4 Amazing Face Oils And Serums For Dry, Dull Skin

*Disclaimer: this article is specific to those with dry skin!*

I’ve always had dry skin. I’ve always had acne. Still, my breakouts were more hormonal and a reaction from foods that didn’t sit well with my body. (Acne face maps were great for helping me see where and why I was breaking out.) Finally, now at age 23, I’ve kept up with a pretty consistent diet and finally found the skincare products that work for me.

Finding the right products to add to your skincare routine is scary. It can take years for someone to establish a consistent routine with consistent products, and even then, as you get older, your skin changes. Some serums and face oils are hit or miss and it’s hard to figure out what will work until you use it. So let’s talk about face oils and face serums, how it helps combat dry, dull skin, and the products I use to achieve a moisturized, healthy glow.

What are serums?

If you’re looking to target problem areas, use a serum. It can be used after washing your face and before moisturizing, and all you need is a few drops–a little goes a long way.

There are a number of serums out there, but the main ingredients in them are antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and hydrators. Antioxidants like Vitamin C protect against sun damage and skin aging, anti-inflammatories like Zinc or Aloe Vera help redness, and hydrators like Amino Acids keep moisture in and reduces dryness from harsh environments.

Before you think about adding a serum into your skincare routine, talk to your dermatologist to see if it’s right for you, especially if you have skin conditions like eczema or rosacea.

What are face oils?

Face oils are made to help supplement the natural oils your skin isn’t necessarily producing. Not only does it help you feel more moisturized, but it gives a subtle glow too. Some of the most common face oils being used are tea tree oil, rosehip oil, jojoba oil, primrose oil. Tea tree oil is great at fighting bacteria and healing acne (it reduces the size and redness of your breakouts). Rosehip, primrose, and jojoba oils have antioxidants that can help heal acne scars, irritation, redness, and combat dryness.

Again, you’ll have to talk to your dermatologist about face oils or do some research–ask friends, family, the Internet–on if it’s the right product for you to be using.

What’s the difference between face oils and face serums?

While both face oils and serums are made to help specific skin concerns in a broader sense, the targeted concerns are different. For example, face oils are great for hydration, fighting dullness, and giving off a healthy glow, whereas serums are used for acne, redness, and even wrinkles.

So if you’re curious about the products I use to combat acne, dullness, dryness, and dark circles, here they are:

Super Pure Zinc Serum

We all know and love Glossier as a trendy Instagram brand offering skincare and makeup products. I am one of those people who are wholeheartedly obsessed with (most of) their products because it allows me to embrace my natural self. When my hormonal acne appears, I put a few drops of this Super Pure Zinc Serum on the spots until they go away (which, to my surprise, doesn’t take too long).

Ingredients: Vitamin B3, Zinc, water, honeysuckle flower extract

Benefits: Zinc is great for targeting acne and excess sebum (“bad” natural oils that your body produces) in pores and Vitamin B3 helps improve the skin texture. This serum dries my face a bit, but that’s okay because that’s what it’s supposed to do. I just need to follow up with an oil and a moisturizer and all is well.

I’m currently on my second bottle of this serum, but because my skin has completely cleared up, I only use it when I’m hit with the hormonal acne once a month. I love Glossier and I’m so thankful for this acne-fighting serum!

Gold Mine Face Oil

Drifter Organics is an all-natural skincare brand offering facial oils, body butters, and lip balms that are comprised of natural oils and ingredients, including essential oils. About a month or so ago, they gifted me the Gold Mine Face Oil and after a few days worth of use, I noticed a difference in my skin.

Ingredients: Prickly pear seed oil, jojoba oil, cranberry seed oil, rosehip oil, Vitamin E, and a variety of essential oils including vanilla and carrot seed.

Benefits: Not only did this face oil help moisturize my skin, but it brightened it up and evened out my skin tone (like the dark circles under my eyes). The vanilla essential oil scent is relaxing and detoxifying too.

Some online reviews said this face oil helped their clogged pores, others said it made their skin glow. It was made to target wrinkles, dryness, dullness, and provide you with a healthy glow.

Drifter Organics’ products are suitable for all skin types and is certified cruelty-free, organic, gluten-free, plant-based, soy-free, vegan, non-GMO, and paraben-free.

C.E.O. Glow Vitamin C + Turmeric Face Oil

I read that Vitamin C and Turmeric were two really important ingredients you should be implementing into a skincare routine, so I figured I’d try out Sunday Riley’s C.E.O. Glow Vitamin C + Turmeric Face Oil. I was a little nervous, as I always am when trying out new products, but after I used it a few times I fell in love.

Ingredients: The main ingredients are Vitamin C, turmeric, ginger root extract. It also has red raspberry seed oil, jojoba seed oil, and primrose seed oil.

Benefits: This face oil is great for those with dry skin (me!) and who need a boost of antioxidants. With the turmeric and its anti-inflammatory properties, it helped give my skin a healthy, moisturized glow as well as feel and look a little less dull.

This face oil from Sunday Riley’s is free of sulfates, vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free. Although the smell is a little weird to me (it might just be a personal preference), I still use it consistently every morning just before I put on my moisturizer and primer.

Rose Hip Balancing Facial Oil

I stumbled upon this face oil while roaming around TJ Maxx one day. I had just started establishing a skincare routine and knew that face oils would help fight dryness, but didn’t know which products to use. It wasn’t until after using this face oil for months (one bottle has lasted me a long time) that I realized how beneficial rosehip face oil really is.

Ingredients: Rosehip fruit oil, Vitamin E, Vitamin C

Benefits: Rosehip oil contains vitamins E and C that reduces hyperpigmentation, aka acne scars. While it tightens my skin, it also balances my skin tone and diminishes acne scars.

Acne was never a serious issue with me and my skin, but rather, acne scars. I could do treatments and use products to help reduce pimples, but when they finally went away, I was always left with dark acne spots that felt impossible to cover up with concealer. This rosehip oil has allowed me to feel a lot more comfortable and confident in my skin.

If you have dry skin like me, talk to your dermatologist and ask them about serums and face oils and see what works and doesn’t work for you. Yes, you want results, but the last thing you want is a bad reaction.

Have you mastered a consistent skincare routine? What face oils and serums do you use? Feel free to reach out to me on Instagram or Twitter

Brooklyn-based poet, writer, avid coffee drinker, and music lover.

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