Face Serum Or Moisturiser? What’s The Difference?

Face Serum Or Moisturiser? What's The Difference?

Face serum or moisturizer are not an option for each other. But they both work hand in hand, each one having their own benefits and properties. A face serum targets a specific skin condition, whereas the moisturizer locks the nourishment provided by the face serum. To bring out the most of your skin using both the face serum and the moisturizer is very important. For flawless skin without skin issues and healthy radiant glow, using a face serum followed by a moisturizer application works the best. There cannot be a competition of face serum vs moisturizer! In fact the competition is between having immaculate skin versus dull and damaged skin.

Now the question remains how to use a face serum with a moisturizer. To understand the application of both these face care products, it is important to understand the difference between the serum and moisturizer. Let's get to know the face serum and the moisturizer in detail.

What is a Face Serum?

Face serums have high concentrations of the key ingredients that solve specific skin conditions. They are known as skin elixirs or may be referred to as magical portions for the skin. Face serums are highly potent in solving skin issues like acne scars, aging, hyper pigmentation, dark spots and uneven skin tone. Unlike moisturizer, the face serums have deep skin penetration properties, along with long lasting hydration. The deep diffusion property of face serum marks the difference between face serum and moisturizer. Face serums are packed with nourishing vitamins and nutrients that are crucial for the skin.

The Moms Co recommends best face serums: These are completely natural, chemical-free, toxin-free, and paraben-free. Using these face serum with moisturizer which is also completely natural, helps the skin to replenish and rejuvenate.


Vitamin C Serum for Face with Vitamins C, B3, B5 & E, Hyaluronic Acid and Soybean Phospholipids penetrates deep into the skin to hydrate, brighten and smoothen the skin. It helps reduce pigmentation, blemishes and fine lines.

Price: 699/-

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Vitamin C 10% stimulates collagen synthesis which helps reveal a naturally brighter and even toned skin. It reverses the damage caused by UV radiation, free radicals and pollution due to its ingredients like 10% Vitamin C, 0.5% Ferulic Acid, Korean Ginseng and Liquorice Extract.

Price: 595/-

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The Moms Co. Natural Advanced Vitamin C Serum, with 20% Vitamin C is proven to reduce dark spots, pigmentation, fine lines and dark circles. It has potent antioxidants like ethyl ascorbic acid that has 86% pure Vitamin C content, ferulic acid and vitamin E in every drop. 

Price: 699/-

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What is a Moisturizer?

Moisturizer is an emollient that locks the skin's natural moisture and forms a protective barrier on the skin against the harsh environment. Moisturizers lubricate the skin, preventing skin cracks like cracked lips and cracked heels. For a healthy, dewy and radiant skin a moisturizer is the most vital skin care product. Moisturizers are nothing but emulsions of oil, water and other ingredients that provide hydration, sun protection and some nutrients. Moisturization is all about trapping and locking the moisture in the skin and building a natural protective barrier on the outermost layer of the skin. The main difference between moisturizer and serum is that the moisturizer stays over the skin for longer periods of time, and the serum gets quickly absorbed without any moisture protective shield formation on the skin. 

The Moms Co recommends best face moisturizers to use with face serums that are completely natural.


Vitamin Rich Face Cream is a light-water based moisturizer with the benefits of Chia Seed Oil, Vitamin-C rich Kakadu Plum and Hyaluronic Acid. It replenishes skin and restores the moisture. Regular use of this face cream reduces pigmentation & fine lines for smoother radiant-looking skin.

Price: 699/-

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The Moms Co. Natural Green Tea Face Cream locks the hydration into the skin. It has a gentle non-greasy formula enriched with squalane, cucumber, green Tea, willow bark and niacinamide. This face cream gives you a shine-free and matt look which lasts all through the day. Also it has a non-comedogenic formula which does not clog the pores.

Price: 577/-

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The Moms Co. Natural Vitamin C Face Cream moisturizes the skin deeply with rich hydration and brighter skin tone. It has powerful antioxidants rich formula made with ingredients like Vitamin C, E and Ferulic acid. 

Price: 577/-

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How do Serum and Moisturizer work?

A face serum and moisturizer differ in the properties and effects. The serum and moisturizer work on different skin layers hence need to be used together to provide the skin with all the necessary nutrients and moisture. They work together and not as alternatives to each other.


Serums are light-textured, non-greasy skin care essentials that work to repair and replenish the skin cells from deep within. They have highly potent formulations with hard working active ingredients that go a long way in addressing a variety of skincare issues. For example, there are serums for skin brightening, anti-ageing and acne prevention. Serums are considered “elixirs of beauty” as they work more effectively on your skin for two reasons. Firstly, because they have smaller particles that penetrate the skin on a deeper cellular level. Secondly, because serums don’t contain the thick 'airtight sealing’ particles like the particles in the moisturizers. This difference between the serum and moisturizer makes it important to use a face serum with a moisturizer.


Moisturizers are skin hydrating emollients that are cream based and of thicker consistency. Moisturizers and creams have larger molecules than face serums, so they don’t penetrate into the surface layer of the skin. Since they do not penetrate the epidermis (top layer of the skin), they do not significantly replenish and repair the skin like the face serum. Moisturizers are heavier in formulation than face serum, and work on hydrating the epidermis, and preventing loss of skin moisture. They sit on the top layer of the skin, acting as a physical barrier to keep hydration in and environmental irritants out. Hence you need to use face serum with moisturizer to end the skin issues.


Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic acid
The Moms Co. Vita Rich Face Serum – Know More
face cream with hyaluronic acid
The Moms Co. Vita Rich Face Cream – Know More

What Is The Difference Between A Face Serum and Moisturizer?

Face serums and moisturizers tend to be different on many levels:

Face SerumMoisturizer
Serums deliver antioxidants, nutrients and vitamins to the deepest layers of the skin.Moisturizers lubricate and recondition the top layers of the skin.
Potent in addressing and reversing the skin damage.Potent in moisturizing the skin.
The concentration of active ingredients is around 70% or higher in serums.The concentration of active ingredients is only arounf 10% in moisturizers.
Serums don’t contain thick oils and waxes.Moisturizers contain thick oils and may have waxes.
Serums have fewer fillers and lubricating agentsMoiturizers are packed with lubricants and fillers.
Serums focus entirely on skin replenishment, they seldom moisturize the skin as efficiently as a moisturizer would.Moisturizer focus entirely on hydrating and moisturizing the skin, and seldomly replenish and rejuvenate the skin.
Skin issues like aging, wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, hyper pigmentation, dullness, uneven skin tone and blemishes need the combination of face serum and moisturizer.A problem-free skin can be managed with only the moisturizer.

Understanding this difference between serum and moisturizer helps you to choose the best face care products that your skin needs the most. If you are looking for skin care products to target specific skin issues then using a serum with moisturize will benefit the most.

How and when to apply serum and moisturizer?

Serum, being the concentrated concoction of enriching vitamins, nutrients, anti-aging ingredients, skin damage protective ingredients and ingredients that prevent acne breakouts and brighten the skin; serum should be applied two times a day: at bedtime and in the morning before going out in the sun. Always apply the serum before the moisturizer and creams, as the moisturizers and creams form a barrier over the outermost skin tissue. Applying the face serum before the day cream or night cream or moisturizer helps you maximize the profit from all the products. Use a moisturizer at night as it makes the skin oily and is heavier in formula, but if you have extremely dry skin, you may use moisturizer at daytime. If you apply makeup it is important to moisturize your skin with a non-oily moisturizer.

  • Wash your face thoroughly and pat it dry.
  • Apply the skin toner
  • Apply the face serum in a dabbing or circular massaging motions.
  • Patt your skin with your fingers after the serum application, this enhances quick and profound absorption of the face serum.
  • Apply a moisturizer to the skin after the face serum.

Is Serum just the New-Age Moisturizer? 

Absolutely not. A face serum is a stand-alone product, i.e. it is entirely different from other skin care products in terms of its potent formulations, customized options and instant impact on our skin. Serums work in unison with moisturizer to amplify its hydrating effects and impart nourishment to the skin tissues. The serum and moisturizer go hand in hand to benefit the skin differently.

Do I need both Serum and Moisturizer?

The answer is yes, in most cases you do. Moisturizer takes care of the superficial level of the skin by moisturizing it while serum is packed with active ingredients that penetrates deeper into the skin. Serums lack the sealing effect and hence need a moisturizer to seal the enriching active ingredients into the skin layers. Moisturizer is the perfect barrier and offers skin protection which in turn helps the serum work its charm on the skin. Sometimes depending on the sky type and skin condition, your work may be done with the use of moisturizer alone i.e. when your skin doesn’t have any skin issues like aging, sagging, wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, blemishes, pigmentations etc. It is advisable to begin the use of both the face serum and the moisturizer in your 20s to keep any skin issues at a bay.

Final Verdict: Face Serum VS face Moisturizer

The right combination of serum and moisturizer will certainly help to hydrate, brighten and nourish your skin while taking care of pigmentation and fine lines. A perfect duo of an all natural face serum and moisturizer will naturally introduce the skin- enriching active ingredients into the skin and moisturizing the skin to seal those ingredients inside for a healthy glow. The natural face cream and serum, ensures that your skin receives the much needed nourishment in the most toxin-free way possible. Hence it is not ‘face serum vs face moisturizer‘, but it is face serum with face moisturizer; for benefiting the skin from both the worlds of a serum and moisturizer.

Now you know how to use a face serum with moisturizer perfectly, and make the most out of both. Be consistent with your skincare routine to combat all your skin worries, and get a healthy glowing skin with the use of face serum and moisturizer.

Also Read:

Niacinamide Serum Uses: Want to get a deeper insight into the workings of niacinamide serum and its uses for your skin? This post will guide you with all!

Difference Between Cream and Lotion: Make sure you know the difference between your cream and lotion before you use it. For detailed information, check out this post!