What to put on first: Moisturizer or oil?





When skin feels dry, there's only one way out: moisturize. In reality, however, there are many ways to satisfy this craving. 

Light or rich? Lotion or Gel? For day or night? But for many of our thirsty friends, the biggest dilemma is choosing a moisturizer, facial oil, or a mix of the two. 

While both can provide a more hydrated, supple complexion, there are key differences between moisturizers and face oils. Read on as we explain everything you need to know, including how to layer. 

What is a Moisturizer? 

Moisturizers are an important part of your skincare routine for all skin types—even if you have oily or acne-prone skin. 

They're made up of a blend of water-soluble and oil-soluble ingredients that moisturize (yes, there's a difference) and strengthen your skin's barrier. 

Moisturizers come in many types: from lightweight gel-creams to richer products like Skin Soak. There are even moisturizers for other concerns like fine lines, like our Advanced Night Cream. 

What are facial oils? 

As you might have guessed, facial oils are usually only composed of oil-soluble ingredients, which means the focus is on hydration rather than hydration. 

This makes them especially beneficial for dry and aging skin, two skin problems that are exacerbated by slowed sebum production. When shopping for oils, look for skin-friendly oils such as marula, camellia, cloudberry seed, and jojoba. 

(Editor's Note: Our Sunday Morning Antioxidant Oil Serum is no ordinary face oil. It contains both an oil phase and a water phase, so you get the best of both worlds in one smooth, radiant product. And it's great for all skin type.) 

Should I use moisturizer, essential oils, or both? Ingredients aside, moisturizers and oils both serve the same purpose: to soften the skin. 

All skin types benefit from moisturizers, while dry and aging skin may prefer facial oils. If you are very thirsty or want to strengthen your barrier defenses in winter, we recommend using both. 

All other differences come from the formula itself, so it's best to look for ingredients that work for your skin type. Need something good for acne? 

Look for ingredients that reduce redness and inflammation, like the green tea in Dew Point. If you're very dry, try squalane; if you're dehydrated, try hyaluronic acid. Are you focused on lightning? Maybe a moisturizer with vitamin C is the way to go. 

Don't forget about personal hygiene too. Your cleavage, legs, arms, and lips can also become dry. Like other parts of our skin, they also show signs of aging. To combat both of these issues, apply an essential oil or body lotion (whatever you prefer) after a shower or whenever you feel your skin sagging. Don't skimp on chapped lips; we recommend our Nourishing Lip Oil, which hydrates longer than your average lip balm. 

How to Layer Moisturizers and Oils
As a rule of thumb, all skin care products should be applied thinly to thickly, so apply your moisturizer first, followed by your facial oil. The only exception is our Antioxidant Oil Serum; since it has both oil and serum properties, it can be used before, after or in place of moisturizer.

Both moisturizers and face oils contain large molecules designed to absorb slowly and moisturize the outermost layer of the skin. If you want deeper penetration (which helps maintain a plump, youthful complexion), we recommend using a moisturizer before your moisturizer and/or oil. Since the serum contains smaller molecules, it absorbs faster and penetrates deeper below the skin layers, leaving the skin above and below the skin surface plumped and hydrated.
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