SERUMS V.s. Creams

The Difference Between Serums and Creams

Skincare has come a long way, with an array of products that promise to give your skin the best look and feel possible. Among the most discussed skincare products are serums and creams. Though both are crucial for maintaining skin health, there are distinct differences between the two. Let’s delve into understanding these differences and determining which one might be best for your skincare needs.


  • Serums:
    • Serums are lightweight, clear, or slightly opaque liquids that are water or oil-based.
    • They contain a high concentration of active ingredients like antioxidants, peptides, and vitamins, which can penetrate deeper into the skin.
    • They usually lack occlusive agents like mineral oil or petrolatum that lock in moisture.
  • Creams:
    • Creams have a thicker consistency than serums. They are often white or tinted and have a creamy texture.
    • While they contain active ingredients, the concentration is generally lower than in serums.
    • They also have moisturizing agents, which help in locking the skin’s natural moisture.


  • Serums:
    • Designed to deliver powerful ingredients directly into the skin.
    • Address specific skin concerns like wrinkles, dark spots, and dehydration.
    • Due to their lightweight consistency, they’re quickly absorbed.
  • Creams:
    • Primarily aim to hydrate and protect the skin.
    • Form a barrier on the skin to prevent moisture loss.
    • Some creams are formulated to address particular skin issues but are generally more focused on moisturizing.


  • Serums:
    • Applied after cleansing and toning but before moisturizing.
    • Because of their deep penetration properties, it’s essential to apply them before heavier products to ensure their active ingredients can reach the targeted skin layers.
  • Creams:
    • Applied after serums.
    • They help to seal in the benefits of the previous products in your routine while ensuring your skin remains hydrated.


  • Serums:
    • Generally, serums can be pricier than creams. This is because of the high concentration of active ingredients they contain.
    • A small amount goes a long way, making them last longer than expected.
  • Creams:
    • Prices vary based on ingredients and brand, but creams can be more affordable than serums.
    • Given their thicker consistency, you might use them up faster than serums.
All in all, both serums and creams play distinct roles in a comprehensive skincare routine. While serums deliver potent active ingredients to address specific skin issues, creams mainly focus on moisturizing and locking in all the goodness.

It’s not necessarily an either-or decision. For optimal skin health, it’s beneficial to incorporate both into your regimen, understanding the unique benefits each offers. Remember, everyone’s skin is different. Always consider your skin type and concerns when choosing products, and consider consulting a dermatologist or skincare expert for personalized advice.