Skincare 101: Serums vs. Face Oil


A supercharged skincare routine is never without these two



Women in recent years have shifted their focus from makeup to skincare; if not, they’ve given the latter the same amount of importance as the former. Self-care, after all, has become one of the most celebrated themes of 2017: a call to put health first, revisit the basics and then improve upon them.


Source @glossier on Instagram


With the influence of Korean beauty, more and more women are taking on multistep skincare routines. Some even commit to the full monty: cleanser, exfoliator, toner, essence, serum/ampoule/booster, sheet mask, eye cream, moisturizer, face oil and SPF.


It’s easy to get carried away wanting to design the perfect skincare routine and it’s even easier to fall for jargon like “activating boosting serum” and beautifully packaged products with exotic ingredients, but we’ll go right ahead and debunk the theory that you need to subscribe to an extensive—most likely expensive—routine for great skin.


We’ll save the serum-emulsion-ampoule-essence debate for next time. Right now, we’re giving you the lowdown on the two products worth checking out if you want to effectively but reasonably upgrade your skincare routine. Here, an in-depth look at serums and face oils:



What: Nourishing and correcting

Where: Apply all over the face

When: After cleansing and toning, while skin is still damp

How: Apply with clean hands, pat gently into skin using one or two fingers

How much: A pea-sized amount

Why: Serums are corrective products designed to treat various skin concerns like wrinkles, acne, dark spots and fatigue among others. They’re also formulated to penetrate deeply into the skin so the active ingredients can get to work!



Face Oil

What: Nourishing and moisturizing

Where: Apply all over the face and neck or just the dry areas that need the reinforcement

When: After moisturizing

How: Warm up the oil in the palm of your hands and gently massage onto the skin using upward sweeping motions

How much: Two to three drops

Why: Face oils do a great job at sealing in all the other skincare products so you get the most out of your entire skincare routine. Oils also improve texture, so over time your skin looks smoother and healthier.




Check out Sephora’s serum and face oil catalogues to shop around for more options!