Derm DMs: Does Facial Oil Come Before or After Moisturizer?

May 06, 2019
Tembe Denton-Hurst
By: Tembe Denton-Hurst | by L'Oréal
Derm DMs: Does Facial Oil Come Before or After Moisturizer?

Even as layering your skin care has become more popular, it can still be difficult to figure out which product to use when. And although you’ve likely mastered layering your toner before your serum, things can get tricky when attempting to use two products from the same category. Such is the case with layering oils and cream moisturizers — which both fall into the ‘moisturizer’ category. This type of layering, aptly dubbed “double moisturizing” is loved for its ability to induce a hydrated, dewy glow and is also beneficial for people with dry skin whose goal is to keep moisture locked into the skin. So which one should be layered first: the moisturizer or the oil? We tapped dermatologist and consultant Kavita Mariwalla, MD, to find out.

If you guessed the oil, or used the “thinnest to thickest” rule of thumb, then you’d be absolutely correct. According to Dr. Mariwalla, you should use your facial oil before your moisturizer because oils and serums tend to have more actives than moisturizers, and, depending on the moisturizer, the cream may reduce the effectiveness of the oil. If you choose to layer Dr. Mariwalla recommends pairing a light oil with an occlusive moisturizer (we love CeraVe Healing Ointment) which helps to lock in moisture.

Although double moisturizing is trendy, Dr. Mariwalla warns that oils are not for everyone. “I tend to advise patients to use serums more than oils,” she says, adding that patients tend not to breakout from serums and they’re easily added to multi-step routines. She strongly advises against layering oils and moisturizers if you have oily or acne-prone skin because the extra layers of product may clog pores. Even if you don’t have an oily or acne-prone skin type we recommend testing this method before fully committing – like double moisturizing only at night, to start — and working your way up to full-on slathering over time.

Read More:

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