Face Oil vs Serum: What’s the Difference?

Face Oil vs Serum: What’s the Difference?

Face Oil vs. Serum: What’s the Difference?

Picking a face oil vs. a face serum is simple when you understand the differences between the two. Both product types play specific roles in your skincare routine, and offer different benefits.

Face oils are richly emollient to hydrate and nurture your skin. Serums are lightweight by comparison because they are typically water-based, and their active ingredients target specific skin issues, from wrinkles to hyperpigmentation.

Depending on your skin needs, you can see visible improvement with a face oil or a serum–if you know how to choose the right one.

Choosing Your Face Oil

Face oils are luxurious, supporting your skin’s moisture barrier for a youthful-looking, supple elasticity. This reinforced lipid barrier also helps prevent environmental irritants from wreaking havoc on your skin and triggering signs of premature aging. Plus, the temporary plumping of the skin you get with a face oil also minimizes the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Look for:


Natural oils: High-quality, non-synthetic oils won’t clog your pores and will nourish your skin.


A non-greasy finish: Oils such as jojoba, argan, and grapeseed aren’t as heavy as other oils, so they’ll quickly absorb into your skin. The result: a gorgeous, subtle glow, not an oily sheen.


Proper packaging : Oils in clear bottles can degrade quickly with exposure to light. Look for a dark-colored container instead to better preserve your face oil’s potent ingredients.


The Face Oil renews your complexion with oils specifically chosen for their restorative properties. For instance, Karanja and babassu oils protect skin from aggressors like environmental pollutants, while argan and hazelnut oils help prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL) due to a weakened moisture barrier. (And if you opt for The Face Oil, you may want to also try The Body Oil for powerful all-over hydration.)

Face Oil vs Serum: What’s the Difference

Choosing a Serum

Face serums may be lightweight in texture, but they’re heavyweights when it comes to effective skincare. These liquids melt into the skin, delivering high-powered ingredients that produce noticeable results. Your serum should:

Have plenty of clean ingredients: Serums penetrate deeply into the skin’s dermal layers, so you want as many botanicals, antioxidants, and other clean actives as possible.

Address your specific skin concern: Serums can hydrate, brighten, minimize lines, prevent acne, exfoliate, and much more, depending on their formulation. Think about what you want your serum to achieve and find the one that fits the bill.

Work with your skin type: It’s important to check the ingredient label to avoid potential irritants. For example, fragrances or certain types of acids may be problematic for sensitive skin.

The Serum is a multipurpose product that revitalizes your complexion with a healthy-looking radiance. We’ve included ingredients that have been scientifically researched for their ability to hydrate (polysaccharide moisture complex, squalane), firm and plump (sodium hyaluronate), help prevent signs of premature aging (rice bran oil, pomegranate seed concentrate), brighten (vitamin C), and more.

Skincare Routine for Dry Skin

Do I Need Both Products?

Both The Face Oil and The Serum are powered by our patented TFC8® technology that supports cellular renewal. You can use either one and see skin that looks and feels firmer, stronger, and healthier. If you prefer, both products can fit into your skincare routine because they pair beautifully together. Face oil vs. serum isn’t an either-or proposition.

If you use both products, keep in mind these recommendations so you can see optimal results:

Use The Serum first, ideally on freshly cleansed skin. Blend it into your face, as well as your neck and décolleté, with upward, sweeping motions.

The Face Oil can follow The Serum as your moisturizer, or you can add a few drops of the oil to your favorite moisturizer (such as The Cream, The Light Cream, or The Rich Cream). You can also naturally highlight your complexion by dabbing on a drop or two of The Face Oil after applying your makeup.

Augustinus Bader Face Oils and Serums

Discover the power of science-backed skincare. Augustinus Bader products are the result of 30 years of research and consumer and clinical trials to test their effectiveness. Developed with Dr. Bader’s extensive expertise in regenerative medicine and stem cell biology, this is skincare on the cutting edge.

Augustinus Bader serums, face oils, and other Facecare products support healthier skin and a revitalized, refreshed complexion. This high-performance skincare line promotes radiant-looking skin for everyone, regardless of age, skin type, or gender. Explore the Facecare collection, or find the formula that works best for you. Purchase one of our game-changing formulas in skincare, supplements, and haircare.