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What is the difference between water based and oil based serums?

Updated: Sep 11, 2023

Water-based serums and oil-based serums serve different purposes and are suitable for different skin conditions. Here's a comparison:


**Water-Based Serums:** These typically contain water as the main ingredient and are loaded with active ingredients like hyaluronic acid, peptides, and antioxidants. They are lightweight and absorb quickly into the skin.

**Oil-Based Serums:** These contain various types of oils as their primary ingredients, such as jojoba oil, argan oil, or rosehip oil. They provide hydration and can include essential oils and other nourishing components. Oil Based serums do not penetrate into the skin, rather sit on the surface fo the skin as a protective barrier to moisturize and lock in hydration.


- **Water-Based Serums:** Best for oily, acne-prone, or combination skin types, as they are lightweight and non-comedogenic (won't clog pores).

- **Oil-Based Serums:** Suitable for dry, dehydrated, or mature skin, as they provide a barrier to lock in moisture and can help with hydration and anti-aging.


- **Water-Based Serums:** Hydration, brightening, and vitamin nourishment (A&B Vitamins) antioxidant (Vitamin C) protection are common benefits. They are excellent for layering under moisturizers and makeup.

- **Oil-Based Serums:** Offer hydration and can help improve the skin's natural moisture barrier. They may also provide a subtle glow and can be used as a final step in your skincare routine.


- **Water-Based Serums:** Lightweight, non-greasy, and quickly absorbed.

- **Oil-Based Serums:** Thicker and may leave a slightly oily or dewy finish on the skin.


- **Water-Based Serums:** Typically used in the morning or evening before moisturizer and sunscreen.

- **Oil-Based Serums:** Usually applied in the evening as they can be heavier, but they can also be used during the day for extra hydration if needed.


- **Water-Based Serums:** Effective for addressing issues like uneven skin tone, fine lines, anti aging and dullness.

- **Oil-Based Serums:** Helpful for dryness, flakiness, and improving the skin's overall texture.

Ultimately, the choice between water-based and oil-based serums depends on your current skin condition, concerns, and personal preferences. We highly recommend incorporating both in your skincare routine, layering the water-based serum first for hydration and the oil-based serum to lock in moisture and nourishment.

Happy Hydrating 😘

©STEAM Beauty & Wellness Spa

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