Moisturizing face creams have been around since time immemorial in one form or another. They are basically oil-based pastes that have the objective of moisturizing your skin. They are tried and tested and more or less everyone uses or has used, some form of moisturizing cream in their lifetime.
Moisturizing creams can come in different textures, with heavier creams being better for dry skin conditions. In fact, normal to dry skin-types tend to benefit most from creams since they help to lock in as much moisture as possible.
While moisturizing is the primary purpose, the addition of active ingredients can provide added benefits to your skin, which is why you are presented with an abundance of different cream types. Such as “anti-aging” or “rejuvenating” moisturizer creams after all, why just settle for a moisturizing cream when you can also enjoy the amplified benefits of powerful and effective active ingredients that help you maintain a more youthful appearance.
However, most creams are oil based and have a heavier texture so If you have an oily skin then creams (particularly heavy creams), can worsen conditions because adding oil to your pores may clog them and cause acne or even worse be the cause of breakouts.
Most creams are not absorbed as a lighter base, meaning they don’t absorb into skin as well as serums and oils, but they do the job just as effective. Creams form a barrier over skin to helps lock in moisture but applying a second product over your cream or over applying may cause acne to appear so keep that in mind when using creams.
Benefits of using a cream:
- Creams supply more immediate moisture to your skin
- Much more stable formulas; serums can get broken down due to time or heat
- Lots of essential ingredients can be added at a time
- Typically longer shelf life
Serums, in contrast to creams, are relatively new to the beauty scene. They are innovative and uniquely suited to target individual skin woes. Serums are water-based products, making them a lighter product than creams. This means they are better generally for oily skin types as it is not layering more oil onto the skin.
Since serums are made up of smaller molecules, they are absorbed into the skin more quickly than creams. This also means that you will need to use less of a serum on your skin than you will for a cream. Because of its smaller molecular structure, serums will have very targeted uses aimed at particular problems such as “anti-wrinkle” formulas.
The light texture means that you can use multiple serums at one time without running the risk of clogging your pores.
The downside of using a serum is that over time once air gets into your serum it can lose its potency. Its something to bear in mind if you tend to use both creams and serums but if you are only opting for a serum alone then you’ll only be using a little, which will go a long way since they are concentrated formulas.
Benefits of using a serum:
- Serums typically only require a few drops
- Using serums can help prevent acne breakouts
- Longer lasting moisturizer for your skin
- Simple and most serums only contain very few ingredients.
So, Which is Better?
Its complicated. Generally, for people with oily skin, serums tend to work better as they don't exacerbate acne prone symptoms. Creams contains oils as a base, while Serums contain water as a base. The oils can cause breakouts in acne prone people. However, people with dry skin may find creams to work better for them as it provides instant moisture. Both types of products can have essential ingredients such as Retinol or Hyaluronic Acid added, but creams can usually "fit" more ingredients!