Suddenly, facial oils are everywhere on the market, but why? Because devotees say they work big-time, and they’re a pretty low-maintenance addition to your skin care routine. Most call for just a few drops rubbed onto your skin morning and night. Oils derived from natural sources such as seaweed, plums and cannabis include high concentrations of nutrients (think omega fatty acids, probiotics and antioxidants) to nourish your skin. California companies are really strong leaders in this category, because the Golden State is practically one big farmland fruit basket of great botanicals. (Plus, California women are all about having a natural glow.) We’ve cherry-picked the best local face oils on the market now.
How to Choose the Very Best Cali-Made Face Oil for Your Skin
1. De-puff With Wonder Valley Face Oil
This blend of more than 12 oils uses extra-virgin olive oil as its hero ingredient (and you know it’s good olive oil, because the husband-and-wife makers, Jay and Alison Carroll, also sell their own olive oil made from the fruit of their Northern California groves). We love the lightweight formulation and use it year-round with a quartz roller to reduce inflammation under our eyes. Plus, that subtle cedar oil fragrance is super uni-sexy.
A few decades ago, French vintners discovered that grape skins, a byproduct of wine production, could be made into facial products because they contain a high concentration of polyphenols, the plant-based chemical that guards against sun and environmental damage. Now, three sisters who are third-generation California plum farmers have consulted with world-class labs to turn their harvest into a high-potency facial oil. Essential fatty acids and phytochemicals sink right into your skin, and the delightful herbal scent smells like walking through a plum grove after the rain.
3. Reduce Wrinkles With Mara Universal Face Oil
The SoCal born-and-raised maker of this oil, Allison McNamara, was inspired to blend nutrient-dense seaweed and algae with moringa oil, which comes from a tree whose fast-absorbing vitamin A and C–rich oil has been used for centuries as a beauty oil. This was recommended to us for an immediate and cumulative reducing effect on crow’s-feet.
Buy It ($40)
4. Clear Up Chapped Skin With Flora Mirabilis Face Oil
Both you and your boyfriend will appreciate the woodsy scent (that’s the sandalwood, frankincense and oud essential oils). And you’ll be surprised at how the minimally processed fruit carrier oils (apricot and pomegranate) are so emollient that you need only four drops under your sunscreen to soothe any redness. No wonder it’s so powerful—Los Angeles aesthetician Jordan LaFragola developed the formula and creates it by hand in her own lab.
Buy It ($175)
5. Get Your Midday Glow On With Goop By Juice Beauty Enriching Face Oil
This lightweight blend of jojoba seed, bitter orange leaf, rose geranium, grapeseed and evening primrose oils does double duty as an under-your-makeup layer to turbocharge your moisturizer and as a great substitute for highlighter. Just rub a couple drops between your palms, then pat onto your skin.
6. Calm Breakouts With Monastery Gold Botanical Oil Serum
San Francisco aesthetician Athena Hewett discovered that high-tech ingredients didn’t work as well on her clients’ irritated skin as her Greek grandmother’s botanical- and oil-based home remedies. Her Gold formula is nicknamed a multivitamin for the skin because it’s a multifunctional oil that works to soothe, hydrate, repair and nourish. Just a few drops massaged upward every day is all that’s needed to reduce redness.
6. Plump Up Your Skin With Osea Essential Hydrating Oil
Osea’s founder is Jenefer Palmer, a former Malibu-based holistic healer and hot springs spa director; her grandmother was a ’20s-era chiropractor who harvested seaweed to make therapeutic poultices for her injured clients. So it’s no wonder that this little family-run company has based its products on nutrient-rich sea algae that’s bioavailable, meaning your skin slurps it right up. The company’s hydrating oil is its best seller, using jojoba and sesame seed carrier oils, as well as lavender rosewood and geranium essential oils, to give you a great glow while smelling incredible.
7. Smooth Your Neck And Chest With Uma Flawlessly Firming Oil
When India-born Shrankhla Holecek came to Beverly Hills for business school, she was shocked at the way Ayurvedic practices had been misinterpreted by Americans. So she started Uma with botanicals sourced from a 100-acre organic farm in India. The newest formulation is just for the below-the-chin area that’s both thinner and less pampered than our facial skin. Frankincense and tamanu together lessen unevenness and age spots. And jasmine and sandalwood hydrate and smell intoxicating. Nourishing moringa and pomegranate oils are the fast-absorbing and long-lasting base that prevents the appearance of premature signs of aging.
8. Mellow Your Skin With Rejuvenating Face Oil By Hempathy
What took an L.A. company so long to come up with a cannabis-derived facial oil? Hempseed oil is the basis for this gentle face oil, which soothes tired skin with chamomile and moisturizes with its infusion of omega fatty acids 3, 6, 7 and 9. While we don’t fully understand the chemistry behind it, we’re down to try it.
Buy It ($37)