The Beauty Product That Prevents Scaly Winter Skin

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Ever felt misunderstood? Beauty oils feel your pain. From confusion over how to apply to downright slander about which skin types benefit, it's no wonder only 17 percent of people have used an oil-based skin-care product, according to a Mintel survey. But the other 83 percent should get on board, says Ellen Marmur, M.D., a dermatologist at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. "The newest oils are intelligent products that can deliver active ingredients to the skin and provide an effective barrier," she explains.

As with most skin products, one oil does not fit all, so find your complexion category, then slide right through winter supple and glowing.

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Acne-Prone/Oily Skin

Do: Thoroughly wash morning and night using a cleanser that contains tea tree oil, argan oil, or squalane. It might seem counterintuitive, but oil attracts oil, so you get a deep clean without overly stripping skin.

Try: BareMinerals Mineralixirs Facial Cleansing Oil ($30, sephora.com)

Avoid: Avocado oil. It's too heavy for your skin type and may even clog your pores.

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Skin with Fine Lines and Wrinkes

Do: Swap your moisturizer for an antioxidant-rich oil with anti-aging ingredients like vitamin A, and use it both day and night. 

Try: Caudalie Vinosource Overnight Recovery Oil ($52, sephora.com)

Avoid: Coconut oil. It's likely too thin to improve the texture of your skin.

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Sensitive Skin

Do: Spot-treat your skin—or lock in your moisturizer with an all-over layer—using a calming oil with soothing properties, such as lavender, chamomile, rose, or sandalwood. 

Try: L'Oreal Paris Age Perfect Glow Renewal Facial Oil ($25, lorealparisusa.com)

Avoid: Castor oil. It has a tendency to be a little harsh, which might increase redness and irritation in already sensitive skin.

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Skin with Uneven Tone Or Dark Spots

Do: Use a citrus-based brightening oil, which can either replace your regular moisturizer or, if your skin is extra dry, be layered over it.

Try: Indie Lee Vanilla Citrus Moisturizing Oil ($36, indielee.com)

Avoid: Cinnamon, cassia (Chinese cinnamon), peppermint, and clove oils. These can all irritate your skin and make hyperpigmentation worse.


For more on how beauty oils can make your complexion deliriously happy this winter (and for more get-gorgeous beauty tips!), pick up the December 2014 issue of Women's Health, on newsstands now.

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