So, yes, a good face oil can actually help stabilize oil production and keep your skin balanced—it’s just about selecting the right type of noncomedogenic oil to help retain moisture and feed your skin barrier without clogging your pores. That way, your complexion appears supple and dewy, never greasy or congested.
Now, “noncomedogenic” falls on a spectrum (i.e., everyone’s skin reacts differently to certain ingredients), but black cumin seed oil is generally considered a safe bet—and it’s one of Carbon Star’s main players. The amber-hued oil has been used for thousands of years (it’s even rumored as the star of Cleopatra’s skin care routine), and one 2015 review study in the Journal of Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery found that applying a lotion of 10% black seed oil positively affected acne after two months, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
The charcoal powder also helps absorb excess oil—and it’s responsible for the product’s inky hue. This may sound counterintuitive, given how face oils are meant to keep precious moisture inside the skin, but think of the charcoal as paving the way for a supple complexion: It effectively draws out the thicker, waxier sebum associated with oil overproduction; but because the face oil simultaneously feeds your skin with healthy fatty acids, it’ll leave a lightweight veil of moisture.
Then to round out the formula, it features antioxidant-rich andiroba oil, acai oil, and vitamin E to help temper inflammation and heal any scarring. As someone who struggles with hormonal acne and the subsequent stubborn hyperpigmentation, I welcome the added brightness.