Let’s talk about the three best oils from the Ordinary and whose skin they are correct for. Oils can be very useful in skincare routines, and Cassandra normally likes to use them last given that they lock in hydration. They can also provide antioxidants, omega benefits, smooth out the outer layers of the skin, and give a supple glow. However, there is a difference between glow and grease. Being both an acne sufferer and medical esthetician, Cassandra has used a bunch of oil products, and she has struggled with this as well. Fortunately, she finally came across three wonderful oils that don’t leave a greasy feel. So, let’s go over the ingredients of each and what they’re good for.
The Ordinary B Oil -$10
This is the “B” oil from The Ordinary, but contrary to the name, it doesn’t actually have niacinamide or panthenol which are “B vitamins.” Although this “B” oil actually has a blend of many different oils, the main oil is squalane (not squalene which is from shark liver or olives). Squalane is the hydrogenated form of squalene, and it’s much more stable.
Additionally, the “B” oil has got some other exciting oils like marula, argan, baobab, rosehip, borage, etc., and microalgae. This microalgae definitely gives the product a scent and color. The color is actually pretty cool. It’s this nice vibrant, yellowish-green, and it blends into the skin really nicely. But let’s get to what we really want to know - does algae helps to support the skin? Cassandra actually finds that it’s a great alternative to vitamin C. We know that vitamin C is a wonderful antioxidant that can kind of boost up sunscreen, but if you’re someone whose irritated by vitamin C, the algae provides some of those same antioxidants and brightening benefits although it’s not the same as vitamin C. But as mentioned before, it could be a good alternative if vitmain C (L ascorbic acid) tends to irritate your skin.
As for the skin type it does best on, it’s probably best for dry to combination skin, but oily skin could use it too. You could use this at night as well, but personally, Cassandra likes it for the daytime.
100% Plant-Derived Hemi-Squalane -$4.50
However, if you prefer lightweight oils, there’s the100% Plant-Derived Hemi-Squalane. This one workson the outer layer of the skin. The dead keratinocytes in our skin are naturally pushed up from the different layers of our faces, the epidermis, and sit on the outermost layer of the stratum corneum. It’s normal for dead keratinocytes or corneocytes to be pushed to the top of our faces, but sometimes they give a dull or rough look. Luckily, oils smooth over those dead keratinocytes or corneocytes as they are a little jagged and rough. So, in regards to a smoothing oil that doesn’t give a greasy feel, this is one of the best. It’s 100% plant-derived hemi-squalane, and this is probably one of the lightest, driest oils Cassandra has ever felt. This oil has a super dry finish, its super lightweight, and it barely feels like anything is there. It also works really well for sealing in a moisturizer on oily skin. While those with dry or combination skin may not like it, this is amazing for those with oily skin.
The Ordinary sells this for the hair as well. Cassandra naturally has more curly hair, and her curly hair gets weighed down easily. So, this super-light oil gives her shine and sheen without weighing the hair down. You can use it on your scalp and face for seeling in hydrating products. Specifically, it has an occlusive (moisture trapping agent) called isoparaffin, but not to worry - isoparaffin is super lightweight and unscented. Likewise, it could serve as an awesome occlusive option for sensitive skin. On the other hand, this is not going to be enough for dry skin. So, if that’s your skin type, you may want to go with something more hydrating. All in all, this is primarily for those of us who want the benefits of oils in our skincare routine, but are especially worried about feeling overly greasy. Again, you can use it all over your body - your elbow, your nails, and your scalp without leaving a film.
Retinol 0.2% in Squalane -$7
Retinol is the gold standard ingredient in dermatology. Retinol is from the retinoid or vitamin A family, and this particular formula combines retinol and squalane. What's even better is that this is water-free making it a pure retinol oil.
We know that retinoids are amazing for the skin, and in dermatology, they help with acne, scarring, fine lines, and wrinkles. Retinoids go into the skin, work on the cellular level, and cause our skin to turn over quickly.
Thus, retinoids create plumper skin. However, not all retinoids are created equal. There's retinoic acid (vitamin A), retinaldehyde, and retinol. Retinol is what you’ll find in most over-the-counter products. Once it hits the skin, retinol gets converted into retinaldehyde and then into retinoic acid which is the most potent form. The retinol is delivered through an oil making it more gentle and a great first introduction to retinol.
Vitamins are naturally oil-soluble, and The Ordinary does have different percentages of retinol. They have a .5% and 2%, but Cassandra doesn’t see a lot of difference in these. All of the oils come in a stabilizing container since retinol degrades when exposed to sunlight.
Therefore, if you are not using this at night, you’d probably want to wear sunscreen. This is a good daytime retinoid, and you could use it to lock in another oil. By doing this, you'll also protect your skin from any potential irritation the retinol may cause. If it's your first time using retinol, applying a moisturizer or another oil before the retinol will give the skin a buffer.
But, all in all, the retinol in squalane i's a super gentle, super absorbable, and blendable formula that Cassandra loves.
Coverphot cred: Grove Collaborative