Should I Buy a Face Oil or a Moisturizer?

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If, like me, you’ve often got your nose in a magazine, you’ve probably heard that you really should moisturize every day. You might have also heard that it’s important to use some kind of facial oil. You’re likely wondering which one you need to use, or maybe even contemplating whether you need to use both. So if you’re troubled by the condundrum that is ‘face oil vs. a moisturizer‘, don’t worry because you’re definitely not alone!

It makes sense that you want to do some research before changing your daily beauty routine. After all, who wants to end up with expensive beauty products they can’t or just don’t want to use? I’ve done this when I spent a days salary on something that smelt so bad I just had to stop using it! Worse yet, what would you do if you invest in something that’s going to cause irritation and a whole host of possible problems? Below are some tips for how to decide whether a face oil or a moisturizer is better for you.

When Should I Use a Moisturizer?

There are several instances that merit using a moisturizer instead of a face cream. If you want the moisture to last a long time, then you likely want a cream moisturizer. This is because many of these creams are made with an ingredient that is called hyaluronic acid. This ingredient is only found in moisturizing creams, but not in facial oils.

Hyaluronic acid keeps water and moisture in your skin for a long time. Similar to slow releasing medications, the hyaluronic acid in these newer creams usually allows moisture to escape slowly over a period of time rather than all at once.

Thus, if your skin tends to get dry during certain times of the day, a long lasting cream moisturizer (as long as it has hyaluronic acid) could help you more than a facial oil.

If you want soft and smooth skin while working on other problem areas, you will want to go with a moisturizer. This is because, in general, moisturizers tend to have many more ingredients than facial oils.

These extra ingredients can help clear up other problem areas, such as reducing lines, stopping zits, and preventing dark circles around the eyes. Basically, your problem areas might get better in addition to getting moisture that lasts.

The last instance in which you would want to choose a moisturizer over a facial cream is if you have sensitivity to the sun or other types of skin problems that are exacerbated by the sun (i.e., rosacea).

You might be wondering what the justification is for this. When you use a facial oil, many can actually absorb more UV rays than cream moisturizers can based on the way that light passes through them. So if you don’t want extra sunlight, stick with the moisturizer.

When Should I Use a Face Oil?

Now that you have learned a bit about which situations, conditions, and preferences are best met with a cream moisturizer, we will switch now to understanding when facial oils are actually the better choice.

While some of the decision depends on your individual preferences, it is important to understand which considerations are most important so that you can weigh them appropriately.

Facial oils have been increasing in popularity over the past decade. One of the reasons for this is that many use only organic or natural ingredients and they are free of harsh chemicals. Basically, they tend to be more environmentally friendly. Some face oils come from only one food or plant (i.e., rosemary, almond, or raspberry oil).

In exchange for the lack of preservatives that are used in facial oils, you must be willing to accept that these will not last as long as cream moisturizers. Overall, the face oils tend to have a short shelf life, and if they are not stored properly or used within the appropriate time frame, they may end up smelling rancid.

A second time when you would want to purchase a face oil is if there are other areas of your body that you wish to moisturize. For example, in the winter months, some oils can be incredibly helpful for healing chapped lips, soothing rough feet, or reinvigorating dry patches that have developed from cold weather or winter sports.

Some oils can also be used to strengthen nails. Many can also be added to shampoos or conditioners in order to help make your hair shine brightly, repair dead ends, and stop your scalp from itching.

Additionally, some of these can even help reduce the appearance of lines, wrinkles, stretch marks, and other blemishes that many people want to get rid of quickly.

Lastly, facial oils are the better option is your skin is not prone to reacting to ingredients. If you have sensitivities, then you should not go for the facial oil. Some types of oil can cause the skin to become red and others might cause you to break out.

However, if you are not prone to reactions from certain ingredients, then this may not be a problem. Some of the milder oils, like argon oil, are typically a good choice for beginning facial oil users.


There are certain instances and occasions when it is better to use a facial oil or a moisturizer. Some of these depend on your own unique skin needs and preferences. For example, one important consideration is whether you are willing to put up with the addition of harmful or toxic chemicals. These chemicals are often added to moisturizers but are left out of facial oils.

As discussed, facial oils also tend to be better for the environment. Facial oils are a great product because you can use them to moisturize other parts of your body, such as the hair, scalp, nails, and lips. However, facial oils are not good if your skin tends to react to certain ingredients.

If you tend to have sensitivities, then you should opt for a moisturizer. This is because there are usually additives that help clear up other problem areas.

Additionally, cream moisturizers will be able to block more of the sun rays, while facial oils could end up resulting in sunburn. Lastly, if your face tends to get dry, moisturizing cream is a better option because moisture will be released all throughout the day.

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