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Oil-Based or Water-Based Skincare: How To Discover What’s Best For You

BY Love, Indus | PUBLISHED ON January 11, 2024

Oil-Based or Water-Based Skincare: How To Discover What’s Best For You

Oil-based or water-based skincare? Ah, the age-old dilemma!

Is slathering on oil good for your precious skin, or should you stick with just water? Don't worry, we've totally been there too – scratching our heads, trying to figure out what's best. You're not alone on this journey. This blog post will break down the oil vs. water debate, go through the facts, and get you on track to a happier, healthier skin-care routine.

According to a study by the National Library of Medicines, both water-based and occlusive products have their own signature elements that make them stand out. However, water-based and occlusive skincare products are distinct in their formulation and effects on the skin. Understanding these differences is essential for creating an effective skincare routine tailored to your skin type and concerns. In this blog post, you will find out all about water-based and oil-based skincare products.

First Up, Oil-Based Skincare Products

While the idea of applying oil to the skin might seem a bit off, these products are formulated to provide must-have nourishment and hydration, especially for those with specific skin types and concerns, like:

Dry and Dehydrated Skin: One of the primary beneficiaries of oil-based skincare is those with dehydrated skin. These products offer intense hydration, replenishing the skin's moisture barrier and preventing water loss. The oils create a protective seal on the skin's surface, locking in moisture and leaving the skin feeling supple and smooth.

Mature Skin: As we age, our skin's natural oil production decreases, leading to a loss of elasticity and firmness. Oil-based skincare can be a game-changer for mature skin, as the nourishing oils help to restore a youthful radiance by delivering vital nutrients and promoting collagen production.

Sensitive Skin: Contrary to concerns, many oil-based products are gentle and well-tolerated by sensitive skin types. Look for oils with anti-inflammatory properties, like chamomile or argan oil, which can help soothe irritation and redness.

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When you look at an “oil-based skincare product,” it means oil acts as their primary ingredient. These formulations complement traditional water-based routines by locking in moisture and protecting the skin barrier. The ingredients contained in oil-based skincare products can vary depending on the brand, target audience, and intended benefits.

We have all heard this: “If you have oily skin, avoid oil-based skincare at all costs.”

Well, that is incorrect.

Oily skin happens when the skin produces excess sebum, leading to concerns like shine, enlarged pores, and potential breakouts. However, providing the skin with certain oil-based skincare products can signal it to regulate its oil production. Renowned facialist Joanna Vargas explains this phenomenon: "Oily skin, a condition in which there is an over-production of oil, desperately needs to be signaled to stop producing so much oil. If you give the skin oil, the skin will get that signal."

Loaded with a blend of carrier oils and vitamins, oil-based skincare products are a super-concentrated dose of nutrients your skin cells love. They do the job by giving your skin the care it deserves - nourishing, repairing, and bringing back that youthful glow. If your skin asks for a bit more TLC (who can say no to that?), trying out oil-based skincare could be what you've been looking for.

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Second, Water-Based Skincare

Water-based skincare products, often referred to as moisturizers, have become a must-have in our skincare routines. But why do we love them so much? Is it because they can directly reach the stratum corneum's barrier and nourish the living cells beneath, improving the skin's suppleness and elasticity? Yep.

Let's get a bit technical here.

Our skin is the largest organ in our body, serving as a protective shield against environmental stressors and pollution. Beneath its surface, we can find the stratum corneum. This layer is primarily composed of dead skin cells held together by lipids. This layer can become dry, rough, or damaged due to many factors, such as harsh weather conditions, pollution, and aging.

“You can help take care of your epidermis, especially the stratum corneum, by drinking plenty of water and moisturizing it regularly,” says Cleveland Clinic.

With their lightweight and hydrating formulas, water-based moisturizers are designed to address the needs of the stratum corneum (this is the layer to tackle for healthier skin). Unlike oil-based products, which tend to sit on the skin's surface, water-based products are formulated to be absorbed quickly and smoothly.

What distinguishes water-based from oil-based skincare are the ingredients utilized and how they interact with your skin. As the name says, water-based skincare products have water as their main ingredient. According to Harvard Health Publishing, for those with dry skin, water-based products provide the hydration your skin craves. For oily skin and acne-prone peeps, water-based products are often formulated to be non-greasy and non-comedogenic (yay). This means they won't add extra oil to your skin, reducing the risk of clogged pores and breakouts.


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Beyond Skincare: Let’s Talk About Oil, Water-Based Makeup

From the dewy glow of a water-based foundation to the long-lasting power of oil-based eyeshadows, makeup enthusiasts are spoiled for choice. But what exactly sets these two categories apart, and which should you embrace to achieve your desired look?

Oil-based and water-based makeup each have unique characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages. Choosing between them is a matter of personal preference and specific needs. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to "best," as it depends on your skin type, the look you want to achieve, and your preferences.

Here's a breakdown of the key differences between the two:

Oil-Based Makeup

Longevity: Oil-based makeup products are often known for their durability and long-lasting power. They adhere well to the skin and can resist sweat and humidity, making them suitable for special occasions and events where you need your makeup to stay put.

Hydration: Oil-based makeup tends to be more hydrating and can provide a dewy or radiant finish. This can be advantageous for individuals with dry or mature skin, as it helps to lock in moisture and prevent a dry appearance.

Rich Pigmentation: Oil-based makeup products often deliver rich pigmentation, which can result in intense color payoff. This is particularly noticeable in oil-based eyeshadows and lipsticks.

Removal: While oil-based makeup is long-lasting, removing it can be a bit more challenging, primarily if you use waterproof formulations. You may need an oil-based makeup remover or micellar water to cleanse your skin effectively.

Water-Based Makeup

Lightweight: Water-based makeup products are typically lighter in texture and feel on the skin. They are great for individuals who prefer a natural, breathable finish.

Suitable for Oily Skin: Water-based makeup is often recommended for individuals with oily or acne-prone skin because it tends to be non-comedogenic and less likely to clog pores.

Buildable Coverage: Water-based foundations and concealers are usually buildable, allowing you to achieve the level of coverage you desire, from sheer to full, without feeling heavy.

Easy to Remove:Water-based makeup is generally easier to remove, often requiring only a gentle cleanser or makeup wipe to clean your skin effectively.

It's also common for people to use a combination of both types, selecting products based on their specific needs. For example, you might opt for an oil-based foundation for a special event and a water-based foundation for everyday wear. Experimenting with both types of makeup can help you discover what works best for you and your unique beauty goals.

How to Choose: Oil, Water, or Both?

We know what you're thinking: "So, which one should I choose?"

Guess what? You don't always have to choose just one.

Even though we all have heard water and oil don’t mix cohesively, well, when it comes to skincare, they technically do. Blending these two types can offer a holistic approach to skincare. Water-based products, like hydrating serums and toners, give your skin lightweight-glowy hydration.

Meanwhile, oil-based products, such as facial oils and oil-based serums, are fantastic for sealing in moisture and providing essential nutrients. The key to mixing these two formulations is to layer them properly to prevent skin pilling.. Start with water-based products, allowing them to be absorbed, and follow up with oil-based products to lock in all that goodness.

Testing different formulas is a great idea to determine what suits your skin type and blends seamlessly within your skincare routine. For water-based skincare, indulge in our Amrutini®️ Collection - a high-performance line that strengthens and helps heal your skin (reducing age spots, evening out the skin tone, reducing facial creases) - leaving it visibly transformed, youthful, and #radicallyradiant.

Both oil and water-based skincare products are dermatologist-approved, and each of them bring their own set of benefits to the table. So, it’s all about understanding your skin type, testing, and discovering what works well for you.

It's as simple as that.



Amrutini® Collection

The Collection

$285 • (Value $365)

The Amrutini® collection consists of:
1 X Precious Potion Vital Cream (50ml): A daily-use, soft moisturizer
1 X True Brew Transforming Serum (30 ml): A daily-use, silky nectar
1 X Luminosity Dewdrops Serum (30ml): An elixir that works while you sleep, to restore skin radiance and health.

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