Should You Apply Facial Oil Before or After Moisturizer?

But the question above all questions is certainly what is the right order of applying skincare products. Or more precisely, should I apply facial oil before or after moisturizer? Although all the questions are equally good, we will still leave the answer to the question about the refrigerator and eyeliner for another time.

Today, we are talking about when to apply facial oil to your skin and why. Let’s dig in.

The eternal debate on how to use facial oils and when to apply facial oil

If you are not familiar with the eternal question of whether one should apply facial oil before or after moisturizer, it is time to keep abreast of this serious debate. This discussion on when to apply facial oil has been going on for many, many years. Although today we know the correct answer and know the proper way on how to use facial oils, there are people that still think the oil has an advantage and should be applied before the moisturizer. Why?

Because once upon a time, aesthetician schools taught about the rule of the order of applying skincare products, which was based on consistency. The rule was that the thicker the product, the later it should be applied to the skin. By the logic of things, according to this rule, the oil should be applied before the moisturizer, because it is less dense. Due to this, there is still a debate on when to apply facial oil and how to use facial oils properly. We know today that this rule makes sense, but nonetheless, there are exceptions to it, with good reason. The oil-moisturizer sequence is one such exception.

Facial oil before or after moisturizer: what does science say?

If you thought that the question “Should we apply facial oil before or after moisturizer” is as difficult to answer as the question “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”, We have to reassure you. We do have an answer to the first question that has scientific confirmations behind it. Facial oil is always applied to the skin after a moisturizer. And the explanation behind when to apply facial oil and how to use facial oils is very simple and logical.

First, we must say that the best way to use a product is to follow the instructions on it because it is the safest way to ensure its optimal effect. But there are also some general rules that say that oil should always be a step after the moisturizer. And before you start asking questions, we need to say that this doesn’t even contradict the rule of applying products from thinnest to thickest.

So, how to use facial oils? Although most oils look quite liquid and light, the truth is completely different. Oils are the heaviest products in your skincare routine (you may also want to read all about the double cleansing method) and when applied do not allow other ingredients to penetrate the skin through it. On the other hand, the reverse process is possible, because the oil is powerful enough to achieve its effect even though it is applied at the very end. The oils act as occlusives and allow water molecules to lock into the skin. Therefore, it is best to apply a moisturizer that contains water first, and then the oil that will prevent TEWL (transepidermal water loss) and promote skin hydration.

Is facial oil a necessary product in skincare?

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Although many of you adore facial oils (such as our new favorite borage seed oil) and cannot imagine their skincare routine without them, the fact is that the oil is not so much of a necessary product. Why? Because most moisturizers on the market already contain oils in their formulation that act as emollients and promote hydration. This means that there is no need to apply the oil after the moisturizer. If your skin is extremely dry and you feel that the oils work great for you, you can definitely upgrade your skincare routine and add another extra step.

5 Effective Anti-aging Tips for Your Skincare Routine

In case you like the effect of oils on your skin, and you don’t like the film on your skin after applying them, don’t despair, because there is one little trick you can use. You can add a few drops of oil to your moisturizer and apply them together to the skin. This way your skin will not be very oily, and you will still apply the oil that suits you. Simple as that.

How to use facial oils: extra tips for applying facial oils

First, we advise you to be moderate with oils and not to use too much. A few drops are quite enough to achieve the desired effect, without leaving you with an unpleasant, oily feeling on the skin. Never smear oil on your face, but try to heat it between your palms beforehand, and then dab it on your face. If you notice that only some parts of your face are dry and you do not want to apply the oil on your whole face, you can use it as a spot treatment and apply it only on the regions that crave oil. You may even want to use a jade roller! Play with the products and find out what pleases your skin.


Although some people still believe that facial oil should be applied before facial moisturizers, the facts still show that the oil should be the last step. In the question of should you apply facial oil before or after moisturizer, we say after.

However, if you’re not a fan of oil products, and it doesn’t interest you to know about how to use facial oils, then you should not force them on your skin. With so many phenomenal products on the market, it will be a real shame to use something you do not enjoy.

Ultimately, skincare should be effective but also tailored to your personal wishes and needs. If you don’t like oil, you can skip it. There’s no need to keep speculating as to when to apply facial oil on your skin. A good moisturizer that is adequately formulated will be quite enough to lock the water in the skin and provide optimal hydration.

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