Is Oil Good For Skin And Really Moisturizing?

Oil-based care has a whole host of benefits. It ensures suppleness, supplies the skin with valuable lipids and moisturizes - right? Not quite. That oils have a moisturizing effect is a myth that persists. We'll tell you what it's all about, answer the question "Is oil good for the skin" and tell you what oils can really do for skin care.

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Why oils are a myth for moisturizing

We've all read it countless times: «XY oil moisturizes and hydrates». The problem: From a scientific point of view, this is not only wrong, but quite outrageous.

Because the fact is: Pure oils are completely water-free. They are even hydrophobic - i.e. water-repellent. It goes without saying that oils can therefore not moisturize skin (and hair!). Nevertheless, they play an important role in the moisture balance of our skin. Sounds like a contradiction? We clear up the misunderstanding.

The important difference between moisturizing & retaining moisture

Facial oil actually ensures well-moisturized skin. But not by moisturizing. But by protecting the skin from excessive moisture loss . And it works like this: Oils support the functions of a healthy skin protection barrier by supplying the skin with important lipids. These, in turn, are important for keeping water in the skin.

To understand this interplay, let's go back to our brick example from part 1 of our series Oils for the face.

You can imagine the structure of the horny layer of our skin similar to a brick wall that is held together and stabilized by mortar. Our skin cells are the bricks, the skin's own lipids are the mortar. This lipid matrix consists of about 60% ceramides and 20% each of cholesterol and fatty acids1.

If there are not enough lipids, the wall or Skin barrier brittle. The result: firstly, the skin becomes more susceptible to environmental stressors, secondly, moisture cannot be optimally retained in the skin and escapes to the outside more easily.

Because oils contain lipids, they can fill in the gaps between the "bricks" and thus reduce the transepidermal water loss (this means the water loss through the skin's surface) keep in check: The skin appears well moisturized and healthy.

Facial Oil & Moisture: What is Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL)?

We briefly recap: Pure facial oils don't moisturise - for the simple reason , because they simply do not contain any liquid. Instead, they ensure that existing moisture can be retained better in the horny layer by regulating the transepidermal water loss.

  • The term transepidermal water loss is used in dermatology to describe the natural evaporation process over the skin's surface. Fluid from inside the body passes through the dermis into the outermost layer of the skin (the stratum corneum) and evaporates there. The more endogenous water the skin releases to the outside, the higher the TEWL value.
  • The TEWL value can be measured with special instruments and is an important indicator of the condition of the skin barrier. A low transepidermal water loss indicates a good barrier and protective function of the skin.
  • Our skin is in constant exchange with the environment, so that the TEWL can vary. If you stay in heavily heated rooms for a long time, use aggressive care products that attack your barrier lipids, or if the humidity is very low, this can have a negative effect on the loss of liquid through the skin's surface.

Good to know: External circumstances such as the season therefore play an important role in addition to your skin type when deciding on lipid-based care. Especially in the cold season, a high-quality facial oil or a care balm can protect the skin effectively against wind and weather. In summer temperatures, on the other hand, your skin feels the same way as you do: it craves liquid. In summer, go for water-based products and ingredients like hyaluronic acid to deeply hydrate your skin.

Why «occlusive» doesn't mean moisturizing!

In skin care, occlusive means something like «including». Occlusive ingredients (one of the best known - and most controversial - Occlusive is mineral oil) form a kind of sealing barrier the skin surface. In this way they prevent excessive evaporation of the skin's own liquid (which brings us back to the TEWL of the previous section) and also ensure that the high-quality ingredients of your skin care really stay where they belong.

In this way, the existing moisture stays better in the skin, the complexion appears softened and smooth.

In contrast to mineral oil, vegetable oils not only have an occlusive effect, but also provide the skin with its own beauty cocktail of valuable fatty acids, phospholipids, protective vitamins and antioxidant polyphenols2.

Note: Effective facial care should contain both occlusive ingredients, as well as moisture-binding water magnets such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin. This is also the reason why long-term care with oils alone is not recommended for most skin types. You can find out more about this in part 1 of the series Oils for the face.

Sonnencreme entfernen ganz einfach mit dem <tc>Five</tc>  makeup remover | <tc>Five Skincare</tc>

For the occlusion


Sonnencreme entfernen ganz einfach mit dem <tc>Five</tc>  makeup remover | <tc>Five Skincare</tc>

For the humidity

Is oil good for the skin - and if so, why?

Facial oil has three properties that are good for your skin.

  1. It prevents excessive water loss from the skin's surface
  2. It ensures soft, supple skin
  3. It supplies the skin with ceramides3 (an important component of the barrier lipids4 )

How well a certain oil is suitable for your specific skin type still depends on many factors. One of them is the fatty acid profile of the respective vegetable oil. Because that's quite different. By the way, we will come to that below which skin care treasures (such as antioxidants & Co. ) deliver you other oils!

  • Saturated fatty acids include e.g. B palmitic acid and stearic acid
  • Palmitoleic acid is one of the monounsaturated fatty acids
  • Typical examples of polyunsaturated fatty acids are omega-3 (such as alpha-linolenic acid) and omega-6 (such as linoleic acid)

Palmitoleic acid is z. B contained in sea buckthorn pulp oil (see our Five face oil for dry skin). It supports skin regeneration and ensures a uniform, even complexion by reducing discolouration.

Linoleic acid plays this role for an intact skin protection barrier

Linoleic acid is an important building block for the skin's own lipid matrix. If there is too little linoleic acid, this affects the functions of the skin barrier. The content of linoleic acid in the top layer of skin is usually reduced in people with a disturbed barrier function (e.g. neurodermatitis). A deficiency of linoleic acid has a direct impact on the permeability of the skin's protective barrier1.

Black cumin oil is a skin and face oil with a particularly high content of linoleic acid - the latter makes up more than 50% of the fatty acids it contains! In our Five Face Oil Balance we combine oil from black cumin seeds with jojojab oil - another potent skin flatterer.

Jojoba oil: a unique soft focus

Contrary to what its name might suggest, jojoba oil is actually a wax. Its composition is similar to that of human sebum1 and is responsible for its regenerating and wound healing properties. Jojoba oil contains vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin A5. Vitamin E is a natural antioxidant that not only has a cell-protecting effect, but also gives the oil its good shelf life and stability by protecting it from oxidation.

Jojoba oil

  • ensures silky soft skin without leaving a greasy, oily film,
  • prevents excessive transepidermal water loss without sealing the skin too tight,
  • relieves dry skin,
  • and improves skin elasticity5.

We take advantage of the fantastic care properties of this beauty booster as a carrier oil in the Five facial oils.

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5 reasons why oil is good for your skin!

It's fascinating what our skin can do. In its function as a protective shield, it protects us from harmful invaders such as microorganisms and pollutants on the one hand and ensures a balanced moisture balance in our skin layers on the other.

Applied correctly (more on this in part 1 of the series Oils for the face), offers high-quality Facial oil of the skin has a number of phenomenal benefits:

  1. ensures improved moisture content in the top layer of skin, as it has a positive effect on transepidermal water loss
  2. due to its occlusive properties, it forms a protective film on the skin that prevents excessive loss of moisture and keeps precious care substances in the skin
  3. cements the skin barrier by refilling the lipid matrix between the horny cells
  4. Relieves symptoms of a compromised protective barrier such as irritated and irritated skin
  5. prevents the penetration of harmful microorganisms as it supports the functions of a healthy skin barrier

Choosing the right oil for your skin type is crucial.

  • Combination skin and impure skin: Clarifying jojoba oil and antibacterial black cumin oil (as in Five Balance facial oil) are a perfect duo for balanced, clear skin balanced.
  • Normal, dry and demanding skin: The all-rounder jojoba oil stimulates the skin's own collagen production, ensures suppleness and protects against the effects of free radicals with antioxidant vitamin E. The Five facial oil for dry skin also contains oil from the sea buckthorn fruit. Its high proportion of palmitoleic acid has a brightening effect and ensures a fresh, even complexion.

Special case of dehydrated skin: Why facial oil alone is not sufficient care!

Short interim conclusion: Most skin types benefit from the skin-protecting properties of lipid-based care in the daily beauty routine. But what if you regularly use facial oil to care for your dry skin, but feel that there is no improvement?

Then it could be that instead of dry skin you have dehydrated or have dehydrated skin. While true dry skin is a skin type, dehydrated skin is usually a temporary skin condition.

Dry skin dehydrated skin

What is it?

an innate skin type

a temporary skin condition

What's missing?

Natural oils


What does the skin need?

Bold or Lipids


These care products are good for you

nourishing vegetable oils and
fats in the form of rich
face creams and oils

water-based care and potent
moisture magnets such as
hyaluronic acid

Remember: Pure oils are completely anhydrous. If you only use oil for facial care on dehydrated skin, it will not be supplied with the moisture it so urgently needs. Over time, the wrong care can make symptoms worse.

But that doesn't mean that you should completely ban facial oil from your care routine. The right timing is much more important: If you use your facial oil on top of a mild, hydrating serum, the moisture from the serum is better trapped in the skin layers and held - win-win!

Conclusion: Oil is good for the skin, but does not have a moisturizing effect!

Oils don't hydrate the skin because they simply don't contain any. Nevertheless, high-quality vegetable oils and fats have their place in effective skin care. Both alone and in moisturizers, they play an important role: They protect from excessive moisture loss by they regulate the permeability of the skin barrier. The valuable ingredients from creams and serums as well as the liquid remain where they are needed - in the skin.

Because pure vegetable oils are also packed full of high-quality fatty acids, antioxidant vitamins and secondary plant substances, they are phenomenal beauty boosters that every skin type can benefit from.

Discover the pampering Five facial oils now in the shop!


  1. Vaughn, A. R , Clark, A. K , Sivamani, R. K et al. Natural Oils for Skin-Barrier Repair: Ancient Compounds Now Backed by Modern Science. Am J Clin Dermatol 19, 103-117 (2018). https://doi. org/10. 1007/s40257-017-0301-1
  2. Pinto, JR, Monteiro and Silva, SA, Holsback, VDSS, Leonardi, GR. Skin occlusive performance: Sustainable alternatives for petrolatum in skincare formulations. J Cosmetic Dermatol. 2022; 00: 1-6. doi:10. 1111/jocd. 14782
  3. Conti, A et al. “Seasonal influences on stratum corneum ceramide 1 fatty acids and the influence of topical essential fatty acids. ” International journal of cosmetic science vol. 18.1 (1996): 1-12. doi:10. 1111/j 1467-2494. 1996 tb00131. x
  4. Breiden, Bernadette, and Konrad Sandhoff. "The role of sphingolipid metabolism in cutaneous permeability barrier formation. " Biochimica et biophysica acta vol. 1841.3 (2014): 441-52. doi:10. 1016/j. bbalip. 2013. 08 010
  5. Gad, Heba A et al. "Jojoba Oil: An Updated Comprehensive Review on Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Uses, and Toxicity. ” Polymers vol. 13:11 1711. 24 may 2021, doi:10. 3390/polym13111711

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