Face Oil - Is It Worth The Hype?

We Think Face Oil’s Worth The Hype. Here’s How It Works. 

You’ve seen it everywhere from Sephora to TJ Maxx’s store shelves. It promises to be the ONE magic thing to really help protect, soften and strengthen skin. Usually, we would roll our eyes along with you, but this time – we think the hype is pretty real. 

So – Face Oils. It seems pretty counterintuitive to be putting an oil on your face, but hang with me for a sec. These plant-based powerhouses actually have a lot going on for them, and the story is much less scary than you might think. Utilizing plants and botanicals to strengthen the skin barrier instead of masking issues like many topical “magic” creams tout today, might just change your skin regimen forever. 

First thing’s first – let’s talk the differences between all of these silky-smooth concoctions.

  • Oil: Blends of naturally occurring oils to help strengthen the skin’s barrier and prevent moisture loss. Can also contribute to healing, and keeping the skin truly hydrated (instead of just *looking* hydrated).
  • Serum: Target specific concerns (think acne or wrinkles) with active ingredients. Serums have a smaller molecular structure than other skincare products, like moisturizer creams, lotions, or face oil. This allows them to deliver a potent hit of ingredients more quickly and deeply into the skin. Serums may have a thin and watery consistency or a more gel-like texture. Serum isn’t designed to replace a moisturizer, but rather be used in conjunction with one for best results.
  • Moisturizer/Lotion: Made up of mostly water, lotions and face creams work to hydrate the skin, and protect it in the case of moisturizers with sunscreen. 

Looking at the composition of these three elements, we see that oils are the heaviest, and void of water. They help retain the water that’s smoothed onto your skin via a moisturizer, should you choose to use one. Oils can also be used as a standalone for some people as their only moisturizer. Every skin regime is different, and it’s important to find the one that works for you and your lifestyle. 

Face oil regimen best face regimen facial skin

Why Should You Add Face Oil to Your Regime?

As water lovers – saltwater, pools, or lakes; our skin gets battered by wind, sun and the elements in the water. (For most of us, that’s salt. And what does salt do? SUCK OUT WATER. You see what I’m getting at here.) It’s important not only to replace that lost water, but to RETAIN it as well. How do we do that? You guessed it. Face Oils. 

How To Choose The Right One

According to Dr. Debra Jaliman, NYC-based cosmetic dermatologist and author of Skin Rules, here’s a quick list of skin types and what sort of oils to choose based on yours. 

For Dry Skin: "Marula oil is great for reducing redness and hydrating dry and irritated skin. It’s not heavy so you won’t feel greasy. This oil is also rich in omega fatty acids”.

For Normal Skin: Avoid using oils that are are too heavy. Squalane*, jojoba and marula oils are your best bet.

For Acne-Prone Skin: "Most people with acne try to dry their skin out, which is one of the worst things you can do. Acne is your skin’s way of telling you that your oil to water ratio is off balance," she adds. Opt for lighter oils like Jojoba, squalane and tea tree oils.” “Jojoba oil is closest to the consistency of sebum, so it’s helpful for carrying sebaceous secretions off the body,” says Dr. Eugene R. Zampieron, a naturopathic medical physician, herbalist and associate professor at the University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine.

For Oily Skin: Low-comedogenic oils like Argan, Buckthorn, Kukui and rosehip are safe options. "A moisturizer with alpha hydroxy acid is a good choice to use along with a facial oil, if you have oily skin," she adds.

For Combination Skin: Marula oil works great for combination skin. "It has anti-bacterial properties and quickly penetrates into the skin.

For Anti-Aging Benefits: skin rejuvenating oils including Argan, Rose, Sunflower, Sweet Almond and Raspberry oils.

All Skin Types: All skin types benefit from oils like camellia, rosehip, and carrot seed oil, which are all high in vitamins and absorb easily into the skin. Camellia oil has been touted as a favorite of Japanese skincare lovers across the globe for ages.

*quick note, Squalene is typically not vegan, so we do not include it in our formulations here at Surf Soap. We will however include vegan options that perform as well as or better than squalene/squalane in upcoming products next year. Keep an eye out ;)

This might be a nice place to point out what Coral Glow uses to lock in that moisture, repair skin’s barrier, and provide a plethora of natural anti-oxidants to the skin. 

Face oil glowing skin surfer face oil

Coral Glow’s main players: Jojoba oil (closest to skins natural sebum), Rosehip oil (calming, natural sun protectant, boosts collagen formation), carrot seed oil (powerful antioxidant), olive oil (anti-aging, restorative), and prickly pear – anti-inflammatory, barrier boosting and hydrating oil with the highest content of Vitamin E on the market. We also incorporate skin-loving oils of frankincense and lavender to tone and calm any redness, inflammation or irritation from sun, wind, and the occasional coral scrape.

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Coral Glow is formulated to work with multiple skin types to lock in moisture that’s lost after a day in the ocean, pool, or lake. Use it by itself after your sesh, or layer it on top of your current moisturizer after your shower. (With All-In-One, of course.) 

How To Add It To Your Routine

To get the most benefit out of a facial oil, you’ll have to experiment with what time of day your skin likes it. Some people can use it in the morning, only sparingly after an ocean sesh, or swear by it for night.

You’ll also have to slowly introduce them to your routine. Many of us are using moisturizers and products that strip the barrier from our skin, or make it look hydrated without it actually *being* hydrated. Keep in mind that abrupt and huge changes in your skincare routine can impact your skin and disrupt it’s balance in the short-term. 

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Tips For Face Oil Success

  • Be thoughtful and gradual when introducing new skincare products to skin
  • Keep in mind if you were using water-based or traditional skincare products, you’ll have to transition more gradually than someone who is already using oil-based products
  • Add Coral Glow LAST. Cleanse, tone and add any serums or moisturizers you use. Then melt a small amount of Coral Glow onto your fingertips, and pat all around face and neck, avoiding the eye area. Smooth and pat (don’t rub) the oil into your face so that it can lock in all of the other goodness you’ve just spent time putting in there. 

Start At Night

Nighttime is the ideal time to introduce new products into your skincare routine. Our skin reaches peak absorbency while we are sleeping, making it the perfect time to try and use new products! Plus, you know your skin will be undisturbed by external factors (pollutants, UV radiation, environmental toxins, etc.).

Take Days Off

Start off by implementing oils a few nights a week or every other day to allow your skin to transition. Rome was not built in a day and it’s ok to slowly introduce the products while still using your old products on off days. Simply listening to your skin will help you know when the time is right to make the full transition!

Build your oil tolerance and see where your skin likes to be, and remember - a little goes a long way! Start by using half the recommended amount if you’re nervous about feeling too oily. As your skin adjusts, you can increase the amount.

Decongest with an exfoliator or mask

Especially in the beginning of your transition, we suggest frequently decongesting your skin with a gentle natural exfoliant or a gentle deep cleansing mask, to help remove any dead skin and extra oil and improve skin’s oil absorbency. Especially in the first couple of weeks, deep cleansing (gently!) is recommended 2 times per week.

Give It Time

Despite doing all of the above, oil-based skincare is so different from traditional skincare that you might still experience temporary breakouts. This is extremely common, don’t worry!

Like with any transition, give it some time. We recommend giving yourself at least 2-4 weeks to re-balance your skin. I know that sounds like a big range, but it all depends on how your individual skin reacts, what you were using before, and how you incorporate it into your new routine.

Your Skin Is Unique...Love On It!

Keep in mind there are so many factors that affect the health of our skin, from genetics to environment, diet, and hormone levels. Everyone has different skin and what may work for one person may not for the next. While hearing what works or doesn’t work for your friend (or from me) may be helpful, ultimately, your skin is unique and you should listen to you, first.

At Surf Soap, we’re all about balance – in life and in the water. Do what makes the most sense to you, and allow yourself the space to transition and experiment. 

Coral glow best face oil for surfers

What Makes Coral Glow Stand Out 

You may have noticed already but... Coral Glow isn’t the typical dropper bottle of oil you’ve been seeing on every beauty counter and shelf. Why? For a few reasons.

  1. Plastic. Yes, silicone is plastic. Even if the bottle and dropper are glass, we still have that pesky contender to deal with and we still want to ensure it’s not in there. So we add non-comodegenic, biodegradable ingredients to deliver the luscious oils to you without the use of a silicone dropper.
  2. Surf bags. We’re surfers, travelers, adventurers... and the last thing you need is an unnecessary glass bottle full of oil rattling around in your surf bag. We wanted to make something that you could take with you wherever the water calls. So, we made it solid.

Face oil

Coral Glow is one of only a handful of solid face oils on the market, and the only one without a Dictionary-sized list of ingredients. While we could add every face-loving oil that we can find into the formula, adding so many ingredients dilutes their efficacy – so basically you’re paying for drops of oil that don’t really do much when they finally make it to your skin. Balance is key – so we balanced oils that work for a wide range of skin types and packaged them all up in our neat little signature black tins. Because we love you and our planet. I can’t wait to hear what you think!

Sunshine and shakas,


Surf Soap Creator & CEO

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