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Serum vs Moisturiser

The two-star products for your skincare are serum and moisturiser, but do you actually need both? And what is the right choice between serum vs moisturiser? 

What is a serum?

A face serum is a potent and concentrated skincare product that is designed to provide targeted treatment for specific skin concerns. It is typically a lightweight and fast-absorbing formulation that contains a high concentration of active ingredients. The key purpose of a face serum is to deliver a powerful dose of beneficial compounds directly to the skin. There are broadly two types of face serum - a day serum and a night serum and both are essential, you can read up more on that here. 

Face serums are known for their ability to penetrate deep into the skin, reaching the underlying layers where they can have the greatest impact. By delivering a concentrated blend of active ingredients, serums can effectively address concerns such as fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone, dullness, acne, and dehydration. 

What is a moisturiser? 

A moisturiser hydrates and nourishes the skin. It is a key component of a skincare routine and is used to replenish and retain moisture in the skin, keeping it healthy and supple. The main purpose of a moisturiser is to provide hydration to the skin. It contains ingredients which attract and bind water to the skin, helping to restore and maintain its moisture balance. By hydrating the skin, moisturisers prevent dryness, flakiness, and dullness, leaving the skin soft and smooth. 

Moisturisers come in various forms, including creams, lotions, gels, and oils, to cater to different skin types and preferences. It is generally recommended to apply moisturiser after cleansing, toning and applying serum as a final step in the skincare routine. Regular use of a moisturiser helps to keep the skin hydrated, protected, and in optimal condition, contributing to a healthy and radiant complexion. 

Serum vs Moisturiser: What is the difference? 

Now that you know what face serums and moisturisers are, what is the difference between the two? They are both extremely important for your skin which is why it’s essential to not only know the difference between the two but also how to use a face serum with a moisturiser -

Key Differences - Serum vs Moisturiser


  • Face Serum: Serums have a lightweight and thin consistency, allowing them to penetrate deeply into the skin. They are typically water-based or have a gel-like texture


  • Moisturiser: Moisturisers, on the other hand, have a thicker and creamier texture. They are designed to create a protective barrier on the skin's surface and provide hydration and nourishment. 


  • Face Serum: Serums are usually designed to target specific skincare concerns, such as wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, acne, or dullness. They deliver active ingredients deep into the skin to address these issues and provide targeted treatment.


  • Moisturiser: Moisturisers primarily focus on providing hydration and nourishment to the skin. They help to replenish and retain moisture, create a protective barrier, and maintain the skin's natural moisture balance. Moisturisers also offer skin protection, improve texture, and enhance overall skin health.

Face serums and moisturisers have distinct roles in a skincare routine. Serums target specific skin concerns with their highly concentrated active ingredients, while moisturisers focus on providing hydration, protection, and overall skin nourishment. By using both products, you can address specific concerns effectively while maintaining optimal skin hydration and health. 

Can you use a moisturiser and serum together?

It's important to note that face serums are not meant to replace moisturisers but rather complement them. Serums provide targeted treatment, while moisturisers help to hydrate and seal in the benefits of the serum. Incorporating a face serum into your skincare regimen can help enhance your skin's overall health, providing visible improvements over time. Here’s how you can use a moisturiser and serum together - 

Start your skincare routine by cleansing your face to remove impurities, and toning to balance the skin's pH level. After cleansing and toning, apply your face serum. Serums are lightweight and have a thin consistency, making them ideal for applying before moisturiser. Gently massage a small amount of serum onto your skin, focusing on areas of specific concern. Give the serum a few moments to absorb into your skin. This allows the active ingredients in the serum to penetrate deeply and begin addressing your skincare concerns.

Once the serum has been absorbed, apply your moisturiser. The moisturiser helps to lock in the benefits of the serum, seal in moisture, and provide additional hydration and nourishment to the skin. Choose a moisturiser that suits your skin type and preferences, whether it's a cream, lotion, gel, or oil. If it's daytime, follow up with a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. If it’s nighttime, you should use a powerful and effective night serum which boosts collagen production. 

By combining a serum and moisturiser, you are addressing specific concerns with the targeted treatment of the serum while ensuring your skin receives adequate hydration and nourishment from the moisturiser. The serum delivers potent active ingredients deep into the skin, while the moisturiser helps to seal in the benefits, maintain moisture balance, and protect the skin. Sandiva Skincare is the perfect stop to take care of all your needs from cleansing, serums and sunscreens! 

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