Why is everyone's face and body looking so oily on Instagram?

The well-oiled finish is here to stay.

Harper's Bazaar India

In Indian households, ingredients like onions, coconuts, and ginger have always enjoyed a sacred status. From curries to chutneys, these flavour bombs find their way into most of our staple dishes. However, their celebrity status extends beyond the kitchen, finding its way onto our beauty shelves as well. Think back to your grandmother’s homemade hair oil featuring one or all of these ingredients—her wrinkled yet surprisingly strong hands massaging it into your hair. It’s more than just nostalgia; that oil likely strengthened your hair, giving it the sheen you enjoy today. The benefits of hair oiling have been drilled into our heads since we were kids. But whether you (still) oil your hair or not, chances are various kinds of oils have found their place in your skincare and make-up routines as well.

If you’ve scrolled through your Instagram feed or any beauty e-commerce platforms lately, you might have noticed a surge in oil-based products. We are talking about lip oils, face oils, body oils, shower oils, and even oil-based fragrances; there’s been drop after drop from big beauty brands. But none of these can be categorised as new inventions in the beauty universe. Oils have been a part of skincare and make-up formulations for as long as we can remember. But now, it seems like oil-based products have a new PR team that is doing a fabulous job of pushing them onto the main stage.  

For a long time, beauty enthusiasts would steer clear of anything oil-based. There was a rampant belief that products infused with any kind of oil are heavy on the skin and lead to clogged pores and pesky breakouts. Not to mention, no one wanted to risk looking like the site of an oil spill. But once you find a body, face, or shower oil that suits you, it can be quite beneficial. Yes, it takes a lot of effort to find the one but a strengthened moisture barrier and radiant complexion make it all worth it. And that is what a good oil-based product can do for you.

If you don’t believe us, maybe you’ll believe your favourite celebrities. Reportedly, Jennifer Aniston swears by the multitasking abilities of L’Occitane’s Almond Supple Skin Oil; Sonam Kapoor believes in using the Forest Essentials Organic Cold Pressed Virgin Oil Coconut to keep her lips supple, while Priyanka Chopra relies on the Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate facial oil. These are just a few examples of A-listers using oils to keep their skin nourished and happy.

And of course, if we’re talking about the surge in oil-based products, we have to address the craze of lip oils. We are experiencing a significant shift in the lip product pyramid with lip oils securing the top position. Unlike their glossy counterparts, these products work hard to not only leave behind a gorgeous sheen on your lips but also hydrate and nourish them. Also, you don’t have to worry about your hair sticking to your pout in the breeze and that by itself is a big brownie point. This craze was seemingly kicked off by Hailey Beiber’s Rhode Peptide Lip Treatment and now brands like Hermès, Dior, Gisou, Rare Beauty, Estée Lauder, and 82°E all have their own versions of this cult-favourite product. 

Now that we’ve explored the rise of oil-based beauty, the question that arises is—why? Why are products like face oils, body oils, and lip oils flying off the shelves? Is it because the celebrities walking down red carpets and all influencers on social media have a well-oiled, hydrated glow? To get to the bottom of this, let’s look at some of the benefits of oil-based beauty.

Provides deep hydration  

Oils for hydration is almost as much of a no-brainer as florals for spring. Products that are formulated with natural botanical oils and emollients provide waves of hydration to the skin. Most of them are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. Apart from hydration, these products improve elasticity and rejuvenate dry skin. Also, oils have occlusive properties that seal in the moisture that is present in your skin. This is why it is recommended to use a body oil immediately after you shower.

Strengthens the barrier    

As we get older, the lipid production in our bodies reduces, weakening the moisture barrier. This contributes to the appearance of ageing skin, leading to dry, dull, and easily irritated skin. Using face oils regularly helps combat these issues as they gently replenish the lost lipids and keep your skin smooth, radiant, and supple.  

Glowing skin

Have you ever wondered how celebrities have that almost shimmery sheen on their skin while they walk down red carpets? The secret is oil-based products. They moisturise, nourish, and reduce fine lines while improving your skin texture. Some body oils even exfoliate gently, getting rid of any dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, which leaves behind a healthy and glowing complexion. 

It seems like oil-based beauty is here to stay and there is no scope for denial anymore that a good face, lip and body oil can do wonders for your skin. So are you ready to step onto the glazed-look bandwagon?

Also read: Here are the new fragrance launches we have our eyes on

Also read: Self-compassion is absent from many self-care conversations, but is key to body acceptance