We Tested 36 Face Oils — These 15 Give You a Healthy, Hydrated Glow

The Kora Organics Noni Glow Face Oil was a tester favorite.

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KORA Organics Noni Glow Face Oil

Sephora

In my opinion, face oils deserve more hype. For some, a face oil might not seem as important as serums and creams, but they’re filled with nutrients, fatty acids, and other essential ingredients that make them worth the extra step in your routine. And while not every skin type will react the same to facial oils (my very dry skin drinks up almost every face oil compared to most skin types), it is all about finding a balance between what your skin needs and the results you’re searching for. 

To help find the best face oils, our team of volunteers put 36 face oils to the test on various skin types, ranging from sensitive to dry. They took into account each face oil’s consistency, feel, absorption, value, and most importantly, glow factor. KORA Organics Noni Glow Face Oil earned our Best Overall pick for its quick absorption, lightweight consistency, and skin plumping benefits. Plus, the delicious scent (that is entirely natural) was a favorite amongst testers. 

Read on to find the 15 best face oils of 2022, according to our lab tests.

Best Overall: Kora Organics Noni Glow Face Oil

4.8
KORA Organics Noni Glow Face Oil

Sephora

What We Love: Thanks to the lightweight, quick-absorbing formula, this oil feels totally weightless on the skin. 

What We Don’t Love: According to reviews, the oil takes awhile to sink into the skin.

If the nearly perfect score across each of our categories doesn’t prove how good this face oil is, we don’t know what else will. Packed with antioxidants and fatty acids, (like noni extract, rosehip oil, and sea buckthorn oil) KORA Organics Noni Glow Face Oil will truly soothe and brighten your skin while leaving the most beautiful, luminous glow – just take a glimpse at the photos from our testing lab as proof. 

While the oil is extra moisturizing because of its nourishing, organic ingredients, it’s also actually extremely lightweight. Our tester, who has combination skin, says it “didn’t feel like anything” while on her face and fingertips, but still managed to keep her skin soft and supple (and smelling good, too) without a heavy consistency. “It wasn't greasy at all,” she notes. “There is no residue, either. It's truly great for all skin types.”

Outside of moisturizing and highlighting the skin, this oil will plump, even skin tone and texture, and diminish any sun damage and scarring. Essentially, it does it all, so if you want an opportunity to simplify your skin care routine, now is your chance with this catch-all face oil. 

Skin Type: All skin types, especially dry and dull skin | Size: 1.01 fl oz. | Ingredient Highlights: Noni extract, Rosehip oil, Pomegranate oil, Sea buckthorn oil

Price at time of publish: $69

Best Splurge: ISDIN Isdinceutics Melatonik Restorative Night Serum

5
ISDIN Melatonik Recovery Night Serum

Amazon

What We Love: This serum actively works to repair and rejuvenate the skin’s appearance throughout the night. 

What We Don’t Love: It doesn’t leave skin with a dewy finish, which is typically expected with face oils.

Its name might say otherwise, but this night serum is actually a serum-in-oil combination product. The three-in-one formula works to improve the skin’s natural defenses, reinforce the skin barrier, and boost skin elasticity all with the help of melatonin, bakuchiol (a gentle retinol alternative), and vitamin C. While the price is steep, all of these powerful ingredients make the oil a powerhouse for those needing to calm stressed, dehydrated skin. However, if you’re looking for a product that provides a bit of glow, this one might not be the one for you. “Being a nighttime serum, this had no glow or shine,” says our tester. “It looks and feels matte.” 

Skin Type: All skin types | Size: 1.01 fl oz. | Ingredient Highlights: Melatonin, Bakuchiol, Vitamin C

Price at time of publish: $157

Best Budget: Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Moisturizing Skin Therapy Face Oil

4.8

What We Love: The oil absorbs quickly, yet still deeply moisturizes the skin. 


What We Don’t Love: Although were fans of the scent, sensitive skin types might not be.

The secret to silky skin? Cocoa butter. As one of its key ingredients, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Moisturizing Skin Therapy Oil not only smells amazing (just ask our testers), it also transforms the skin in a plethora of ways: It intensely nourishes, smooths fine lines and wrinkles, brightens your complexion, and treats dark spots. While it does have a slightly matte finish, the oil manages to deliver deep moisture to the skin, all the way to the epidermal layer. Even our tester, who has dry skin, said it feels light and comfortable. “This just rejuvenated my skin, and it feels so silky to the touch,” she says. “It works better than some expensive face oils I have tried in the past.” And she’s right – at its affordable cost, we truly can’t imagine how the quality could get any higher. 

Skin Type: All skin types, especially textured, sensitive, and mature skin | Size: 1 fl oz. | Ingredient Highlights: Cocoa butter, Vitamin C, Retinol

Price at time of publish: $9

Best Drugstore: Burt's Bees Complete Nourishment Facial Oil

4.6
Burt's Bees Hydrating & Anti-Aging Facial Oil

Amazon

What We Love: The product keeps skin hydrated all day long. 

What We Don’t Love: There is a slight greasy feeling after application.

Burt’s Bees may be known for their lip care, but their skincare is just as good and totally underrated. With a blend of jojoba, rosehip, and evening primrose oils, Burt’s Bees Hydrating & Anti-Aging Facial Oil has all the essential ingredients for revealing healthy-looking skin. It penetrates the skin to intensely hydrate and combat early signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. Our tester enjoyed how the oil felt and looked on her face, noting that her skin had a “nice, healthy glow.” That said, she did mention that it took a while to absorb (but that is ideal for the cool, winter months to lock moisture in). 

Skin Type: All skin types | Size: 0.51 fl oz. | Ingredient Highlights: Jojoba, Rosehip, Evening primrose

Price at time of publish: $15

Best for Oily Skin: Kinship Kinskin Oat Ceramide Relief Face Oil

4.6

What We Love: The oil is light and airy, and leaves no residue behind. 

What We Don’t Love: Those with dry and/or dehydrated skin might prefer a heavier product.

Contrary to popular belief, oily skin can also use and benefit from facial oil. It’s key to use a lightweight formula, like this one from Kinship. Because it contains both linoleic and oleic acids, the oil shouldn’t clog pores while it replenishes the moisture barrier and restores skin. It is also fast absorbing, so you won’t have to worry about it sitting on top of your skin as you sleep. Plus, the oil helps reduce the effects of blue light for extra skin protection.

However, the one thing our tester would change about this product is the finish. “It didn't moisturize as much as I had hoped,” she says, emphasizing her preference for a heavier oil. “There was no real glow.” 

Skin Type: All skin types, especially dry, acne-prone, sensitive, and damaged skin | Size: 1 fl oz. | Ingredient Highlights: Oat ceramides, Vitamin C ester, Linoleic acid, Oleic acid

Price at time of publish: $35

Best for Acne-Prone Skin: Ghost Democracy Softglow Facial Oil

4.4
Ghost Democracy Softglow Facial Oil

Verishop

What We Love: The ingredient list is full of antioxidant-rich oils and fatty acids to balance and calm inflamed skin.

What We Don’t Love: Our tester wasn’t a fan of the oil’s scent, describing it as chemical-y.

As it says in the name, Ghost Democracy Softglow Facial Oil is all about providing you hydrated skin and a lit from within glow. “I feel like this left a really beautiful glow on my skin,” says our tester, who compares its after effect to a face mask. “I would be tempted to go out with just this on.” A bonus: the oil is non-greasy and quick-absorbing, perfect for those with acne-prone skin who want to avoid a heavy residue. Plus, it’s filled with gentle antioxidants and fatty acids to balance and help calm inflammation. 

We also love that it contains uncommon ingredients you don’t see in most skin care: Like cloudberry and cottonseed oil. The iconic duo is what makes this oil exceptionally great at supporting the skin barrier, calming the skin, and giving it a moisturizing dew – a must for those with acne-prone skin who are looking for a product that will work extra hard at reducing inflammation and strengthening the skin barrier to diminish acne and scarring.  

Skin Type: All skin types | Size: 1 fl oz. | Ingredient Highlights: Cloudberry, Cottonseed, Meadowfoam oil

Price at time of publish: $38

Best for Sensitive Skin: Le Prunier Plum Beauty Oil

4.8
Le Prunier Plum Beauty Oil

Amazon

What We Love: Plum-seed oil is the only ingredient. Plus, there are no added fragrances. 

What We Don’t Love: A little may go a long way, but according to our tester, the oil can be a bit runny.

It still amazes us that Le Prunier Plum Beauty Oil balances, restores, and refreshes the skin with just a single, indulgent ingredient: Plum-seed oil. The benefits of using plum oil range from healing to hydrating the skin, but it is most effective at protecting from damaging free radicals, and leaving you with a radiant complexion. “I'm an oil and serum gal, and this is my new go-to,” our tester boasts. “Not only does it give me the best glow, it also smells amazing. I highly recommend splurging a little on this gem — it will last you forever because you just need a little drop.” Besides your face, you can use this product on your hands, hair, and body, making it a powerful multi-purpose oil. 

Skin Type: All skin types, especially congested, sensitive, and allergy-prone skin | Size: 1 fl oz. | Ingredient Highlights: Plum-seed oil

Price at time of publish: $72

Best for Dry Skin: Youth To The People Superberry Hydrate and Glow Dream Oil

5
Youth to the People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Oil

Sephora

What We Love: The oil has a natural, sweet fruity scent. 

What We Don’t Love: Until it’s fully massaged and absorbed into the skin, the oil feels greasy.

The first thing our tester loved about this product was its hydration factor. “It gives me a confident feeling that my skin will be moisturized for hours,” she says. While “glow” may be in the name, dry skin users will certainly enjoy that the oil provides rapid relief and hydration to lock-in moisture. In fact, the high levels of vitamin C, prickly pear, and squalane oil revive and illuminate dehydrated skin, while maqui combats free radicals. Just be wary that the oil does feel a bit greasy until it’s fully massaged into the skin, but once it is your skin will feel comfortable, moisturized, and happy.

Skin Type: All skin types, especially dry and mature skin | Size: 1 fl oz. | Ingredient Highlights: Maqui, Prickly pear, Açai

Price at time of publish: $44

Best Anti-Aging: ACURE Radically Rejuvenating Rose Argan Oil

5

What We Love: The texture of this oil is very emollient and silky.

What We Don’t Love: Reviewers say it can feel really oily if you use too much.

When it comes to hair, argan oil is known for its reparative properties, but it also is extremely nourishing for skin. Our tester categorizes this oil as a “real bargain” considering how much it does at such a low price point. Expect dry areas to soften, texture and tone to improve, and the senses to be invigorated during and after use. “My face soaked up the oil,” says our tester. “It left my face feeling moisturized and supple. I could see using this during the day as my only moisturizer under my sunscreen and makeup, or over a light moisturizer at night.” Even with its light geranium fragrance, our tester’s sensitive skin did not react negatively, so if you’re usually not great with scented products, this one could be a real winner for you.

Skin Type: All skin types | Size: 1 fl oz. | Ingredient Highlights: Rose and Argan oil 

Price at time of publish: $8

Best for Redness: Osea Undaria Argan Oil

4.6
Osea Undaria Argan Oil

Nordstrom

What We Love: Even with all of its moisturizing ingredients, it feels lightweight on the skin. 

What We Don’t Love: It absorbs quickly, but leaves an oily residue that can transfer to towels, clothes, and sheets.

Surprisingly enough, seaweed has multiple benefits for the skin that are too good to miss out on. This oil in particular contains undaria algae, a replenishing seaweed that is filled with antioxidants and anti-aging properties to nourish and firm the skin for a glowy, sculpted look. And, with the addition of Moroccan argan oil, this formula also has high levels of vitamin E and fatty acids to moisturize and soothe. As a helpful tip we suggest pairing this oil with a gua sha tool to enhance the oil’s firming benefits, and of course, give a little oomph to your facial features. 

While it did feel super lightweight during testing, there were some downsides. “The oil feels smooth and light on my skin,” says our tester. “However, it tends to feel oily to touch, and also when it is touched, the oil transfers.” So, it’s best to give it 10 to 15 minutes to sink into the skin before getting into bed so you don’t stain your sheets. 

Skin Type: All skin types, especially dry, sensitive, and redness-prone skin | Size: 1 fl oz. Ingredient Highlights: Undaria algae, Moroccan argan oil, Vitamin E

Price at time of publish: $72

Best for Fine Lines: Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate Moisturizing Face Oil

4.6
Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate

Sephora

What We Love: The glow factor is so addicting, our tester thinks it can be classified as a morning and nighttime oil. 

What We Don’t Love: The tea tree scent might be off-putting for some people.

Even if you’re not familiar with Kiehl’s, you’ve probably heard of or seen this product before. Beloved by derms, estheticians, and beauty experts alike, the Midnight Recovery Concentrate is impressively good at overnight skin recovery thanks to the unique formula that smooths, firms, and maintains the skin’s elasticity so you wake up looking refreshed and more youthful. Just like our tester, you’ll love how seriously comfortable the oil is on the skin, especially as you sleep. “I'm a relative newbie when it comes to face oil, and I could not be happier with how comfortable and effortless this feels,” she raves. “My skin feels hydrated, and it really feels like I'm treating myself.”

Skin Type: All skin types, especially mature skin | Size: 1 fl oz. | Ingredient Highlights: Lavender essential oil, Squalane oil, Evening primrose oil 

Price at time of publish: $52

Best Smoothing: Bio-Oil Multiuse Skincare Oil

4.8
Bio-Oil Skincare Oil

Ulta

What We Love: It's magic in a bottle because you can use it for everything — even for treating injuries, stretch marks, scars, and so much more. 

What We Don’t Love: The oil isn’t the most hydrating.

Bio-Oil is considered a holy grail of face oils — and not just because of its affordability. In fact, our tester even says that it’s “very low priced, but worth more” for all that it does for scarring and stretch mark repair. Rather than focusing on hydration, Bio-Oil’s superpowers include repairing skin damage (it can help improve the appearance of scars and stretch marks), evening skin tone, and increasing skin elasticity, all while promoting skin renewal and a healthy glow. We love that despite all of its benefits, the oil doesn’t feel sticky or greasy when on the skin. It is also safe enough to use during pregnancy, so you know it is suitable for every skin type, even the most sensitive ones. But for expecting mothers and sensitive skin types especially, our tester made note of the slightly overpowering smell. “It smells good, but without fragrance, it would be perfect!” Fortunately, Bio-Oil also comes in a natural version with no added fragrance. 

Skin Type: All skin types | Size: 2 fl oz. | Ingredient highlights: Vitamin A oil, Vitamin E, Chamomile, Sunflower, Lavender oil

Price at time of publish: $9

Best Brightening: KORRES Wild Rose Brightening Absolute Oil

4.6
KORRES Wild Rose Brightening Absolute Oil

Sephora

What We Love: Even though it’s lightweight, you definitely feel and see the oil’s effects. 

What We Don’t Love: Reviews have mentioned that the scent can be strong at times.

We can’t help but admire how pretty this oil is — oh, and all the plumping and hydrating it does for the skin. Infused with petals from a single rose, the oil visibly hydrates for a radiant glow, and smells just as good as it performs. “The smell is amazing,” boasts our tester. “I think aromatherapy does wonders; it made me feel like I was in a spa and receiving a facial.” Together with vitamin C, it also promotes an even-looking skin tone, and a glass skin-like radiance so you always look glowing. We love that it feels incredibly light and smooth when applied, too, but wish the scent wasn’t quite as strong.

Skin Type: All sky types, especially dull, textured skin | Size: 1.01 fl oz | Ingredient Highlights: Wild rose, Vitamin C

Price at time of publish: $54

Best Vitamin C: Sunday Riley C.E.O. Glow Vitamin C + Turmeric Face Oil

4.6
Sunday Riley C.E.O Glow

Sephora

What We Love: Your skin instantly looks brighter and less dull after use. 

What We Don’t Love: Some say the scent can linger on your hands for a long time.

Prepare for your complexion to be recharged after trying Sunday Riley C.E.O. Glow Face Oil. The combination of THD ascorbate (a more stable, oil soluble form of vitamin C) and golden turmeric help fight signs of aging, improve the look of redness, and even skin tone and dark spots. While it is priced higher than most products on this list, the oil has other advanced ingredients, such as evening primrose oil, jojoba seed oil, and ginger root extract, that lock moisture, antioxidants, and nutrients into the skin for a boost of luminosity. 

Skin Type: Normal, dry, and combination skin | Size: 1.2 fl oz. | Ingredient Highlights: THD ascorbate, Golden turmeric, Ginger root extract, Bisabolol 

Price at time of publish: $80

Best CBD: Frigg Attuning Face Potion

4.6
Frigg Attuning Face Potion

Detox Market

What We Love: It has a pleasant scent that isn’t too overpowering. Plus, your skin appears and feels more resilient. 

What We Don’t Love: There could be more glow to this oil.

This potion hits all the right notes – it’s light, absorbs quickly, and brings back the radiance in your skin, as in the words of our tester. And if your skin is overly and constantly stressed out by environmental aggressors, then this will rebalance oil production for a calmer appearance. The plant-powdered tonic helps strengthen and heal your skin barrier while boosting your skin’s collagen levels so it appears more youthful. Expect for it to also plump fine lines, calm redness, and fade hyperpigmentation – might as well ditch your serums for this oil at this point.

If you’re not into the smell of CBD, this might not be the oil for you, but our tester loves everything about this product from the scent to the consistency. “This potion absorbed quickly,” she raves. “​​The packaging, the lightness, the softness – I highly recommend this oil.”  

Skin Type: All skin types | Size: 1 fl oz. | Ingredient Highlights: Broad-spectrum CBD, Sea buckthorn, Squalene

Price at time of publish: $60

Our Testing Process

Choosing a face oil can be tricky, so we identified the top 36 face oils we felt were best suited for our test. Our testers represented a wide range of skin types – sensitive, dry, normal, and oily – to get the most diverse and accurate results.

Prior to testing, our volunteers were asked to arrive at our testing lab with a freshly cleansed, makeup-free face. Each tester selected one face oil that was suited to their skin type, then applied one drop of the product onto their fingertips to feel its consistency. After analyzing its feel, testers applied one to three drops of the face oil to their hands, warmed it up by gently by rubbing their palms together, then patted and massaged the oil onto the face, neck, and decolletage until it was fully absorbed.  

Once absorbed, our testers analyzed their skin, asking themselves the following questions: How does your skin feel? Did the oil absorb, or did it leave a greasy residue? Do you think you’d be able to apply makeup after the oil? Or should this be used at nighttime? Keeping the face oil’s claimed benefits in mind, we finalized our testing with how effective each product was overall, and if there were any noticeable changes to the skin (i.e. brightening, radiance). The testers based their final feedback on five factors: Consistency, feel, absorption, value, and glow. 

Once our data and tester’s ratings were collected, we narrowed our list to a select number of winners and assigned categories based on the face oil’s attributes. 

What To Keep In Mind

Skin Type

Face oils work for all skin types, but some will benefit more from certain ingredients. Those with dry or normal skin will want to search for facial oils with squalane, coconut oil, marula oil, and other oils with high amounts of fatty acids (our Best Overall pick, KORA Organics Noni Glow Face Oil, is filled with them). Acne-prone and/or oily skin can also use squalane to balance oil production, as well as oils that are non-comedogenic, including tea tree, jojoba, and argan oil (Kinship Kinskin Oat Ceramide Relief Face Oil has both jojoba and squalane in its impressive ingredient list). Most of these oils are great for soothing sensitive and/or mature skin, but all skin types will benefit from oils that provide instant hydration – it’s just a matter of finding the right one for you. 

Consistency

Especially during the warmer months, a greasy face oil is never ideal. Of course, the consistency and feel of a face oil will vary from skin type to skin type (I personally enjoy a thicker oil for my extra dry skin), but you’ll want an oil that doesn’t sit on top of the face and won’t feel heavy. All of this depends on how quickly the oil is able to penetrate the skin, which relies on the chemical composition of a formula’s fatty acids, the ratios of acids inside its ingredient list (oils with more oleic acid than linoleic acid will feel thicker on the skin), and much more. Plant-based formulas, like Ghost Democracy Softglow Facial Oil and Frigg Attuning Face Potion, are often the most lightweight because they contain non-comedogenic oils. 

Your Questions, Answered

How do you use facial oil?

Depending on your skin type, how often you use facial oil will vary. Oily and combination skin types should use a face oil once a day compared to drier and sensitive skin types who might benefit from more frequent use. In general, face oils are best used in the evening for a boost of moisture, but can also be used in your morning routine. Oftentimes, a few drops dabbed or patted on the skin is all that’s needed, depending on your skin’s needs, after applying your thinnest products. You can use your face oil on damp or dry skin, and even mixed with your moisturizer. 

Does facial oil go on before or after moisturizer? 

The universal rule for skin care application is to apply your products from the thinnest to thickest consistency. With this in mind, face oils should be patted on top of the skin after moisturizer to seal the product in, and to create a barrier over your skin to prevent water loss. Another reason why face oils should be your last step is because they’re able to easily penetrate through serums and moisturizers, but not vice versa (your other products don’t have this same ability when used after oils). If you want to use a face oil in the morning, the only exception to this rule is for sunscreen – face oils must be applied before. 

What Is InStyle Picks? 

Did you notice the InStyle Picks seal of approval at the top of this story? That means our team of testers has reviewed every product on this list using a unique methodology to ensure it’s really worth your time, money, and attention. We may get samples for free to try but we never promise positive (or any!) coverage in exchange. Put simply: InStyle Picks are products we love, and we’ve put them to the test to be sure you will too. 

Why Trust InStyle

Madison San Miguel is a contributing writer for the commerce team at InStyle, and has covered everything from fashion week to beauty product reviews. Her work has been published in Travel + Leisure, TripSavvy, Bustle, Elite Daily, V Magazine, and other lifestyle publications. In addition to her research, she went through the testing results provided by our testers to give the most accurate review. 

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