Serum vs Moisturizer - Difference, Benefits and Application

serum vs moisturizer

With so many different types of facial cosmetics on the market today, picking out the right products for your skin can be tough. Most people are alike in wanting simple products that won't hurt their skin or cause any unadvertised effects, but figuring out how each different type of face product affects your skin takes a good deal of research. In this article, I've arranged important information on the differences between facial serums and moisturizers to help you decide which type of product is best for your skin's overall health and healing abilities.

What Is Facial Serum?

Facial serums are water-based topicals that are generally packed with active ingredients. The main purpose of a facial serum is to deliver powerful ingredients where they're needed most, and they may be almost water-like in texture and appearance. Serums shouldn't leave any residue on your face or neck, and you apply these products directly to your skin.

In most cases, manufacturers design serums to tackle specific skin care issues. If you want to help your skin look younger for longer, for instance, you might want to use a serum that the manufacturer has specifically labeled as being anti-aging. Other serums might be geared toward different skin care purposes, but all of these products are alike in that their main purpose is to serve as vehicles for ingredients that may offer anti-inflammatory or anti-oxidant effects.

Serum vs Moisturizer

If you're wondering about the difference between face serum and moisturizer, you should first understand that there are some similarities between these two categories of cosmetic products. Both types of products help your skin become healthier, and they are both usually light and soothing to your skin.

The serum vs moisturizer question becomes complicated, however, when you consider that these two products have widely different purposes. Moisturizers, for instance, specifically serve the purpose of helping your skin stay moist. When your skin is moist, it is definitely healthier, but staving away skin dryness isn't the only thing that will help your skin stay healthy. You should also know that good serums also reduce skin dryness, which means that the purposes of facial moisturizers and serums overlap.

Some skin care experts recommend that you use both moisturizers and facial serums, but you may find that you only need to use a serum in your daily skin care routine. If your skin is already relatively normal or oily, you might want to avoid adding a moisturizer into the mix, and it's important to remember that moisturizers only address the symptoms of dry skin. The active ingredients in facial serums, however, fight back against skin conditions at the source. Therefore, if you have to pick between the two, you might find that serums are more important than moisturizers in your daily routine.

Benefits of Face Serums

Manufacturers of facial serums pack their products with tons of active ingredients that help your skin shine and age gracefully. Before we get into these ingredients and how they benefit your skin, it's important to note that facial serums are much easier on your skin than other types of facial cosmetics. If you use moisturizers for too long, for instance, your skin oil balance becomes dependent on them, and stopping your normal use patterns will make your skin dryer than ever before.

Since serums attack the source of skin dryness, on the other hand, your skin doesn't experience withdrawals if you stop using these facial products. They simply do their work and move on after adding nutrients and vitality to your skin.

Serums are water-based, so they won't clog your pores. Oil-based cosmetics can sometimes cause conditions like acne by adding too much oil to your pores, which is another reason why you might find that a good serum is all you need to keep your skin happy and healthy.

Lastly, most serum manufacturers make a point of only using safe ingredients in their products. Serums are the epitome of simplicity when it comes to facial cosmetics, and manufacturers who go out of their way to produce these light and beneficial products are more likely to avoid toxic ingredients or unwholesome production processes.

anti aging face serum vs moisturizer

Face Serum Uses

No matter what your age or skin type may be, it's likely that you can benefit from using a face serum. These products are all about the ingredients, and they keep their delivery systems as simple as possible to avoid overshadowing their benefits. In this section, I'll cover some of the reasons why you might want to use facial serums and the specific ingredients that make these products effective.

1. Moisturization

If you want to make sure that your skin stays properly moisturized, you'll first need to understand why it becomes dry in the first place. There are various causes of dry skin that even the best cosmetic products can't help; you'll need to tackle factors like environment, diet, and smoking or drinking head on if you want to make sure that your skin remains healthy.

Beyond those factors, however, there are a number of potential underlying reasons for your skin's dryness. For instance, if your skin isn't getting enough blood flow or it's retaining too many dead cells, it can become unreasonably dry. Facial serums that contain ingredients like vitamin C increase blood flow throughout your face, and they also serve as natural and powerful exfoliants that remove dead skin cells from your face and promote the production of new cells. All of these factors contribute to healthy, moist skin without the risk of becoming reliant on potentially dangerous moisturizers.

2. Antioxidant Action

If you're experiencing any issues with your skin that are causing it to be less healthy than you'd like, it's likely that free radicals are to blame. Free radicals are damaged atoms that have lost electrons. They rage throughout your body's tissues, and they steal electrons wherever they can get them. The only agents that are capable of stopping free radicals are antioxidants, and many of the ingredients in facial serums have antioxidant properties.

Whether you eat antioxidants or apply them to your body through your skin, they help protect your cell integrity and keep signs of aging at bay. They also reduce inflammation in your skin, which combats a wide variety of different skin diseases. Best of all, antioxidants make your skin glow, and they also keep it from getting too dry. Some examples of natural antioxidants that manufacturers commonly use in facial serums include vitamin C and vitamin E.

2. Anti-Aging

Facial serums that contain antioxidants may reverse the signs of aging in your skin in a number of ways. When free radicals have free reign throughout your system, they make it impossible for your skin to produce the proteins that it needs to stay youthful. The two proteins that contribute the most to your skin's overall health are collagen and elastin, and levels of these proteins decrease as you age.

Collagen is the most prevalent protein in the human body, and it serves a number of different purposes. For instance, this substance is heavily present in your connective tissues, but it is also the protein that makes your skin look plump. Without adequate levels of collagen, your skin will look thin and tired, and it will age prematurely.

Elastin is another important protein in the body, and it serves a vital purpose in the skin on your face. This protein keeps your skin taut and firm, and when it isn't present in high quantities, your skin will sag and start to wrinkle. Together, elastin and collagen keep wrinkles and other signs of aging at bay, and by introducing antioxidant ingredients to your face in the form of a serum, you can make sure that your skin has the resources it needs to produce both of these proteins in abundant quantities.

3. Anti-Acne

More and more, scientists are suspecting that inflammation might be the main cause of acne. Since antioxidants also reduce inflammation, it would only make sense if antioxidant serum ingredients like vitamin C reduced the symptoms of this potentially disfiguring disease.

According to many acne sufferers, this is, indeed, the case. When people with acne use facial serums, they don't have to worry about adding excess oil to their faces, but they can also rest assured that they're adding special ingredients to their skin that are known to reduce inflammation. Whether acne is the root cause of inflammation or it just makes acne worse, anything that you can do to reduce inflammation without harming your skin helps in the quest to achieve clear pores.

serum with vitamin c to control acne

4. Hyperpigmentation Reducer

Whenever your skin loses its even tone, it's likely that you're dealing with hyperpigmentation. A number of different factors can cause hyperpigmentation, and acne scarring is one of the most common causes. As you age, you may also develop sun spots, and introducing antioxidants into your system can help your skin return to a single tone across your face.

Hyperpigmentation is caused by prolonged inflammation, and when you reduce the presence of free radicals in your face with a facial serum, your skin becomes less inflamed. Since serums are light and water-based, they won't cause any pore-blocking effects as they work to make your skin glow.

5. Protection Against UV Damage

Every time that you go out in the sun, you damage your skin to some degree. The sun is good for your skin, so you shouldn't avoid it entirely, and your skin can heal itself easily from minor sun damage. If you spend a lot of time out in the sun over the years, however, UV damage is an unavoidable result.

If left untreated, UV damage can lead to sun spots and early wrinkling. This type of damage can even cause a type of cancer called skin melanoma, so you should do everything you can to protect your skin from sun damage. While the only way to block UV rays from affecting your skin is to use a sunblock, you can also help your skin heal and repair after the damage is done. Free radicals almost invariably cause sun-related skin conditions, so using a safe and all-natural antioxidant serum can protect you from the types of skin damage that the sun causes.

spf against sun damage

6. Faster Wound Healing

When your skin is free from inflammation and has lots of antioxidants to work with, it heals more quickly. One ingredient that's especially helpful in the wound healing process is hyaluronic acid, and many facial serums contain this substance. Whenever you introduce antioxidant compounds into your skin, your cellular processes improve, and rapid healing from cuts and bruises is one of the hallmarks of healthy cells. Facial serums can also help your skin recover from long-lasting wounds like acne scars and scars caused by injuries.

How to Moisturize Your Face

In closing, we'll share some tips on the best ways to moisturize your face. We'll provide instructions for using both serum and moisturizer in case you want to include each type of product in your daily skin care routine.
  • Step 1: Wash your face with a gentle cleanser. Let your face dry completely, which usually takes about five minutes.
  • Step 2: Apply a small amount of serum directly to your face, and spread it around with the tip of your finger.
  • Step 3: It takes a few minutes before your skin fully absorbs the serum. Once it has absorbed completely, feel free to apply your favorite moisturizer.
  • Step 4: You can follow this process once per day, but if you're trying to get the most out of the ingredients in your serum, you might want to apply it twice per day.

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