A Beginners Guide to Face Oils and Serums

Some of you may be blessed with a faultless complexion (and we’re not at all jealous) but the majority of us will likely have the odd break out or dry patch. We aren’t naïve to the fact skincare can feel like a bit of a minefield at times, is our daily double cleansing, toning and moisturising not enough!? But if brightening, smoothing lines and adding essential moisture into your skin is on your priority list, then the addition of face oils and serums into your skincare routine is a must. Take a look at our guide of all that is face oils and the best serums for your skin type.

avant skincare

#1 What’s the difference between face oils and serums?

A question hot on the lips of skincare enthusiasts, the fundamental difference between facial oils and serums is the composition of the molecules and their penetration.


Serums are essentially used as supplements for your skin. They’re traditionally water-based so have a much more lightweight texture, with a smaller molecular make up they penetrate into the skin deeper than oils. Serums should be used where you want a powerful active ingredient to soak deep into your skin for more targeted results. For example, antioxidant rich vitamins or peptides which are used to correct skin, repair and protect.

Face oils

The best facial oils provide a boost of nutrition, moisture and hydration to your skin. The molecular structure of face oils are typically heavier than that of serums and contain essential oils that fortify the skins barrier so penetrate the outermost layers. When it comes to facial oils choosing the right one for your skin type is paramount to reaping the benefits. Adding to the moisture of your skin and contributing to the essential oils that nourish your skin is a must for achieving a healthy and glowing face. As they usually have a heavier and richer texture, use face oils as the last step of your skincare routine after using lighter products.

#2 Best face oils for dry skin

For those of us suffering with dry skin, you should be looking for nourishing properties. Reach for a serum or oil that includes vitamin E in the ingredients which protects skin cells from oxidative damage, we’d also recommend glycolic acid which gently exfoliates the skin leading to a more even complexion.  Also look for niacinamide in the ingredients, as this improves your skins elasticity and ceramide levels.  And of course the magic ingredient, hyaluronic acid which is designed to retain moisture.

#3 Best anti-ageing serums

Face oils and serums can work wonders for combatting the signs of ageing. Smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, look for products with hyaluronic acid in the ingredients. We’d also recommend looking for products with collagen and lactic acid. Collagen plays a really important role in strengthening skin, it’s elasticity and keeping it hydrated which are all essential for maintaining a youthful glow. Use together with products that include lactic acid, as this stimulates collagen renewal and can give your skin a nice firm feel, it can also help to reduce age and sun spots as well as fine lines and wrinkles.

#4 Best products for acne prone skin

If you suffer with trouble skin that’s prone to acne, we’ve got the answer! Look for a serum or oil that includes vitamin C, just like when you’re full of cold, vitamin C can bring you back to life and this is the case for your skin too. Vitamin C increases collagen production and reduces inflammation. Another magic ingredient for acne prone skin is retinol, as an antioxidant it works wonders on reducing redness and soreness of the skin. Acne prone skin is more often that not naturally oily, to combat this look for zinc in the ingredients as this regulates oil production and soothes irritation. Lastly, but very importantly, salicylic acid. Salicylic acid works to unclog pores and can be found in various face oils and serums.


By Terry | The Skincare Benefits of Rose


By Terry | The Skincare Benefits of Rose

Struggling to find the right products to soothe your sensitive dry skin? Rose oil contains high levels of vitamin C, rich in oils and proteins which in turn leads to softer and more moisturised skin. The skincare benefits of rose oil doesn't stop there, from treating redness and inflammation to its calming aromatherapy properties the magic ingredient works wonders for all skin types.

2019-06-19 17:29:34By Emma Bowkett

#5 Best oils and serums with hyaluronic acid

An ingredient featured in some of the best facial oils and serums is hyaluronic acid, for it’s moisturising, anti-ageing and firming properties. If you’re a beginner when it comes to skincare and are looking for an all rounder, we’d recommend adding a product containing hyaluronic acid to your basket. Here’s our top pick from our beauty offering.

#6 Best oils and serums for brightening skin

We all want a more brighter complexion and there’s one simple ingredient which can help with that. With an acidic composition vitamin C acts as a shedding tool for dead skin cells when applied to the face, leaving you looking brighter and smoother. As vitamin C acts as a rejuvenating ingredient it encourages cell renewal which triggers the skin to ‘heal itself’ by speeding up the collagen and elastin production.

#7 Best cleansing oils for the face

We’re all aware of the importance of cleansing in our daily skincare regime, and this is the case for all skin types. Important for removing dirt, dead skin cells and makeup, cleansing is a must. Cleansing oils are a particularly great addition to your skincare cupboard as they include essential oils which are naturally antibacterial. Not only this but they work to maintain your skins PH balance and include antioxidant ingredients.

#8 Best eye serums

Yet again, hyaluronic acid leads the way when it comes to ingredients to look out for. Teamed with retinol and vitamin C, you’ll be left with plumped up skin cells and brighter looking eyes. Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A, which essentially stimulates collagen production leading to stronger skin and less imperfections like fine lines. Vitamin C makes another appearance here in the best ingredients for eye serums naturally for its anti aging and brightening properties.


Words by Emma Bowkett

Emma Bowkett

Emma Bowkett

Writer and expert