How are serums and moisturisers different?

If you have ever been recommended a serum and moisturiser in your skincare routine, we are confident you have questioned why the need for both? Don’t moisturisers and serums do the same thing?

There is actually a lot of difference between a moisturiser and a serum.



Serums are lightweight fluids that have smaller molecules and are usually water based.  They are easily and quickly absorbed into the skin and penetrate deep into the basal layers of the skin enabling them to treat the root cause of many skin conditions and concerns such as premature ageing, dehydration or pigmentation.

The formula of serums tend to omit occlusive agents that keep water from evaporating which is usually found in moisturisers.  This also makes serums more potent as they end up with a higher concentration of active ingredients, making them an extremely effective solution to treat targeted concerns.

The high concentration of active ingredients usually comes with a higher price tag than a moisturiser.  But that concentration also means you don’t need much for each application. When applied properly, a serum should last months. Mary Cohr and Payot serums come in pump bottles to aid in dispensing the small amount you need.


Moisturisers on the other hand are typically heavier in weight and have a larger molecule structure than a serum.  Their thicker and heavier formulation act as a barrier on the skin to protect it from irritants as well as to prevent moisture loss.

Ingredient in moisturisers are not as effective as serums in penetrating deep into the skin.  They usually include nourishing agents that are oil in nature to condition and protect the upper layers of the skin.  Oil as we know don’t mix well with water which is what the basal layers are mainly made up of. This is why it is important to also remember to always apply a serum before a moisturiser.


Which one is best?

Mostly, we recommend a consistent routine of both moisturiser and serum to treat the skin in different ways and to treat all layers of the skin.


The question is which serum and moisturiser is best for you.

At Masque we design a skincare routine after a thorough consultation and review of your skin.  The skincare routine we design is like a nutritionist designing your daily meal plan or your PT designing your workout program.  It is customised just for you.


Our skin consultations are free so book yours today.