The Secret to Perfect Skin? A Little Facial Oil

I stumbled upon the holy grail of skincare only a few years ago after a particularly lovely visit to a spa while on holiday. In my hazy stupor, I fell victim to the post-treatment up-sell of shiny new products to tote home—except this time, it didn’t end up languishing in my bathroom cupboard like the host of other silent reminders of dewy-faced promise. It was a teeny, tiny bottle of UK-based Aromatherapy & Associates’ facial oil and, in short, it radically changed my skin.You could be forgiven for thinking it sounds like hocus pocus. But let me assure you that if there is only one skin ritual you follow, let it be this one. It also sounds counter-intuitive to oil your skin just before applying the phalanx of products we slather all over ourselves, but the key is this: if you oil your skin, it stops over-producing oil. And, like that, the stars align and your skin becomes magically balanced. Aromatherapy & Associates feature six facial oils in total, but the Nourishing blend of essential nutrients (sandalwood, rose, evening primrose oil) hydrates, smoothes fine lines, and adds a protective barrier. You will start to positively glow once you start using it.The secret? Essential oils on their own can lift your mood, improve circulation, up the speed of cellular renewal—to boot, the common trifecta of acne, eczema and aging skin can be effectively targeted all at once (rose magically erases redness). Mixed with active botanicals, Aromatherapy & Associates’s oils deliver all of the above without the harsh chemicals and synthetics found in so many other products. I’ve tried an army of other substitutes—from natural to synthetic—but nothing compares. I found it in London at stalwarts like Liberty, Fortnum & Mason and Selfridge’s, but rejoiced when discovering it in Vancouver at Absolute Spa and Secret Location. It’s pricey at $79/15 ml, but a little drop goes a long