Serums vs. Oils: How They Work - Credo
Skip to main content

Serums vs. Oils: How They Work

By Sasha Wordlaw, Clean Beauty Expert, Credo Los Angeles


A question most often asked is "how to pick the right face serum and/or oil for my skin type."

Hi, I’m Sasha, and I’m a Clean Beauty Expert in our West 3rd store in Los Angeles. I’ve been a Makeup Artist and Esthetician for over 16 years, so I am super passionate about the world of Clean Beauty and the amazing results clean products can have on your skin. 

Understanding the purpose and benefits of serums and oils, as well as how to optimize their functionality, is something that will be unique to your skincare needs. And with the vast selection of clean beauty products to choose from, here’s how you can choose what’s best to incorporate into your current regimen.

What are Serums?
Serums are targeted treatments containing high concentrations of small molecular weight ingredients, formulated to deeply penetrate and enhance the health of the skin. As brands and consistencies vary, clean serums can aid in treating and repairing skin concerns—aging, environment, blemishes, dullness, hyperpigmentation, loss of firmness, tone, and texture— to optimize hydration and reduce sensitivity. Here are some of my favorite options. 

When You’re Seeing Red
Packed with hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, this calming B3 serum provides redness relief and healing of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation caused by acne.


Marie Veronique Soothing B3 Serum


For Get Up and Glow
Revive and radiate your complexion with hydrating rosehip and brightening vitamin C from ascorbic acid with Ursa Major's Brighten Up Vitamin C Serum.


Ursa Major Brighten Up Vitamin C Serum


What are Oils?
Oils are generally larger molecular weight ingredients and penetrate upper layers of skin, supplying it with lipids to help boost hydration and deliver nutrition. The most important property of lipids in skincare is their ability to restore and replenish skin’s moisture barrier, smooth skin texture, and balance skin causes, such as environmental factors or harsh topical products, that can lead to dryness. With active ingredients that can be used to treat the skin, some oils can be used in place of a moisturizer or layered under moisturizer to maintain skin strength, protection, and health. Check out these beautifully clean hydrating oil options. 

Say Bye to Dry
With essential fatty acids from camellia and borage seed oil, Grown Alchemist Antioxidant + Facial Oil replenishes dry and dehydrated skin. It’s also boosted by vitamin A-rich rosehip seed oil, cranberry seed oil, and vitamin E.
 
          
Grown Alchemist Antioxidant + Facial Oil


The Multitasker
Touted as a one ingredient oil suitable for all skin types, Le Prunier Plum Beauty Oil this omega-rich product protects against free radicals on the skin and provides benefits to hair as well.


Le Prunier Plum Beauty Oil


The Best of Both Worlds
But you don’t have to choose one over another! Hybrid products can help you receive the benefits of both moisture from oils and active, concentrated ingredients from serums. Full of powerhouse ingredients, this Primrose & Green Tea Algae Retinol Oil is a multi-retinoid serum combined with hemp-derived cannabis oil, stimulates cell renewal while plumping and replenishing moisture levels on skin.


Mara Evening Primrose + Green Tea Algae Retinol Oil

Whether you have one product or a few, you can maximize your skincare to its full potential by layering. After cleansing your skin, layer your products from lightest to richest consistency, beginning with serum, oil, then moisturizer to get the most impact. 

Now that you know a little more about serums and oils, think about how you can amplify your current beauty routine! Need more help? Credo’s Clean Beauty Experts in store or online can assist you with your skin concerns and recommend the best products to help you reach your goals.