What are absorbing fluids?
Absorbing fluids are anything that helps your skin absorb facial oil. An absorbing fluid can be anything watery or gel-like – even a light lotion or serum. You can use hydrosols, teas, aloe vera gel, even water will help retexturize an oil that’s left behind a little grease layer.
Why do I need one?
Short answer – facial oils can be tricky BUT they are SO awesome we GOTTA make them work somehow!
Using facial oil is so highly recommended for these reasons:
1) Nutrient density and diversity – there are so many fabulous nutrients in plant oils that your skin loves and needs so badly. Facial oils are ultra-concentrated healing systems for your skin.
2) Bioavailability – our skin is actually quite good at keeping intruders out. Makes sense right? It is the barrier between our insides and our outsides! But plants oils have a small enough molecular size and a “safe” enough biology that the skin readily absorbs them – and all the beautiful nutrients they deliver. A lot of skincare just sits on the surface of the skin – not oils – they definitely get absorbed.
BUT. The texture can be a little, well, OILY. Duh!
That’s where absorbing fluids come in – they do a few things that make them a key part of any nourishing system that uses oil:
1) They get rid of the greasy feel! They help the oil get fully absorbed by the skin, and they change the texture. So it goes from being greasy to being dewy.
2) They increase the nutrient profile. They add hydrophilic (water loving) nutrients and help the nutrients in the oil get fully absorbed into the skin.
Now, you do not ALWAYS need an absorbing fluid. You may not have to use one if you are having one of these scenarios:
1) Very thirsty skin – oil sinks right in – completely!
2) Very light/dry oil – again, oil sinks in completely.
How do I use absorbing fluids?
Depends on if the fluid is watery or gel/serum-y.
If the fluid is watery, apply oil first, then the fluid on top.
There are a few reasons I advocate doing the fluid after the oil:
If the fluid is gel/serum, then I recommend using an anointing dish to create an emulsion, then applying that mixture to the skin. Simply place a few drops of oil and a few drops of gel/serum in the dish (can also use your palm, but a dish is SO much more delightful and hygenic and wastes less product and is less messy!) and mix with your finger till they combine and then apply to the skin.
If the gel is very lightweight, like Healing Dew, you can also apply it after the face oil, same as a watery absorbing fluid.
And if the skin is very dry and depleted, you can do oil first, serum second. I always say to do the absorbing fluid second, NOT first, because of the reasons above, but again, you do you! There is no OFFICIAL rule and no police!
What’s the difference between toners and absorbing fluids?
Basically, they have different purposes: toners are meant to be used after cleansing – they help to rebalance the skin after cleansing and tighten pores.