Understanding what our products can do for us is fundamental to skincare. After all, we have to understand a product before we know how best to apply and use it. The unfortunate truth is that a lot of the time we get recommended products without being given a clear idea of how exactly to use them. Serums are notorious for this problem. That’s a big problem give products like serums can be particularly finicky when it comes to ensuring people get the most out of them. These days most of us are fortunate enough to be able to look up how to use our products properly so that we have a clear idea of what they’re best suited for in skincare. However, people don’t always put all the information we need together in one place for quick review. That’s why we’re going to take a quick look at the difference between serums, lotions, and cream-based moisturizers in this article to ensure we’re all properly educated on the matter.

Serums
These are highly concentrated, often liquid products that are incredibly good for helping to nourish the skin. In many way, these are the products you use for intensive treatment for the skin to give them a boost when they’ve been severely lacking for a long time. They also make up a good portion of anti-aging skincare as serums are excellent for helping offset any issues your skin is having in keeping up with production of a number of vital proteins for keeping the skin healthy. Serums are incredibly thin and as a result they need to have direct contact with your skin. They go on immediately after you’ve cleaned your skin to ensure that as much serum as possible gets into your skin. Typically we need to use relatively little of a serum to get the results we want. It is necessary to apply a serum fairly quickly to ensure it has time enough on the skin to do its job before evaporating though. In this respect, they are relatively different from lotions and creams.

Lotions
Most of us are highly familiar with lotions. A lot of products we use every day would be rightly considered lotions based on their thickness and how they act. This is particular true of the products we most commonly use to moisturize our bodies. Lotions are roughly midway between serums and creams when it comes to overall thickness. This leads to a very important point. Lotions, like serums, can be nourishing to the skin, but they will never be as nourishing. This is because lotions include various extra ingredients to achieve their particular thickness. These filling agents and moisturizing compounds do plenty for the skin, but at the same time they reduce the potential effectiveness of any nourishing ingredients in the lotion. There simply isn’t as much room. Fortunately, that’s actually what helps to make lotions so suitable for repeated, everyday use. They aren’t hyper-specialized and as a result typically don’t run the risk of over-saturating the skin. Most lotions are meant for the body, but some noncomedogenic facial lotions exist as well. As a result, it is important to make sure you know which kind you’re using when applying a lotion to help avoid clogging pores.

Creams
These are often our thickest option when it comes to products and as a result, they end up making the best moisturizer. Unlike serums and lotions, creams are better at resisting evaporation for longer thanks to their thickness. This makes them a perfect seal for moisture and other products. Cream-based moisturizers are just as capable of including nourishing ingredients as serums and lotions, but they, like lotions, necessarily are less able to provide that nourishment than other products. That’s not their job in skincare though. Think of them as playing a purely supporting role when it comes to that part of things. Cream moisturizers are the capstone to most routines because they help to prevent the evaporation problem for other products. The barrier a moisturizer creates help improve the results from serums and lotions applied beneath them. Creams are incredibly good for dry and sensitive skin for this very reason. Moisturizers this thick are also typically only used once or twice a day because they can end up clogging pores if used too often. Noncomedogenic varieties do help minimize this risk though.

Our choice in products determines a lot about what we can expect to get out of our skincare. Knowing how to properly use the products we choose will make the good effects even more pronounced though and help us sidestep potential problems as well. Serums, lotions, and cream-based moisturizers can all help similar issues to varying degrees, but using them in a particular way is best to actually support your skin and make the most of the products. This is worth remembering the next time any of us are putting together a new skincare routine.

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