Main content

The Difference Between Oil and Serum in Skincare

If you’re not a skincare expert or a cosmetic chemist, you might assume that oils and serums are one and the same. The truth, though, is that oils and serums are extremely different—down to their molecular weight, the way in which they function, and how they ultimately benefit the skin. Curious about what sets them apart? Here, get the lowdown on the difference between oils and serums in skincare, including how to use Youth To The People’s pro-grade vegan oil and serums in your routine.

How Are Oils and Serums Different?

“Though this isn’t the case 100% of the time, typically serums tend to be water-based and hydration-forward, whereas oils tend to be lipid-based and more about moisturization,” explains Jacob Tomás del Rosario, YTTP’s Director of Field Sales + Education. “There are some exceptions, of course.”

When it comes down to it, del Rosario says the main difference between oils and serums is that serums are meant to act as targeted products for specific concerns—dryness, uneven tone, fine lines and wrinkles, whatever it may be—while oils are emollient-rich products that primarily work by helping lock in hydration and other products that you put on underneath them.

“We want our serums to permeate into the skin surface layers, so you should apply them first,” he explains. Then goes on moisturizer, followed by oil.

Del Rosario points out that because some oils mimic the body’s own natural sebum, they can be super excellent at boosting the skin moisture barrier function, which is important for healthy-looking, happy skin.

YTTP Serums + Oils To Try Based On Your Skincare Goals

Below, find out which YTTP has you covered with its A-list lineup of offerings—all of which pair superfoods and science.

If the goal is visibly evening skin tone and energizing skin, add 15% Vitamin C + Caffeine Energy Serum into your rotation. The formula contains 15% stabilized vitamin C along with plant- and lab-derived caffeine to help visibly brighten and even the skin.

If the goal is increased hydration, then YTTP’s Triple Peptide + Cactus Oasis Serum belongs in your arsenal, stat. Infused with three peptides and four types of hyaluronic acid, this serum visibly plumps, firms, and hydrates.

Last but not least, if you’re looking to minimize the look of fine lines and wrinkles, smooth the feel of skin texture, and visibly even skin tone, then the Retinal + Niacinamide Youth Serum is a must-have. Made with 0.15% retinaldehyde—aka the closest retinoid next to Rx retinoic acid, requiring only one step to covert it to its active form—and ingredients like adaptogen extracts and ceramides, this potent serum works to fade the look of lines and wrinkles with minimal irritation.

After treating skin with one of the aforementioned serums, follow up with your favorite moisturizer, then YTTP’s fan-favorite Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Oil to lock in hydration. Made with a blend of jojoba and sunflower oils, moringa extract, and squalane, plus superfood extracts from acai, goji, maqui fruit, and prickly pear, to leave skin feeling velvety soft, hydrated, and with a glow.

Written by Kaleigh Fasanella for Youth To The People

Orientation message
For the best experience, please turn your device