It’s kind of embarrassing to admit that I used to be one of those people who was irrationally afraid of facial oil. I really don’t know why but oil was scary to me, only to be used by the driest and maturest of skin.
Oh boy was I wrong. When I damaged my moisture barrier last year, I was desperate to heal my skin and research pointed me towards oil, so I took the leap and I haven’t looked back! Facial oil brought so much irritation relief and healing to my damaged skin, I literally felt my skin say “ahhhh” the first time I used it.
Since then, I’ve been all about facial oil and it’s been an ally in keeping my skin balanced, clear and protected. I’ve been using the Stratia Fortify facial oil blend for about 4 months, so I figured it was time to share my full thoughts on this beauty!
My skin type: combination/dry, dehydrated and sensitive
Fortify is a facial oil blend that focuses on delivering skin restoring omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids. So this is a pretty exciting facial oil so far, right? You hear me say it all time, when it comes to your moisture barrier it’s all about those ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids; they are crucial components. So to have a facial oil devoted to fatty acids and skin strengthening and healing, well that’s something that gets my attention!
Stratia describes Fortify as a minimally greasy facial oil and I do find this oil to be on the thicker side. You don’t need to use much as the texture is rich. I find that about 1-2 drops is all that my skin needs, and that makes this bottle last a long time! I don’t notice too much shininess on the skin since this absorbs pretty well, and this doesn’t leave any kind of thick or heavy feeling on the skin.
Linoleic Acid vs Oleic Acid
Before we get into the details of the ingredients, I want to break down the differences between linoleic and oleic fatty acids and the role they play in our skincare.
- Linoleic Acid is an essential fatty acid and is the most abundant fatty acid found in the epidermis. It serves as a precursor to ceramides and plays a crucial role in a healthy moisture barrier function. Those with congested or acne-prone skin may have a deficiency in linoleic acid and adding it in has been shown to help clear clogged pores by regulating sebum production. That makes oils high in linoleic acid perfect for all skin types!
- Oleic Acid is a monounsaturated omega 9 fatty acid found in many plants. Because of its chemical makeup, oleic acid-rich oils have a rich and thick texture. They’re well known for their excellent moisturizing and nourishing capabilities making it excellent for dry skin types.
INGREDIENTS: Camellia Japonica (Camellia) Seed Oil, Borago Officinalis (Borage) Seed Oil, Perilla Ocymoides (Perilla) Seed Oil, Squalane, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula) Seed Oil, Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu) Oil, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Tocopherol
Highlights: Fragrance, essential oil and alcohol free. Plant sourced oils (vegan) and cruelty free.
- Borage Seed Oil is one of the oils making up the omega 3 and 6 components of Fortify. It’s regarded as one of the richest known sources for gamma-linolenic acid. Gamma-linolenic acid is excellent for soothing and nourishing dry skin and helping to repair damaged skin. Sensitive skin, eczema-prone or just dry, itchy and tight — you need to know about this oil!
- Tamanu Oil is a mostly balanced oil, about 40% oleic acid and 35% linoleic acid. It’s well known for its repairing and regenerative benefits for skin, including wound healing, redness reduction, hyperpigmentation healing and antioxidant protection.
- Cranberry Seed Oil is high in both linoleic and linolenic acids, with a touch of oleic acid, this is a barrier repairing dream! Cranberry oil has great emolliency, is anti-inflammatory, contains antioxidant protection and has wound healing abilities!
- Marula Oil is one of the oleic acid omega 9’s in this formula. It’s about 73% oleic acid and has excellent moisturization and skin-smoothing abilities; it also can help reduce redness on the skin.
I was obviously very excited when I was researching this product. I mean, for someone like me who is all about that barrier health this ingredient list is a dream!
I must admit, I was totally surprised by the texture of this oil; she is thick! This is definitely the thickest facial oil I’ve used, and I was just a little apprehensive about how this would work for my skin, especially because I’m prone to clogging.
But my fears were alleviated. This may be thick, but it absorbs really well and doesn’t feel like it’s sitting on top of my skin. Fortify is described as a minimally greasy oil and I think that’s a fair description; it’s really not greasy on the skin at all but you might get a little glowy.
I first started using this in the summer and found it worked best with 1-2 drops mixed into a serum or moisturizer. This method keeps it light in feel but still delivers nourishment and protection. This can be a great way for combo skin types to incorporate oil into their routines.
When my skin is feeling more irritated or on the dry side, I go for application straight on the face, just prior to moisturizer. This application method brings a lot of relief and protection to the skin. And even with direct application I only need about 2 drops.
I’ve noticed a lot of benefits from this that have kept me reaching for this three months straight and what prompted me to have a backup ready to go! Here’s what I’ve noticed:
- I’ve definitely gotten a lot of dry skin relief from this. Going into the colder temperatures, this is my secret weapon for keeping my skin protected from the icy wind. (Bonus tip: try a few drops mixed into Stratia Liquid Gold!)
- I’ve also felt this has helped my damaged and irritated skin heal up. I used this a lot during my last bout of essential oil sensitivity (the last push that made me go EO free), and it helped my skin bounce back faster.
- I have also noticed over the last few months my skin has become more consistently even-toned. It’s likely the tamanu oil that is helping to improve my complexion.
- I’ve also noticed that my skin is a whole lot less cloggy than it’s ever been. This could be due to many different things, but as someone who doesn’t use much chemical exfoliation, I can’t help but think that the high linoleic acid content is helping my skin regulate itself.
I’m in massive love with this oil. It has well exceeded my expectations and is definitely my favorite facial oil to date.
Recommended for: combination/dry, dehydrated and sensitive skin types and excellent for healing weak or damaged moisture barriers.
What I love:
- Moisture barrier-loving blend of oils
- Sensitive skin soothing and calming
- Combination skin appropriate
- Easy to tailor application (mix with skincare or apply straight to face)
- Quality and value ($21 30ml bottle lasts about 3-4 months)
- Can help improve skin complexion
- Has improved skin congestion
Stratia Fortify $21 for 30ml Stratia Skin