Anti-aging Serums VS Moisturizers – Which Works Best?

Skincare serums and moisturizers are both important components of a skincare routine, but they serve slightly different purposes and have distinct formulations. In this article we break down the differences between these two products to help you get a clear view of what they are, as well as make an informed decision in case you want to add one, or both of these regimens to your skincare routine:

Skincare Serums:

  1. Concentration: Serums are formulated with a high concentration of active ingredients, such as vitamins, antioxidants, peptides, and hyaluronic acid. This high concentration allows serums to target specific skin concerns more effectively.
  2. Texture: Serums typically have a lightweight and thin texture that allows them to be absorbed quickly into the skin. This makes them suitable for layering under other products.
  3. Targeted Treatment: Serums are designed to address specific skincare concerns, such as fine lines, dark spots, uneven texture, and pigmentation. They deliver potent ingredients directly to the skin to provide targeted treatment.
  4. Application: Serums are usually applied after cleansing and toning, but before moisturizing. Due to their high potency, a small amount is sufficient for each application.
  5. Usage Frequency: Depending on the serum and its ingredients, it can be used once or twice a day. However, it’s recommended to start with less frequent use and gradually increase if your skin tolerates it.


  1. Hydration and Barrier Protection: Moisturizers are primarily focused on providing hydration to the skin and creating a barrier to prevent moisture loss. They contain a mix of water-binding ingredients, emollients, and occlusive agents.
  2. Texture: Moisturizers have a thicker and more substantial texture compared to serums. They help to lock in moisture and keep the skin hydrated throughout the day or night.
  3. General Care: While moisturizers may contain some beneficial ingredients, their main purpose is to keep the skin moisturized and protected. They can help with maintaining the skin’s overall health and appearance.
  4. Application: Moisturizers are typically the final step in a skincare routine, applied after cleansing, toning, and applying serums (if you use them). They seal in the benefits of previous products and provide an extra layer of hydration.
  5. Usage Frequency: Moisturizers are generally used twice a day, in the morning and evening, to maintain the skin’s moisture balance.


Serums are typically thinner and lighter while moisturizers are thicker and creamier. Serums are manufactured to treat skin problems created deep inside your skin while moisturizers hold the moisture in the skin.

Usage: Skincare Serums Vs Moisturizers

The serums are better used at night due to the negative effect of Ultra Violet Light from the sunlight on skin. They are also better applied at night to allow their penetration through the skin in order to be more effective. They contain fewer thickeners and lubricating agents. Serums are mainly used to repair the skin damaged by the sun, reducing wrinkles, skin tightening among others.

Do I Need Both Serum and Moisturizer at the Same Time?

When using both serum and moisturizer at the same time, you apply the serum first. Moisturizers are designed to condition the top layers of skin part, apply a small amount of the serum directly on your skin. Once it is absorbed into the skin then you can apply the moisturizer. This is because serums are manufactured to penetrate deep into the skin in order to deal with the problem.

Can I Skip Serum and Use Moisturizers?

The moisturizers are applied after the serum because they can push blood into the inner part of the skin through the capillary contraction, therefore, hastening the absorption of the serum’s agents hence making it more effective.

Mixing Serum with Moisturizers – How to Get the Best from Your Serum or Moisturizer Cream

Some skin problems can be very tricky for example the dry skin. While anti-aging products can be very useful, we should not forget other things we can do for the nourishment of our skin. Drinking enough water, working on the nutrition, getting enough rest, avoid staying on direct heat or Ultra Violet Light for a long time, and getting your blood pumping well through exercise. Such habits also play a very big part in the betterment of our skin health.

Serums are mainly used to repair the skin damaged by the sun through its ultraviolet rays, reducing wrinkles, skin tightening among others

Bottom Line

In summary, skincare serums are specialized treatments that target specific concerns with high concentrations of active ingredients. They are applied before moisturizers. Moisturizers, on the other hand, focus on hydration and overall skin health while also providing a protective barrier. Both serums and moisturizers can complement each other in a skincare routine, with serums providing targeted treatment and moisturizers ensuring the skin stays hydrated and protected. Your choice of products depends on your individual skin concerns and needs.

If you have a skin problem especially aging signs like fine lines and wrinkles or even other problems like dark spots, then adding serum and moisturizer to your daily routine can help in skincare. If your skin is very oily then you will not need to use moisturizer, but for those with dry skin then combining serum and moisturizer will have a very good effect on their skin.

During the cold season, it’s very advisable to use a moisturizer over the serum for extra hydration, to help your skin cope with changing temperature and dryness during that time.

If you put the moisturizer under very cold temperature, the coldness of the cream when applied on top of your serum pushes the blood into the inner parts of the skin through the capillary contraction, boosting the penetration of the ingredients serum thus increasing effectiveness.



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