Formula Comparison: Water-Based vs Oil-Based Skincare Products
As you begin looking at the different types of skincare products, you’ll probably notice a polarizing affinity for either water-based or oil-based products. There is a camp on each side that loves one base for their own reasons, and it can be extremely confusing to decipher what’s best for you. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at the difference between these two product types, and answer a few questions you might have: is water-based or oil-based better, what are water-based products, and how do I choose a water-based moisturizer?
What Are Water-Based Products?
Water-based skincare products are, just as the name implies, composed mainly of water rather than oils. As such, while the main ingredient in these products is water, the other ingredients will be water-soluble. This is an important distinction because water-soluble ingredients will have a different interaction with your skin than oil-soluble ingredients. The best water-based products (like our Anti-pollution Facial Cleanser) have gentle surfactants (a type of “soap” that allows water to bind with oils and dirt) that do not cause irritation.
The Pros of Water-Based Products
- Leave the skin feeling lighter and cleaner than oil-based products do.
- They tend to soak into the deeper layers of the skin better.
The Cons of Water-Based Products
- May not provide enough moisture or protection from moisture loss for some individuals.
- Soaps are often required to help lift excess oils; some individuals are sensitive to soaps.
What Are Oil-Based Products?
On the other hand, oil-based products are mainly composed of oils, with many different oils that can be used in an oil-based product. If you find that one oil-based skincare product doesn’t work well for you, it might not be that all oil-based products don’t work for you. Perhaps it is the specific type of oil in your skincare product that is irritating. Oil-based products are mixed with other hydrophobic ingredients and tend to give a more “greasy” feeling.
The Pros of Oil-Based Products
- Provide protection from moisture loss, especially for those with dry skin.
- Are often great for lifting dirt and excess oils from the pores without using soap.
The Cons of Oil-Based Products
- Sometimes leave the skin feeling greasy or wet.
- They don’t soak into the deeper layers of skin as well.
Is Water-Based or Oil-Based Better?
The answer to this question is, ultimately, going to depend on your skin type. In general, using oil-based products will make your skin feel more “greasy” and even sticky. However, oil-based products also can downregulate your skin’s natural oil production. Some people find that using oil-based products can eliminate their oily skin problems over time. If you find this confusing, you’re not alone – this is why most dermatologists tell you to experiment and find what works for you.
Here at Rejuvaskin, we prefer water-based products because they are more versatile, leave the user feeling cleaner, and don’t contribute to that unwanted greasy, sweaty look that most people try to avoid. As with anything in skincare, you need to figure out what’s best for your skin. Try different things and listen to what your body is telling you!
How Do I Choose A Water-Based Moisturizer?
Water-based moisturizers can be effective, just like oil-based moisturizers. It’s important to keep in mind the skin’s natural moisturization process as you consider investing in a special moisturizer:
- Underneath the surface, skin moisture is due to water and hydration levels. The skin barrier needs moisture to stay healthy.
- On the surface, oils play a very important role in keeping water hydration locked into the skin.
This is a two-step process that requires both water and oils. If your skin does not produce enough natural oils, you’ll need to supplement your skin and assist it there. So, as you can see, choosing a water-based moisturizer (and any skincare product, for that matter) is more complicated than it might seem at first.