Best Serums & Oils

If you're looking for that extra boost to your skincare regime, a skin oil or serum can really go the distance in replenishing, hydrating, balancing or otherwise improving the appearance of your skin. With plenty of skin potions on the shelves, it's hard to separate the ones that work from the snake oil. The first step is knowing how to choose the right oil or serum for your skin type or concern. Continue Reading...

177 listings

Best Serum & Oil

Real-u Beauty Bundle
4.7 from 144 reviews

This is a luxury 4-piece kit that clears acne and soothes problematic skin. It includes a cleanser, face serum, moisturiser and spot treatment to tackle blemishes.

Contains lactic acid
Is effective at targeting spots
4 products included
No benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid
May not be suitable for sensitive skin
Premium price tag
  • Skin TypeDry Skin (1), Normal Skin (3), Oily Skin (2), Sensitive Skin (2) and Combination Skin (8)
  • Value for Money
    3.1 (16)
  • Causes Irritation Yes (4) · No (11)
  • Ease of Application
    4.5 (15)
  • Smell
    4.1 (13)
  • Personal PreferencesCruelty Free
2nd Best Serum & Oil
Veldere Rosehip Oil
4.7 from 42 reviews

Latest review: The best and cheapest Rosehip oil in my personal opinion. I use rosehip oil religiously prior to getting my shut eye and have found this one to be really good because it has all the benefits whilst

  • Skin TypeDry Skin (12), Normal Skin (4), Oily Skin (2), Sensitive Skin (8) and Combination Skin (9)
  • Value for Money
    4.5 (40)
  • Causes Irritation Yes (0) · No (32)
  • Ease of Application
    4.5 (38)
  • Smell
    2.8 (38)
3rd Best Serum & Oil
Sukin Certified Organic Rose Hip Oil

Enriched with 70% essential fatty acids as well as vitamins and nutrients, Sukin Certified Organic Rose Hip Oil makes a positive difference when it comes to reducing the appearance of scars.

Reduces the visibility of scars
Makes skin soft
Hydrating for dry skin
  • Skin TypeDry Skin (1), Normal Skin (1), Oily Skin (1), Sensitive Skin (1) and Combination Skin (1)
  • Value for Money
    4.0 (2)
  • Causes Irritation Yes (0) · No (3)
  • Ease of Application
    4.8 (5)
  • Smell
    2.8 (4)
3.6 from 278 reviews

Made up of a mixture of botanical extracts and oils, Bio-oil is designed to combat scars and stretch marks.

Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil

This wild-harvested 100% organic rosehip seed oil contains Omegas 3, 6, and 9 in a minimum of 80% essential fatty acids. These can work to help to improve the appearance of skin.

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Christmas gift ideas for the beauty lover in your life

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The Body Shop Seaweed
3.8 from 30 reviews

Latest review: My skin is very combination, it gets oily easily but is sensitive and can also get dry in patches. I also suffer with quite a bit of redness. I have tried lots of products over the years with

ASAP Range
3.6 from 39 reviews

ASAP is an Australian-made skincare and cosmetics brand that stocks a wide range of products made from eco-friendly, vegan ingredients.

Kosmea Skin Clinic Certified Organic Rose Hip Oil

Latest review: Haven’t had a breakout since using the Kosmea Rose Hip Oil, and I love the way it makes my skin feel. I feel refreshed, energised and my skin feels so healthy and happy. Will continue to buy for s

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Latest review: I've used this serum on and off for a few months, and I realised it was this product that was irritating my skin. I think combined with other products that had niacinamide; it was just too much. I

The Body Shop Vitamin C
4.6 from 9 reviews

Latest review: Recently my sister recommended to use the Vitamin C skin moisturizer since my skin was looking dull by end of day. I tried hydrating creams and few essential oils etc but none worked. Just after 2

Jurlique Herbal Recovery Range

Latest review: I have used Jurlique antiaging product for about seven years now. They are very good product and the service team are fantastic as well. Will keep using jurlique in

L'Occitane Immortelle Range
4.3 from 7 reviews

Latest review: This serum is light and creamy, it goes on smoothly onto my skin and feels soft and easy on my face. I have used the face cream regularly and my skin looked nice, but didn’t do anything spectacular f

Rodial Dragon's Blood
2.3 from 38 reviews

Latest review: I love this product. It's not heavy and it does show an immediate result. My skin was badly dehydrated and within a week I saw it noticeably! Beautiful cream

Principal Secret Reclaim Range

Principal Secret Reclaim Range

 · includes 3 listings
3.5 from 8 reviews

Latest review: There is no way a member can to check into their account or history of their purchase because there is no login option. Have to call the customer service, who are so stupid and do not know what to do

The Body Shop Aloe
3.8 from 6 reviews

Latest review: I have fairly sensitive skin, so these products are amazing to use. My skin always feels clean and refreshed (not dried out at all), and I find I don't break out as much as I used to. It really does

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Palmer's Cocoa Butter Skin Therapy Oil

Latest review: I have been using this oil for 2 months to improve the appearance of my scar after surgery. I can say I can't see any results at all. I am extremely disappointed and don't recommend this product.

Christian Dior Capture Totale

Latest review: My partner bought me the anti age totals capture set for Xmas, i usually use Lancôme visionair cream without spf so this was something new to try, first impression I just didn’t think there was en

Skinstitut Even Blend Serum
2.7 from 13 reviews

Latest review: I have been very persistent with my skinstitut daily routine and have noticed my acne and sun pigmentation has faded heaps, more confidence without makeup. My skin has never felt and looked

The Body Shop Tea Tree
4.0 from 4 reviews

Latest review: I purchased this for my daughter and her whole face is red and burnt. Make sure you do small spot test before using. I can’t say if it help with bad skin as she won’t be using it aga

The Body Shop Vitamin E
2.2 from 14 reviews

Latest review: I went into a Body Shop store on the weekend, and the Shop Assistant was absolutely amazing!!!! Anyway, she gave me some samples of moisturisers to try before buying - which was super helpful. One of

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Woman applying oil t cheekbones

What is skin oil?

There are two types of skin oil: the oil that your body naturally produces, called sebum, and externally-sourced oils that come from natural plant-based or chemical sources. These are applied to skin to replenish and hydrate it. Not everyone needs to apply an artificially-introduced skin oil to their face or body.


Helps to lock moisture into skin, replenishing dry, flaky or cracked skin types.
Makes dry skin more soft and supple, and give it a healthy glow​.
Have a variety of remedial benefits for the skin. For example, rosehip oil contains vitamins and fatty acids that can help to reduce the appearance of newer scars.


It’s still possible to have a skin reaction to a natural oil.
Some oils are comedogenic, meaning they can block the pores and cause pimples.
Skin oils are often sticky, shiny, and get everywhere. This can make them tricky to wear during the day, and especially under make-up.

What are the benefits of facial oil?

If you have oily skin

People with naturally oily skin won’t necessarily benefit from adding more oil to their skin. These people’s bodies produce more sebum than others - particularly on their face, which contains more oil glands than the rest of the body. As a result, adding more oil can make their skin look and feel overly greasy and even make their pores become clogged, or result in break-outs.

If you have dry skin

However, people who have dry, cracked or flaky skin may benefit from the regular use of a skin oil. These people underproduce sebum, which creates a protective barrier on the skin’s surface that, along with lipids, locks in much-needed moisture. Without this sebum, water travels out of the epidermis (the outer layer of skin) before evaporating.

In these cases, an artificially-introduced skin oil can help lock moisture in, by sitting on the topmost layer of skin and preventing moisture from escaping throughout the day or night.

Can I use a skin oil instead of a moisturiser?

If you’re using a skin oil because you have dry skin, you shouldn’t skip the moisturiser. This is because moisturiser is made to be absorbed by the skin. It’s an emollient, which is made to penetrate the skin. On the other hand, oil is an occlusive, which means it sits on top of the skin. The large molecules that make up an oil are too large to be easily absorbed into the skin.

Moisturiser (which can be coupled with a well-chosen serum) provides hydration for the layers of skin under the surface, while a good skin oil completes the job by sealing in that newly-earned moisture.

When to apply skin oil

Oil should be applied to the face as the last step of a skincare routine. Put on toner and moisturiser first, so your skin is hydrated. If you put oil on before moisturiser, the moisture will have no way of penetrating the skin, as the oil will block it. This will cause dry skin to become drier as it won’t have any moisture added to it.

Here are some commonly used skin oils according to the skin concern.

Dry or dehydrated skin

This can be a natural skin type, but it could also be the end-result of a misguided skincare regime. For example, frequently over-exfoliating or using products with salicylic acid (which is drying to skin) can also result in dry and/or dehydrated skin.

  • Try these oils: Rosehip oil, argan oil, sunflower oil, maracuja oil, or oils with oleic acid, like avocado and macadamia oils.

Acne-prone, oily skin

If you’re prone to acne or blemishes and your skin is oily, skin oils can help, but should be used with caution, as your skin already produces a fair bit of oil. Apply only a thin layer to blemish-prone areas.

  • Try these oils: Jojoba oil, squalane, marula oil, or sea buckthorn oil. All of these are light, non-comedogenic oils that can help with acne-prone skin without bringing more (unwanted) oil to the party.

Avoid sunflower oil, and other comedogenic oils that clog the pores. These include coconut oil and olive oil.

Combination skin

If your skin is sometimes oily, sometimes dry, or somewhere in between, you have combination skin. Your body is likely to produce a healthy amount of sebum. Oils that provide a balancing effect and protect skin from free radicals caused by environmental pollutants can help.

  • Try these oils: Marula oil and argan oil.

Sensitive skin

Approach using skin oils with caution. Never apply undiluted essential oils directly to your face (especially tea tree oil) as this will burn skin. Essential oils need to be diluted with a carrier oil first). To be safe, always do a patch test on a small part of your skin (such as on your inner arm) before using an oil on the more sensitive skin of your face.

  • Try these oils: Sometimes a good gentle segway (or all-out alternative) to a topical skin oil for sensitive skin is to use a cleansing oil instead. This refers to cleansers that use oils in lower concentrations than those you apply directly to your face. Everyone’s skin is sensitive in different ways, but the following oils may help: marula oil, argan oil, and evening primrose oil and hemp seed oils (both of which contain anti-inflammatory gamma linolenic acid).


What does face serum do?

A face serum refers to a thin-viscosity liquid or gel that’s applied to the skin with a dropper. It contains highly concentrated active ingredients that target a specific skin concern.

How is a serum different to an oil?

A serum is different from a skin oil for a few reasons. Here are some of them:

  • The molecules of a face serum are much smaller than the larger ones found in an oil. This is because a serum is meant to deeply penetrate into the skin, whereas oil sits on the skin’s surface.
  • The quantities of active ingredients are also much more potent in serums, which - depending on how your skin responds - can produce quicker results.
  • In terms of the order of applying products in your skincare regime, a serum is applied after cleansing and toning. However, a skin oil is applied after moisturiser, to ensure it doesn’t block moisture from reaching the skin.


Absorbs quickly and easily into skin.
Thin, light consistencies mean that you can easily wear them under your moisturiser and make-up, without any sheen or other noticeable difference.
Highly concentrated formulas mean a good serum can work quickly and effectively to provide a skin remedy.


Represents an additional cost to your skincare regime, which may not be necessary if you have no specific skin issues in need of a remedy.

Do face serums really work?

There are many different types of serums. There are medical-grade formulas, clinically-tested concoctions, and the offerings from everyday beauty brands on the shelves.

Whether a serum works on you depends, most of all, on whether the active ingredients work to treat the skin issue you’re experiencing. Certain ingredients are suitable for specific skin concerns. Ultimately, finding the right match here, in terms of ingredients, is the important thing - more than the ‘status’ of a serum or its price tag.

Types of serums

Anti-aging serums

These can work to encourage collagen production, stimulate skin repair, stop brown spots from forming, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

  • Try these ingredients: Some active ingredients to look out for include Vitamin C, resveratrol, retinol, bakuchiol, niacinamide and antioxidants.
  • When to apply: Apply an anti-aging serum at night before you go to bed, as this complements the body’s circadian rhythms when it comes to skin renewal.

Hydrating serums

If your skin is perpetually dry, flaky or tight, a hydrating serum may provide you with the deep moisture that you need.

  • Try these ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C, niacinamide, glycolic acid, ceramides.
  • When to apply: Apply hydrating serums twice daily, in the morning and before bed. This gives your skin the maximum opportunity to absorb the hydration provided.

Skin-brightening serums

If you have a discoloured skin tone, blotchy or dark patches on your skin, a skin-brightening serum may help even out your skin tone.

  • Try these ingredients: Opt for ingredients with antioxidants and pigment-balancing ingredients. These include Vitamin C, glycolic acid, ferulic acid and kojic acid.
  • When to apply: Apply a skin-brightening serum in the morning, to receive the full benefits of having brighter skin, more glowing skin.

Skin texture serums

These help improve the overall texture and appearance of the skin. They can also help with improving the overall skin tone, by encouraging the shedding of dull or dead skin cells.

  • Try these ingredients: Glycolic acids, antioxidants, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, ferulic acid. These last three ingredients are also helpful to protect against skin damage caused by free radicals (such as pollution and UV light) in the environment.
  • When to apply: Apply at the start of the day.

Can I use serum everyday?

This depends on the manufacturer’s directions, and every product is different. However, most serums are safe to wear daily, with some brands recommending that you apply their product twice daily; once in the morning and once at night. If you use a serum daily that works for you, you’re also more likely to see positive results more quickly, when it comes to improving a skin issue.

To make sure daily use is safe, check the combination of skincare products you’re regularly using on your skin. Since serums are intense in terms of the concentrations they use, when added to other strong ingredients in your skincare regime, they can collectively begin to irritate skin. For example, using an an acid-based serum with an acid-based cream can be too much for your skin.