Do you need both serum and moisturizing cream?

Skin care products such as serums and moisturizing creams are useful for improving dryness and skin problems. Both of these products are essential for making your skin beautiful, but many people may not know the difference between them and may just use them casually. In this article, an overseas dermatologist gives advice on the characteristics of serums and moisturizing creams and how to use them effectively.

Benefits of Serums: Delivering Active Ingredients

According to experts, the biggest advantage of serums is that they deliver active ingredients to the skin.

According to Dr. Corey Hartman, a dermatologist and founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, Alabama, serums generally contain high concentrations of various “active ingredients,” such as anti-aging, whitening, and acne-preventing ingredients, and they tend to be more expensive than other skin care products.

Another feature of serums is that they are more easily absorbed by the skin than other skin care products. Dr. Hartmann said, “Usually, (serums) are light and absorbent and leave very little residue on the surface of the skin,” and also revealed that there are various types of lotions, gels, and oils.

Benefits of Moisturizing Creams: Improves the Skin's Barrier Function

On the other hand, the biggest advantage of moisturizing creams is that they protect the skin from dryness and UV rays.

Dr. Dean Muraz Robinson, a dermatologist based in Westport, Connecticut: “The purpose of a moisturizing cream is to create a physical barrier that locks in moisture and prevents the skin from drying out. For this reason, a thicker formula than (serums) is used,” he explained.

Dr. Robinson continued, “Moisturizing creams also improve the function of the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the skin) to keep the skin moisturized.

In addition, some moisturizing creams contain anti-inflammatory and anti-aging ingredients to protect the skin from dryness and enhance the skincare effect.

Should I use a serum and a moisturizing cream together?

Then, it's not so simple to say that you should incorporate both at the same time.

Dr. Noelani González, a dermatologist based in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, says, “For example, if your skin is very dry, layering a serum with a moisturizing cream can be very helpful. For example, if your skin is very dry, layering a serum with a moisturizing cream can be very helpful. After the serum delivers the active ingredients to the skin, the moisturizing cream will lock in the moisture and active ingredients, strengthening the skin care effect.

On the other hand, if you have oily skin that produces a lot of sebum, Dr. Gonzalez says that you should use oil-based serums and moisturizing creams in layers, as they may clog your pores and make your skin greasy.

How to Use Serum and Moisturizing Cream Effectively

If you want to use both a serum and a moisturizer, the “order” and “timing” of layering are important. According to Dr. Hartman, the general rule of thumb is to start with the lightest skincare products that are comfortable to apply. Therefore, it is best to start with a light, highly absorbent serum and cover it with a moisturizing cream that seals in moisture.

As for the timing of applying the moisturizing cream, it is best to apply it 30~60 seconds after applying the serum. This will allow the active ingredients to penetrate the skin and maximize the effects of the skin care, according to Dr. Hartman.

Both serums and moisturizing creams are essential for beautiful skin. By using the right serum and moisturizing cream according to your skin type and preference, you can achieve beautiful, plump and bouncy skin.