Cream vs. Serum: What’s The Better Choice?

Over the years, the notion that skin care is something that only women care about is becoming nothing but a distant stereotypical memory. Taking care of the skin has also eroded the impression by most people that it’s a superficial activity. A total waste of time for those who don’t want anything to do with vanity.

Skin care is not just about looking good. These days, people are more concerned about the actual health of their skin. The healthy glow that goes along with it is, of course, a highly rewarding side-benefit.

An interesting observation today is that skin protection and maintenance is now a necessity. As scary as it may sound, the world has shifted to a less friendly place to live in, courtesy of the multitude of pollutants that eventually affect the environment. It’s sad and unfortunate but neglecting in protecting the skin from the environment is an open invitation for various skin issues.

The sun is one of the biggest factors in skin problems, including fast onset of wrinkles. Using sunblock is no longer something optional when going to the beach. Soaking up the sun now ironically means spending the day outside while blocking out the rays of the sun.

Another example of an environmental factor that ages the skin is the very air that humans breathe. Sure, oxygen is necessary for survival. But it also facilitates the ageing of cells. It’s only in the past decade that people have realised this, which is why anti-oxidants is a big thing. It’s basically used to counteract the slow but significant negative effects of oxidation of the cells within the body.

Getting plenty of wrinkles at a young age is bad news. Not just because it looks ugly and minimises a person’s chances of meeting someone who finds them attractive but also because it is indicative of underlying health problems.

The importance of skin care can’t be emphasised enough. But with so many skin care products in the market today, how are people supposed to know which ones to use? And which ones to avoid entirely?

At the very least, a person should have either a skin cream or serum to provide their skin with the basic protection it needs from constant exposure to the elements. These two types of skin care products are the most commonly used, and this is because using them on a regular basis can go a long way for long-term skin care solution.

Initially, most people would think that skin creams and skin serums are the same. But their similarity is simply the fact that they are both applied topically and that they provide protection for the skin.

The tangible difference between the two is that skin serum has a gel-like consistency. Depending on the brand, the viscosity of the serum may be watery or as hard as overcooked gelatin. This consistency is relative to the proportion of water that the serum contains. The stiffer the serum, the more active ingredients it generally contains.

Skin creams, on the other hand, has a consistency that lives up to its namesake: cream-like. But with new and revolutionary products coming out in the recent years, these physical characteristics are starting to mix up. With some serums having cream-like consistency, and creams being in a cream-gel form. The lines are being blurred, so distinguishing both products from one another shouldn’t be limited to rubbing them with the fingers to test for the feel of it.

Naturally, manufacturers will indicate what the product is on the label. This eliminates the need to trouble customers with identifying which is which. Customers can instead pick one according to what they deem is the best one to use. But which of the two is considered by most as the better option? As it turns out, the answer isn’t as simple as one would expect.

Skin serums have fast-acting ingredients that are deliberately added to help customers address immediate skin care concerns. Whether it’s the sudden appearance of rashes or a growing zit that just won’t go away with a rigorous washing of the face. It’s no surprise that skin serums have different variants. These different skin serums contain different active ingredients which are meant to address specific skin concerns. The gel-like consistency helps immensely with the skin’s ability to absorb the active ingredient the serum contains.

Skin creams, on the other hand, are generally used for skin moisturising and maintenance. It has no active ingredients which make it safe to use on a regular basis. The idea of using skin cream is opposite to that of serums. While serums provide immediate relief from skin problems, creams maintain the skin’s health to make it more resilient in the long run.

The analogy of these two is like fertiliser and pesticide on plants. Fertilisers make sure that plants get the right amount of nutrition to enhance their growth while pesticides, preferably natural, addresses an immediate problem.

Asking which of the two is the better choice is not the right question. The answer is never going to be comprehensive unless the intention of the customer is presented. Does the user want to use a product that provides long-term skin care? Or are they in need of a treatment for an annoying rash as soon as possible? Using the best product for the appropriate need of the user is the most reasonable answer.

Besides, there’s no need to choose which of the two should be used. It’s not an either-or thing where using one counteracts the other. In fact, they can be used at the same time if the situation calls for it.

But whichever of the two is used, it’s important that customers understand the benefits of sticking to brands that use naturally-sourced ingredients. Some would argue that serums require strong active ingredients to be effective. But nature is full of potent ingredients. As more people lean to a healthy lifestyle, more natural ingredients are being discovered for their capabilities in improving health and well-being.

Emilie Hagstörm

My name is Emilie Hagstörm. Born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden to a Swedish Father and an English Mother. With a background as a Pharmacist, I use a scientific approach to research what REALLY works. When you read one of my beauty reviews you’ll know that it is honest and unbiased because I don’t work for a make-up retailer or manufacturer, and I’m completely independent.

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