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moisturizer vs serum

We know the whole thing about skincare for your face and body is overwhelming already, especially with all those new products coming out daily, the makeup and the cosmetic industry growing with no limits and the influencers you follow on Youtube are giving you ‘enough’ information. 

But truth to be told, there’s never going to be ‘enough’ about it, if you’re into skincare health, you should know how important is to stay tuned and keep upgrading your knowledge about the products and techniques you’ve been using so far.

What takes us to the matter, how much and how many moisturizers and serums you should be using in your skincare routine? Which is the difference and benefits your skin is going to absorb? When is it the right time to change your moisturizer and serum type? 

We’re disclosing the best info and tips regarding all your doubts, here:  

Let’s start with the Moisturizer! 

What’s the moisturizer formula and how does it work? 

The formulation is not just information for professional dermatologists or famous makeup artists, if you’re under skincare routines or a skin condition that requires it, then, the formulation is key. 

There are must-have ingredients you should always look for within moisturizer formulas, even if you have read/seen moisturizers reviews before, seek for the best formula according to your skin type and needs, but these ingredients provide potency and make the skin regain its natural beauty: 

  • Antioxidants: Green tea extract, grape extract, resveratrol, vitamin C, vitamin E, epigallocatechin-3 gallate, fluoric acid, superoxide dismutase. 
  • Skin-replenishing: hyaluronic acid, ceramides, sodium PCA, glycerin, glycerol, salicylic acid, silicones, petrolatum. 
  • Emollients: shea butter, cocoa butter, fatty acids, borage oil, linolenic acid, oleic acid, sunflower oil. 
  • Sunscreen: moisturizer should contain at least a broad-spectrum sunscreen, rated SPF 30+ or more. 

What do those ingredients to repair the skin? 

Antioxidants play a unique role in every product they’re in, alleviating the dryness in the skin is one of the many kindnesses these wonderful ingredients possess. They also help the skin retain its natural ability to moisturize itself as well as protecting it from further deterioration.  

When it comes to skin-replenishing ingredients, they’re the superstars regarding skin softness, smoothness and brightness. Emollients are the filtering ones, helping the skin lubricate its fluids by stopping water loss and protecting skin from intrusive environmental elements. 

As for the sunscreen, there’s not so much to tell about it because we all already know how very important it is to shield our skin from harmful UV rays that hurt our skin and can promote several damages, moisturizers that contain sunscreen usually work as both a shield and anti-ageing factor. 


Celebrity dermatologist Paul Jarrod Frank, MD, founder of PFRANKMD review and recommends: Tatcha’s The Dewy Skin Cream  “The formula has a weightless feel, but is also moisturizing and soothes tired, dehydrated skin, leaving it rich and ready for make-up”

moisturizer vs serum

Moisturizers overall skin benefits: 

It creates an anti-ageing shield – The more you leave your skin dehydrated; the more wrinkles can develop. If you think it’s already too late, don’t. Wrinkles can deepen its appearance and moisturizers can help soothe and disguise the finest lines. 

It protects the skin’s natural outer layer – External irritants such as humidity and bacteria cause redness and flaking if the skin is not receiving enough moisturizing. 

Prevents dryness and acne breakouts – it might sound already self-defeating if you have acne-prone skin and under a dermatologic regime, but without a good moisturizer, acne can get worse. 

Being all that said, let’s see the facts about serum…

What’s the serum’s formula and how does it work:  

As we were stating before when talking about formulation in moisturizers, it’s always best to choose the serums your skin needs according to each skin type and condition. Nevertheless, serums work in a wholly different way from moisturizers, which makes them even more famous and required. 

The ingredients within the serums’ formula are what stand them out of the rest of the cosmetic family, why? All ingredients present in a serum come in raw, unprocessed, in its full origin to give the skin the maximum! So, let’s disclose 5 of the more common ones for you:

  • Hyaluronic Acid: also present within almost all types of cosmetics, this diamond ingredient specializes in replenishing hydration to dry, parched skin. It works as a sponge that attracts up to 1.000 of its weight in water, to your skin. Young, plump skin in a sec! 
  • Vitamin C: who hasn’t heard about it, our body needs this vitamin-like water due to its ability to aid in cellular repair, healing wounds, fighting inflammation and also promoting collagen production. 

Does Vitamin C reduce the appearance of discolouration from UV rays, acne blemishes and ageing spots, the result? A more elastic, resistant skin. 

  • Retinol: as we age, the natural skin functions start to cease just like the rest of our body, leaving it unprotected and unable to heal-repair itself. Retinol is one of the most clinical recommended vitamins which has exfoliating properties that rise cell turnover and helps wash away dead skin cells. 

This wonderful liquid is also able to sustain pore tightening and reduce hyperpigmentation.

  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs): If you don’t know them, these acids are derived from citric fruits such as lemons, grapefruits and oranges. Also commonly listed in your favourite products like lactic acid, glycolic acid, sugar cane extract, triple fruit acid or malic acid. 

These fruity liquids are chemical exfoliators that make your complexion look brighter, clearer and vibrant and also help to keep your pores from getting clogged which results in better acne breakouts preventing. 

  • Vitamin E: its commonly paired up with its best friend, vitamin C, also being a powerful antioxidant that minimizes free radicals and gradually reverses all typical signs of ageing. 

This vitamin works to provide a bright, even skin tone. 



Sephora’s dermatologists Jennifer Herrmann, MD, FAAD and Lisa Chipps, MD, MS, FAAD, from MFC dermatology recommendSkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum, “This serum is particularly good for brightening and targeting pigmentation”, reviews Herrmann. “Its highly concentrated vitamin C acts as an antioxidant that squelches damaging free radicals and helps stimulate collagen synthesis for tighter skin”, she adds. “Although many vitamin C serums are on the market, it’s an inherently unstable and light-sensitive molecule. Ferulic in this serum helps stabilize the vitamin C, and the product’s dark bottle helps keep it active by protecting it from light.” She explained. 

moisturizer vs serum

Serums overall skin benefits: 

Serums contain the highest concentration of active, raw ingredients - Your skin will appreciate by tons and the best is, they come without prescription. To make it a little clearer to you, a moisturizer generally contains between 5 and 10% of active ingredients, serums contain up to 70% instead. So, the results are real and they can be observable within a few applications. 

They penetrate the outer layer of your skin – To deliver their magic deep into your skin, their mission is to get those wonderful active ingredients directly where your skin will fully absorb their nutrients, resulting in a healthier, younger, brighter skin. 

They’ll give you visible results and will shield you from severe skin concerns – If you suffer from acne-prone skin, oily, dry or sensitive complexion, serums can help not only with your concerns but will protect upcoming external factor that causes skin damage. Talk it out with a dermatologist and you’ll be able to find and choose one or two serums that perfectly match your needs. 

The truth between moisturizers and serums, should you be using just one? Which one works better? Conclusion 

We’ve talked long and deep about both cosmetics so far and you might still be wondering a couple of things. Let’s resume it in simple words. Face serums are a rampage of active, high quality and super potent ingredients. Moisturizers are meant to hydrate the skin and prevent the natural fluids loss our body produces. 

Both serums and moisturizers will help your skin differently, according to your skin concerns and type; sometimes it’ll be enough with just a good serum. In other cases or dermatology regimes, you’ll need to combine both. 

To repair and show off flawless skin, we recommend using both to boost the effects of each product. Apply upwards and in little taps to dab in the textures, after cleansing or toning and before sunscreen.