Home > Beauty & Grooming > Skincare > Serums vs facial oils: What’s the difference and which one should you use?
Serums vs facial oils: What’s the difference and which one should you use?

Serums and facial oils both have the ability to improve the health and radiance of our skin. It’s common to be perplexed by these two power players and question which one you should include in your beauty regime. Despite the fact that their roles appear to be same, they are total opposites, and each helps our skin in its unique way.

Serums and face oils are products with a specific purpose. They are products that go beyond the essential Core Four (cleanser, exfoliator, moisturiser, and SPF) to address particular skin issues and goals.

Serums vs facial oils

serums vs facial oils


A serum is a catch-all term for a potent, ingredient-rich therapy that addresses a specific skin issue or goal. Serums are applied to freshly clean skin (or following a toner if you use one). Because of their tiny molecular size, they may penetrate deeper into the skin, providing nutrients to the deeper layers.

Facial oils

Facial oils moisturise and balance the skin by mimicking the skin’s natural sebum. When the water and oil content of our skin is balanced, it is at its happiest. Because our skin does not create water-based moisture, moisturisers are essential to a skincare regime (and part of the Core Four!). The other half of the equation is balanced by facial oils.

It’s a common misconception that people with oily skin should avoid using oils. When the correct face oil is applied topically, it can actually tell the skin, “We’re good on oil!” and reduce the skin’s natural production of it.

Serums penetrate deeply into the skin, whilst face oils are applied last to seal in nutrients and moisture.

Which one is a better option for your skin?

This is solely based on your personal preferences and the demands of your skin. Using serums and oils is not a binary choice; you may use both. When you need an extra layer of moisture, facial oils are ideal, whilst serums are ideal for addressing any immediate skin issues.

And, if you’re going to include both in your routine, remember to apply products from thinnest to thickest. Because serums are among the thinnest, they should be used after cleansing and toning but before moisturising. Begin with a little dropper—serums are often more expensive due to their concentrated compositions. You can always add more!

Facial oils should also be used at the end of your skincare regimen, either after your moisturiser or mixed with it, and before applying SPF. Place 1-2 drops in your hand, massage them together, and press into your skin.


Anushka Narula
Anushka likes to write about fashion, beauty, and other nice things. When not bound to her keyboard, she likes to make her Pinterest boards come to life.
Never miss an update

Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest updates.

No Thanks
You’re all set

Thank you for your subscription.