Facial Serum vs Moisturizers: What is the difference, use & more

The skincare industry has come a long way - From cleansers and creams to moisturizers and scrubs, we'll admit that the sheer number of products available can be dazzling.

Throw in the seasonal shifts and skin types you'll be left in a complete paradox of what your skin actually needs. However, the most important aspect of good and fresh skin still remains moisturizing and hydrating.

Both of these products help to control sebum for oily skin which helps with acne and breakouts, prevents early signs of fine lines and wrinkles, deeply nourish dry skin, and creates a strong barrier to protect us from environmental pollution.

However, this is not as simple as it sounds, because getting all these benefits requires you to use the right product at the right time.

So, what is the difference between serums and moisturizers? What should we use first? And how using the right product will be any different for our skin.

What is Face Serum?

face serums

A serum is typically a lightweight formulation of ingredients, used to deliver actives - like Vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and glycolic acid - than a typical moisturizer. Their texture is usually thin, absorbent, and can be directly applied to the surface of the skin.

Known for their effectiveness, face serums are also used to manage a specific skin condition, such as wrinkles, fine lines, acne, and more.

Read More: Fine Line and Wrinkles - What is the difference?

Though, they tend to be a bit expensive as compared to other skincare products, because of the potential ingredients used. That being said, a serum can be found in a variety of different formulas such as oils, gels, and even light creams.

What is Moisturizer?

what are moisturizers

A moisturizer is a thick layer of formula, used to act as a physical barrier to lock hydration on your skin. It can be any cream, oil, or lotion that can be applied to your skin to make it less dry.

Some moisturizers are mixed with natural ingredients to help with anti-aging, skin rejuvenation, brightness, and UV-rays protection. Unlike face serums, a moisturizer is not used to address skin concerns. In fact, they can help with a substitute of benefits, but not specifically to any problem.

Serum vs Moisturizers: The Key Difference

A lot of time serums and moisturizers are used interchangeably and for good reason, because they both ensure that your skin receives enough water.

Also Read: Things to avoid if you have sensitive skin

Our skin needs ample hydration to look healthy and radiant. Because in case your skin doesn't receive enough hydration, it can cause:

  • Dryness
  • Premature fine lines
  • Dehydration
  • Environmental damage

Now the difference between both products is how you define your skin.

  • Dry Skin: Dry skin needs oil moisture because your skin is lacking natural oils and lipids which is what causes your skin to become dry.
  • Dehydrated Skin: Dehydrated skin needs water or hydration because there's a lack of water in the top-most layer of the skin.

serums vs moisturizers

What we've uncovered is that Serums are intended to penetrate deeply into the skin because they have active ingredients. On the other side, moisturizers help to fortify your skin and help preserve the natural oil or whatever you've used before.

Furthermore, some moisturizers have larger molecules, meaning that they won't penetrate deeply into your skin as serums.

So, the final verdict:

  • If you're looking for a strong effect, to fight some concern then you should be relying on serums.
  • If you're looking for continuous hydrating, a moisturizer is your ultimate partner.

Can we use Serums and Moisturizers together?

It really depends on the products you're using, your skin type, and the ingredients. For example, using a moisturizer on top of serum is fine, as long as you have dry skin. The serum will bring active ingredients to your skin cells and the moisturizer will further help protect them.

However, if you have sensitive skin, or suffering from a condition, then it's better to use one product at a time. You can also consult your dermatologist to get better help.

How to layer serum and moisturizers?

To effectively use the product, first rub 2-3 drops of serum onto your skin (face and neck). Wait for 30-60 seconds for the application to dissolve onto your skin. Then apply the moisturizer on top of it. While you can use all serums whenever you like (in a day), there are some that are made specifically for night-time applications. So, briefly check the packaging before you apply.

When should you use them?

Both serums and moisturizers can be used morning and night. However, it is better to limit the use of serums, mainly because serums contain active ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid - which when applied on daily basis can leave a tingling effect on your skin. Moisturizers on the other side are a bit simpler and can be applied to your skin, whenever you like.

How to know what is the best product for you?

If you're a first-time user of any product, make sure to do a patch test to see if you're not allergic to it. To do this, just apply a damp amount of the product on your inside elbow and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. If there's no reaction or redness, you can safely use the product.

The best Serums and Moisturizers

best serums and moisturizers

The Henna Guys offer a wide range of products that can help from the driest of skin to the acne-prone. Just find the best serum that is suitable for your skin and enjoy the freshness of natural ingredients. Don’t forget to check our:

The Final Takeaway

If you have a problem with your skin, such as fine lines, acne, dark spots, or wrinkles - adding a targeted serum to your skincare routine can help improve the appearance. Afterward, you can always use a good moisturizer to help seal the active ingredients delivered by your serum.

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