When it comes to healthy skin, "oily" is not often a word we use too often. Sure, our skins have natural oils, but too much of that oil can leave our faces looking greasy, shiny and acne-prone. Too little, on the other hand, can lead to dry, flaky, irritated skin -- and for people who suffer from this type of dry skin, a little bit of oil may be just what the dermatologist ordered.
Using oil as a skin-care product is somewhat controversial: Skin doctors don't often recommend them because they can clog pores and don't always penetrate deep into the skin the way that lotions and creams can, says Cheryl Karcher, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. And because these products are relatively new to the market, there are very few studies confirming anecdotal evidence of their benefits. For people with severely dry skin, though, plant-based oils and extracts are often some of the only products that provide relief by creating a protective layer that locks in moisture.
The key to using oils successfully is to find the right one for your skin, in the right type of product. Maybe you'll like the way oil feels on your body but not on your face, for example. Or maybe you don't like the feeling of straight oil or serum, but you can find a lotion with extracts of essential oils. Experiment with different formulas until you find something that works for you, and use the following five beneficial oils as a starting point.