Debunking Myths: Oil on Oil?

Uncover the truth of clearing up acne breakouts with oil for oily skin!

By Esther Soh


Why would I even do that?‘ may be your first response to applying oil on oily acne-prone skin. Sweltering heat, excessive sebum production and high levels of humidity are some causes of acne outbreaks but they are not reasons to keep us away from replenishing our skin with natural acids that we lack!

After the tiresome routine of keeping our skin hydrated with water-based products and countless clay masking attempts and blackhead strips to pull out gunk and sebum, using oil to tackle oily skin may sound counter-intuitive. However, oily skin actually produces more oil as a defence mechanism to make up for our continuous oil extraction. In fact, as oil attracts oil, incorporating oil-based products into our skincare regime can dissolve sebum without stripping our skin of its natural oils.

Albeit the questionability of applying facial oil when we want our skin to look otherwise, incorporating oil can actually reduce potential acne outbreaks! The answer to clearing acne is plumping up our skin with linoleic acid – an unsaturated, omega-6 fatty acid that contains anti-inflammatory properties and reduces acne.

A study from the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology has shown that those with acne have abnormally low levels of linoleic acid. Low levels of linoleic acid will lead to sebum production that uses oleic acid – a denser fatty omega-9 acid that is largely present in oily and acne-prone skin- instead, which more likely results in follicular blockage, greasier skin, clogged pores and skin irritation. For those facing acne breakouts, high levels of oleic acid should be avoided at all costs.

In order to make up for the insufficient amount of linoleic acid on oily skin, here are some facial oils holding high proportions of linoleic acid that can be used as a spot treatment for acne or applied on your entire face before or after your moisturiser. So stop doubting this method of acne treatment and start integrating the right oils into your skincare routine!

Hemp Seed Oil (Linoleic – 56%)

As hemp seed oil does not clog pores, it is the ideal moisturiser for those who seek to balance their oily skin! Moreover, applying hemp seed oil over temporarily irritated patches or spots on your face will help calm and moisturise these areas and reduce discomfort.

Try out Nutiva’s Organic Hemp Oil Cold Pressed here!

Pumpkin Seed Oil (Linoleic – 47%)

Being rich in zinc, vitamin A, E and K, Omega-3, antioxidants and fatty acids, pumpkin seed oil is your go-to facial oil to reduce acne marks and redness. The presence of zinc also provides an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial shield for your oily and acne-prone skin.

Try out Botanical Beauty’s Organic Pumpkin Seed Oil here!

Rosehip Seed Oil (Linoleic – 44%)

If you are looking for a scar treatment, look no further! Rosehip seed oil contains essential fatty acids and vitamin A that can help reduce scarring and promote skin regeneration, improving your skin’s overall texture and tone.

Try out Trilogy’s Organic Rosehip Oil here!