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This or That: Serums vs. Creams

Consumers certainly have had more exposure to face creams than facial serums in the mass market (think Olay and Neutragena). On the flip side, you will find that a lot of the prestige brands ( Hydroxatone, Lancome, Estee Lauder ) are moving a bit more toward serums for their customer’s moisturizing and anti-aging needs.

Although, both creams and serums have the basic function of hydrating one’s skin,they are at different points of a sliding scale. Serums are liquid in consistency and are intended to reduce the appearance of skin redness,wrinkles,discoloration,sagging skin,and additional signs of aging. They are meant to repair damaged skin and protect it from future damage.

Serums are highly concentrated and extremely potent. Much like any cream or moisturizer,they can be water  or oil based. Serums however,contain anywhere from 10-15 times more of the active ingredients than you’d find in a cream. Essentially,the purpose of a serum is to deposit nutrients to the deeper layers of skin that creams are unable to reach. Serums are often suggested to mature consumers because they more readily aide in the collagen rejuvenation process.

Facial creams are much denser in viscosity and are used to treat mostly the surface level of the skin. They often contain SPF,which you will not likely find in a serum. This is part of the reason creams have a bit more heft. Consequently,because the molecules are so large they are not capable of penetrating as deep into the skin as a serum can. However,that is not to say you should skip the cream and go for the serum. Facial cream works magnificently to lock in the moisture and active ingredients in THAT particular cream and from the previous steps in your skincare process. When used in conjunction,serums and creams boost skin health and hydration exponentially creating healthier and more youthful looking skin. I suggest following a regimen that includes the normal three- step skin care process and use the combination of the two as step three,the moisturizing step. For best results,look for a product line that offers both a serum and a facial cream.

Some of my favorites are Estee Lauder Hydrationist Maximum Moisture Cream. I use the one for normal to combination,as that is my skin type. There is one for dry skin as well. It is fabulous when used with Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Intensive Lifting Serum. If you a looking for ingredients that stem from the most recent scientific developments, I suggest Hydroxatone AM/PM Anti- Wrinkle Complex with Hydroxatone Intensive Youth Serum.

So the short answer is – THIS and THAT


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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing