What used to be one of the biggest skincare “no-no’s” has now become the conduit to impeccable skin. Face oil has become the “it” product to help women achieve the results they haven’t been able to achieve with traditional moisturizers and face creams. But after years of being attributed to clogged pores and breakouts, how did companies such as Rodin, Clarins, Shu Uemura and Josie Moran convince consumers to shed any preconceived notions and actually oil up their faces?
For some, it was as easy as word of mouth.
“I am a [fashion and celebrity] stylist and I would give my oil to the models, makeup artists and hair dressers. I would just say to all the people in the business, ‘Hey, you want to try this great stuff that I made?’” said fashion veteran turned beauty guru Linda Rodin, whose company, Rodin, has been hugely successful with their line of luxury oil products, and is considered one of the pioneers of the newfound face oil market.
“Little by little people started talking about it. I never made any false claims. It was all very serendipitous.”Rodin combines more than a dozen types of oils in her formulas, from sunflower to jojoba to neroli to argan oil.
An increase in oil sales in 2012 over 2011 shows that consumers are willing to try something new. According to NPD, while oils still only account for about 1 percent dollar share in skin care, dollar performance increased 29 percent in 2012, outpacing other niche formulas, such as patches, which grew 15 percent, and solids, which grew 13 percent, each of which also accounts for 1 percent dollar share of skin care sales.Overall, oils ended 2012 with $14.9 million in sales, up from $11.5 million in 2011 and $6.8 million in 2008.
For others, breaking down the oil-is-bad-for-your-skin barrier was all about keen marketing strategies that emphasize natural ingredients, which are meant to be viewed as healthier and less drastic alternatives to typical anti-aging products.
For instance, Clarins is promoting their rebalancing oils, such as Blue Orchard Face Treatment Oil, to the every consumer by highlighting the nutritive and effective benefits of plant-based products. Falling under the “all ages” category, Clarins considers each individual facial oil a rebalancing agent for a specific skin type, combating everything from dullness to large pores, while promising “100 percent balancing” capabilities.
Similarly, Jurlique has had much success with their top-rated Skin Balancing Face Oil. Like Clarins, Jurlique prioritizes the listing of their ingredients which include rose hip oil, evening primrose oil and marshmallow, as a way to entice customers. After all, many people feel that if something is natural it is inherently better for them and their skin.
While facial oils continue to gain momentum with everyone from Dr. Gross to Sonya Dakar to Bobbi Brown, similar products such as oil-based cleansers, blotting tissues and shampoos have also been garnering attention, indicating that the oil skin care market might not be a slippery slope, after all.
“This season alone there are 10 new companies selling oils,” added Rodin. “I think oils are here to stay because it seems so basic. It’s not just some crazy trend.”