By Elise Tabin
But their most compelling advantage? They hydrate the skin in different ways.
See what sets the two apart, and the ingredients to look for.
Moisturizers and oils offer many skin-friendly benefits.
A moisturizer is simply a product that helps retain or add moisture to the skin, says Dr. Nina Naidu, a board-certified plastic surgeon.
Oils are heavier and provide more of a conditioning effect. Unlike moisturizers, oils do not add or draw water to the skin.
To provide hydration, it must contain a humectant (like aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, or glycerin) to draw in water and an occlusive (like petrolatum, jojoba oil, or silicones) to hold in that moisture.
Vitamin-rich jojoba and marula oils, as well as squalene, will not clog the pores given their small molecular size.