How to correctly apply face oils & serums

Posted by Megan Kelly on

The way you apply facial oils and the amount you use is almost as important as the formula itself! When applied correctly, facial oils penetrate quickly and deeply, leaving a smooth and non-greasy finish. More often than not you’ll see immediate results from the first application.

Serums can address needs that aren’t covered by a moisturiser. Moisturiser is meant to protect your epidermis, or your outer layer of skin, while serums address the dermis, the internal portion of your skin responsible for your skin’s support and elasticity. Since serums have a smaller molecular size and higher active ingredient content, it enables them to penetrate deeper, providing nourishment to the underlying structure of the skin. 

 The larger molecular size of moisturisers allows them to seal water into the layers of the skin, keeping it supple, and hydrated. Because active ingredients in serums are more expensive than thickeners in moisturisers, serums are also the costliest product in many skin care lines. But when applied properly, a 1-ounce container of serum should last months.

Wash the Face - First begin with thoroughly cleansed, damp skin. Use lukewarm water and give your face a good wash before applying. Toners also removes excess oils, dead skin cells, and makeup residue that may lurk on the face after washing. It can help prep the skin for optimal serum absorption. Always apply oils after the skin has been washed. Oil will hold that extra water on the skin and help the skin to balance itself faster.

Use the right amount – Dispense 2 drops of facial oil or about a pea-sized amount of oil or serum onto your four fingertips (excluding the thumb), rub fingertips lightly together and gently press oil onto your cheeks, forehead, chin and neck. Remember that ingredients are concentrated and a little goes a long way!

Take your time - Apply the product about two minutes after your cleanser (not on wet skin). Quality formulas will disappear and leave no residue. Hydrated cells allow the active ingredient to penetrate better than dried cells.

Seal it up - UV rays and oxygen can cause serums to oxidize. Be sure to tightly close your product after every use.

As for whether a face oil or serum should be used along with a moisturiser, experts agree that oils and moisturisers can be used together. Combined together they boost moisture levels and target specific skin conditions. Moisturisers give the additional emollients that extra dry skin may need.

Should you wish to add a moisturizer, wait another three to five minutes before application. Moisturisers help restore the keratin protein back to the skin, so they generally have a higher pH. If you put on your serum then immediately put on your moisturiser, it can somewhat decrease the effectiveness of your serum.

This pattern allows distribution of oil/serum to the largest surface areas of the face. Follow with gentle, upward strokes to evenly distribute the oil onto the skin, including the neck and decolletage area.

Lastly, you may include the lips. If your skin needs more moisture, repeat.

Swiping over lips and nose will also work with your favourite moisturiser – just be sure to use a tiny 1/2 pea size for moisture.

Let us know if you have any questions or comments. Enjoy!


Information by Francesca Canzano-Franklin, Owner Philosophia Botanica


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