Should Face Oil Be Applied Before Or After Moisturiser?

Should Face Oil Be Applied Before Or After Moisturiser?

When it comes to skin care, there are always a lot of questions. But one of the most common is, “should I apply my face oil before or after my moisturiser?”.

And we hear you, it’s a tricky one. We’ve even probably gotten wrong in the past. But the reason it’s so tricky is that it depends on your routine. And what oil you’re using. And what moisturiser you’re using.

But we’ve aimed to simplify the whole thing with the help of Dale Tannous, Beauty Therapist at AMR Hair & Beauty.

Dale’s a big fan of face oils. “[They] make my skin feel amazing and really hydrate it when I’m going through spurts of dryness,” she tells us. “It’s a wonderful elixir for evening out the complexion too.”

You don’t have to tell us twice, Dale. But if you’re yet to get on the face oil bandwagon, here’s what you need to know (and where to slot it into your routine).

Who should be using a face oil?

In short, everyone. We kid, we kid. But in all seriousness, everyone can if they want to. “All skin types can benefit from a face oil, and there really is something for everyone out there,” says Dale. “From rosehip to jojoba, they’re usually formulated to address a specific skin concern so it’s easy for consumers.”

Some even combine the powers of a few oils, like the Salt By Hendrix Mermaid Face Oil ($44.95 at AMR Hair & Beauty). It contains jojoba, argan and rosehip oils for some deep moisturising action.

If you’re new to the face oil game, we also recommend Trilogy’s Certified Organic Rosehip Oil (from $21.47 at Chemist Warehouse) and The Jojoba Company Australian Jojoba (from $19.95 at Nourished Life). Both are great, nourishing options that will play well with most skin types.

“Even if you have oily skin, a face oil won’t make it feel greasy – it’ll just nourish and hydrate it,” adds Dale.

face oil

When should I apply it?

Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for, should face oil come before or after moisturiser?

As a general rule of thumb, Dale says to always think about going from ‘thinnest to thickest’ when layering skin care. Or for the skin care gurus among us, always end with your most occlusive formula.

“For example, a mist, then a serum, then moisturiser, and in most cases, the oil will be the thickest product and best to use last,” explains Dale. “[However,] you can go either way with oils, just depending on the texture and consistency of the product.”

Not to mention the texture and consistency of the moisturiser you’re using too. If you’ve got a thick, heavy and rich face cream you like to finish on, your oil may very well come before it.

Dale also recommends opting for only one or the other during the day, to not overload the skin. But at night, she says to ‘go nuts’ with the hydration.

“A great tip for using oils is to purchase a silk pillowcase,” she adds. “[This will] maximise the juicy results overnight rather than having the oil absorb into your pillow.”

Main image credit: Getty

Do you use a face oil? Do you apply it before or after your moisturiser?

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Comments 74

  1. Still a little confused as to which one to apply first. I recently purchased the jojoba face oil from rewards room. Will be giving this a go both ways and seeing what feels the best. Looking forward to experiencing a face oil routine, especially during winter when my skin needs that extra hydration.

  2. I used to use a face oil with my moisturiser in winter, however in the last couple of years I’ve found that I’ve started breaking out from them, which to me indicates that my skin has changed in some way (whether it be due to my increasing rosacea or I’m just oilier, who knows). That said I do have my eye on the Mecca Everyday Face Oil & would like to try that next.

  3. Interesting that a silk pillowcase won’t absorb the oil. I tend to use oil earlier in the evening, after cleansing then apply a night cream just before bed I’ve tried and like both Trilogy and Jojoba

  4. Oil doesn’t necessarily mix well with SPF products though so I just stick to using it at night these days as an end step. I love basic Rosehip Oil and Jojoba Oil. Chiaseed oil has also been great for me in the past too.

  5. I’ve been using the oil first and then the moisturiser. My logic was that the oil takes a while to be absorbed and then the moisturiser can do it’s magic. I’ll try the other way having read this article.

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