Main Takeaways: Generally speaking, moisturizers hydrate the skin while face oils lock the moisture in. Face oils feel slick while moisturizers are generally creamy. Good to Know: There's no reason you can't use both a face oil and a moisturizer to help restore and lock moisture into the skin.
Moisturizers and face oils are not interchangeable. You cannot use oil in place of moisturizer because oils are too heavy for the skin. They will make your face oily and greasy, which is something you definitely want to avoid as it will make your skin look worse than ever.
"The skin needs oil to maintain a healthy balance, otherwise, it gets too dry which can cause breakouts, fine lines, and wrinkles. Using a facial oil helps keep moisture in the skin while protecting it from the environmental damage," she explains.
When it comes to skin care products, it's always best to follow the directions of the product you're using. With that said, there is a general rule about whether to apply oil before or after moisturizer — and it might not be what you think. Generally, you'll want to apply oil as the last step in your routine.
"Heavy oils can congest the skin and cause breakouts, which will definitely inflame and irritate existing acne conditions. "Oils such as coconut, olive and wheatgerm should be avoided, as they may block pores and cause increased blemishes."
"Oils are part of the moisturizing process," says cosmetic chemist Vince Spinatto. "So while oils can condition the skin and hair, they only retain water content — not add it — which means they are moisturizing but not hydrating."
5. Use face oil twice daily, or as needed. Facial oils can take pride of place in your skincare routine in the morning or the evening (or both!), but they can also be used as and when they're needed.
“Instead of being hydrating, oils can have the opposite effect and dry out your skin,” says celebrity aesthetician Dr Barbara Sturm whose clients include Hailey Bieber. It all comes down to the size of the fatty acid molecules that make up the oil.
Myth #2: Facial oils clog pores.
Let's cut to the chase right away – facial oils will not clog your pores. Oil (or sebum) occurs naturally in your skin and your sebaceous glands are constantly working to pump it out. Acne is a result of hair follicles that become clogged with oil and dead skin cells.
Face oils are designed to provide skin with moisture and lock in hydration. Typically formulated with a mixture of plant oils, this essential comes in handy to soften, nourish, and balance skin for a healthy-looking glow.
Coconut oil is highly comedogenic, which means it can clog pores. Consequently, it may actually make acne worse for some people (22). When applied to the skin, coconut oil may clog pores and make acne worse. It is not recommended for those with very oily skin.
When it comes to facial oils, they should be applied as the last step in your skin care routine at night, and right before SPF in the morning.
One to three drops of your choice of oil is enough to cover your whole face and deliver the benefits your skin needs.
Most face oils are amazing moisturizers—as moisturizers, they really, really work, leaving your skin temporarily more supple, plumped, and smooth. If by “work” you mean “has the effect of a face-lift or Botox,” no cream or oil or anything topical is going to have that effect, no matter what they promise.