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Skincare 101: What’s the Difference Between Face Oils and Serums?

Posted by Joyce Lee on Nov 20, 2019

Skincare 101: What’s the Difference Between Face Oils and Serums?

You’ve probably noticed the hype surrounding face oils and serums. No doubt about it, the abundance of face oils and serums on the market is quite overwhelming, especially for those of us who just started taking skincare more seriously (shhh).

At first glance, it’s pretty clear that these products do have the ability to support our skin health. But here are the real questions – what is it exactly that they do? Why should we use them? And most importantly, do we still need to moisturize?

No worries, we’ve got you covered with a little skincare 101. Here’s a basic guide on face oils and serums for all the beginners!

What’ a face oil?

Face oils are essential to any skincare routine! The main benefits include optimal hydration while providing our skin with a much-needed dose of nutrients. Adding a face oil to your skincare routine is one of the best ways to keep your skin looking (and feeling) its absolute best.   

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(2/5) 🌱 The Ordinary 100% Organic Virgin Chia Seed Oil is a daily support oil for healthy, hydrated skin. Chia Seed Oil is rich in omega-3 (alpha-linolenic), omega-6 (linoleic), oleic, and stearic fatty acids that offer a soothing and nourishing benefit to the skin. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ 🌹 The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil offers a daily support oil for healthy skin. Rose Hip Seed Oil is rich in linoleic (omega-6) and linolenic (omega-3) acids, as well as pro-vitamin A, which enables it to target signs of photoaging in addition to providing benefits for skin hydration and barrier function. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ 🌿 The Ordinary "B" Oil solubilizes a purified form of micro-algae in a blend of squalane and oils of marula, argan, baobab, pataua, brazil nut, inca inchi, rosehip, and borage to support skin barrier function, enhance radiance, provide antioxidant support and offer soothing properties. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 🍂 The Ordinary 100% Organic Virgin Sea-Buckthorn Fruit Oil is rich in omega 7, carotenoids, fatty acids and antioxidants. This oil helps to provide the skin with nourishment and protection to maintain normal skin barrier function.

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The nourishing properties of a face oil can work wonders for making your skin appear much smoother and softer. Along with its exceptional hydrating qualities, face oils are an effective way to achieve a healthy, glowing complexion from within.

To put this into perspective, incorporating a face oil into your skincare routine is a great way to provide your skin with MORE hydration when your moisturizer just isn’t cutting it!

As a general rule of thumb, face oils or other oil-based serums should be applied over moisturizer. Since they contain larger molecules, applying them at the end of a skincare routine makes it easier for our skin to reap the benefits of all our skincare products (by locking in all the moisture).

What’s a face serum?

Serums have a lightweight, watery consistency compared to face oils and moisturizers. They contain a higher concentration of active ingredients, which makes them effective skin treatments for targeting specific skin concerns.

It’s ideal to apply serums right after you cleanse your face and before you use other skincare products. Since they’re made up of smaller molecules, applying them first facilitates deeper penetration of its active ingredients into the skin.

Do we need to use both?

After taking a closer look at the benefits of incorporating these products into your skincare, here’s the most important question: Do we need to use both of them?

Yes, and no.

Adding a face oil into your routine can be one of the best things you do for your skin. Of course, we all have different skincare needs. Different skin types will benefit from using different types of oils. The key here is to pay attention to the formulation! Choose face oils that contain the right ingredients to address your specific skin concerns.

Face Oil vs. Serums

On the other hand, serums are also considered to be a vital step if there are specific issues to address, such as hyperpigmentation or signs of aging.

If you just want to replenish your skin’s moisture levels, then adding a nutrient-rich face oil into your routine will already be the biggest game-changer. If becoming #SkinGoals is the only thing on your mind, then you can definitely go the extra mile by adding a face serum into your skincare routine for additional benefits!

Oh, and do we still need to moisturize? Yes, nothing can replace that step.

Already using a face oil or serum? Let us know in the comments down below which products are your favorite!


Joyce Lee

Joyce Lee

Joyce Lee is a freelance writer and a winged eyeliner expert. She knows a little about a lot when it comes to beauty. When she’s not writing, you can catch her at a nearby coffee shop getting her caffeine fix.

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