Moisturizers vs. Serums   

Moisturizers have long been a part of people’s skin care regimens. Serums, however, are relatively new to the skin care scene and also offer many skin-boosting benefits. When used together, moisturizers and serums can complement each other to greatly improve the overall texture and appearance of your skin.

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about moisturizers and serums:

What is a moisturizer?
A moisturizer is a mixture of chemical agents specially designed to make the outer layers of the skin smoother and more pliable. It works by sealing in moisture on the face and decreasing water evaporation from the surface of the skin. Moisturizers with humectants and emollients work to hydrate the skin; humectants help retain moisture, while emollients help soothe and soften the skin without leaving a residual greasy finish. Together, both humectants and emollients can temporarily minimize fine lines around the eyes or on the neck. Moisturizers that contain glycerin and hyaluronic acid also aid to temporarily plump the skin.

What is a facial serum?
A facial serum is a lightweight, generally water-based liquid or gel product that contains a high concentration of active ingredients (such as antioxidants, peptides, retinols, growth factors, alpha and beta hydroxyl acids, or unique botanicals) which work to improve the appearance of the skin. Due to the formulation of serums, they penetrate the skin much deeper than moisturizers and are fast-absorbing. A serum can be used to target specific skin care concerns such as fine lines, dark spots, acne, or dry skin.

What is the difference between moisturizers and serums?
Moisturizers and serums differ not only in their consistency and feel on the skin but also in the ingredients they contain.  Moisturizers contain occlusive (or airtight) ingredients to lock in moisture and hydrate the skin, while serums generally do not. Serums also contain fewer lubricating and thickening agents, such as nut or seed oils. While serums can help moisturize the skin, their main purpose is to add nutrients into the deeper layers of the skin. Moisturizers also have larger molecules than serums; therefore, moisturizers are not able to penetrate as deeply into the skin as serums can.

Who needs a serum?
Anyone can benefit from using a serum. Due to its lightweight texture, a water-based serum can be used as a stand-alone product by someone with oilier skin, or a serum with a richer texture formulated with oils can be used under a moisturizer by someone with drier skin.

What type of serum should I use?

As there are several different kinds of serums available, you should choose a serum that targets your specific skin care concerns.

To improve skin tone and reduce wrinkles:

An antioxidant-rich serum (such as one rich in Vitamin C) can help prevent daily oxidative strain from pollution and UV radiation. This type of multifunctional serum works to protect the skin as well as improve the evenness of skin tone and reduce the number and appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. An antioxidant serum is ideal for morning application under a facial moisturizer containing SPF.

Our suggestions:

citrus-and-kaleÉminence Citrus and Kale Potent C+E Serum – A fast-absorbing, advanced serum suitable for all skin types. Our non-irritating Vitamin C is stabilized by botanically-derived ferulic acid to deliver optimal antioxidant benefits and improve the appearance of skin.

rosehip-oilÉminence Rosehip Triple C+E Firming Oil – An effective facial treatment providing intense hydration and protection. Designed as a complementary product to the Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Serum, this facial oil slows the signs of ageing, smooths wrinkles, and hydrates skin.


To firm skin:
A peptide-rich serum can boost collagen and elastin production in the skin and help restore firmness.

Our suggestions:

acaiÉminence Firm Skin Acai Booster-Serum – An antioxidant-rich extra strength serum infused with acai and naturally derived hyaluronic acid from marshmallow plant reduces the signs of ageing.bamboo-firmingÉminence Bamboo Firming Fluid – The strengthening agents of bamboo and coconut deeply hydrate and firm the skin with the help of a Natural Retinol Alternative and Swiss Green Apple Stem Cells.


To brighten and regenerate skin:
A collagen-promoting and skin softening serum rich in natural retinol can help accelerate cellular renewal and can brighten the skin, making it appear more luminous.

Our suggestions:

bright serumÉminence Bright Skin Licorice Root Booster-Serum – An extra strength brightening serum and product enhancer infused with Natural Hydroquinone Alternative and Gigawhite™.


Éminence Stone Crop Serum – This intense hydrator relieves the signs of ageing with its super antioxidant benefits.


To renew skin overnight:

A serum rich in essential oils and Omega-3 fatty acids can help the skin repair itself overnight and improve the skin’s barrier function.

Our suggestions:

lavenderÉminence Lavender Age Corrective Night Concentrate – A hydrating and skin-replenishing nighttime treatment. Rich argan oil, jojoba oil and shea butter improve the look of your skin and help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

facial oilkÉminence Facial Recovery Oil – Suitable for all skin types, our toning and hydrating oil made with precious herbs and nourishing oils soothes and renews sensitive and ageing skin.


How do I apply serum?
To reap the maximum benefits of a serum, follow these steps in your daily skin care routine:

  1. Cleanse your face and apply a toner. Apply a pea-sized amount of serum to your face, pat it evenly over the skin with one or two fingers (to avoid wasting product on your hands) and massage thoroughly into skin.
  2. Apply moisturizer over top of serum to allow the serum’s ingredients to penetrate the skin.

Moisturizing is key to any layering skin care regimen as it seals in the serum, making it more effective.

Are serums worth their price?

Because active ingredients are costlier than thickeners, serums are among the most expensive skin care products. However, when applied properly, a serum should last for months.

Depending on the type of serum and its active ingredients, you may only need to apply it either in the morning or in the evening. Furthermore, you do not need to use a lot of product since serums are formulated with a high concentration of super efficient active ingredients; only a few drops or a pea-sized amount will suffice for a single application. Many serums are sold in pump bottles or have medicine-dropper applicators which allow you to dispense just the small amount you need.

How soon will I notice results once I begin using a serum?

Depending on the type of serum, you may see an immediate improvement in your skin’s texture and tone. However, most serums require approximately four weeks of consistent use before you can notice visible results. Given their many benefits, you may find that a serum becomes an indispensable part of your daily skin care routine.



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