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6 Oils for Better Skin and Hair

You may think oily skin and hair is just what you don’t want. But a little added oil is exactly what the beauty doctor ordered for aging complexions and manes.

As we age — and particularly after menopause — our skin produces less and less oil, which causes the moisture barrier to break down. Skin becomes parched, which magnifies fine lines and wrinkles. Add to that, many effective anti-aging products, like retinol and acids, sap skin of moisture, exasperating the problem.

The same goes for hair. The skin on your scalp is much like the skin on your face. Older scalps produces less sebum, and less sebum means a decrease in the “lubrication” that keeps hair from snagging and breaking when you comb, brush or simply run your fingers through it.

Bottom line: You need to oil up just a bit. Here are six oils we like for silkier skin and hair.

best face oils

Face Oils

A facial oil is great complement to your favorite moisturizer. Not only is a face oil better able to pass through your skin’s lipid layer, helping to prevent water loss, but it can act like an enhanced delivery system to your moisturizer’s active ingredients (such as vitamin C or retinol) to more deeply penetrate skin without aggravation. When used after your favorite skin treatments, a face oil can mitigate irritation, thanks to anti-inflammatory properties. And let’s not forget that plant oils are potent anti-agers due to an abundance of antioxidants.

Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil: A cult favorite, this formula’s omega-rich seaberry helps quell inflammation and redness brought on by anti-aging products. Available at, $52.

Sunday Riley Juno Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil: The oil’s powerhouse cold-pressed superfood seed oil blend is an immediate plumper for severely dry skin. Available at, $90. 

Colbert MD Illumino Face Oil: This oil marries youth-boosters retinol and vitamin C with a blend of oils (borage seed, yangu, marula) that improves everything from cell repair to elasticity to skin barrier function. Available at, $150.

best hair oils

Hair Oils

A hair oil mimics the effects of lost sebum, sealing roughed-up strands, decreasing static and allowing for increased slip and shine. Though we don’t recommend that you slather hair oil directly on your scalp (unless you do so prior to shampooing), a dime-size application from midlength to ends smooths out texture and restores luster in a jiff.

MoroccanOil Original Treatment: This pioneer of the hair oil movement bottles argan oil to deliver intense moisture to coarse hair (read: grays). But be forewarned: A little goes a long way. Available at, $44.

Paul Mitchell MarulaOil Rare Oil Treatment Light: This oil precision-points damage and then delivers cold-pressed marula oil to the site, pumping it full of hydrating oleic acids — which is all to say: You’ll experience lightweight shine and moisture, making this a no-brainer for those with fine to normal hair. Available at, $40.

Shu Uemura Art of Hair Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Oil: The oil’s star ingredient, camellia oil, is believed to help promote hair growth and slow the graying of hair, but what’s immediately tangible: It’s essential lipid-rich content imparts serious softness and shine. Available at, $69.

Photos: Top, Brainsil; all others courtesy of the companies

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