Is Face Oil Better Than Serum? A Guide to the Perfect Choice

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Is face oil better than face serum? If you should make a choice, which would it be?

Before you make a choice, you should understand that face oil and face serum are two different skincare products that perform different functions in your routine. They also differ in appearance and consistency.

The product you choose to use on your skin at a certain period depends on the needs of your skin at the time. Face oil is an oil-based product that is thicker and heavier than a face serum. And this is why it usually comes later in your routine.

I know you have questions. The purpose of this article is to provide answers to your questions and set you on your way to better skin days.

What Are the Benefits of Using Face Oil?

The list of things face oil can do for you is almost endless. While you may have gotten recommendations to keep oils off your face, you should not. And this includes if you have oily skin.

Face oils are natural skincare products. They are highly concentrated with nutrients like essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that work together to improve the health and appearance of your skin.

They are a class of super hydrating products that help to replenish and maintain skin moisture levels. Facial oils contain occlusives and humectants which help to keep your skin hydrated and plump.

Furthermore, having face oil on your routine is a great way of protecting your skin from the damage of environmental toxins that can irritate your skin. It contains essential fatty acids that strengthen the lipid barrier and help to keep out irritants.

In addition, face oils are a natural source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that protects your skin from the damage of UV rays. Contrary to popular belief, some face oils rather help to regulate sebum levels and control acne breakouts.

There is a facial oil for every skin type. Therefore, with oils, it is an open invitation for every skin type to bask in powerful nutrients, hydration, and optimum skin protection.

What Are the Benefits of Serum?

Serums come in small bottles, but they are more potent than they look. Every bottle of serum you see contains high concentrations of active ingredients that are necessary for skin health.

Some of these active ingredients include hyaluronic acid, retinol, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, niacinamide, and vitamin C.

Generally, serums are hydrating (especially hyaluronic acid-based serum), and this is because of their water-based formula. They absorb quickly into your skin to deliver the active ingredients. You can call them delivery vehicles.

The molecules in a serum penetrate deep into the skin and target specific skin problems like acne and its scars, hyperpigmentation, signs of aging, skin resurfacing, skin brightening skin exfoliation, and dehydration.

What a serum does for your skin depends on the active ingredient it contains. Serums help to soothe sensitive skin and calm skin redness.

They are lightweight and do not leave residues on your skin. They also help to protect your skin from oxidative stress and its damage. Applying serum to your skin boosts collagen synthesis and gives your skin a lasting youthful look, feel, and glow.

Is Face Oil Better Than Serum?

As earlier mentioned, face oil and serum are two different products. In comparison, face oils are heavier and thicker than serums which largely leave out occlusive ingredients in their formula.

A comparison of face oil and serum is most useful for identifying their composition rather than making a choice between both products.

Both products are hydrating and can help strengthen the skin’s immunity against environmental toxins that can cause skin problems.

Face oil is an occlusive product that can only penetrate the outer layer of your skin. That is, it carries out its functions on the surface of your skin. Serum, on the other hand, penetrates deep into your skin and treats skin issues at the roots.

In addition, face oil contains nutrients that nourish and moisturize your skin while the active ingredients in a serum help to treat your skin. Each product plays a vital role in your routine, and it is recommended that you have both in your routine.

Can You Use Face Oil Without Serum?

You may use a face oil without serum if you’re not looking to treat any skin concern like skin resurfacing, skin brightening, or signs of aging.

Although they produce outstanding results when used together, you should always use products according to the demands of your skin.

Also, you may use face oil alone during your nighttime routine if you want to minimal skincare routine. While you want to achieve your skin goals, you do not want to burden your skin with ingredients.

More so, under certain conditions, face oils suffice if you do not have a serum. Therefore, you may use face oil without serum if it works for your skin.

However, it is advised to use a serum underneath a face oil to drive active ingredients to the deep layers of your skin to boost hydration levels and improve the health and appearance of your skin.

Can You Use Serum Without Face Oil?

You can use a serum without face oil if you layer a moisturizer over the serum. Serums are packed with high concentrations of active ingredients.

You may skip applying face oil if you do not want to add more oils to your already oily skin, especially during the day. On the flip side, if your skin is dehydrated, you should use both serum and face oil to boost hydration levels.

Generally, serums should not be used alone. You should seal the ingredients in a serum with a moisturizing product. If your moisturizer alone suffices to moisturize your skin, you may use serum without face oil.

Can You Use Face Oil and Serum Together?

Yes, you can. You reap the most benefits of using face oil and serum in your routine when you pair or layer them together.

Face oil and serum, when layered, work together to boost hydration levels, moisturize, and improve the health and appearance of your skin.

When you layer face oil over serum, it locks in the actives in the serum and enhances makes them more effective in addressing skin concerns. Also, it keeps your skin moisturized.

As a pair, they strengthen your natural barrier. A functioning barrier offers optimum protection to your skin from the penetration of pollutants that can damage skin tissues and affect the texture and appearance of your skin.

In addition, using face oil over serum provides an extra layer of protection to your skin and keeps it glowing. Layering face oil and serum is best done at night to boost hydration and enhance skin repair.

How to Use Face Oil and Serum in The Same Routine

Effective use of face oil and serum in your routine begins with choosing the right products. Not every serum works to address your specific skin concerns. You should choose a formula that suits your skin type and will effectively treat your skin.

In the same vein, you should pick a face oil that works for your skin type and its peculiarities. If you have chosen your products, you can follow the steps below to use face oil and serum:

  • Start with cleansing your skin with a mild facial cleanser to remove oil, makeup, and dirt
  • Dampen a cotton ball with the cleanser and gently wipe across your face to remove impurities
  • Afterward, you can double cleanse your skin and prep it for your routine with a toner (if you have one on your routine)
  • While your skin is still damp, pump out the serum and release about 5 drops into your palm
  • Then, apply the serum to your face using your fingertips. Gently tap the serum all over your face and neck
  • Allow the serum to absorb into your skin for about a minute
  • Thereafter, take a pea-sized amount of moisturizer and gently rub it all over your face to seal in moisture. Make sure to apply the cream or lotion to your cheeks, forehead, undereye, and neck
  • Hold on for a minute before you go on to the next step
  • Then, take about 5-6 drops of your face oil in your palm and gently massage the oil into your face and neck
  • Hold a minute before you finish off your routine with sunscreen before you go out during the day
  • During your night routine, finish off with face oil


Is face serum necessary?

Yes, it is. Serums contain active ingredients that your skin needs to maintain a healthy appearance. Serums are formulated to treat targeted skin conditions and give your skin a lasting youthful appearance.

When should you use face oil?

Use face oil as part of your morning and evening skincare routine. Face oils come at the end of your routine before you apply sunscreen and makeup. They act as a seal over the active ingredients in products that have been applied.

Also, face oils help to seal in moisture and create a barrier between your skin and the harsh toxins in the environment.

Do serums contain oil?

Some serums contain cold-pressed oils like argan oil, almond oil, and jojoba oil in their formula. The oil concentration does not make serums less hydrating. Moreover, oil-based serums are commonly used to deliver retinol.

Additionally, you can mix oils to make a DIY oil serum to address skin concerns like puffy eyes, fine lines, and wrinkles.

Does face oil clog pores?

Face oils are a blend of oils that may be comedogenic or non-comedogenic. A face oil that contains comedogenic oils will clog your pores while non-comedogenic oils will not. When choosing face oil, go for one with a blend of non-comedogenic oils.


Face oil is neither better than serum nor the other way around. At separate times, your skin may fare well with either a face oil or serum and it does not make the other product ineffective.

Face oil and serum are two different products that give better results when used together in your routine. They both contain nutrients and ingredients that are necessary for skin vitality and improved appearance.

Most importantly, use a product that is necessary to meet your skin needs at a given time. Also, choosing a formula that works perfectly well for your skin is important.

Thanks for reading,

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