Serums vs. Moisturisers: Unravelling the Differences

benefits of moisturising face every day | makeO skinnsi

A flawless skincare routine begins with proper cleansing and using the right products. We all have different skin types, skin concerns and when it comes to skincare, there is no “One size that fits all”. Among the crucial steps of knowing our skincare products it is important to understand the differences between face serums and moisturisers.

Let us take a deep dive into their individual roles and how they work for our skin to ensure radiant and healthy skin at all times.

What is a face serum?

A face serum is a lightweight, highly concentrated skincare product that is formulated with active ingredients such as vitamins and antioxidants. Its purpose is to penetrate deep into the skin and target specific concerns like wrinkles, discolouration, or hydration, providing intensive treatment and delivering visible results.

What is a Moisturiser?

A moisturiser is a skincare product designed to hydrate and nourish the skin. It typically contains a combination of ingredients like humectants, emollients, and occlusives that work together to replenish moisture, improve skin barrier function, and maintain a soft, smooth, and supple complexion. Moisturisers are essential for keeping the skin hydrated, protected, and balanced.

Major differences between serum and moisturiser

Face Serums


Targets specific concerns like wrinkles, discolouration, or hydration with concentrated active ingredients.


Lightweight and often in liquid or gel form, allowing quick absorption and deeper penetration into the skin.


High concentration of active ingredients like vitamins, antioxidants, and peptides, targeting specific skincare concerns.


Applied after cleansing and toning, typically before moisturiser, allowing the active ingredients to penetrate deeply into the skin.



Hydrates and nourishes the skin, maintains moisture levels and improves skin barrier function.


Thicker and creamier texture, providing a protective barrier on the skin's surface to lock in moisture.


Combination of humectants, emollients, and occlusives to replenish moisture, improve texture, and protect the skin.


Applied as the final step in the skincare routine to seal in moisture and provide a protective layer on the skin.

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Can You Use Serums and Moisturizers Together?

Yes, serums and moisturisers can be used together in a skincare routine for optimal results. Serums are applied first to target specific concerns, followed by a moisturiser to lock in moisture and provide hydration.

How to Layer Serums and Moisturizers?

To layer serums and moisturisers effectively, start with a clean face, apply a serum of your choice, allow it to absorb, and then apply a moisturiser to seal in moisture and create a protective barrier. Follow this order in your skincare routine for the best results.

When should I use a serum and when should I use a moisturiser?

Serums are typically applied after cleansing and toning and before moisturising. On the other hand, moisturisers are typically used as the final step in your skincare routine, after serums.

What is the primary purpose of a serum?

Serums have a high concentration of active ingredients and are designed to deliver targeted benefits, such as reducing wrinkles, brightening the complexion, or addressing specific skin concerns.

What is the primary purpose of a moisturiser?

The primary purpose of a moisturiser is to hydrate the skin and restore its moisture balance, while also providing a protective barrier to prevent water loss and maintain skin health.

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