So… you’re just venturing into the world of skin care and are confused by what the difference between a serum and a cream might be. Well, you’ve come to the right place, skin care explorer.
You might be asking yourself, which one is right for my skin, a serum or a cream? Why is one formulation style more expensive than the other? Which one is likely to achieve better results for my skin? These days there are creams and serums to help with every skin concern, from hydrating to brightening the skin, from exfoliating to adding vitamin C. Here’s what you need to know.
There are no absolutes when it comes to Serums vs. Creams. That being said, Serums are often water based formulations (they can also be anhydrous or non-water based) that usually contain higher concentrations of active or beneficial ingredients. They may contain fewer fillers or petroleum based ingredients and are simpler and more targeted formulations for specific skin concerns. Serums can be layered on the skin and the key ingredients usually have a better chance at penetrating the skin. Serums work particularly well on normal, oily or acne prone skin and on warmer climates. Serums have often been the exclusive realm of über lines used by estheticians and dermatologists for advanced skin care. When you think Serums think: light, penetrating, layering, targeted and advanced.
Creams are the work horse of the skin care world. Creams have been around since ancient times and present a versatile medium for a broad spectrum of applications. Particularly, creams offer an unequaled ability to protect the skin from Trans-Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL) or evaporation of moisture from the skin, for the rest of us. Creams can hold in suspension an almost infinite variety of ingredients, depending on the function of the cream. This also allows for a longer exposure of these active ingredients to be present on the skin. Creams perform particularly well on mature, dry and/or sensitive skin types and in colder climates. Creams can be less expensive since they may contain more fillers and even air as part of their formulation. Nevertheless, there are certainly fine and expensive creams with a myriad of high-end ingredients in the market. When you think Creams think: medium to heavy textures, heavier hydration, broad spectrum of active ingredients, price variation.
Which formulation is right for me? For dry skin in cold weather, it’s easy. Use a cream. For oily or acne prone skin in hot and humid locations, that’s also easy. A serum will be your best choice. For all of us in between, we recommend that you use a base layer of a serum (such as Collagen 2000 or O2 Oxygen Blu) and apply a layer of a medium textured cream (such as Moisture Activ or Moisture Intensiv) on top. For more mature skins, it’s a good idea to include an additional serum layer with a nourishing serum (such as Noutri Plus or DNA Plus). This will provide that extra hydration and nourishment that your skin craves.
Of course, there is much more to skin care than just hydration and nourishment. Your best bet is to visit your skin care professional and ask them for a full and proper skin care analysis. A true skin care professional will select the right products for you. The really good ones will track your progress and adjust their recommendations to suit your skin concerns, skin conditions, your lifestyle, your objectives…and even the weather. You can find a selection of top skin care professionals in your area at our Available At page at: http://www.wilmaschumann.com/available.htm
So let’s recap.
When you think Serums think: light textures, ability to penetrate, layering of different serums, targeted skin concerns and advanced formulations.
When you think Creams think: medium to heavy textures, heavier hydration, broad spectrum of active ingredients, protects skin from the environment and greater price variation.
For most of us, the best results will be achieved with a skin care regimen that combines both Serums and Creams. Understanding your skin concerns and selecting the right products and in the correct formulation style to resolve those concerns, is part of an educated skin care consumer’s tool box. Wilma Schumann Skin Care is here to make sure that you fill your tool box with the best Serums and Creams for your skin care job!
- WS Team