How to Use Your Facial Oil: When To Apply It & Where to use it in your Routine

Although we have multiple blog posts about How Facial Oils Work and Which Facial Oils To Use For Your Skin Type, we need to address some of the main questions we get from you about Facial Oils, besides just why they work- we need to talk about how to use them too!

That's why in this blog we'll be answering ALL your questions, including: How to apply your oil, When to use your oil, Where in your routine an oil belongs... we have you covered (in oil too, hopefully!). Of course we do a bit of upselling too, because thats how much we love our Custom Facial Oils!

"How do I Use A Facial Oil?"

The reason we get this question so often is because Facial Oils are a relatively “new” product on the cosmetics market! We generally all know when to use a cleanser, toner and moisturizer… but what about an oil?!  Let’s get into it.

How to Apply Your facial Oil:

Apply a few drops of your Custom Facial Oil directly onto your face with the dropper, working the oil in gently with your fingertips.

We suggest applying a few drops on each cheek and a few drops across your forehead for good coverage, working it downwards to your neck.

Try to apply your facial oil directly to your skin with the dropper, as putting the oils on your hands first is a waste of precious product (your hands will absorb all the goodness!)

"When do I use a Facial Oil?”

Now we’ve covered the HOW, it’s time to talk about WHEN.

This is very specific to the formula you’re working with, and we suggest you start by nothing both the texture and pigment of the product, as well your current skin condition to find this answer!

Here’s our cheat sheet for When Your facial oil should be applied:


  • If the texture of your Facial Oil is very thick and slow absorbing- such as Meadowfoam Seed Oil- your oil will work well to trap in moisture and prevent moisture loss over time. Since we lose moisture as we sleep, we suggest applying thicker, slower absorbing oils in the evening for maximum benefits!
  • If the oil absorbs slowly over time, that’s great news for your skin but bad news for more complex makeup routines done in a rush! Since slower-absorbing oils may interfere with your morning routine, especially if you have to put on makeup in a rush, that’s yet another reason for nighttime use.
  • If your Facial Oils contain highly beneficial but deeply pigmented ingredients such as Sea Buckthorn (like many of our Custom Formulas do), we suggest nighttime application so that the oil has time to work it’s magic and the pigment doesnt interfere with your AM makeup routine.


  • If the texture of your Facial Oil is very thin and quick absorbing- such as  Squalane Light - your oil will work to deliver missing lipids to the skin, without a trace. This means you can quickly and easily layer on moisturizer, makeup or SPF, making lightweight oils perfect for AM usage!
  • If the oils are highly refined (i.e their natural pigment and odor has been removed such as with our Camellia Seed oil or Evening Primrose oil), then the ingredients will be extremely clear and odorless, making them perfect for applying in the AM underneath other pigmented products like makeup.
  • Although these lightweight oils absorb quickly, if you do have chronically dry or dehydrated skin, there’s nothing stopping you from doubling down on the benefits and using these oils in the evening as well! To save yourself money and product, start with a morning application and monitor the results. If your skin still yearns for it’s natural oils- or if your nighttime routine requires a harsher cleanser, introduce it in the evening too.

"Where does a Facial Oil go in my Routine?"

Another question we often get- especially with all the serums, double cleansers, and various creams and topicals available to us today- is where in your routine should you be using your oil?

So, to know when Should A Facial Oil Be Applied, we have a short answer and a long answer!

The Short Answer:

Apply your facial oil right before your moisturizer.

The Long Answer:

To truly understand when to use your oil, we need to briefly discuss the science behind oils.

Facial oils are made of cold pressed oils (or “lipids”), whereas products like moisturizers contain both oils (lipids) and water. The top layers of your skin “absorb” oils and lipids easily, but water less so- as your skin actually fairly water resistant. It has water resistance because it too has a thin layer of oils on it: called the NMF or “natural moisturizing factors”.

In other words, your skin, your oil and your moisture are are “miscible”- since like dissolves like and they ALL contain oils! Your facial oil will easily mix into your cream like moisturizers, and we doubt your skin will know the difference between the two when it comes to absorption. Your skin will just happily suck up all the oils it needs from any product you apply to it.

So, we don’t believe it matters and we haven’t found many in-depth studies to clarify the actual benefits of different ways to layer different products. If you’re using both an oil and a moisturizer- put your oil underneath your moisturizer and after all your other serums!

This way, your skin absorbs the serums first (which usually have beneficial active ingredients like niacinamide), then a Facial Oil comes in to deliver some basic nutrients and much needed lipid replacement- then your moisturizer locks it all in. (We say the moisturizer “locks it all in” because moisturizers have something oils don’t: waxes and other film-forming ingredients like silicones, which “trap” other ingredients onto the skin, allowing it to absorb more of the benefits.)

The Benefits of Custom Facial Oils

The amazing part about customization is we work backwards: we work with your preferred application time (AM or PM) to nail down the right absorbency for your lifestyle, then we eliminate pigmented oils if you’re a makeup wearer who wants to apply your oil in the AM for instance! 

We take into account your current skin type, and match it with the unique beneficial qualities of the oil to create a formula made just for you.  With our unique customization process, we match the fatty acid profile of the oil to the fatty acid deficiency in your skin, creating a product that delivers results tailored to you.

To find the right formula for your skin type and preferences: take our Formula Finding Quiz!

Or check out our range of Custom Facial Oils to learn more.

We hope we answered your most pressing questions about When to Apply your Facial Oil, How Often to apply your oil and where your facial oil should go in your existing routine.

If you have any more questions or comments, leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to answer you.

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