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ESC, Moisture Oils

Gas prices may be down and fro-yo sales up, but not everything ‘90s is new again. (Carb-loading, anyone?) Back then, it was widely believed that putting oil on the face would only lead to greasierand blemishedskin. But thanks to the cult favorite release of Rodin Olio Russo, a face oil released about a decade ago, and the face-oil explosion that has hit the market sincethese vitamin-infused potions have become the gold-standard moisturizer for many women, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Miranda Kerr.

Now, the next generation of face oils are here. In addition to packing the hydrators and antioxidants found in face oils past, they're infused with the power to tackle blemishes, the signs of aging and uneven skin tonethanks to the inclusion of skin care wonder ingredient, retinol. 

Note the new Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil, a retinol-spiked nighttime hydrator concocted to deliver retinol's laundry list of skin benefits—without the redness and irritation that can befall new retinoid users.

"Retinol products, while effective at reducing signs of sun damage and acne scarring, can also cause dryness and flakiness," explained Sunday Riley, whose namesake brand includes fans like Julianne Moore and Maggie Gyllenhaal. "However, by using a gentle (yet equally effective) retinol ester in a highly moisturizing oil base in combination with a soothing essential oil blend, the same results can be achieved without any of the typical irritation associated with retinol."

Dr. David Colbert, a dermatologist who tends to the complexions of such A-listers as Naomi Watts and Rachel Weisz, has created a product line designed to penetrate the skin more deeply. His Colbert MD Illumio Face Oil pairs soothing vitamin E with anti-aging retinol (and commands a serious celebrity following to boot).

For those who are brand new to retinol, REN Bio Retinoid  Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate Oil taps nature-derived vitamin A (rather than synthetic retinol), a version of the ingredient that may be more gentle for sensitive skin types. Vitamin E and fatty omegas-6 and 7 are also included to help soothe the skin.

Finally, the newly-released Verso Super Facial Oil uses its signature Retinol 8 complex, something the company claims to be eight times stronger than typical over-the-counter retinol. The Stockholm-based company's first face oil blend uses sunflower and canola oils to smooth skin.

If the A-list celebrity following for retinol-equipped hydrators is any indication, these next-gen face oils may be the key to unlocking red carpet-worthy skin. 

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil, $105; REN Bio Retinoid Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate Oil, $60; Verso Super Facial Oil, $195; Colbert MD Illumino Face Oil, $138