Difference Between Facial Serum, Oil & Moisturizer

A lot of skincare products serve the same purpose of moisturizing the skin. A facial oil, serum and moisturizer, all hydrate and nourish your skin, making it soft. But the question is, what to choose? We are here to discuss some facts about these products.

1. Which is better, serum or oil for the face?

A facial serum is a lightweight and non-greasy moisturizer containing active ingredients such as glycolic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, peptides, retinol, etc. higher concentrations than a regular face moisturizer. Due to their effectiveness, face serums are used to target specific skin concerns like pigmentation, acne, wrinkles, etc. There are numerous benefits of using face serum which is why they are rated among the most popular skincare products. Face oils are also known for many skincare benefits, but their overall purpose is to provide intense hydration, and they act as an extra layer of protection on your skin. The major difference between facial serum and face oil is that the oil molecules are much bigger in size and cannot penetrate deeper into the skin compared to serums. Most of the facial oils have a blend of essential oils and natural botanical extracts with different sized molecules that make it more like a moisturizer rather than facial serums. If you have specific skin concerns such as fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation or acne, then facial serums are best for you. And if you are looking for something that can retain moisture and deliver softness to the skin, then go for a hydrating face oil. However, some special face oils are available in the market that is infused with active ingredients for anti-bacterial and anti-ageing properties, such as Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil. This lightweight facial oil for dry skin works like a serum and give a radiant glow to the skin. Due to the thicker texture and emollient nature, face oil needs to be massaged gently for delivering better results. It totally depends on your skin type and skin concern that whether you need to use face serum, face oil or both.

2. Is face serum and moisturizer the same?

The face serum is formulated with a healthy blend of highly concentrated active ingredients such as glycolic acid, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, peptides, retinol etc., which target specific skin concern, that means only a few drops can deliver the desired results. Serums have a thin texture and have the ability to penetrate deep into the skin. They are fully absorbed and do not leave any residue on the surface. Moisturizer is generally used to lock in moisture in the skin cells, and it works at the surface of the skin. It has a thick consistency, which means it can`t penetrate as deep as a facial serum can do. Both serum and face moisturizer work differently on the skin. For addressing any specific skincare concern such as dark circles, pigmentation, wrinkles or age spots, you should be relying on a facial serum. Just choose the face serum according to your requirement; for example, if you have acne-prone greasy skin, then go for a face serum with ingredients like salicylic acid and retinol. For dry skin, a moisturizing serum with hyaluronic acid, glycerine and vitamin c is most suitable. On the other hand, if your requirement is skin hydration, then using a moisturizing cream or moisturizing face mask alone is sufficient for you.

3. Do I need both serum and moisturizer?

Both serum and face moisturizer work differently on the skin. A facial serum contains a higher concentration of active ingredients such as glycolic acid, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, peptides, retinol etc., that deeply nourish the skin and target specific skincare concerns. Due to the effectiveness of the ingredients, the serum is absorbed quickly, and it just disappears into the skin in few seconds. However, moisturizers are primarily used to lock in the moisture in the skin. If you have greasy skin, then using a facial serum that provides hydration and antioxidant protection alone can be enough. On the other hand, for treating dry and flaky skin, an anti-wrinkle serum and a deep conditioning moisturizer both are required. So, it all depends on individual skincare goals.

4. Can we use face oil as a moisturizer?

Face oil is a skincare solution for a lot of skin concerns such as dryness, redness and skin inflammation. It is specially designed to work with the skin's natural oils and helps to keep everything in balance. If you have dry skin, then adding good antioxidant face oil to your skincare routine can give you a smooth and radiant look. You can go for Kiehl's Daily Reviving Concentrate that defends the skin from free radicals and provides enough hydration. There are some face oils that are designed for an overnight application. It has been found that the sebum secretion rate starts declining from midday to night. This is why the face oils are easily absorbed at night. Dry skin often struggles to create enough sebum, so applying face oil overnight can improve the overall texture. Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate is a night time facial oil that works to enhance skin elasticity and texture. Face oils can have many specific benefits, but the main purpose is to give an extra layer of protection to the skin. They are quite better at locking in moisture in the skin cells because of their occlusive nature and are easily absorbed, which prevents the evaporation of the moisture. The moisturizing creams, on the other hand, also serve the same purpose, but they also contain active ingredients that nourish the skin and treat some special concerns such as wrinkles, pigmentation, fine lines and many more. So, we recommend integrating both in your skincare routine. The skin can first absorb the moisturizer, while the face oil will seal the moisture and act as an extra layer of hydration and nourishment.

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