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Are Serums and Face Oils the same?

You may think that serums are a world apart from oils, but truth is that some oil-based products are just another type of serum! We'll walk you through both the differences and similarities, as well as give you a real life example of an oil-based serum.

Serum Dropper on a Mirror


“Serums are highly concentrated formulations that are designed to sink into the skin quickly, delivering an intensive dose of ingredients,” says Harvard Medical School expert Dr. Waldman. We usually use serums to treat common skin concerns, such as hyperpigmentation, scarring, dry patches, and signs of aging, like fine lines. [1]

Because they can target so many issues at once, there is a wide array of serum formulations. Formulas can range from water-based and oil-based serums, to gels, balms and even emulsions. And, when it comes to active ingredients, there’s an even greater amount of them and endless combinations you can find within products. At Jierra Beauty, we use a combination of baobab, rosehip and pomegranate, green tea and bakuchi seed oils because of their potent antioxidant qualities – this mix also helps us deliver products that address a wide range of skin concerns.

Face Oils

Face oils differ from serums because these usually don’t list heavy-duty active ingredients. They are helpful in smoothing the skin and locking in moisture, but without an active ingredient these oils don't treat specific skin concerns. Hence, face oils are a good way of protecting your skin barrier for a short time, while other skincare products work their magic at a deeper level.

Plenty of face oils can actually make good carrier oils for serums though! We’d recommend scoring 2 points in one try by getting an oil-based serum, but if you’re looking to enrich your routine by several products, oils with a smaller molecular structure such are a great choice.[1] These can be oils like jojoba and argan; the ones we prefer to use in our own serum are baobab, rosehip and pomegranate seed oil for their easy absorption into the skin.

Oil-based Serums

You can get the best of both worlds from an oil-based serum: the rich, protective texture along with active ingredients to improve your skin. Having no water in their formula, these are highly potent and will guard you against trans-epidermal water loss. Your skin barrier will certainly be healthier and stronger, as these serums pack essential fatty acids

Our very own Superior Complexion Antioxidant Serum is an oil-based formula. We used high-quality, vegan carrier oils together with organic active ingredients to achieve a high impact serum that protects, prevents and heals. A little each day goes a long way! With consistent use, its rosehip seed oil will brighten and even out your skin tone, while the pomegranate seed oil triggers more collagen production and reduces scarring.

This antioxidant-rich, high-performance serum is a perfect example of how helpful oil-based serums can really be. If you're interested in testing it out for yourself, we are currently stocking a sample size as well.

oil-based antioxidant serum jierra beauty
Our Superior Complexion Antioxidant Serum

We hope you’ve now learned a bit more about serums! If you wish to go further into your skincare enthusiast journey, check out the difference between dry and dehydrated skin in.

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