It seems counter-intuitive to apply oils to your face when your face already produces oil, called sebum. Your face actually produces other lipids (fats and oils) from your stratum corneum, the protective outer layer of the skin. And together, it functions as a wall that traps water within the layers of the skin.
Without natural oils, your skin will be dry. If you have naturally dry skin, it means that your skin is not producing enough natural sebum and lipids, and therefore that wall of protection is allowing water to seep out, causing you dry, irritated, skin. Here is where a great facial oil can help. It can supplement your natural oils, promote the skin to produce the right amount of natural oils, and create that protective barrier that it needs.
Image Source: Shiny Diamond
When Do I Use A Face Oil versus A Lotion?
Image by: Karolina Grabowska
A face oil typically only contains oils and no water and is best applied to the skin immediately after showering, washing your face, or spritzing on a toner, resulting in hydrated skin. Applying an oil at this time will immediately seal in that hydration.
A lotion is typically made of about 70% water and the remaining 30% is from oils, humectants, emulsifiers, and preservatives. Lotions can be considered an "anytime" kind of moisturizer which can be convenient. Just be mindful of all the so-called "phantom" ingredients in lotions that may not have many benefits to the skin. These can be in the forms of emulsifiers, additives, fragrance, preservatives, and ingredients used merely for tactile functions (glides on smoothly, feels silky). Some of these ingredients may even be harmful, check out this blog post here.