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Serum v/s Moisturizer. Confused about what your skin needs? Read on to make the right choice

With the abundance of skincare products to choose from, you must understand the difference between a serum and moisturizer to pick out the right product.
face serum
Have you been using a vitamin C serum? Know if it really does something for your skin or not! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Grace Bains Updated: 18 Aug 2022, 11:33 am IST
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While the market is flushed with skincare products, the world wide web is only adding to the confusion due to the information overload. In such a scenario, it is difficult to choose the right skincare products and methodology for oneself.

For most of us, the two most popular choices are serums and moisturizers. However, deciphering the difference between the two is quite a task, considering that both provide a distinct set of benefits.

While serums are developed to nourish the skin, moisturisers help hydrate the skin and prevent water loss. Confused about which product to choose? Worry not, as we will help you decide the right fit for your skin!

difference between serum and moisturizer
You must understand the difference between serum and moisturizer. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Using a serum

Serum is essentially a thick liquid, which consists of vitamins and antioxidants, and helps reduce dark spots, redness, wrinkles, acne, and dark circles. The core quality of a serum is that it can penetrate your skin and reach the dermis layer, which helps rejuvenate and nourish the skin from within.

Serums are ideally applied after cleansing and toning your skin, as its active ingredients will be able to better penetrate the skin layers, and provide its benefits.

As per a study published by the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, topical serums, especially the ones containing hyaluronic acid (HA), improves skin hydration and skin quality in women.

Using the right serum can give your skin a boost of health! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Using a moisturizer

Moisturizers help reduce skin dryness, and replenish moisture that is lost when the skin is exposed to the sun and surrounding environment. They contain natural oils, antioxidants, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), and glycerin, that make the skin soft and smooth. However, from a molecular standpoint, they are unable to penetrate the skin layers and only protect the outer layer of the skin. A moisturizer is usually applied after using a serum.

Research published by Dermatological Therapy revealed that moisturizers act as a barrier to water loss, and help with the replacement of skin lipids and other compounds. The research highlighted that moisturizers reduce fine lines, and make skin appear smooth and soft.

You cannot afford to skip moisturization. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

So, now that we know the basics of these two products, let’s find out the differences:

Skin layer penetration: Due to the difference in molecular structures, serums can penetrate the skin layers, and nourish it from within. While moisturizers work for the outer layer only.

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Benefits: Serums are a great way to provide nutrients to your skin, such as vitamins, and moisturizers can help hydrate the skin, making it look fresh and supple.

Skin sensitivity: As serums can reach the deep layer so the skin, sensitive skin types may feel irritation and inflammation due to the presence of active ingredients. Moisturizers will help soothe the sensitive skin and hydrate it from the outside.

The fact of the matter is that, depending on your skin type and requirements, both the products can be used in a complementary manner. A moisturizer can help lock in the moisture and seal the benefits of a serum.

So ladies, do that patch test, and use these products to help boost your skin health!

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About the Author

Grace is someone who likes writing enough to make a living out of it. When she isn’t writing, you will find her having chai and reading a book. ...Read More

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