Essential Oil vs Serum: Difference and Comparison

There are a plethora of objects available out there for self-care. Be it moisturiser, toner, face oils, essential oils and Serums.

All of these items available are for different purposes and can be used to get rid of acne, even out your skin tone, get bright looking skin and so much more. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts used for aromatherapy or topical applications, while serums are lightweight skincare products with a high concentration of active ingredients.
  2. Essential oils are used in diffusers or added to carrier oils, while serums are applied directly to the skin.
  3. While both products have various benefits for the skin and body, they have different uses and applications.

Essential Oil vs Serum

Essential oils are highly concentrated extracts of plants. they are used in aromatherapy and natural remedies. Serums are skincare products with a higher concentration of active ingredients than traditional moisturizers, used to target specific skin concerns like aging, dryness, or acne.

Essential Oil vs Serum

Essential Oils are primarily used in aromatherapy which is one of the forms of alternate medicines. These oils are extracted from plants and are used to assist in one’s health and overall well being.

There are a lot of essential oils out there since a lot of plant extracts are used to make different types of essential oils. 

Face Serums are a mixture of various active chemicals that target a particular skincare problem such as acne, blemishes, dark spots and so on. The molecules in serums are very small and they get absorbed within the skin very quickly.

The composition of active ingredients in serums as compared to other face care items is much more, thus making it more potent. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of CompositionEssential OilSerum
MaterialEssential Oils are made up of extracts of different plants with different smells, flavours and essence depending upon the plant.A Serum is made up of a mixture of active ingredients and chemicals. The chemicals are in a concentrated form in a Serum.  
ApplicationEssential Oils are either used through the application on a certain part of a body or are just used to inhale in order to induce aromatherapy.Serums are applied directly on either face or neck in small quantities and dabbed onto until it is finally absorbed. 
TypesThere are different types of Essential Oils depending on the need of the user such as Peppermint, Lavender, Sandalwood and so on.There are different types of face serum depending on the issue you wanna solve such as Salicylic acid, Vitamin C and much more.
BenefitsEssential Oils are used to help issues such as Stress, Anxiety, Headaches, Migraines and so on depending on the person using it. Serums are used to prevent a plethora of issues such as acne, dead and dull skin, blemishes, dark spots and so on. 
Side EffectsA lot of people get minimal side effects such as rashes, asthma attacks, allergic reactions and so on if used incorrectly or used in access. A lot of users have complained that serums give the skin more drier look. A lot of people have also experienced flaky and red skin after applying.

What is Essential Oil?

Essential Oils are primarily used for well being of a person in the form of aromatherapy. It is also considered as a form of alternate medicine by a lot of people out there.

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Essential oils are plant extracts that are then used for the benefit of people. The oils used are basically the essence of the plant they are extracted from.

There are unique aroma qualities of different plant extracts which differentiates the respective essential oil from each other.  Distillation and methods like cold pressing are used in order to obtain the essential oils from the respective plant.

Once the primary ingredient or the aromatic chemicals have been obtained they are mixed by a type of carrier oil in order to prepare a product that is ready to be used.

A lot of people prefer the essential oils made from natural processes over chemical processes since oils obtained from chemical processes aren’t considered original essential oil. Essential oils are not supposed to be swallowed and they are strictly based on external application only.

There are chemicals within the essential oil that react in a unique way to your body. There are more than 80 types of essential oils.

Each of these oils has unique characteristics and smell with different benefits to your health. 

essential oils 1

What is Serum?

The serum is basically a mixture of active ingredients which are in a concentrated form. These active ingredients work towards a specific skin-care issue such as acne or dark spot and the chemicals used in a Serum are quite a bit powerful and are also made up of smaller molecules which make the absorption rates to be much faster.

By using a face serum you will have quite less acne, blemishes, pimples, uneven skin tone and much more. The chemicals used in the process of making these face serums include vitamin-c, hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid and so much more.

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Each of these items works towards a specific cause. For instance, vitamin c brightens and removes the dullness from the face.

retinol serum

Main Differences Between Essential Oil and Serum

  1. Essential Oils are made from plant extracts mixed in carrier oil however, Serums are made with a combination of active ingredients in their concentrate form. 
  2. Essential Oils are used for aromatherapy and for the overall wellbeing of a person whereas Serums are used to solve skin care issues such as acne.
  3. The different types of Essential Oils are peppermint, lavender and so on. Serums are unique to their characteristics by different ingredients such as Vitamin C and Retinol
  4. Essential Oils are not to be ingested and are applied on a particular body part in order to get the aroma. Serums are directly applied on face and neck in order to get absorbed quickly. 
  5. Essential Oils may induce an asthma attack or rashes if used incorrectly and serums may lead the skin to dry out and cause redness if not used as per the instructions. 
Difference Between Essential oil and Serum
References
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691507004541
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jocd.14016

Last Updated : 17 July, 2023

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