What to choose between a serum and a cream?

What to choose between a serum and a cream?

Published on October 31, 2023, by Christelle

Reading time: 6 minutes

Serums and creams are among the facial treatments most commonly found in our beauty routines. Their ability to moisturize our skin is complemented by myriad other benefits that adapt to our needs (anti-aging, revitalizing effect, radiance treatment, etc.).

However, perhaps due to lack of time, we might be tempted to only keep one of these skin care products. The question then arises: what to choose between a serum and a cream? In this article, we will look at the differences between serums and creams to better decide which facial treatment to choose.


What are the differences between a serum and a cream?

The cream: your daily protection

Moisturizers are designed to hydrate, seal in moisture, and protect the skin. In the form of creamy emulsions, the creams combine lipophilic and hydrophilic ingredients which have different roles to play.

Lipophilic ingredients are soluble in the lipid phase of the cream. They are intended to nourish and protect the skin by strengthening its protective barrier. This group includes vegetable oils, fatty acids, and other types of compounds.

Hydrophilic ingredients are those that are soluble in water (such as floral waters, or certain active ingredients such as GSM10 for example). They are the ones who come into play to provide the skin with other types of benefits (anti-aging, soothing, regenerating effect, etc.).

The serum: a concentrate of active ingredients

Skin serums are facial treatments concentrated in active ingredients. They are distinguished by their light texture which allows them to penetrate deep into the layers of the epidermis. Thanks to their small molecules, serums can cross the skin barrier of the face to act quickly and effectively in depth.

There are different types of serums formulated to meet specific needs. Common active ingredients include hyaluronic acid, known for its exceptional ability to retain water. Serum compositions also include antioxidants, peptides, vitamins, AHAs or BHAs, among other beneficial components.

Cream and serum: two complementary treatments

Due to their different compositions and modes of action, the cream and serum are complementary facial treatments. In very rare cases (extremely humid climate, very oily skin), some people may turn to the application of a serum alone. But in most cases, using a moisturizer is essential to protect the skin and strengthen its skin barrier. So, if the choice between cream and serum must be made, we generally recommend using a cream alone.

However, it would be a shame to deprive yourself of the benefits of the serum, to use daily or as a treatment. Combined with the use of a moisturizing cream, the serum is a perfect ally in case of specific needs: during seasonal changes, when the skin shows signs of fatigue, when it is attacked by the sun, the cold or when she suffers the first signs of aging. Let's see how to combine them to optimize their effectiveness.

What are the differences between a serum and a cream?

Day cream, night cream, serum, which facial treatment to adopt?

Your skin needs hydration from morning to night (and evening to morning). But did you know that depending on the time of day, your facial treatments must address other types of issues? Let's see how to increase the benefits of your facial treatments according to your needs throughout the day.

The morning

When you wake up, your routine should focus on effective protection of the skin. During the day, we therefore choose a cream to adapt to your skin type and needs, with a long-lasting moisturizing effect, to help the skin maintain a good hydration balance, and protect it from external aggressions.

On the serum side, we opt for a product adapted to the needs of the moment (dullness, imperfections, spots, wrinkles, protection, etc.). For additional antioxidant action, we favor antioxidant active ingredients which protect the skin throughout the day.

The evening

Before bed, it is better to focus on regeneration and repair of the skin. We therefore opt for a richer moisturizing cream which will allow good regeneration of the skin at night, with a “rebounded” effect upon waking up.

This action is associated with a serum capable of repairing the skin and increasing its natural capacity to recharge its batteries.

Continuous action

Some facial treatments combine several essential functions for the skin. We can therefore use them morning and evening because the skin will draw on the active ingredients it needs when it needs them.

It's the case serum by Beau Domaine for example. Its boost and tightening effect helps wake up the skin and “smooth” it in the morning. Its concentration of antioxidants ensures protection of the skin throughout the day. In the evening, Le Sérum provides its wealth of anti-aging active ingredients to help the skin regenerate. .


Day cream, night cream, serum, which facial treatment to adopt?

Reduce visible signs of aging

While for certain problems (imperfections, sensitivity, dehydration, etc.), the use of serums in the form of a treatment may be sufficient, other subjects require the use of facial care on an ongoing basis. Reducing the visible signs of aging falls into this second group.

Combine cream and serum for more effectiveness

The active ingredients used in the cream and serum are often complementary. Their different compositions make it possible to contain active ingredients of different natures or in different quantities which have a complementary action to act on the skin.

To summarize, a moisturizing cream, while providing different active ingredients to the skin, will create a protective barrier by sealing the hydration to the surface of the skin. Applied under this barrier, the serum has the opportunity to fully play its role, penetrating the deep layers of the skin.

In the case beau Domaine Routines, facial treatments like Le Sérum et La Crème or La Crème Fluide are perfect examples of this complementarity. On the one hand, certain assets, such as ProGR3 or GSM10, are found in the different formulations and echo each other. On the other hand, the active ingredients specific to each type of treatment allow them to work in symbiosis to reduce the visible signs of aging.

Choose your products wisely

Facial treatments intended to reduce the visible signs of aging require consistency. It is important to choose treatments whose effectiveness has been tested, of course, but this effectiveness will have little benefit if you do not apply the care routine you choose. Above all, try to choose facial treatments that you will enjoy using.

For a moisturizer, for example, the choice of texture is important depending on the needs of your skin (and how you feel). This may seem obvious, but you won't choose the same texture of cream depending on your skin type. This is why Beau Domaine offers two moisturizing creams. The Cream, with its whipped texture, is creamy and rich, and is best suited to skin seeking hydration and comfort. The Fluid Cream, meanwhile, quickly penetrates the skin while leaving it hydrated. Don’t hesitate to play with textures. For example, we advise some of our customers to use La Crème Fluide as a day cream and La Crème as a night cream.

Finally, don't forget to always check the composition of facial care products. A strict blacklist is often the best way to avoid controversial ingredients, whether for the environment or for the balance of your skin.

Prevention rather than treatment: SPF and hydration

Sun protection is an essential part of skin care, especially to prevent premature aging. On a daily basis, opt for a sunscreen with SPF 30 as the final touch to your routine to protect your skin. In the summer months, do not hesitate to increase the protection factor.

Finally, good hydration is also a good way to slow the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Drink enough water (between 1.5 and 2 liters per day) to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out.

Reduce visible signs of aging

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