Here at Beauty by the Geeks we are always chasing that elusive skin “glow”. We want to look fresh and healthy, like we have been gambling around the countryside! Enter Artemis Facial Oil by Sunday Riley

The Claims
Skin oils are having a major moment in the beauty world due to their super hydrating properties with minimum additives. BUT if you have oily skin, the thought of slathering your face in oil could seem like madness! Artemis is designed for oily or combination skin types, claiming to unify and purify these combination complexions, ‘deliver intense radiance’. It’s marketed to contain ‘lightweight rapidly-absorbed oils’ that won’t clog pores, and even claims to help neutralise excess oil production. Not convinced? Let’s see if a little science is more persuasive!

Antibacterial Oils against Acne
This product is also chock full of anti-bacterial oils too like Citrus Paradisii (organic pink Grapefruit) oil, Eucalyptus Staigeriana (ethically farmed Lemon Ironbark) oil and Backhousia Citriodora (organic Lemon Myrtle) oil. Skin conditions like acne have a bacterial basis – infection of blocked skin pores by bacteria (including the aptly named P. acnes) leads to the angry red spot we see. Antibacterial ingredients can therefore stop acne development in its tracks, and ingredients like grapefruit oil have been specifically tested against P.acnes and are known to stop its growth! That’s excellent news for problematic skin types.

More active oils…
Another wonder-oil included is Nigella Sativa (organic Black Cumin) seed oil. It has a rich history of use in Chinese, Greek and Egyptian medicine as everything from liver tonics, diuretics, anti-diarrheal remedy to appetite stimulants. Most importantly as far as we are concerned, it has been used in the treatment of skin disorders due to its anti-inflammatory, analgesic (pain relieving), antioxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Notably, most of the studies looking at this ingredient focus on its consumption, rather than topical application, and it’s mainly used as an antiseptic and analgesic when used externally. It’s certainly an interesting ingredient we’d like to see more studies on!

Pomegranate Seed Oil and Flax Seed Oils – Linoleic acid
A real super-star ingredient in this product is the Linoleic Acid, found at high levels in pomegranate seed oil and flax seed oil. Linoleic acid is thought to be a great non-comedogenic moisturising agent. Non-comedogenic simply means that it doesn’t tend to block and clog pores, which is an early stage in acne development, helping to prevent breakouts that some moisturising oils can trigger. You might think that moisturising agents for already oily skin are a bad idea – but where many products designed for oily skin fall down is by stripping all the oils away from the skin. This sounds like a good idea at the time, but it’s actually thought that over-stripping the skin like this causes even more oil to be made, making the problem worse in the long run! It’s worth noting there’s no strict definition for ‘non-comedogenics’, so ingredients like these tend to get their non-comedogenic reputations from individuals’ experience, rather than scientific investigation.

Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid that occurs naturally in our skin. It is a major component of ceramides, which are lipids in the outer layer of our skin that form a barrier, preventing water loss and keeping our skin moisturised. It’s also a major component of sebum, the natural oil that is produced by our skin to keep it hydrated. These linoleic-acid-containing oils certainly look they they’ll work to “soften and smooth ruffled feathers” as CultBeauty put it!

Interestingly, studies looking at differences in the sebum produced by acne sufferers versus non-sufferers has shown that those of us who suffer from acne tend to have less linoleic acid in our sebum. Perhaps low linoleic acid sebum tends to block pores more readily than high-linoleic acid sebum?

Linoleic acid has also been shown to help brighten skin that has become hyperpigmented from sun exposure. This ‘hyperpigmentation’ can arise from excess deposition of the skin’s pigment melanin, and uneven distribution of this melanin can lead to uneven skin tone, age-spots and the like. Ingredients that lighten the skin are often used to try and correct this, and can leave skin with a brighter more youthful-looking appearance. Maybe this is the ‘radiance’ we heard about in the claims?

The Verdict
Science aside, Artemis Facial Oil rave reviews from some of the beauty blogging giants like Caroline Hirons and The Times’ India Knight. Working against acne without stripping the skin of its hydration seems to be this products game. Unfortunately we couldn’t find any ingredients that might help curb excess oil production, so it’s a thumbs down on that front! For a product that’s not the cheapest on the market, we expect claims to be backed up with science, and even though this product does have some good ingredients, it just hasn’t made the cut for a full BBTG recommendation!

To get hold of Artemis Facial Oil, click HERE (for the best price!)

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A review on therapeutic potential of Nigella sativa: A miracle herb
Fatty Acids: The Key To Figuring Out The Right Facial Oil For Your Skin
Role of Oils in the Topical Treatment of Acne
The Composition of the Ceramides from Human Stratum Corneum and from Comedones
Sunday Riley: The difference between Artemis, Juno and Isis
‘The Best Face Oil I’ve Ever Come Across for Oily Skin’ – India Knight
Artemis Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil
Essential oil composition and antibacterial activity of the grapefruit (Citrus Paradisi. L) peel essential oils obtained by solvent-free microwave extraction: comparison with hydrodistillation
Synergistic antimicrobial activity of galangal (Alpinia galanga), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and lemon iron bark (Eucalyptus staigerana) extracts.
Activities of Ten Essential Oils towards Propionibacterium acnes and PC-3, A-549 and MCF-7 Cancer Cells
The fatty acid composition of ordinary flax seed oil (Linum usitatissimum L.) cultivated in Georgia and its byological activity.
Image (thank you!): http://www.sundayriley.com/shop/artemis-hydroactive-cellular-face-oil