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Facial Serum vs. Facial Oil: What Are The Differences?

January 02, 2021 | BY R. Motzell

Using the Right Products Matters!

When you’re putting together a lineup of products to use to take great care of your skin, it’s always important to know what specific purpose each product you use serves. 

Specific skincare products can each play unique roles in your beauty routine, and one of the keys to successful skincare is knowing what purpose each product you use serves. When you are informed, you’ll be able to use each of your products as effectively as possible.

The world of skincare can be confusing and first. There are plenty of products and ingredients to learn about, and it’s sometimes tough to remember all of the information you learn. That’s why we’re here to help you make the most of the products you use to take care of your skin, and to get the info you need for successful skincare!

In this post, we’ll walk you through the key differences between two of the most important types of products you can include in your beauty routine – facial oils and facial serums

Both oils and serums are worth knowing about, since each of these types of products can have specific benefits for your skin. 

So, without further ado, let’s start unpacking some valuable information that you can use to take the best possible care of your skin!

What is a Serum?

A serum is a highly concentrated skin treatment that typically only contains a few simple ingredients. 

Serums usually have the consistency of a thick liquid, making them some of the most lightweight products you can use on your skin. A serum typically contains ingredients like antioxidants and acids, two sets of key nutrients that your skin needs to stay looking great.

When you use a serum, you are getting a high concentration of its main ingredients. 

This means that just a few drops of a serum contain the same amount of a powerful main ingredient as you would find in a large amount of a heavier product like a cream or lotion. This high concentration makes serums powerful – they can be used to supply your skin with a high amount of a specific ingredient with hardly any extra ingredients. 

Some of the most common facial serum ingredients are antioxidants like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin B. These ingredients are crucial nutrients that can keep your skin looking bright, even, and smooth. Some antioxidants can also help with keeping your skin moisturized and hydrated. Moisture is an essential aspect of keeping your skin looking youthful as you age.

In addition to antioxidants, many serums contain beneficial acids such as hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid. Each of these ingredients can serve a specific purpose in your beauty routine. Hyaluronic acid is a powerful moisturizer, whereas glycolic acid is a natural gentle exfoliator. Salicylic acid is often used for treating acne.

What is Facial Oil?

A facial oil is a substance found in nature that naturally contains antioxidants, acids, and other nutrients that have beauty-boosting benefits. Many of the ingredients that are included in serums are naturally found in facial oils. Some of the most common facial oils are argan oil, rosehip oil, and coconut oil.

Like a serum, a facial oil can supply your skin with high amounts of specific ingredients. 

However, facial oils differ from serums in a few key ways. One of the most significant differences between these two types of skin treatments is that facial oils typically are used specifically for the purpose of moisturizing your skin

The fatty acids found in facial oils make them ideal natural moisturizers, helping your skin to get hydrated and keep it from drying out throughout the day. Serums, on the other hand, may be used for moisturizing your skin, but often serve other purposes in skincare.

Argan Oil, Coconut Oil, and Rosehip Oil

Three of the most common facial oils that you’ll definitely want to consider including in your beauty routine are argan oil, coconut oil, and rosehip oil. Each of these natural oils can be used to moisturize your skin, but all of them have unique qualities that set them apart from the others. 

Coconut oil is often praised for its natural moisturizing power. However, this oil is sometimes a better option for providing moisture to your hands or lips, rather than for use on your face. This is because coconut oil is comedogenic, meaning it has the potential to be pore-clogging for some people. 

If you have naturally oily, acne-prone skin, coconut oil can still play a role in your beauty routine, but it might be best to save it for your hands and body rather than using it on your face.

Argan oil is non-comedogenic, making it an excellent oil for all skin types. Because argan oil does not have the potential to clog your pores, it’s a great choice for using on sensitive or acne-prone skin. 

Argan oil is naturally rich in fatty acids and antioxidants, and it’s one of the most versatile natural oils out there. This oil can be applied to your face to help it lock in moisture, or used on your hair for the same purpose. You can even use argan oil to soften dry, brittle cuticles and give your nails a soft feel and manicured look.

Rosehip oil is naturally rich in the antioxidant vitamin C. This oil is excellent for brightening your skin and reducing the appearance of dark spots and other blemishes caused by prolonged exposure to the sun. Rosehip oil is also famous for its pleasant, mildly floral scent.

Should I Use Serums, Oils, or Both?

When it comes to choosing the products that you include in your beauty routine, you have plenty of freedom to decide what feels best for your skin. 

Facial oils and facial serums don’t have to be used exclusively – you can assemble an excellent skincare regimen with a combination of both serums and oils, along with other products like a cleanser, toner, exfoliator, moisturizer, and sunscreen.

Serums are ideal products to use when you want to supply your skin with a high concentration of a specific ingredient. For example, if you want to treat your skin with retinol, a retinol serum can be a perfect way to get the antioxidant to your skin with minimal other ingredients. 

Oils, on the other hand, contain a complex combination of nutrients that all can be great for your skin. When you are aiming to supply your skin with moisture and nourishment, using a facial oil is a great move. You’ll be getting numerous nutrients that can all significantly improve your skin’s appearance over time.

When Should I Put Serums or Oils On My Skin?

The best time to apply lightweight products like facial oil or serum to your skin is towards the beginning of your morning and evening skincare routine. Serums and oils can typically be used twice a day.

Before you put a serum or facial oil on your face, make sure to first get your skin ready by using a gentle cleanser

A cleanser gets rid of dirt, oil, and makeup left on your skin after a long day. Cleansing your face is also a great move in the morning, since you have just spent the night in bed and your skin needs some refreshment. Using cleanser before applying serums or oils means your skin will be better prepared to receive the nutrients you are giving it.

After you have cleansed your skin, you can get your skin even more prepared for the use of serums and oils by using toner

Toner will help to get rid of any residue left behind by your cleanser, and can minimize the appearance of your pores. Using toner before oils and serums will help to make sure that your skin is primed and ready to receive them.

The last step that comes in your skincare routine before applying a serum or facial oil is exfoliating. 

Using a gentle exfoliator gets rid of dead skin cells resting on the surface of your face, which can dull your complexion and clog your pores. Exfoliating before using serums, oils, or other products is always better than saving exfoliation for last.

When you apply a facial oil or serum to your face, a few drops go a long way. These products are highly concentrated, meaning your face can benefit greatly from just a small amount. Too much of a facial oil or serum does not necessarily mean more benefits – sticking with a smaller amount will be easier on your skin in the long run. 

Both facial oils and serums are excellent products to include in your beauty routine. These lightweight products are fantastic ways to supply your skin with nutrients like antioxidants and acids, which are essential for maintaining youthful, soft, hydrated skin.

Sources:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jocd.12490

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Annie_Shirwaikar2

https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-12473-1_43

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