Oils vs. Creams: What’s the difference?

Sarah Brown is the founder of Pai Skincare. Entrepreneur, mum and sensitive-skinned soul.

In the last few years, Facial Oils have taken the beauty world by storm, and it’s been fantastic to see so many people incorporate them into their regimes.

With a host of amazing organic Oils available, it can be easy to become a dedicated fan – and leave more traditional Face Creams behind.

Here’s why I think a good skincare regime combines both Creams and Oils, and how they perform differently on the skin.

facial oil


Choose your facial oil carefully and it can make a huge and very visible difference to your skin.

They key thing about Oils is that the actives are present at a much higher concentration as they’re not diluted, so they have a more tangible effect on the skin.

A fatty, Omega-rich Oil like our Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil or Echium & Amaranth Age Confidence Oil deeply conditions, nourishes and improves skin tone and elasticity.

The key thing to remember is you cannot receive hydration from an Oil alone – despite what some brands may claim.

This is where Creams come into their own…

face cream


The simple purpose of a Cream is to hydrate and protect the skin. A Cream is a mixture or ‘emulsion’ of fats, water and actives that are able to hydrate skin thanks to their very high water content, which is around 60-80%.

A Cream drives moisture into the skin while fatty oils and ingredients like vegetable-derived glycerin prevent the water from evaporating. This hydration boost means that skin cells retain moisture, leaving skin supple, healthy and glowing.

Additional actives are also able to target specific skin needs, but the results may be less visible than with an Oil as they’re present at much lower concentrations.

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