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Facial Serum Vs Facial Moisturiser - What's The Difference?

By Sharon Thomas

The beauty industry is like a never-ending horizon that you see over an ocean - it seems to have an end at first sight, but as you get closer, there is way more to go. The beauty needs of the people are insatiable at any stage in life and the markets make good use of this by developing numerous products.

The list can include a cleanser, an exfoliator, a toner, a scrub, a cream, a lotion, a moisturiser, a serum. . . it seems to be endless. Do you really know the difference among all of them and the purpose for which they are used on the skin?

For some, all products seem the same-you just have to wash your face with soap and put on a cream (the general term for a skin product that a majority of people are aware of). But for a person who has a religious beauty regimen, all of them are of importance and each one has a unique purpose for the skin.

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Even then, there are some sections of people who don't have the knowledge of what they are using on the skin. This article might help them. Read on to know the difference between a moisturiser and a serum.


A Serum

The serum is one of the latest findings by beauty experts and is gaining popularity. Most people stay away from buying themselves a serum just because of the cost. But there are reasons for the high price.

Any serum is loaded with a number of active ingredients that can work on the skin very effectively. The number of ingredients can vary from 10-15.

The texture of a serum is very liquidy and light on the skin. Technically speaking, the molecules that constitute a serum are micro-sized so that they can penetrate one's skin and work deep into the layers, thus, giving a glow from inside out. It can be said that a serum works from the root and not just for the topical purposes.


A Moisturiser

As the name goes, a moisturiser does the work of moisturising the skin to a good extent when used regularly. It traps or attracts water content to make the skin soft. The chemical contents of a moisturiser are basically oxygen and hydrogen bonds that seek to make additional bonds with water, hence, attracting moisture. The number of active ingredients in a moisturiser is very less compared to a serum.

Moisturiser comes in two types - lotion and cream. Lotions are scientifically called emollients and are light in texture. The molecules are definitely larger than a serum and seal the gap between dead skin cells. Creams come under the category called occlusives that contain mineral oils and petroleum. The molecules in creams are larger and they don't penetrate the skin but work faster than lotions for temporary hydration.


Purpose Of A Serum And A Moisturiser

The skin can become dry due to various reasons. One is that, by the time the water travels upwards from the underneath layers to the epidermis of the skin, most of the moisture is lost. This is common in all. Other factors can be atmospheric, genetic and the nature of the skin in general.

When applying a moisturiser, it prevents the skin from turning dry due to these factors. This is the sole purpose of a moisturiser. When one stops using it, the condition of dry skin is more likely to recur. Moisturisers do not give a permanent solution.

A serum serves a different purpose. It targets specific needs of the skin. One can find serums exclusively meant for acne, wrinkles, pigmentation, vitamin C deficiency and much more.

To get the skin problems right, a serum works from deep inside the layers of the skin-from the root. The results obtained are permanent if properly maintained afterward. One can say that a serum repairs the skin damage.

The fact to be noted here is that most serums have the property to moisturise the skin-a two-in-one purpose. However, it does not do the work of a moisturiser entirely and hence, both must be used to get better results.


Way To Use A Serum And A Moisturiser

When it comes to a serum, a little goes a long way. Using too much of the serum might affect the skin adversely due to the high number of active ingredients. Serums are usually used with the help of a dropper or any other means where only a small quantity can be pumped out. It must be used right after cleansing the skin and before moisturising. This will help the ingredients penetrate. It is best to use a serum before bedtime as the rejuvenation of the skin is better during sleeping hours.

A moisturiser is to be used after applying a serum. This method of usage follows the thumb rule that layering of products on the skin must be done starting with the thinnest of ingredients. A moisturiser can be applied on its own anytime for on-the-go needs.


Shelf Life Of A Serum And A Moisturiser

The shelf life of a serum is lesser than that of a moisturiser and this is due to the potent ingredients. But, thanks to technology for introducing water-soluble ingredients. If stored properly, it can last from about 6 months to a year. A serum must be stored in a cool and dry place without exposure to light. Moisturisers last much longer and it varies depending on the type of storage.

Story first published: Sunday, October 1, 2017, 17:00 [IST]
Read more about: skin care