Facial Serum vs. Facial Moisturizer — What’s the Difference?

Serums and moisturizers help the skin in different ways. Sometimes a serum alone will be enough for what your skin needs, and other times you will find that you need both a serum and a moisturizer. Serums are thinner and lighter than moisturizers and have a great variety of functions. Usually, serums contain active ingredients that you want to penetrate as deeply as possible into your skin. For this reason, you should always apply a serum directly to your skin after cleansing or toning and before your moisturizer and sunscreen.

Moisturizers are thicker and creamier than serums. They’re meant to hydrate the skin and prevent water loss. Some moisturizers have added anti-aging ingredients, so they do double duty for your skin. But in order to really address a difficult skin care problem, like sun damage, you’ll want to combine your moisturizer with a quality serum.

Serums to Try

Origins makes a great anti-aging serum that helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It’s on the pricier side, but the small bottle lasts a long time and will keep your skin well hydrated, along with providing anti-aging benefits. This serum is a salicylic acid based gel that you apply directly to any acne-prone areas of your face to clear up existing pimples and prevent new ones from forming.

Moisturizers to Try

A moisturizer has larger molecules than a serum. This means that a moisturizer will not penetrate the skin as deeply as a serum will.

If you have a problem with your skin that you’d like to improve, such as dark spots or early signs of skin aging, adding a serum to your daily skin care routine can help improve the appearance of your skin. Also, if your skin is very oily, a serum can give you enough hydration that you won’t even need a moisturizer.

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