Serums and facial oils - What's the difference? Serums and facial oils - What's the difference?

Serums and facial oils - What's the difference?

One of the questions we’re often asked here at essano is; what’s the difference between a facial oil and serum? Both are incorporated into the traditional skincare routine of cleanse, tone, exfoliate and moisturise. And both are designed to help improve the appearance and texture of the skin. But there are also important differences between the two. In this article we’ll help you to understand the differences so you know how best to incorporate facial oils and serums into your skincare routine.

What’s a Serum?

Serums are lightweight, and formulated with a high concentration of active ingredients. They are designed to penetrate the skin quickly and deeply to help correct skin concerns including:

  • Ageing
  • Dryness
  • Uneven pigmentation or dullness

An example of a serum is our Advanced Brightening Vitamin C Serum. This is a high-dose Vitamin C serum designed for excellent absorption and to help reduce pigmentation and lighten dark spots.

Because serums are formulated with active ingredients designed to target specific skin conditions you may find that you get the best results from using multiple serums - each formulated to do a different ‘job’. This guide to layering serums will help you to understand how to effectively layer serums for maximum results and so as not to overwhelm the skin.

What’s a Facial Oil?

Unlike serums, which absorb deeply into the skin, facial oils are designed to work on strengthening the outer layer of the skin - acting as a barrier to help minimise trans epidermal water loss. This keeps skin hydrated and plump, improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

An example of a facial oil is our Rosehip Oil which is quickly absorbed into the skin and has been scientifically formulated to soften the look of scars, fine lines and stretch marks. It also hydrates and provides a wonderful moisture boost whilst improving the look of your skin’s firmness and tone. 

A simple way to understand the difference between a serum and facial oil is this:

Serums: target specific skin concerns with potent active ingredients.

Facial Oils: provide skin with moisture and lock in hydration.

facial serums versus facial oils
How to use Serums and Oils

Because serums and oils work differently on the skin, and address a range of skincare conditions and concerns, we recommend incorporating both into your skincare routine in this way:

  • In the morning, cleanse and tone your face and then massage a few drops of facial oil into your skin. Follow with your preferred essano moisturiser and sunscreen. This will give your skin maximum protection and radiance throughout the day.
  • At night, cleanse and tone, then, before your face completely dries, apply a few drops of your serum/s onto your fingertips and gently pat onto the face and neck. Follow with your favourite essano night cream. Your serum will do its magic overnight and you’ll wake with a radiant glow the next day.

Remember to always do a patch test before introducing any new products into your skincare routine!

If you have any questions about which Serums & Facial Oils you should be using, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us on Facebook, Instagram or email – we’d love to chat to you!

This article is part of a series:

The Skin Benefits of Vitamin C

Your Guide to Vitamin C Serum Versus Vitamin C Oil

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