Are you looking for the perfect moisturizing routine, but you’ve ended up more confused after reading about face oils while doing your research?
A good-quality moisturizer made of clean, plant-based ingredients can do a lot to draw in moisture and hydrate your face. The result — skin that looks dewy and soft to the touch. Meanwhile, face oils lock in and seal moisture, which help your facial skin feel supple and pliable.
Which is better for dehydrated, dull-looking skin?
The short answer is you need both. Use a high-quality moisturizer and pure face oil to keep your skin plump, hydrated, and healthy-looking.
But how do you know which one’s the right fit for your skin type? Can you favor one over the other? And should you apply face oil before or after moisturizer?
Keep reading for answers to these questions, plus more deets about the best moisturizers and face oils for your skin.
Face Oil vs. Moisturizer: Which Is Better for Your Face?
Before learning which moisturizing product will work for your skin, you need to understand a few skin care basics.
First of all, skin care products with moisturizing properties don’t just add moisture to the skin. There is a lot more to it than meets the eye, or in this case, meets the skin.
Moisture-boosting products for the skin can be narrowed down to the following categories, based on their main ingredient:
Generally, facial moisturizers act as humectants and emollients while face oils act as occlusives.
Let’s take a closer look at the types of moisturizers.
Moisturizers that act as humectants attract and draw water from the deeper layers of your skin or from the moisturizer itself. This type is absorbed quickly because it’s lighter in texture than other types of moisturizers.
Humectants work for all skin types, from dry to oily, breakout-prone skin. Hyaluronic acid and glycerin are good examples of humectant ingredients.
Next, you have emollients. Moisturizers with emollient properties fill gaps in the skin for a smoother appearance. They help repair cracks in the skin barrier with lipids (also known as ceramides), which help lubricate damaged skin.
Cocoa butter and colloidal oatmeal are great examples of emollients. Moisturizers that act as emollients tend to have a thicker texture.
Emollients are ideal for all skin types except for those with naturally oily skin.
Pick skin care moisturizers with occlusive properties if you have severely dry or cracked skin.
How do they work? They create a protective barrier to lock in your skin’s water content. In short, they stop moisture from evaporating off your skin. Think of occlusives as plastic wrap for the skin.
Face oils like rosehip and jojoba are examples of occlusives.
Now, for the most important question: Should you reach for a moisturizer or face oil if you want soft, velvety-smooth skin?
You should pick both!
Here’s the lowdown on why you should consider a moisturizer and face oil duo for that coveted glow.
Why Hydrate Your Skin With Moisturizers
Just like every cell in your body, your skin needs (and craves!) water. Traditional face moisturizers are typically water-based and contain other nourishing ingredients that instantly quench dry, dehydrated skin.
They may also contain antioxidants, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and peptides, the building blocks of collagen and other proteins. These peptides help keep your skin looking firm and youthful.
A good skin care routine for your face should have a trusty moisturizer alongside your favorite cleanser and toner.
Here’s why you should not skip moisturizers if you want to show your skin some TLC:
- Consistent use of moisturizers helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In short, it’s anti-aging.
- Adding a thin layer of your favorite moisturizer before applying makeup helps your skin appear less dull and helps makeup stay on for longer.
- Dab a little moisturizer on both cheeks to help restore skin hydration, particularly during periods of dry, extreme weather.
Why Hydrate Your Skin With Face Oils
Face oils often get a bad rap because the word “oil” gives off the vibe that it’s oily. Who wants greasy, oily skin?
But don’t let the etymology fool you.
While face oils are thicker and more viscous than moisturizers, face oils may be the missing piece in your skin care routine, particularly during cooler, dryer months.
The right face oil can seal in moisture because of its occlusive, skin-nourishing properties. They’re also packed with essential antioxidants and vitamins that help your skin stay soft, glowing, and smooth.
However, you should not just reach for the first face oil you come across in the beauty aisle or your beauty shopping app. Here are some of the best face oils for dry, dehydrated skin:
Jojoba oil naturally contains vitamin E, an antioxidant known for its skin-protective properties. Topical application may also help with skin dryness, itching, and flaking. Plus, research carried out on clay masks containing jojoba oil revealed that it can help reduce the appearance of inflammation on the skin.
As a skin care product, rosehip oil has been gaining popularity over the years for its ability to improve the appearance of scars and calm skin redness.
But this oil’s wonders don’t end there.
Rosehip oil naturally contains fatty acids like linoleic and linolenic acids. Aside from helping soothe irritated skin, these fatty acids also play a role in keeping the skin barrier intact, which in turn helps keep moisture in the skin.
Not only is argan oil a popular ingredient in hair serums for shiny and healthy locks, but daily use of this nourishing oil has been shown to help boost skin elasticity and hydration in post-menopausal women. It does this by helping keep the skin barrier intact.
Borage Seed Oil
While this oil isn’t as popular as the others, borage seed oil can help you maintain healthy-looking, hydrated skin.
The oil is derived and extracted from the seeds of a Mediterranean native plant called Borago officinalis.
Its high linolenic acid content helps replenish lipids in the skin’s surface while maintaining a healthy skin barrier at the same time. This makes borage seed oil a perfect ingredient for moisturizing facial oils.
Which Face Oils Are Best for Your Skin Type?
You don’t have to spend endless hours poring over skin care magazines or dermatology journals to find out which face oil is best for your skin type.
The team behind Way of Will took different skin types into account when developing our face oils and came up with the following plant-based face oil formulations for anyone and everyone:
Natural Face Oil for Dry Skin
Developed primarily for ultra-dry skin, Way of Will’s Natural Face Oil For Dry Skin provides hydration in a lightweight formula. It absorbs into the skin for deep hydration that never looks greasy on the surface.
Key active ingredients: Jojoba oil, camellia essential oil, and geranium essential oil.
Natural Face Oil for Oily Skin
Natural Face Oil for Oily Skin by Way of Will is a lightweight and fast-absorbing facial oil specially formulated for oily skin. It works by regulating your skin’s production of sebum (a waxy substance produced by the skin and containing free fatty acids, squalene, and triglycerides).
Its unique formula quickly sinks into your facial skin for a fresh finish.
Key active ingredients: Jojoba oil, tea tree oil, rice bran oil, and fir essential oil
Sensitive Skin Face Oil
Who says face oils have to be oily? Sensitive Skin Face Oil by Way of Will is far from oily with its soothing, light formula enriched with nature’s most powerful ingredients. This face oil is for you if you have an overly sensitive or combination skin type.
Key active ingredients: Jojoba oil, borage essential oil, frankincense essential oil
Face Oil vs. Moisturizers: The Final Face-Off
The results are in — one isn’t better than the other.
A combo of both is best if you want the best results: skin that feels soft, plump, and healthy.
You need a top-quality moisturizer to assist your skin in drawing and retaining moisture. Meanwhile, you need premium face oil to help lock in the hydrating goodness you get from moisturizers.
Here’s what you need to remember: Moisturizers hydrate while face oils make sure it stays that way.
So, Should You Apply Face Oil Before or After Moisturizer?
Now, you’re probably wondering if you should use face oils before or after your moisturizer.
For starters, it’s always best to follow the directions of your dermatologist or check the label of your skin care product beforehand.
However, the rule of thumb is to use moisturizers after washing your skin with a mild cleanser. If you’re using toners, the best sequence is: cleanse, tone, and moisturize. Skin that’s a bit damp (but clean!) is more receptive to moisturizers.
Pro tip: If you want to treat your skin with some extra TLC, you can also look for a skin care product that not only cleanses but also has exfoliating properties.
As for frequency, use moisturizer in the morning and before bed.
How about face oils? Generally, apply face oil as the last step in your moisturizing routine in the morning (before putting on makeup) and evening after dabbing on your nighttime moisturizer.
Can You Use Facial Oil Instead of Moisturizer?
Both facial moisturizer and face oil have their own distinct purpose in helping you achieve that dewy, healthy glow.
So, as tempting as it may be, it’s best not to eliminate one or the other from your skin care routine.
Way of Will’s Natural Face Moisturizer is a plant-based face moisturizer whose active ingredients work as humectants (like traditional moisturizer) and emollients (like face oils) at the same time. Glycerin, a plant-based ingredient that provides gentle moisturizing support, acts as a humectant while its accompanying natural oils (bergamot essential oil, lavender essential oil, frankincense essential oil, ylang-ylang essential oil) act as emollients.
These ingredients are harmoniously combined for effective, long-lasting results.
Face Oil vs. Moisturizer: Use Both to Reap the Benefits
Face moisturizers are great for hydrating your skin, while face oils generally lock that moisture in.
They serve different functions, and you need to use both for the best results. Use face oil after your favorite moisturizer to make sure you’re really sealing in the moisture!