Face Care Essentials: Moisturisers Vs Serums

Thanks to Korean beauty, skincare has regained its popularity again. We might have procrastinated our regimen for long but it’s time to decode the basics for us again.

The beauty world has offered us a sheer number of skincare products and let’s be honest, this much availability can be often dizzying. From basic moisturisers to toners, our skincare routine is already kind of jam packed but do we really need that 99-step skincare routine?

This overwhelming plethora of products usually leaves us in a baffled state of mind and leaves us wondering what to include and what not to in our skincare regimen. While most people are struggling to fix their patterns, we are still not sure about the difference between a face moisturiser and a face serum. And do we need to use both? Or should we layer it up? What exactly is the thin line difference between the two?

To understand the depth of these two important skincare formulations and their individual as well as combined functionalities, we got on board with two certified  dermatologists, who shared all the much needed insights on these products and how to integrate them in our regimen. Scroll down to get the much needed answers.

Expert Panel: 

What Is Moisturiser?

“Moisturisers are an emulsion of water and oil. This forms the base to which other ingredients are added according to the purpose of the moisturiser,” explains Dr Chytra Anand. She further adds, “A moisturiser based on its ingredients can be nourishing, protective, or reparative for treatment purposes.” 

Explaining the importance of locking moisture in the skin, Dr Ameesha Mahajan, states, “Moisturisers create a physical barrier that locks the skin’s hydration and prevents it from drying. They also enhance the moisture in the upper layer of the skin and play a significant role in maintaining skin’s barrier function. They can be water based or oil based formulations which vary according to skin type.”

What Is Serum?

“Serums are light-textured, non-greasy formulations that deliver active ingredients to the skin,” says Dr Mahajan. She further explains that the particles are smaller and hence penetrate deeply into the skin.

According to Dr Anand, based on the functionality, serums can address and target concerns such as hyperpigmentation, freckles, acne, oily prone skin, and anti-aging.

Why Serums Have Witnessed A Sudden Hype?

“A hype and marketing has made the face serum so popular and integral to our skincare routine today but we cannot overlook the properties of a moisturiser,” quotes Dr Anand.

Face serums have recently hit the trend charts because of their active ingredients as Dr Mahajan explains that they are hyped because they deliver these ingredients in non – greasy formulations.

“The effectiveness and penetration of the active ingredients is higher when they are in smaller molecular size. Face serums should ideally be used along with a moisturiser and not as replacement to moisturiser for increased benefits,” she explains

Difference Between Moisturiser And Serum

Dr Mahajan gives us an insight about the key differences between a face serum and face moisturisers

1. She explains the fact that while moisturisers repair the top layers of the skin, serums on the other hand deliver antioxidants, nutrients and vitamins to the deepest layers of the skin to address specific skin concerns.

2. Active ingredients in serums > moisturisers

3. Serums do not contain thick oils, have fewer fillers and lubricating agents as compared to moisturisers. So serum along doesn’t suffice in repairing the skin damage.

4. While serums focus entirely on skin replenishment, they seldom hydrate or moisturise the skin as efficiently as a moisturiser would. 

How To Layer Them On Face?

Layering any product on face needs to be done in a correct manner and when it comes to layering, order matters the most. “A face serum and face moisturiser can be used together. The first layer should always be a  face serum, so that the face is cleansed and then apply moisturiser on the top, says Dr Anand.

Pro Tip: When layering, apply the serum onto your face and then allow it to settle down for a minute or so and then apply moisturiser.

Highlighting the fact about active ingredients, she adds, “The reason is the serum contains active ingredients which costs a reparative action whereas moisturisers are mainly protective and nourishing in action.”

The Best Takeaway For Summer

If you are targeting a specific concern like early signs of ageing, dark spots etc, then serums could really make a difference. Skincare needs utmost patience and perseverance and is not a 1,2,3 step thing. You really need to figure out what works best for your skin. Adding a serum according to your skin concern can work wonders. People with oily and acne prone skin, should opt for serums that can be applied in the evening or at night.

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Kritika Sehgal

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