Getting to grips with what all the different skin products do can be a daunting task so today we aim to clear up the confusion between two product types used for hydrating the skin, serum and moisturiser. Both can be an important part of your skin care regime, but which is more hydrating for your skin and when should you use them?
While both serum and moisturiser can help to hydrate the skin, moisturiser is best used to treat general dry skin, while serum can be used to target specific skin concerns such as fine lines or dark spots.
When skin is well-hydrated it looks plump, youthful, and healthy. But there are other scientific reasons why hydrating your skin is important.
Skin is the largest organ in the body and is made up of several layers with the outermost layer being the stratum corneum. This layer is primarily made up of dead skin cells held together by a mixture of lipids, or fatsand acts as a barrier protecting the skin from environmental damage such unwanted materials.
When the stratum corneum is well-hydrated it's more effective at protecting our skin from damage - hydration isn't just about the skin’s appearance! Well-hydrated skin is a better barrier than under-hydrated skin and therefore less likely to become inflamed or irritated, which could lead to other skin problems.
Moisturisers are designed to hydrate and protect the outermost layer of skin and typically contain ingredients such as humectants that help to draw water into the skin, and emollients that help to lock in moisture and are generally thicker and heavier than serums.
A moisturising cream creates a barrier on the skin that helps to prevent water loss while also containing added beneficial ingredients, such as sunscreens or anti-aging compounds.
Here’s a quick guide on choosing the right Moisturiser for your skin type…
Look for a moisturiser that's rich and hydrating and includes ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and shea butter.
Avoid moisturisers that contain alcohol or fragrances as these can dry out the skin.
Look for a lightweight, oil-free moisturiser that won't clog your pores or leave your skin feeling greasy including ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, which can help to control oil production and prevent breakouts.
Look for a moisturiser that's lightweight enough to use all over your face but still provides enough hydration for your dry areas. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides can help to hydrate the skin without making it feel greasy.
Moisturisers that are labelled as "non-comedogenic" won't clog your pores.
Look for a moisturiser that's gentle and fragrance-free containing soothing ingredients such as aloe vera, chamomile, or oat extract - these can help to calm irritation and redness.
Avoid moisturisers containing harsh chemicals or fragrances as these can further irritate the skin.
Look for a moisturiser that's rich in antioxidants and anti-aging ingredients such as retinol, vitamin C, and peptides - these help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Also look for a moisturiser that's rich and hydrating because mature skin tends to be drier and more prone to wrinkles.
Try Rachael Katie Cosmetics "Light Moisturiser" today!
Serums are lightweight, water-based products that are formulated with a high concentration of active ingredients including antioxidants, vitamins, and peptides among other things. Designed to penetrate deep into the skin and deliver these active ingredients to the underlying layers, serums will absorb almost completely leaving little to no trace on the skin’s surface.
Serums generally aim to provide specific benefits, from skin brightening (more info in our article here) and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, to improving skin texture. They can be used alone or together with other skincare products such as moisturisers.
When it comes to choosing between a serum and a moisturiser it's important to consider your own skin's specific needs. If you suffer from dry skin then a moisturiser is generally the better choice as it will help to hydrate and protect your skin's epidermis.
However, if you are looking to improve specific skin concerns such as fine lines or dark spots then a serum could be the better option. Serums are generally more concentrated than moisturisers so they’re great for delivering those active ingredients to the deeper layers of your skin.
Look for a serum that contains hyaluronic acid as this ingredient can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water, which makes it incredibly hydrating for the skin. Other hydrating ingredients to look for include glycerin and ceramides.
Look for a serum that contains vitamin C - a powerful antioxidant that can help to brighten the skin and even out skin tone. Other brightening ingredients to look for include niacinamide and kojic acid.
Look for a serum that contains retinol which can help to stimulate collagen production and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles over time. Other anti-aging ingredients to look for include peptides and vitamin E.
Look for a serum that's gentle and fragrance-free while including soothing ingredients like aloe vera, chamomile, or oat extract that can help to calm irritation and redness.
Avoid serums that contain harsh chemicals or fragrances.
Look for a serum that contains salicylic acid, which can help to unclog pores and prevent breakouts. Other acne-fighting ingredients to look for include benzoyl peroxide and tea tree oil.
Look for a lightweight serum that absorbs quickly into the skin whereas for dry skin you may want to look for a more hydrating serum.
Try Rachael Katie Cosmetics "Retinol Face Serum" today!
Remember, you may not have to choose between a serum or a moisturiser as many skincare routines include both product types, the serum being applied first to deliver the active ingredients, followed by the moisturiser which locks in the moisture and creates a protective barrier on the skin.
At the end of the day, the best way to determine which product is right for your skin is to experiment and see what works best for you. Pay close attention to how your skin looks and feels after using different products and adjust your routine accordingly.