Serum vs oil?

Hello, if I am interested in making a serum with Argan oil and Bakuchiol (as the active ingredient), would this be considered a serum or an oil?

I see that some oils are marketed as a serum if they contain ingredients that are meant to change the skin in a specific way, vs just moisturizing for example.

But serums generally are solutions that are made up of small molecules which allow for deeper penetration of the active ingredient. I am maybe assuming that this requires a mixer with a high spin speed and some kind of emulsifier (I do have access to a mixer that makes lotions). 

In this case, we only have these 2 ingredients (though I could change this if necessary). 

Thank you so much for your insights with this  


  • Normally they'd call it an oil. Though i'd consider oil a product base, and serum a product format, so to me, it's a oil serum, which people will know that its commonly identified as an oil based product used at the serum step that is 30ml to 50ml. 
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    You can call it whatever you want. These are marketing terms with no strict, scientific or legal definition.

    As an aside, I used to work on a brand called VO5 Hot Oil. There wasn't any "oil" in it.

    Use the term that will be most compelling to your consumers.
  • That is really interesting jemolian thank you so much! 

    Perry thank you this is also very helpful! 
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