Why essential oils are the secret to glowing skin

For dewy, radiant skin, you need to apply oils rather strip them away, explains make-up artist Nadine Monley.

Using oil to clean your skin may seem counterintuitive at first especially if you’re in the habit of scrubbing your face until it’s squeaky clean.

But using oils to gently wipe away the day rather than over cleansing with soaps and harsher cleansers is the secret to skin that is dewy and radiant rather than dry and imbalanced, says veteran make-up artist and Beauty Department creator Nadine Monley.

“As a make-up artist, I’ve seen first-hand the immediate benefits of using oils to cleanse skin—both on myself and others,” Monley says. “Oils pick up dirt and make-up whilst nourishing the skin flora. They are not only extremely gentle on your skin for taking off all your make-up, but also leave you feeling hydrated and glowing like you have walked straight out of a facial. Most people tend to strip their skin of their natural oils when they use harsh cleansers which contributes to skin irritation, sensitivity and oily skin (the skin over produces sebum when it’s trying to compensate for the lack of natural oils).”

Monley, who is renowned for her natural, glowy make-up is also a fan of massaging oil into the skin before applying foundation. And even adding a drop or two of essential oil to her foundation.

“I have done this since the start of my career,” Monley says. “I wanted to explore the effects oils have on the skin when mixed with foundation. I noticed an instant dewy glow and improvement in skin texture. You get this beautiful silky texture that makes your complexion look plumped and completely flawless. I not only use a little oil mixed into my foundation, I also prep the skin with oils, I find doing this creates a perfect canvas.”

To prep your skin with oil before foundation, Monley recommends spending a little time massaging it into the skin. “It will stimulate your complexion leaving you with a glow even before you apply the foundation—this is what we all want,” she says.

“With this technique I use about a drop or two, you don’t want to use too much because your skin will be too oily. If after you do this you find your skin needs a little more, just add a little over the top of your foundation. I love doing this because your foundation soaks into your skin instead of sitting on top of your skin like a mask. The secret to a beautiful base is for it to look flawless and natural.”

Alternatively, you could begin by adding a drop or two of oil to your moisturizer.

Monley says oils also help brighten dull skin by providing essential moisture. “Jojoba oil and rosehip oils are my favourites for sensitive skin,” she says. “I find these oils non-irritating, making them perfect for every skin type, they soothe sensitive skin and hydrate dry skin.”

She says different essential oils deliver different benefits to the skin: “I love to use a combination of oils; lavender is so beautiful mixed with apricot, rosehip and rosemary. I think when you look at each essential oil they all have separate skin-supporting benefits. Apricot is amazing for nourishing and moisturising the skin and rosemary has natural antiseptic properties. I often suggest to people with skin problems to use a little rosemary, lavender, jojoba and apricot mixed together. This combination will leave your skin smoothed and hydrated with a beautiful glow.”

While less is more when it comes to make-up, Monley says the opposite is true when talking about moisture. “People make the mistake of not adding enough moisture to their skin, which makes it more prone to the effects of ageing,” she says, adding: “When skin is hydrated then it will not only look better but feel amazing.”

If you have sensitive skin, start with a simple jojoba oil especially on the skin around your eyes. “This is a very sensitive area, so as always, you have to be very careful not to get any oils in the eye,” advises Monley. “Be gentle and if you notice any kind of irritation then avoid using them. Using oils around the eyes can soothe and nourish, well as remove your eye make-up.”

By Jodie Scott for Australian Vogue

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