. My skin loves me for it.
True Botanicals first caught my attention through its partnerships with two very beautiful and very cool women, Laura Dern and Olivia Wilde. Supposedly Laura Dern didn’t wear any foundation on Big Little Lies as this product made her skin so radiant. I’m not sure how much I believe that, but I did love this face oil and, when used as a moisturiser in the mornings, I did often forget to put foundation on. It was rich but not too rich to use as a day ‘cream’ as long as I left enough time for it to absorb before putting my makeup on (anything less than about 30 minutes and I would use a ‘regular’ moisturiser so things weren’t too shiny). Really the only negative with this is that it’s a direct to consumer brand, meaning all the money you spend on it goes off-shore.
As with the True Botanicals, I prefer this one for daytime, and just allow a little extra time for it to soak in ahead of applying any makeup I might wear that day (and of course I always use a separate sunblock!). This is a really beautiful product that contains all the usual suspects within its 22 botanical ingredients, as well as a few more interesting ones like sacha inchi oil and tocopherol – both things I have in my morning smoothie.
Full disclosure: I purchased the La Mer Renewal Oil at a staff discount price while working as an employee of Estée Lauder Companies. I paid full price for the other products.
The majority of product in our beauty reviews is gifted to our reviewers with the requirement it be trialled over a period of time. Editorial opinions are the writer's own. Is there a product you’d like to see reviewed? Let us know!