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...

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Based on 1,568 reviews
Real-u Beauty Bundle

Real-u Beauty Bundle 🏆 2024

4.6  (146) Summary
Tammy
Tammy
 
Best by farThese products made my daughters skin the clearest we had seen it in years! It took the redness out of her skin as well as reducing the acne. Show details
Gundry MD Polyphenol Dark Spot Diminisher

Gundry MD Polyphenol Dark Spot Diminisher 🏆 2024

4.9  (44) Summary
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Lisa P
Lisa P
 
Sukin Certified Organic Rose Hip Oil

Sukin Certified Organic Rose Hip Oil 🏆 2024

4.3  (57) Summary
Jos
Jos
 
Product has changed?I have used sukin rosehip oil for years because I found it better than any other brand.. however I feel the last couple bottles purchased have not been as usual! The oil is very thin and lacking texture!
Have u changed the recipe? Not a fan anymore. Show details
Bio-Oil

Bio-Oil

3.6  (287) Summary
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Jenna N.
Jenna N.SA
 
Works very well!!I have only been using bio oil for a number of days now and I'm noticing an improvement already. I had keyhole surgery to remove my appendix and the scar under my belly button from my surgery is thinck and indented into my skin and bio oil has differently helped already with the appeared of that scar Show details
featherdanny
featherdannyVIC5 posts
 
I have been using this product for years !Reasonable price and good effects !
Highly recommend to use everyday Show details
Tad
TadVIC20 posts
 
The Body Shop Seaweed

The Body Shop Seaweed

3.7  (31) Summary
Mhorven M.
Mhorven M.
 
Burning sensationBurns my skin and gave me acne too. Will not buy again
ASAP Range

ASAP Range

3.3  (46) Summary
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miako kuhn
miako kuhn2 posts
 
powerful sun protection ideal for combination skinIt was delivered in a reasonable time frame. The order was correct plus the extra gift from the online game purchase. The sunscreen and the sprayer were securely wrapped. The ordering process althrough out has been a fantastic and fun one. Agents are friendly special thanks to Anna. Show details
Jessie Webb
Jessie Webb5 posts
  Verified
Pure Emu Oil

Pure Emu Oil

4.9  (8)
concy
concyMalaysia
 
The Body Shop Vitamin C

The Body Shop Vitamin C

4.2  (10) Summary
Jenny
JennyNSW
 
Very unhappyAfter using the Vitamin C Serum tester I woke up the next morning with an itchy and extremely red face. 2 days later it hasn't changed. I had to see a skin specialist. Not happy. Show details
Veldere Elixir Elements Face Oil

Veldere Elixir Elements Face Oil

4.6  (8) Summary
samia8
samia8VIC12 posts
  Verified
This is better than the $250 creams I’ve usedI noticed some great changes in my skin with the elixir elements oil, including a reduction in fine lines and a healthier appearance.
It’s worked better than some very high end pricey skincare products I’ve used in the past and I highly recommend it. Show reply
Holly
HollyMelbourne12 posts
 
Excellent product and serviceI 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 future.

Selim M.
Selim M.
  Fair Incentive
perfect for meIts very helpful and made me perfectAfyer used this product My skin changed very swiftly. Show details
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jenikiwi
jenikiwi5 posts
 
Silk Oil of Morocco Argan Hair & Skin TreatmentGreat product. Have been using this for over 12mnths now and just love it. Using on skin as well now. Its great. Well worth the money and the service from Silk OIl of Morocco. Skin rashes love it too. Show details
Rose
RoseVIC2 posts
  Verified
Botani Olive Skin Serum

Botani Olive Skin Serum

5.0  (5) Summary
edna
ednaNSW5 posts
 
Actually works. Highly recommendedUsing this serum, actually noticed difference in my skin. One of the best products I have used.
My daughter has acne and used this and saw a great difference in her skin as well. Show details
Soupie
Soupie
 
Absolutely fantasticI have been looking for hydraurlonic cream but this gel is perfect
It sinks into my skin and it helps to remove dead skin cells win win
Rub your skin sort of intensely after some time after applying and you will actually feel dead skin being removed
I love it Show details
Rodial Dragon's Blood

Rodial Dragon's Blood

2.3  (40) Summary
Tiffany
Tiffany
 
Karen
Karen
  Verified
My skin loves this!I was introduced to this by a friend whose skin looks fabulous. My skin can be reactive to some products but loves this oil and this hydrates it so well. Will be making this a regular purchase too.

 Show reply

Unsatisfactory
Unsatisfactory SA8 posts
 
Love it!Easily absorbs into my skin, not too runny and it has no horrible smell. So far so good! Show details
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Karma R.
Karma R.2 posts
 
Doesn’t work biggest con!This product is a con as are all the before and after photos. All of the pictures are edited. The founder has a scar on her face she edits to say she used the glory oil on it. In real life her scar is terrible. You can get the same benefits from vitamin E and at a cheaper price. Please don’t fall for the click bait and buy this product. Show details
Nurture Nation Rarity Serumdipity

Nurture Nation Rarity Serumdipity

5.0  (4) Summary
Jana
Jana
 
It has brightened my faceThis serum smells amazing, it helped my skin, brightened my face and made my pimples disappear! Show details
poodle
poodle2 posts
 
I'm so happy with ituse this toner after cleansing. It makes skin feel very soft and removes the left over cleaner . The toner does not sting, or cause any redness . So gentle on skin

VioletAngel
VioletAngel18 posts
 
Christina H
Christina HENDEAVOUR HILLS6 posts
 
Skinstitut Even Blend Serum

Skinstitut Even Blend Serum

2.7  (13) Summary
Ebb
Ebb
 
Massive differenceI 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 better Show details
Christian Dior Capture Totale

Christian Dior Capture Totale

4.0  (5) Summary
Robin
Robin
 
Kath
Kath
 
Found the holy grail of moisturises!Great light weight but super enriching serum. Quickly absorbed and not heavy. Smells lovely and convenient little bottle. Can't move past this!

Great after exercising and lets your skin breathe!

The Body Shop Vitamin E

The Body Shop Vitamin E

2.4  (15) Summary
Charlotte E.
Charlotte E.
  Fair Incentive
Perfekt productsI like very much. Everything what I have working wery well!1 Show details ·  1

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.

Pros
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.
Cons
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).

Serums

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.
Pros
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.
Cons
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.

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