Serum or Moisturiser - What's the Difference?

Most of us use a moisturiser in our skin care routine. But do we need to use a serum too? What's different about serums? How do they work and are they really necessary? We give you the lowdown. 

serum or moisturiser what's the difference

A moisturiser is generally made up of oil and water bound together by an emulsifier. This means it has a large molecule size which doesn’t penetrate deep into the skin. Instead it simply sits on top of the outer layer (the epidermis).

This doesn’t mean that moisturisers can't do amazing things for the skin  - because some of them can. They may contain things like water-binding agents (e.g. hyaluronic acid), antioxidants and vitamins which can make skin look smoother, improve texture and protect from sun damage. Who doesn't want that?

But serums take it further and can really ramp up your skincare regime. A serum is usually oil-based with a smaller molecular size. This means it can penetrate past the epidermis where it can help to support skin health. 

 A really good serum can help to repair and treat different skin conditions and there are lots of different formulations out there. So choose one that works for you.

Sure, we're a bit biased but we love our Solar Serum®. It has a 100% natural formulation and is designed to help repair and revitalise skin after exposure to UV rays. It can help to reduce sun damage, redness and pigmentation issues. It also protects collagen and has a powerful antioxidant action. 

So how do you use a serum?

A little serum should go quite a long way, so a few drops is usually enough. Apply to clean skin, then layer other products such as your moisturiser or sunscreen on top. 

Never apply a serum and then go outside unprotected in the daytime.  Unless you want your face to end up looking like a walnut shell. You should always layer up with sun protection over your serum, whether it's winter or summer.  

Your skin shouldn't feel oily with a serum. If it does, it could be that it's just not a very good serum, or you're simply using too much. Just a few drops should be enough to cover face, neck and décolletage.

You can apply your serum morning, night or both depending on what works for you. For younger people or those with breakouts just once a day is probably best. But, experiment and see what works for your skin.

For people in their late 30's to early 40's, twice a day is usually better.

Read more on our Oasis Blog. Find out how to choose the right moisturiser for your skin type

Got a skin problem you'd like some advice on? Book a free online consultation with our dermatology nurse. 

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