Oil is the often maligned, boogey man of skincare. It clogs pores! Ups shine! Triggers acne! Shudder. But just like most things that go bump in the night, in reality, oils really aren’t so scary. In fact, facial oil could be the best thing you do for your skin this fall. Dendy Engelman, MD, Director of Dermatologic Surgery at Metropolitan Hospital in New York City, sums up the benefits.

First off, oils will not clog your pores or cause acne.
Oil (or sebum) is naturally occurring in the skin—your sebaceous glands are constantly pumping it out. Acne is caused when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. But topical facial oils do not exacerbate this process and can actually help balance and improve acne-prone skin. “Some studies show that five percent tea tree oil is just as effective as benzoyl peroxide at treating acne,” says Engelman. “And for post-acne treatment, rosehip seed oil combats hyperpigmentation, or dark spots, left by blemishes and black currant oil helps skin repair itself and fight inflammation.”

Oils have a high concentration of active ingredients.
“You’ll often see oils like argan, grape seed, and black currant, as active ingredients in moisturizers or serums,” says Engelman. “But in an oil, you’ll find these ingredients in much higher concentration—up to 100%.” In other words, oils bring you back to the basics. They’re a purer form of what you’re probably already applying to your skin. 

Oils will not make your skin feel greasy.
Facial oils are lightweight and fast absorbing. All you need is one to two drops for your entire face.

Oils protect your skin and make you look younger.
Oils are packed with antioxidants Vitamin C and E, which fight free radicals and help reverse sun damage. “As we age, our body’s natural oil production decreases. This can make wrinkles appear deeper and more defined. But topical oils help replenish what we’ve lost,” says Engelman.

For a review of our favorite oils, click on the gallery above.