Know the Difference Between Face Oil vs Serum vs Essence

Those were the days when you could get away with the simple cleanse, tone, and moisturize routine. But now, so many types of skincare products are out there that you can’t help but be tempted to incorporate them into your daily skincare routine. From face washes to cleansers, luxury moisturizers, toners, serums, essences, facial oils, and whatnot, the choices are endless and overwhelming. It’s often confusing what you should get or what you should not. Since face serum, essence, and oil are all a rave these days. Let us explain the difference between the three, so you could choose for yourself.


  • What is it?

Facial oils can be used in place of moisturizers, or even mixing it with the moisturizers, for that extra hydration and nourishment for the skin.

Image Source: Juicychemistry

  • Ingredients

Face oils are specially formulated to work with natural oils present on your skin that helps to maintain the balance in your skin. They might contain oils such as jojoba oil, olive oil, grape seed oil, and small amounts of essential oils, as their ingredients.

  • Effectiveness

Face oils work on keeping skin moisturized and nourished. Some even provide antioxidants, fatty acids, vitamins, and more such benefits directly to the skin. Moreover, face oils are emollient, which means they help protect the skin, as they strengthen the outer layer of the skin.

  • Who can use it?

Facial oils can be used by anyone, but keep them in moderation. According to your skin concerns, whether it’s dryness, dark spots, or any other skin issue, you can add that extra layer of facial oil after your serum to lock in the benefits of the face serum.

  • How to use face oil?

Skincare products should be applied in the ascending order of the thickness of their consistency. Since oil has a thick consistency, as compared to essence and serum, it is supposed to go after serum and before a moisturizer on the skin.

  • Precaution

People who have naturally very oily or acne-prone skin should strictly stay away from face oils, as it can cause clogging of the pores, and might even result in more acne.


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  • What is it?

Face serums can be used to treat skin issues such as dark spots, pigmentation, acne, wrinkles, and more because they contain potent active ingredients in their composition. Apart from that, many other skincare needs, ranging from hydration to brightening, can be fulfilled by the use of skincare.

  • Ingredients

You can decide the type of active ingredient and their concentration in a face serum. The most popular active ingredients are salicylic acid, retinol, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid,  lactic acid, and many more, each ingredient has a unique purpose. Some serums are also made from natural ingredients such as rosehip, grapeseed, and many more such ingredients.

  • Effectiveness

Depending on the skin concerns that you have, you can have the desired results by using specific active ingredients in your face serum that will target specific skin concerns. Face serums show potential positive results within a few days of usage.

  • Who can use it?

Whatever may be the skin type you have, there’s a serum for you. Anyone can use face serums to target the skin problems that they want to treat. Here’s a quick look at the benefit of some active ingredients:

  • Salicylic acid for acne
  • Niacinamide for dark spots
  • Retinol for anti-ageing
  • Hyaluronic acid for hydration
  • How to use a face serum?

You can use face serums in your AM/PM routine, following it up with sunscreen in the daytime. While some serums, like retinol, are better to use at night only. Serums are supposed to be applied to the face after your toner or face essence.


  • What is it?

Most people confuse a facial essence with traditional toners, but there is much more to it. Essence has been popularised a lot by Korean beauty. Unlike face toners that contain astringent properties to finally cleanse your skin after face wash, face essences are packed with nourishing ingredients and are much more gentle on the skin.

  • Ingredients

Face essence contains moisturizer ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and others, which absorb deeply into the skin.

  • Effectiveness

They help to balance the moisture content of the skin, in case your cleanser has stripped off the essential oil from your skin.

  • Who can use it?

It can be used by people of any skin type. Moreover, if you want to have extra hydration for your skin, you should switch to a face essence from your regular face mist and toners.

  • How to use face essence?

You can use face essence instead of your traditional toners, after washing your face, and before applying your face serum. Since face essence has a watery texture, it’ll be best to apply it with a patting motion on the face, so that it absorbs quickly.


We hope that you found this, face oil vs. Serums vs. Essence, review helpful in your search for the perfect skincare products for you. Just make sure to assess your skin and decide the issues that you want to care for, after that choose the product that will help you. Doing thorough research before starting to use a product with certain ingredients is important so that it does not harm your skin.

Read Also – How to Pick the Right Serum for Your Face?

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