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Face Serum vs. Face Oil: What are the Differences Between Them?

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Don’t we all want to cherry pick the best skincare products for yourselves? Though it looks simple, skincare can be a bit confusing at times. But not anymore. We are here to simplify how you look at skin care because you deserve the best! Moreover, learning how skincare products perform and affect your skin will empower you to make an informed purchase decision. 

Face serums and face oils just add to the complexity of skincare! Which one to use and in what order? Relax. In this blog, we will thoroughly evaluate the differences between face serum and face oil, assess which is suitable for your skin type, and present their benefits. 

So, let’s get settled in for a good read?

What is the Difference Between Face Serum and Face Oil?

You may presume that facial oils and serums are comparable— in essence, they each have distinct, highly specialised purposes. Furthermore, the effectiveness of these two products largely depends on the order in which you use them. 

The key differences between a face oil and facial serum are as follows:

Face Serum

Lightweight and efficacious, face serums are often used just after cleansing and are layered under the moisturizer. As they are light and water-based, they penetrate the skin more deeply—which is why serums generally include a high concentration of active substances.

Since these active components are concentrated, people use facial serums to treat numerous skin issues, including wrinkles and fine lines, uneven skin tone, enlarged pores, and far more. Depending on your skin health and type and under your dermatologist’s prescription, you can layer more than one face serum at a time.

Facial Oil

Face oil does not permeate the skin as face serum does; instead, it lies on top. Most facial oils contain one or more botanical extracts rich in minerals, antioxidants, and fatty acids that help to stimulate and protect the skin. 

Face oils intend to lock in moisture, and other valuable ingredients in serums and moisturizers, which is why face oil should always be the last step in your skincare routine. However, there is an exception to the general rule of applying facial oil at last— when the face oil contains a concentrated ingredient like a retinoid. In this case, you can layer moisturizer on the facial oil.

How to Use Face Serum and Face Oil in a Skin Care Routine?

Given the wide variety of skin care products available, knowing how to use them and in what order can take time and effort. 

The proper approach to layer face serum and oil as part of regular practice is as follows:

Step 1: Wash your face using a gentle cleanser.

Step 2: Apply toner (optional)

Step 3: Apply the face serum you use in your daily skincare routine.

Step 4: Remember to moisturize.

Step 5: Apply face oil.

Step 6: Protect with sunscreen 

How Does Face Serum Work on the Skin?

Unlike other skincare products like moisturizers, lotions, or face oils, serums have a finer molecular structure. It enables them to penetrate the skin swiftly and thoroughly while providing an excellent ingredient punch to fight skin issues like hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, fine lines, acne, dehydration, or dullness.

The texture of serums can range from being more gel-like to thin and watery. For optimal benefits, use face serum in conjunction with a moisturizer rather than as a replacement.

How Does Face Oil Work on the Skin?

Face oils bring about rejuvenating benefits and boost derma strength. Face oils are a mixture of organic oils rich in vitamins, vital fatty acids, and antioxidants. Their primary objective is to maintain hydration levels by retaining moisture by stopping it from evaporating off the skin. Face oils help to strengthen your skin’s natural barrier (cholesterol, lipids, and ceramides).

Unlike face serums, face oils have bigger molecules and can only permeate the skin’s surface. They strive to minimize trans epidermal water loss by improving the skin’s outer layer or barrier. This keeps skin moisturized and plump, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

Nevertheless, using face oil for certain skin issues may worsen the skin condition.

Some of those issues include:

  1. Clogged pores
  2. Acne-prone skin
  3. Seborrhea 
  4. Rosacea
  5. Dermatitis

Benefits of Face Serum

Toxin-free face serum for skincare can significantly help you enhance the overall appearance and health of the skin.

Here are some of the benefits of using a face serum:

1) Absorbs quickly: Compared to moisturizers, serums are a more lightweight skincare formulation. Face serums get more readily absorbed into the skin thanks to their lower viscosity. This makes a face serum the perfect first step in the layering procedure.

2) Improves skin texture: If you wish to improve your skin’s general texture, opt for the best face serum that works wonders throughout different seasons. Such facial serums are created with active components that help to reduce visible flaws and give your skin an even tone.

3) Nourishes and hydrates the skin: Keeping your skin nourished and hydrated is one of the things your skin will thank you for. Face serums are an excellent way to keep your skin healthy, nourished, and hydrated.

4) Soothes sensitive skin: With their mild formulations, serums are usually preferable for people with oily, acne-prone and sensitive skin.

5) Shields the skin from free radicals and possible damage: Serums containing ingredients like vitamin C, ferulic acid, resveratrol, vitamin E, green tea, and astaxanthin help reduce oxidative damage from ultraviolet (UV) and pollution, which can result in premature skin aging and wrinkles.

Benefits of Face Oil

Continue reading to discover the benefits of adding the best face oil to your beauty arsenal.

1) Rich in antioxidants: Environmental stressors like pollution, skincare products with harsh chemicals, and UV radiation all contribute to the development of aging symptoms. This is where the face oils come into the picture! Since they are rich in antioxidants they effectively help battle oxidation (which occurs due to stress).

2) Combats acne: Most of us are afraid to pair acne with face oils! It seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? However, the truth is quite the opposite. Incorporating facial oils into your skincare routine can significantly lower your risk of breakouts. It might take a bit longer to see improvements at first, but using face oils for acne has long-term benefits that your skin will love you for.

However, please note that the benefits of face oils differ from person to person, and not all face oils are good for acne. Therefore, we recommend you use them under your dermatologist’s prescription.

3) Cleanses skin: Using a cleansing oil is a gentle and efficient method to cleanse your skin. These oils help remove makeup, extra sebum, and pore-clogging debris. Oil cleansers nourish your skin while cleaning it, preventing issues like dryness, roughness, and increasing fine lines.

4) Calm down rashes: Some oils contain anti-inflammatory qualities that work to calm sensitive skin. Argan and many other oils work excellently for irritated skin caused by using well-known anti-aging products like retinol or alpha hydroxy acids.

5) Works as a primer: Mandarin and pumpkin seed oils penetrate the skin’s surface at lightning speed, settling gently into the skin areas that require nourishment. This gives an instant plumping effect and offers you the ideal canvas to apply makeup.

Face Serum vs. Face Oil – Which One is the Best Option for Skin

The preferences and the needs of your skin are the only factors influencing the best option for you. However, you can use both serums and oils; it’s not a binary decision. Facial oils are good when you need an extra layer of hydration, while serums are excellent for treating persistent skin problemsMoreover, if you plan to use both in your skincare routine, keep in mind to layer products from the thinnest to the thickest. Since serums are among the lightest cosmetic products, they must be applied after cleansing and toning but before moisturizing.

Tips on how to use a face serum

  1. Determine your skin type and the problems related to it.
  2. Choose a serum that best fits your skin type.
  3. Wash your face using a gentle cleanser.
  4. Begin with a patch test.
  5. Apply 3-5 drops of the face serum and dab it gently onto your skin.
  6. Follow up with a moisturizer.

Tips on how to use a face oil

  1. Apply 2-3 drops of oil on the skin.
  2. Gently massage it on the face and neck.
  3. Apply last in your routine.
  4. Begin with applying it in the PM routine.

Face Serum or Face Oil – Which is Necessary for Skin

Both face serums and face oils have different properties and benefit the skin in their ways.

Where face serums are developed to target skin conditions like acne, UV damage, fine lines, dryness, dullness, dark spots, and wrinkles, face oils nourish the skin and bring back the natural radiance.

Yet, results from face oils may differ from person to person. For some people using face oil on acne-prone and oily skin may not be a good idea and may even result in additional breakouts. Face oils may congest the skin. Thus, if you have clogged pores, you must avoid face oils entirely and absolutely!  

Can Face Serum And Face Oil be Used Together?

One can use a face serum and face oil for skincare together. However, it is recommended to use face serum before face oil as serums get absorbed deeply into the skin, whereas facial oils stay on the top layer of the skin.

Moreover, if you have an acne prone skin, begin with face serums and avoid face oils until you’re confident which one to apply. 

Conclusion

First-time users may feel intimidated when using face oils and serums. Nevertheless, face oil and serums are entirely safe for the skin. Just be conscious of what & how you are layering on your skin.

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