A woman using face serum

Can Face Serum Replace Your Moisturizer?

The temptation to mix and match serums and moisturizers is a strong one, but usually, it's not a good idea. Here's why.
Updated: November 9, 2022
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There are so many facial skincare products on the market today and many of them have crossover roles. Sometimes it’s easy to think that multiple products all do the same thing and there’s no real difference between them.

However, this is a risky approach to take. Serums and moisturizers are similar, but they’re not the same. They do different things and have varying ingredients. Here’s why you shouldn’t replace your moisturizer with a serum.

The role of serum

Serums have exploded in popularity in recent years and for very good reason. Built on top of a water base, serums provide immense health benefits to the skin and lay the groundwork for long-term durability.

Containing amazing ingredients such as retinol, vitamins, and antioxidants, face serum recharges and replenishes all the good stuff your skin needs to flourish. Serum can work wonders to repair the damage, and stimulate skin cell turnover to ensure your face looks as youthful as ever. We love a good face serum.

The role of moisturizer

Moisturizers have a simple role and let’s be honest, the name gives it away. Their job is to keep your skin hydrated and flexible.

During an average day, our skin is bombarded with environmental dirt, pollution, and other types of gunk that can dry us out and clog our pores. Using an effective facial moisturizer on a regular basis will help to protect the skin from these challenges and reduce the chance of breakouts and irritation.

Their accessibility means they can be used multiple times a day when the situation calls for it, and if used consistently over a long period of time, moisturizers will keep the skin healthy and colorful.

Can serum replace moisturizer?

Our default answer for this is we wouldn’t recommend it. At the end of the day, serums and moisturizers are different products for different uses. A serum is lighter but contains a large amount of skin-healing ingredients that are designed to replenish and restore, whereas a moisturizer is basically a handy hydration top-up tool.

Your skin type will determine your suitability for both products. For example, people with naturally oily skin may want to avoid moisturizers, as they will only add to the problems of excess liquid and could block pores. Similarly, people with sensitive skin may have issues with serum, as potent ingredients like retinol can cause irritation.

In conclusion

Only you can determine what is best for your own skin. We’d recommend always using products for their specific purposes and not trying and mix and match to save time or money. You don’t want to cause unnecessary damage or irritation to your face, so keep things simple.

Overall, we’d recommend you include both serums and moisturizers into your routine, as they work best together.

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