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Here’s the difference between face oils and serums

Woman Receiving Head Massage Getty Images/Matthew Wakem


Are you using serums and face oils all wrong?

If you’re still trying to figure out the difference between serums and face oils, you are not alone. When it comes to which product does what, the confusion is real.

In the name of cracking one of life’s greatest mysteries, we set out to investigate.

Here’s what we found out.


F A C E  O I L S

Face oils take skincare to a cellular level. Easily absorbed, these vials of goodness seep deep into your skin to lock in moisture, packing a serious punch of essential oils.

Face oils are:

  • Very rich in vitamins and fatty acids.
  • Incredibly hydrating.
  • Plant-based essential oils that are extracted from ingredients such as Rosehip, hemp and kiwi seed.
  • Able to heal skin at a cellular level, due to their deep absorption.
  • Nourishing for your skin.

Best for:

  • Hydration + nourishment
  • Deep healing

Cult favourites…

KOSMEA | Skin Clinic Certified Organic Rose Hip Oil


KOSMEA Skin Clinic Certified Organic Rose Hip Oil KOSMEA Skin Clinic Certified Organic Rose Hip Oil SHOP NOW


The world's original and finest Certified Organic Rose Hip Oil packed with essential fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants. Rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants, this easily-absorbed oil is a real treat for the skin.

KORA | ORGANICS BY MIRANDA KERR Noni Glow Face Oil

KORA ORGANICS BY MIRANDA KERR Noni Glow Face Oil KORA ORGANICS BY MIRANDA KERR Noni Glow Face Oil SHOP NOW


A rich, powerful, yet delicate treatment oil designed for the face and neck. Certified Organic Noni Extract, Rosehip Oil, Pomegranate Oil and Sea Buckthorn Oil combine to create a rich source of antioxidants and essential fatty acids.

JURLIQUE | Jurlique Skin Balancing Face Oil

JURLIQUE Jurlique Skin Balancing Face Oil JURLIQUE Jurlique Skin Balancing Face Oil SHOP NOW


A lightweight moisturising treatment that helps to balance all skin types. Absorbs quickly and instantly delivers a velvety smooth finish.


S E R U M S

Basically, a serum is a water-soluble multivitamin for the skin. Containing concentrated ingredients that target specific skincare concerns, serums combat issues such as hyperpigmentation, ageing and dryness. So if you have a particular skin issue that needs addressing, it’s worth exploring serums.

Serums are:

  • Concentrated formulations that target specific skincare concerns, e.g. ageing, hyperpigmentation.
  • Boast the highest concentrations of active ingredients.
  • Water-soluble.
  • Excellent for repairing skin.
  • Radiance-boosting.

Best for:

  • Targeting specific skincare concerns, e.g. anti-ageing
  • Boosting skin’s radiance

Cult favourites…

AESOP | Parsley Seed Antioxidant Serum
AESOP Parsley Seed Antioxidant Serum AESOP Parsley Seed Antioxidant Serum SHOP NOW

This exceptional aloe vera-based moisturiser from Aesop utilises a complex blend of antioxidant ingredients to hydrate, soften and fortify the skin. The medium-weight serum formula hydrates and softens without congesting the complexion.

YVES SAINT LAURENT | Forever Serum

YVES SAINT LAURENT Forever Serum YVES SAINT LAURENT Forever Serum SHOP NOW


This elixir contains high concentrates of Glycanactif to stimulate regeneration deep within the skin and boost youth-promoting functions.

ESTEE LAUDER | Advanced Night Repair

ESTEE LAUDER Advanced Night Repair ESTEE LAUDER Advanced Night Repair SHOP NOW


Want a smoother, more radiant, younger look? Wake up to more beautiful skin every day with Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair. Tried and tested, this serum dramatically reduces the look of all key signs of ageing.

Want to try serums and face oils for yourself, but not sure where to start?

Some swear by face oils, some are serum converts, and others regularly use both. If you’d like some extra guidance on how to add the above products to your routine, our instore beauty advisors are here to help. With expert knowledge across all brands – and formulations – our advisors will offer you specialised, tailored guidance to save you time. Because there’s nothing worse than investing in the wrong product.  The best part? Our beauty services are completely complimentary.

Book your appointment now

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