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Serums and Oils: When and How to Use Them

Sieri e Olii: Quando e Come Usarli

It's a common mistake to think that serums and facial oils are interchangeable. In reality each serves a specific purpose . The order of applying these two products can also make a significant difference in the effectiveness of the results. In this article, I want to explain the difference between serums and facial oils, so you know when and how to use them to get the best results.

What are serums?

The serums are light and rapidly absorbed formulations , rich in powerful active ingredients. They are designed to address specific skin concerns such as hydration, brightening or aging. Serums usually have a watery or gel-like consistency, which helps provide intensive nourishment and visible results to the skin.

Serums offer a variety of benefits depending on the specific ingredients contained in the formula. There is a considerable variety of serums that have different functions, but they should always be chosen based on your skin concerns. They can also be mixed and matched to create a personalized beauty routine.

  • Hydrate the skin: Hydrating serums contain humectant substances, such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid, and other ingredients capable of trapping water and increasing skin hydration.
  • Provide antioxidant substances: Antioxidant serums, based on niacinamide and vitamin C, prevent skin aging.
  • Improve pigmentation: Serums containing acids, such as glycolic acid, help normalize the activity of melanocytes and brighten skin tone.

Facial serums can often be packed with incredible ingredients, formulas are designed to provide a boost of strong, active substances.

Tip: When it comes to serums and oils, don't forget to also apply them to the neck and décolleté area.

What are oils?

Facial oils are rich, water-free formulations derived from natural, plant-based ingredients. They are generally prized for their ability to retain moisture, nourish the skin, and provide a protective barrier against environmental stressors. Facial oils are especially beneficial for those with dry or dehydrated skin, as they replenish lost moisture and restore the skin's natural balance.

While the composition of facial oils can vary, as a rule, they are designed to mimic and complement the skin's natural sebum production. This is because oils need to support the skin barrier. Popular ingredients include linoleic acid and squalane, as they mimic and support the function of sebum.

Depending on the type of formula, the best facial oils may have additional benefits:

  • Help reduce the signs of aging: Formulations that include antioxidants such as Argan oil, help prevent wrinkles and fine lines, as well as protect the skin.
  • Improve dry skin: Oils can improve skin elasticity and hydration.

Tip: If you don't like using facial oils because they can make your pores look more enlarged, I recommend adding a drop or two of oil to any gel product.

Serums vs Oils: When and How to Use Them?

For those with dry skin, facial oils can be especially beneficial. Because facial oils are occlusive, they should be applied as the last step in your skincare routine, after your moisturizer. This will ensure that all the active ingredients are retained by the skin and that the epidermis is protected from external agents.

In general, according to dermatologists, the order of application of skin care products is to start with the lightest consistency formulations and then move on to the richer ones. Therefore water-based products should be applied before oils.

Serums, on the other hand, can be a great addition to any routine. The best serums are those that meet specific needs. Because serums are lightweight, they are meant to be used before moisturizers. They can also be paired with a facial oil if needed.

When choosing serums and oils for your beauty routine, you should try to choose products formulated with certified natural and organic ingredients . Natural skincare ingredients, such as botanical extracts, essential oils, and plant-based antioxidants, offer an array of skin benefits.

In the end it is important to understand that both serums and oils play a fundamental role in a complete beauty routine. Both products offer unique benefits to nourish and improve the skin. By understanding the differences between them and selecting the best option for your skin type and concerns, you can harness the full potential of certified natural and organic ingredients and achieve beautiful, but above all healthy, skin.