The Ordinary has a large selection of face oils that address a variety of skincare concerns. These oils are high quality and low-priced, but with so many options, which oil should you choose?
In this complete guide to The Ordinary face oils, we’ll take a look at the ingredients and skincare benefits of each The Ordinary oil.
While each oil has a BEST FOR skin type suggestion, please note that all of these oils can be used by those with normal and dry skin in need of hydration and moisture, but not all oils will work for all skin types, especially oily and acne-prone skin. So be sure to take into consideration your skin type and skin concern when shopping for The Ordinary oils.
This post contains affiliate links, and any purchases made through these links will result in a commission for me at no extra cost to you. Please read my Disclosure for additional information. While The Ordinary generously gifted me 100% Organic Virgin Chia Seed Oil, “B” Oil, 100% Organic Virgin Sea-Buckthorn Fruit Oil, and 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Borage Seed Oil, any opinions expressed are always my own.
The Ordinary Face Oils Guide
Two The Ordinary products included in this post, The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane and The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Hemi-Squalane, are actually oil-free but have oil-like qualities and are widely thought of as oils, so we’ll discuss them in this post, too.
You’ll find that some of The Ordinary’s oil have natural scents since The Ordinary does not add any additional fragrance to their oils. This does not indicate rancidity.
As with any new product, The Ordinary recommends patch testing before using their oils as a way to determine if you will have a negative initial reaction. Please see their Patch Test Guide for more details.
The Ordinary oils are water-free, alcohol-free, silicone-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free, and vegan.
Ingredients: Rosa Canina Seed Oil.
The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil is cold-pressed and organic and made of only 100% pure Rosehip Seed Oil. Cold-pressed extraction helps to preserve the benefits of this oil, as opposed to heat extraction which can reduce the efficacy of actives in the oil.
Rosehip oil is extracted from the seeds of the rosehip, also known as Rosa Canina L. The oil is rich in vitamins and essential fatty acids, including linoleic (omega-6), linolenic (omega-3), plus fatty acid oleic acid, and antioxidants. Antioxidants help to reduce photoaging, which is premature skin aging from sun damage (prolonged exposure to UV radiation), that may result in wrinkles, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and other visible signs of aging.
Rosehip oil also contains pro-vitamin A, a precursor of vitamin A, which must be converted to its active form by the body. Vitamin A has important functions in the body and helps to improve cell turnover.
Rosehip oil has anti-inflammatory benefits and can help to reduce the look of reddened post-acne scars and hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and uneven skin tone. Rosehip oil also strengthens the skin’s natural moisture barrier.
While you might think that rosehip oil is not good for oily and acne-prone skin, think again. Research has shown that acne patients have low levels of linoleic acid in their skin. Rosehip oil helps to replenish this essential fatty acid and can help reduce the size of blemishes.
The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil is unrefined, so you may notice a natural earthy scent, which comes from the concentration of omega fatty acids. The scent does not indicate that the oil is rancid. Actually, unscented and refined rosehip oil won’t be as effective as unrefined rosehip oil.
This facial oil is rich yet lightweight and doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy or oily.
BEST FOR: While it is good for all skin types, this oil would be ideal for those with oily and acne-prone skin due to its linoleic acid content. Also, this oil is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores, which is helpful for acne prone skin.
Ingredients: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Squalane, Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil, Bisabolol, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Isochrysis Galbana Extract, Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Rosa Canina Seed Oil, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Oenocarpus Bataua Fruit Oil, Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil, Bertholletia Excelsa Seed Oil, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit Extract, Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Tocopherol.
The Ordinary “B” Oil is the most complex of all The Ordinary oils. It contains a purified form of micro-algae with a blend of squalane and several oils: Marula, Argan, Baobab, Pataua, Brazil Nut, Inca Inchi, Rosehip, and Borage oils.
You get multiple benefits from a wide variety of face oils that offer moisturizing benefits and skin barrier protection. They also contain antioxidants to protect the skin from oxidative stress and help to minimize the visible signs of aging. This oil blend also contains Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil, which is a plant oil and a silicone alternative that contains fatty acids to moisturize the skin.
The micro-algae in the formula is Isochrysis Galbana Extract which is rich in nutrients and potentially has antioxidant properties. The oil also contains Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit Extract that offers antioxidant protection. Tocopherol, or vitamin E, is another antioxidant that offers photoprotection against UVB rays and soothes the skin.
Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and astringent benefits. Bisabolol from Chamomile has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.
The rich oil has a deep gold/green shade and has a light herbal scent due to the micro-algae in the formula.
BEST FOR: This oil is formulated for all skin types and will especially benefit those with dry, aging, and irritated skin. Although it’s not the lightest The Ordinary oil, it can be used on oily and acne-prone skin thanks to the fact that it is not very comedogenic.
Ingredients: Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil.
The Ordinary 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil is derived from the kernels of Marula tree fruits. This formula contains 100% unrefined cold-pressed virgin African Marula oil.
Rich in fatty acids such as oleic acid at 73%, palmitic acid at 15%, and linoleic at 9%, this oil hydrates, moisturizes, and forms an occlusive barrier on the skin to lock in moisture, making it perfect for dry skin.
This oil is filled with antioxidants such as procyanidin, catechins, and flavonoids that protect the skin from UV radiation by neutralizing free radicals. These antioxidants also rejuvenate the skin by helping to reduce the visible signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines.
Due to the high oleic acid content, marula oil is more comedogenic than some other oils. This means that it is more likely to clog pores than other oils which could lead to blemishes and aggravate acne, so it’s not the best choice for those with oily or acne prone skin.
While lightweight and deeply hydrating on the skin, this oil pulls double duty and can be used on your hair as well. It absorbs easily without feeling heaving and weighing down your hair or making it look greasy. Hair is left shiny and less frizzy.
BEST FOR: Marula oil is best suited to those who have dry skin in need of hydration and moisture.
Related Post: The Best The Ordinary Products for Dry Skin
Ingredients: Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil.
The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil contains 100% pure Moroccan Argan Seed Oil. It’s obtained through a cold-pressed extraction method that maintains the fatty acid composition of oleic acid and linoleic acid in the oil. The oil is also rich in antioxidants and vitamin E to protect against oxidative stress, environmental stressors and provide additional anti-aging benefits.
This oil is non-comedogenic which means that it won’t clog pores. It also has anti-inflammatory properties which help to soothe irritation and sensitive skin. It forms a seal to lock in moisture and prevent transepidermal water loss without being greasy.
The Ordinary notes that since the oil is 100% unrefined, there is a natural scent that does not denote rancidity.
This is another oil from The Ordinary that can be used on your hair to increase strength and to impart a satin shine and softer locks with less breakage.
BEST FOR: The balance of oleic acid (best for drier skin) and linoleic acid (best for oilier skin) in this oil make it best suited to those with normal to dry skin and the antioxidants in the oil will benefit aging/mature skin.
Ingredients: Borago Officinalis Seed Oil.
The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Borage Seed Oil is a 100% pure, organic, cold-pressed, and sustainably sourced oil that has a high concentration of the essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (omega-6), which may help with eczema and other skin issues. The oil also contains other fatty acids like linoleic, oleic, and palmitic acids.
This oil has a lightweight texture and a natural scent that might be a little strong for some. You only need a few drops, as it is richly moisturizing.
Borage oil is particularly helpful for those with dry, sensitive, and irritated skin. This is another very affordable low-priced oil from The Ordinary.
BEST FOR: This oil will help calm and soothe dry, flaky, itchy, and inflamed skin and would be ideal for using after using The Ordinary retinol/retinoid products or other potentially sensitizing actives.
Ingredients: Salvia Hispanica Seed Oil.
The Ordinary 100% Organic Virgin Chia Seed Oil is a 100% pure, virgin, organic, cold-pressed, and sustainably sourced oil that is filled with skin-loving ingredients.
This oil contains the highest botanical concentration of alpha-linolenic acid, also known as omega-3 fatty acid. Alpha-linolenic acid has anti-inflammatory and moisturizing benefits and can even help fade hyperpigmentation and dark spots.
The oil also contains linoleic acid, oleic acid, stearic acid, and palmitic acid for additional hydration and moisture. Linoleic acid can be helpful for those with oily and acne prone skin.
You’ll also find alpha-lipoic acid, coumaric, and caffeic acid in the oil, which are antioxidants that help protect the skin against oxidative damage from UV exposure and help fight the visible signs of aging.
The benefits don’t stop there. This study found that chia seed oil can improve itchy skin, support the skin barrier and decrease transepidermal water loss.
As a bonus, this lightweight organic chia seed oil may also be used on your hair to soften, strengthen and add shine to your strands.
BEST FOR: This oil is very lightweight and can be used by all skin types, but those with itchy, dry, and dull uneven skin would benefit the most from this oil.
Ingredients: Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Oil.
The Ordinary 100% Organic Virgin Sea-Buckthorn Fruit Oil is a 100% pure virgin, unrefined, organic, and sustainably sourced oil. The oil has high concentrations of rare palmitoleic acid, also known as Omega-7, and multiple other fatty acids including gamma-linolenic acid, palmitic acid, linolenic acid, oleic acid, and linoleic acid. These compounds offer reparative benefits for the skin.
You’ll notice the deep orange-red shade of the oil. This is thanks to antioxidants beta-carotene and lycopene along with Vitamin E which help to defend against free radical damage and protect the skin’s natural moisture barrier.
This oil has a natural earthy fragrance since it is unrefined and contains a high palmitoleic acid content. This scent does not indicate rancidity. This is an intensely hydrating oil and leaves your skin soft and smooth.
NOTE: The oil may discolor your skin, so if you use it undiluted stick with a drop or two or mix with other products like a moisturizer. It’s best to use this product in the evening, but please note that it may stain fabric.
BEST FOR: Those with dry and mature/aging skin would benefit the most from this deeply nourishing oil.
Related Post: The Ordinary Anti-Aging Skincare Review
The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane is a saturated and stable hydrocarbon, which is a molecule made of carbon and hydrogen. Squalane has a very lightweight and oil-like texture even though it is oil-free.
Squalane is the stable version of squalene (with an e), a natural lipid found in the skin and an unsaturated hydrocarbon that is more prone to oxidation than squalane. After age 30, squalene production in our skin greatly decreases which contributes to dry skin as we age.
Topical squalane is a super moisturizer that helps to combat transepidermal water loss, helping our skin stay hydrated and soft.
The standout quality of squalane is its lightweight texture, which makes it ideal for all skin types, especially oily skin. It’s also non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog pores, which can lead to breakouts and acne.
If you don’t love the feel of facial oils on your skin, consider giving squalane a try. You might just find it becomes one of your new favorite hydrators.
The Ordinary’s squalane is 100% pure plant-derived, is ECOCERT approved and is a USDA Certified Bio-based Product.
TIP: You can also use The Ordinary’s 100% Plant-Derived Squalane on your hair to prevent breakage, increase shine, and to boost heat protection.
BEST FOR: Squalane works for all skin types. It helps to balance combination skin, while oily and acne-prone skin appreciate that squalane is non-comedogenic, has a non-oily feel and provides lightweight hydration.
Ingredients: C13-16 Isoparaffin.
If you like The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane, then you might love The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Hemi-Squalane. Like squalane, this plant-derived Hemi-Squalane helps to protect skin against moisture loss.
The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Hemi-Squalane is a non-polar hydrocarbon produced from sugar-based feedstock that has been fermented. It has a lower molecular weight than squalane, so it has a lighter and drier feel than squalane.
This extremely lightweight oil is fast absorbing and feels like a dry oil on the skin.
The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Hemi-Squalane is also ideal for hair. It helps to reduce frizz thanks to its ease of spreadability.
BEST FOR: Hemi-squalane is ideal for all skin types including dry skin as well as combination, oily, and acne prone skin due to the lightweight non-greasy dry oil texture. Take one look at the rock bottom price and you will be sold!
How To Apply The Ordinary Face Oils
The Ordinary recommends applying their oils after water-based treatments, so apply face oils at the end of your skincare routine (but before SPF in your morning skincare routine). You can apply a few drops on your entire face or just a drop on dry or problem areas.
As with all new products, be sure to patch test these oils before applying to your face for the first time.
Final Thoughts on The Ordinary Face Oils
Hopefully this The Ordinary oils guide has given you some ideas about which oil might work best for your skin, since it all comes down to your skin type and how it responds to different oil varieties. The Ordinary’s low pricing makes purchasing in multiples a no-brainer, as most are under $10 and some are even under $5! You can purchase all of these oils on The Ordinary’s website.
For a complete The Ordinary skincare routine based on your skin type, be sure to check out this post on how to build a skincare routine with The Ordinary.
Favorite The Ordinary Oils
The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil has always been one of my favorite oils from The Ordinary and The Ordinary “B” Oil is a newer favorite. When it comes to weightless “oils“, I didn’t think I could love an oil more than The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane. Then I discovered The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Hemi-Squalane. What are your favorite oils from The Ordinary?
Thanks for reading, and until next time…