Face serum vs. Face oil: What’s the Difference?

well.ca with Seanna Cohen Skin Care Therapist

Read the ingredients

Confused about serums and oils? Which is which? These days, many brands call their products ‘serums’. Don’t get caught up on titles. Look at the ingredient list to figure out the difference between a serum vs. an oil.

A serum contains water-soluble ingredients like aloe, fruit extracts, or hyaluronic acid. An oil or blend of oil contains ingredients like jojoba, rosehip, seabuckthorn, and argan. Always apply the lightest products first (like a serum with water soluble ingredients), and work your way to the heaviest products (like your oil blends). 

Face serum vs. oil

A serum in the traditional sense of the word is a water soluble product. It contains highly concentrated ingredients that are meant to target specific skincare concerns like, dehydration, pigmentation, or fine lines. It’s like a specialized treatment, or multi-vitamin for your face. Apply these immediately after cleansing and toning (before moisturizer).

Oils are sourced from a number of therapeutic plants. Just like serums, oils target specific skincare concerns, but also act as a natural barrier for the skin to protect, heal, and nourish. Apply these last. Oil are the last line of defence against the elements and environment.

Watch this!

In this video with well.ca, I explain the difference between the two types of products and when to use either one. Have a watch!

Healthy Skin Test #1: Moisture Check


Healthy Skin Test Take the Healthy Skin Test 

There’s no such thing as “flawless skin” outside of photoshop and Instagram filters. It’s an impossible goal we create for ourselves which has us constantly grabbing for the newest cream or cosmetic procedure.

Instead of striving for flawless skin, you should strive for “healthy skin”.

What is healthy skin? Just like the body, when skin is healthy it’s properly nourished and hydrated. It actually glows because blood is circulating properly, it’s smooth to touch because the natural barrier is intact, and it’s dewy because oils are in a perfect state of equilibrium.

How do you know if you have healthy skin?

I have three simple tests that you can try to see where your skin’s health rates. The first test is a moisture check. Stay tuned for tests # 2, and #3.

Need some help getting your skin healthy and glowing again? Book a skin care consultation with me and receive a custom plan with specific product recommendations and a step by step approach to achieving your skin goals!

3 ways to improve dry skin over night

Improve dry skin | elodiebeauty

Dry skin be gone!

As the grand finale to my hydration-themed blog posts this month I wanted to give you three easy ways you can improve dry skin right away. (If you missed the others see: DIY Vanilla Rooibos Body Butter, Hydrating Chia Seed Mask, Chia Seed Blueberry Drink).

In reality treating dry skin can take some time, however taking some simple measures can make an immediate difference in how your skin feels.

Stop using products with SLS

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), and it’s close relative, Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) are in pretty much all conventional soap products. It’s what makes them foam. It’s also what makes them naturally drying for the skin because it dissolves oils. Despite wanting that “squeaky clean” feel, removing the skin’s natural oils can create severe imbalance. Especially during the winter this leaves the skin (face and body) extremely vulnerable, producing parched, cracked, and irritated skin.

Only scrub the “pits” and “bits”

Many of us, since childhood, have learned to scrub our entire bodies everyday with foaming body wash or soap. Hear me out when I say . . . stop washing your body! What I mean is, unless it’s entirely needed (like you’re drenched in sweat from a hot yoga class, or you’ve been rolling in the mud), only wash the “essentials” with soap. Essentials being, pits and bits. Every winter, I was constantly plagued by dry, eczema-like patches on my body until I stopped sudsing up my arms and legs every day. Even if your soap is SLS-free it can still remove some of your skin’s natural oils. If you want to clean and exfoliate your body every day, use a dry brush instead to slough off dead skin cells and dirt that can accumulate.

Turn down the heat

I’m talking about water temperature. Just like butter, hot water can basically melt the skin’s natural oils. Lather up with soap in a hot shower and you get squeaky clean, oil-free skin. This might sound like a good thing, but your skin will become dehydrated and unprotected from the elements. Keep showers under 10 minutes (better for the environment too!) and keep the water warm, not hot! When you get out, make sure to slather on a moisturizer or oil while your skin is still damp to further protect it.

Hydrating Chia Seed Mask for Dry Skin

Hydrating Chia Mask for Dry Skin | elodiebeauty.com Here at Elodie Beauty, January is hydration month, and this Chia Seed Face Mask is the perfect solution for dry skin. 

The drop in temperature and hike in central heating has my skin feeling super dry and dehydrated. I’ve pulled out all the stops: cool mist humidifier, regular layering of hyaluronic acid serum, thick moisturizer, and omega-rich oil, a water bottle at my side at all times . . .

But sometimes it’s STILL not enough!

I’ve created this mask as a hydrating treatment to give my skin that extra boost.

Chia seeds are rich in skin-protecting omega fatty acids
Rose/or chamomile water is soothing and calming for dry, parched skin
Raw honey is anti-inflammatory and an amazing humectant that draws moisture to itself
Rosehip oil helps repair damaged skin and build up the skin’s barrier function

Hydrating Chia Seed Face Mask

  • 1TBS ground chia
  • 3TBS rose water or chamomile water
  • 1TBS raw honey
  • 10-15 drops of rosehip oil

Hydrating chia mask for dry skin | elodiebeauty.com

You can buy pre-ground chia seeds, or use a clean coffee or spice grinder.

Hydrating Chia Mask for dry skin | elodiebeauty.com

Dissolve chia seeds into rose water and let sit for 1-2 minutes until mixture to thickens.
Add honey and mix until combined (this may take a second since the chia mixture is really jelly!)

Chia Mask
Finally, mix in rosehip oil and apply generously all over face (you’ll want to tie back your hair, it can get messy!). Let the mask sit for 5-10 minutes. Rinse well. The chia seeds will give your skin a gentle exfoliation. Follow up by applying a hydrating serum (like this one!), moisturizer, and more rosehip oil.