As much as I love everything about skin care, my relationship with my own skin hasn’t always been great. Even after a six-month run on Accutane about four years ago, I still struggle with bumpy texture and scarring left over from my hormonal acne. While I luckily don’t experience breakouts anymore, these texture and tone issues remain stubbornly present. So when my friend told me how good my skin looked a few weeks ago, not only was I ecstatic, but I immediately knew what to credit for the compliment: Supernal’s Cosmic Glow Oil.
To be honest, this is the first face oil I’ve ever tried. Why did it take me this long? Being the devotee I am to serums, I’ve just never branched out (and I would qualify this oil as a type of serum thanks to all the ingredient benefits). But, when my combination skin was looking especially lackluster thanks to the frigid New York weather, I decided it was time to change my ways. After doing a deep dive on the difference between face serums and face oils a few months ago and learning about all the wonders applying face oil does for moisturizing your skin, I knew it was time to pull this baby out.
Founded by Melissa Medvedich, Supernal has stuck with just this one product since launching in 2019. “Supernal will have more offerings in the future, but I have always envisioned the brand to be a thoughtfully considered and focused line of skin care staples with nourishing, nurturing, and balance in mind,” Medvedich tells TZR. “Supernal is still very much a small, family-run business with every bottle of Cosmic Glow Oil hand-crafted and poured by me personally.”
Medvedich’s aromatherapy certification from the New York Institute of Aromatic Studies gave her the knowledge she needed to craft this beauty editor-favorite oil. “Aromatherapy is a complimentary wellness modality that helps to promote and support the well-being and balance of the body, mind and spirit holistically using aromatic and herbal plant material,” she explains. “Aromatherapists also study the anatomy and functions of skin as well.”
According to Dr. Christina Weng, a Harvard-trained board-certified dermatologist and founder of Mymiel Skincare, it’s not just my combination skin that can benefit from face oils — those with dry, acne-prone, and oily complexions will see positive results, too. “The key is picking the right product with ingredients that won't clog pores [like coconut oil] and work to actively protect skin and support healthy turnover,” she tells TZR. By nature of the formulation, Dr. Weng notes that facial oils tend to be more occlusive (meaning, the oil creates a protective seal over the skin that keeps moisture from escaping) compared to other moisturizing products such as essences and gels. “This can be particularly helpful for those with combination skin and stubborn dry patches, which can benefit from something that protects the skin barrier and prevents excessive water loss through the skin.”
It’s important to note the difference between products that moisturize and hydrate. Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist, explains to Dermstore that, “moisturizing is about trapping and sealing in moisture to build the skin’s protective barrier, prevent water loss and keep the skin soft and smooth.” As for hydrating, Anna Guanche, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist, tells the retailer, “hydration [refers to] the water content within the cells that leads them to swell and be plump and bouncy, thus reflecting light well. If water flows out of the cells and the cells are dehydrated, they can become shriveled, which leads to lackluster skin.”
Supernal’s face oil has a few powerful hero ingredients: vitamin C and omegas 3, 6, and 9. “Skin nourishment is one of my top considerations when formulating, so I wanted to include ingredients naturally rich in brightening and protective vitamin C and fatty acids which promote skin health and help to retain moisture,” Medvedich explains of her ingredient choices.
This product is also formulated with essential oils like frankincense, blue tansy, and Roman chamomile, which the founder included for their anti-inflammatory and skin calming properties. “I believe when essential oils are used in the right dilution/percentage, which is actually quite small, they can really enhance a formulation from both a topical and aromatherapeutic perspective,” Medvedich says. “Perception of smell is so subjective and a bit mysterious, but we do know that scent stimulates our olfactory system and can trigger an emotional response. The right aroma can be stress relieving and calm inducing from that perspective.” However, if you have allergies or sensitivities to essential oils, Dr. Weng recommends avoiding face oils containing these ingredients.
Like all skin care products on the market, Dr. Weng suggests first testing a new oil on a small area, like your wrist, to make sure you aren’t allergic to any of the ingredients.
I’ve been using Supernal’s Cosmic Glow Oil over the last month only at night, which Dr. Weng says is best as many find an oil too heavy in texture for the day. “Additionally, the formulation of facial oils may also interact with other products used during the day, like sunscreen and makeup,” she adds. If you’ve never used an oil, basically, the feeling is much more slippery than a cream or lotion. In fact, she says that if you use an oil during the day, you might find your makeup not staying on as well (remember, many makeup removers are oil-based).
How often you should use a face oil depends a lot on what your skin can tolerate. “While most face oils on the market are safe to use daily, some people find that it may be too heavy for daily use,” says Dr. Weng. If you’re new to the face oil game, the dermatologist recommends starting out twice a week, and then gradually increasing if your skin is tolerating it. “For some people, using a face oil just once a week as a deeply nourishing overnight mask might be that sweet spot!”
Now, let’s talk about the difference I’m seeing in my skin (before and after photos below). First off, my skin has never looked so glowy in my life, and the extra radiance lasts all day, not just right after applying. “The instant glow you get from using face oils and other moisturizers has to do with the emollient properties of these products, which can immediately make skin appear more smooth and plump,” Dr. Weng notes.
And on top of the dewiness, I’ve noticed my bumpy texture is much smoother. According to the dermatologist, irritated and dry skin can both create a bumpy skin texture. “By protecting the skin barrier and preventing moisture loss, facial oils can help create a more even appearance in such cases.” Plus, I’ve noticed that my skin’s pigmentation to be a bit more even. Though Dr. Wang says an oil formulation itself doesn’t contain intrinsic properties that aid in pigmentary changes, the ingredients inside could help with this skin concern. “In particular, vitamin C [included in this Cosmic Glow Oil], retinol, and tocopherols, which are part of the vitamin E family, help fade hyperpigmentation and create more even skin tone,” she explains.
At night, I’ve been combining this face oil with a few other staples in my routine, like Romer’s Cleanse, Dr. Dennis Gross’ Peel Pads (every other day), Sobel Skin Rx’s 4.5% Retinol Complex Night Treatment, and Sobel Skin Rx’s Bio Hyaluronic Moisturizing Cream. This oil is sandwiched in between my retinol and moisturizer, but if you find that your skin is on the oily side, you could easily use this as the last step of your routine and cut out the cream step completely.
All in all, I truly can’t advocate enough for Supernal’s Cosmic Face Oil. If you’re yearning for even, radiant skin, shop the product below.
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