In short, face oil is a tricky thing. But it doesn't have to be. Despite the aforementioned lack of universally-beneficial skin care, I think I've found something that gets pretty close.
The Organic Rosehip Oil from New Zealand-based Trilogy is, as far as I'm concerned, the black cashmere sweater of face oils: looks good on everyone, fits a myriad of styles, and is always appropriate.
Harvested from the seeds of roses once the petals fall off, rosehip seed oil is packed with vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids, all crucial for hydrating skin, reducing fine lines, and fading dark spots.
So impressed with the results I saw after a few weeks, I force-fed it to the very different skin of my mom, boyfriend and friends. A small sample size, I know, but the positive feedback was the same across the board.
For my reactive combination skin, the oil absorbed quickly like a serum, leaving my skin hydrated and dewy, without any greasy residue or shine (beta-carotene!). My friend's years-old acne scars started to fade (omega 6!). My mom remarked that the lines around her eyes seemed less pronounced (vitamin A!). And my boyfriend, he of the perpetually dry skin, remarked in true dude fashion that his face felt, "really good, actually" (omega-3!).
What's more, this is one of the only products I can use all year long: It's effective enough to help with dryness in the winter, but light enough to keep using in warmer months without clogging pores or reacting weirdly to heat and sweat.
A rose by any other word may smell as sweet, but a bottle of rosehip oil by any other name just won't do.
(They also make an amped up Antioxidant+ version if you want to get crazy.)
Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip, $24, trilogyproducts.com
EWG Score: 1 — low hazard