Moisturiser, serum or both? Once upon a time good skincare was as easy cleanse, tone and moisturise. And then it got complicated. The most recent craze toward Korean style skincare regimes can include upwards of ten steps… seriously! Where once we were patting ourselves on the back for just taking our makeup off, we’re now contending with essences, mists and sleep masks.
But is more actually better? Having upped my pre-bedtime skincare game, laying nutrient enriched loveliness over perfectly primed, clean skin I actually experienced breakouts for the first time since my teens, and even then it was a rarity for me. And so I decided to do my homework a little more in terms of what exactly each product was doing for me and whether the whole lot was really beneficial over a simpler routine.
When it comes to moisturizer versus serum, there’s a few things to bear in mind. Brace yourself for the science bit! Serum generally has tinier particles that penetrate deeper into the skin with a more nutrient dense formula. Moisturiser is designed not to penetrate as deeply as serum, with larger molecules and an emphasis on carrying hydration to the skin. Serums are all about the active ingredients, and often have a price tag in line with this. Meanwhile moisturisers provide a type of hydration barrier between your skin and the elements.
Each serves its own purpose but serums are the holy grail when skin starts to show signs of aging, which horrifyingly enough can be from 23 onward. Gulp! If splashing out on a serum, its all about the active ingredients, vitamin C, resveratrol and retinol are all boxes worth ticking. Application is best after cleansing, allowing a little bit of soak-in time before moisturising.
And as for my teenage throwback breakouts, I've taken to only using serum on alternate nights and focusing more on proper cleansing until it calms a little. Do you have a favourite serum you use alongside your moisturiser, or are you a believer in keeping skincare simple?