The Difference Between Serums and Face Oils

The Difference Between Serums and Face Oils

What IS the difference between serums and face oils?

Well, the spelling, for starters. But on the off chance you skipped here expecting a slightly more helpful answer, let’s elaborate on that. This article will tell you how to tell the difference between the two, how to decide which you need in your routine, and how to use them effectively to ensure you have the happy healthy skin you so clearly deserve.

Let’s get into it.

Serums Are..
Targeted skincare products that treat very specific skin concerns.

Serums contain highly concentrated ingredients and smaller molecules which allow them to sink deep within your skin. Serums are most often water-based and should always be applied on fresh clean skin. Slot them into your routine after your cleanser, exfoliant, and before your face oils, face creams and SPF.

Face Oils Are..
Brilliant all rounders. A facial oil will nourish, protect, and restore your skin overall.

Face oils are typically rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants which allows them to act as the skin’s lipid barrier. Think of them like cling wrap. They’ll seal all that moisture in, and ensure your skin stays protected against dryness, super high or super low temps, and dry air. Generally speaking face oils are wonderful for balancing, nourishing, replenishing, and giving your skin a quick boost of glow. So while they are able to offer some similar benefits to a serum, they are not the same. If you’re using a lightweight face oil (such as Face Hero) it should go after cleansing, exfoliating, serum-ing, and before moisturiser. If you’re using a heavier face oil, it goes on last to lock everything in. (If you’re unsure what kind of face oil you’ve got, head here.)

So! Which should you pick?
Depends! Whether you use a serum, a face oil, or both, will come down to your skin type, your skin concerns, your budget, your preferences, and your tendency to snooze your alarm and only have two minutes to slap on your skincare.

Some things to keep in mind to help you make your decision:

If your skin is typically well-behaved and there are no major skin concerns you’re looking to treat, you should have no issues skipping the serum step and keeping it simple with a face oil.

If, however, you’re dealing with more specific skin concerns such as dullness, pigmentation, dehydration, redness, premature ageing and the like, you could absolutely benefit from using a serum.