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Do I Need Both Serum and Moisturizer?

Do I Need Both Serum and Moisturizer?

Your skin can benefit from both serum and moisturizer applications, and it’s perfectly safe to use both of these products. However, it’s not strictly necessary. You can adjust your skincare routine to suit your individual skincare needs, concerns, and goals.

What are the benefits of using serum?

In order to understand why you might want to use both serum and moisturizer, let’s look at the differences between each product and how they work.

Face moisturizers are mainly oil-based. They may contain mineral oil or seed oils. These oils work by delivering long-lasting moisture to the skin. At the same time, they help to seal the skin barrier, which locks in  the moisturizing ingredients and prevents water from evaporating.

In contrast, serums are predominantly water-based, without occlusive ingredients like oils. This means that they won’t provide a protective layer that helps the skin retain moisture. However, the thinner, lighter composition enables serums to penetrate deeply into the skin. Plus, without ingredients like oils, serums have very high concentrations of highly potent active ingredients like antioxidants, skin brighteners, and peptides.

Thanks to their exceptional absorption abilities and potent ingredients, using serum along with your moisturizer offers the following benefits:

  • Keeps skin well-hydrated—even if it’s rough and dry
  • Anti-inflammatory properties soothe sensitive skin
  • Reduces the appearance of various types of skin blemishes
  • Fights the signs of aging—including fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots
  • Protects the skin from sustaining damage from factors like pollution and UV exposure

Of course, different serums contain different ingredients of varying properties. For instance, some serums are primarily formulated for anti-aging properties, while others are formulated for people who desire skin brightening. Choose a serum that works best for your skin type and goals.

Does your skin also need moisturizer if you use serum?

Clearly, serum is incredibly beneficial for your skin. However, this begs the question: Do you really need to use moisturizer and serum? Couldn’t you just use serum and skip the moisturizer? Well, it depends. If you don’t have dry skin and aren’t in a dry environment or climate, it’s possible to use just serum without moisturizer. 

However, using both may harness the most benefits for your skin. When you use a serum, it delivers active ingredients deep into the skin. Moisturizer will essentially create a seal to make the serum even more efficacious. Similarly, by supporting healthier skin from its deepest layers, serum will help to boost the hydrating properties of moisturizer. 

As you can see, serum and moisturizer are skincare BFFs. You should take the time to see how they both support your skin before deciding whether or not to leave one out of your skincare routine. 

What’s the best way to apply both serum and moisturizer?

If you decide to use both serum and moisturizer, you should always apply the serum first (lighter products go before heavier ones). After applying, wait a minute or two to allow the product to absorb into your skin. Then, apply moisturizer. 

Also, pay attention to the type of serum and moisturizer you’re using. In some cases, ingredients will work better when applied at night. Just be sure to read the instructions on the products to be sure that you’re applying them at the right time of day. 

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