I am not sure if it is because of all the misinformation in the skincare world or the unusual consistency, but the difference between an oil and a Serum continue to cause confusion and trigger uncertainty. We often hear the words used interchangeably or bombarded with questions about when to use them, how to use, and if they should even be used at all. Check out this handy chart and feel free to drop your questions in the comments. 

What Are Serums and Oils?

Serums and oils are often confused, but they serve two different purposes. Serums have a thin consistency and are formulated with active ingredients. This allows serum to penetrate more deeply. Serums usually target skin concerns such as hyperpigmentation, aging, dullness and acne.  

Contrary to serums, oils are formulated without water and tend to be thicker in consistency. Oils are emollient and they are beneficial for keeping the skin barrier nourished. 


When to Apply Serums and Oils in Your Routine?

Serums and oils can both be used during your morning and night routine. I usually recommend using serums as a part of your night routine since some serums contain actives that can make your skin sensitive to the sun. 

Serums should be applied after cleansing and toning. Oils should be used at the very end of your skincare routine, which is usually after your moisturizer. Allow serums and oils to sink in to the skin for 1-2 minutes (for serums) and 2-3 minutes (for heavier oils) before moving on to your next skincare step (if there are any more left).