Should You Swap Your Moisturizer for a Face Oil?

Conscientious groomers have long understood the importance of daily hydration. But when it comes to stocking our sink ledge, we’re faced with a thorny obstacle: the choice between a moisturizing cream and an everyday face oil. Both products are designed to lock in moisture, but they also feature a range of distinctive ingredients, the benefits of which are not always clear. To help you make the choice that’s right for your skin, here’s a breakdown by priority.

If You Suffer from Postshave Irritation

Go with: Moisturizer. A morning shave may be a time-honored grooming ritual, but it can also lead to a host of complications, from redness and irritation to ingrown hairs. While some face oils do feature healing ingredients, like Nordic sea buckthorn, an aftershave moisturizer is formulated to treat these kinds of symptoms. Look for creams that feature aloe, witch hazel, allantoin, and other ingredients that target inflammation, like (MALIN+GOETZ)'s vitamin e face moisturizer.

If You Have Dry or Oily Skin

Go with: Face Oil. Of course, any moisturizer will treat the effects of dry skin, and some lightweight creams are specially designed to work with an oily complexion. But a good face oil will target the cause of oil imbalance, not just the symptoms, thus regulating natural sebum production to encourage a matte finish. That said, applying oil to dry or greasy skin should not be approached lightly, so make sure you choose a top-quality oil with simple, natural ingredients, like this marvel from PLANT.

If You Spend Time in the Sun

Go with: Moisturizer. A man who spends his days in the sun should adjust his dopp kit accordingly. To that end, the diverse formulas of modern creams can really be brought to bear: Many daily moisturizers contain aloe, a perfect remedy for sunburnt skin, and some formulas—like Baxter of California's Super Shape SPF 15—have built-in UV protection to keep sunburns at bay from the start.

If You Travel Frequently

Go with: Face Oil. For those who live out of a suitcase, the value of a compact product cannot be oversold. And that’s where face oil comes in. Because most oils are highly concentrated, they always clock in at less than 2 ounces. What’s more, using only a few drops per day means that one bottle will last forever. Stock your dopp kit with a nutrient-rich oil, like Herbivore Botanicals Face Elixir and you’ll have one less thing to worry about when you hit the open road.

If You Have a Beard

Go with: Face Oil. In our humble opinion, few things are more satisfying than a good 2-in-1 product. And since face oil and beard oil share many of the same ingredients—like jojoba, argan, and grapeseed oil—a daily application will keep your skin well hydrated, and your beard sufficiently soft. Of course, if you’re truly committed to hirsute glory, there’s no substitute for a hybrid specialist, like stubble & ‘stache’s face moisturizer and beard conditioner.

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