January 31, 2018

[Monthly Project] #14 Moisturizer and Serum : A simple guide.

Monthly Project (January 2018)

#14 Moisturizer and Serum : A simple guide.


Hello peeps! Here we are on the last day of January 2018. Welcome back to another chapter of Monthly Project after two months hiatus.

Perhaps you been through this, "Tell me dear, what are the differences between moisturizer and serum?" This question has been frequently asked among my circles. I wasn't definitely sure about the answer, that's why it leads me to read more and understand better.


What you can expect from this chapter:

  • Basic understanding on moisturizer and serum (texture, function and how-to);
  • Sneak-peak on my current choices of moisturizer and serum.


Monthly Project; Moisturizer and Serum : A simple guide


Shall we begin? :D

First thing first, what is a moisturizer?

A moisturizer is a moisture-trapping products either fall into the category of an "occlusive (1)" or an "emollient (2)". (refer here)

(1) Occlusive : A type of moisturizer which sits on top of the skin and hard to be absorbed into the skin. The effect is visible and instant, but it may lead to clogged pores. I.e.: Vaseline.
(2) Emollient : A type of moisturizer which can be absorbed into the skin and cement gaps created when the links between dead skin cells are broken.

You see, instead of providing moisture to the skin, moisturizer is a product that traps moisture and locks it in our skin. To quote Reviews.com, in fact moisturizer is a misnomer (wrong terminology).


Did you know? Water is the only substance that hydrates skin. That's why you must drink more water!!!

However, merely by drinking more water is not sufficient to keep you skin supple all day long, because by nature, it evaporates. The process is also known as Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL).

Here on Reviews.com, they provide a simple illustration to explain on TEWL and the basic function of a moisturizer.


Why You Really Need a Moisturizer


Okay now I understand what is a moisturizer, so how about serum? Are they the same?

When you heard people describing to you the functions of a serum, it sounds pretty similar to a moisturizer. However when they insisted these two products aren't the same thing, you are confused. 

In fact, they are not lying to you. Moisturizer and serum can be differentiated by purpose, weight (molecules) and texture.

Besides retaining skin moisture, serums often contain potent and active ingredients which are designated to address a variety of skincare issues. For instance, anti-aging, skin brightening, acne prevention, pore minimizing and the list goes on.

In terms of molecules' weight and size, serums have smaller molecules compared to moisturizers, whereby they are able to penetrate the skin deeper and treat skin issues more effectively. Probably that's the reason why serums tend to be more expensive than other skin care products.

Perhaps a much more direct way to differentiate serums from moisturizers will be their texture. Moisturizers tend to be thicker and heavier of the two products. Serums generally have slippery texture and lightweight in application.

How to choose, moisturizer or serum?

Don't crack your head so hard in answering this question. Use both! In fact, it is advisable to apply a layer of moisturizer over serum to seal it into the skin. (Why?) Although serums can penetrate into the skin deeper compared to common moisturizers, they do not serve as a protective shield on top of the skin like moisturizers do, as the song plays "two is better than one~".

There are tons and tons of products in the market, but picking the right ones for your skin, be it moisturizer or serum in this chapter, is rather personal.

For instance, if you are concern with hyperpigmentation, choose a serum that contains Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) for brightening and apply on targeted areas.

A good tip is to understand your skin type and skin condition before purchasing any product.

Sneak-peak on my current choices of moisturizer and serum

Finally. Below are the products I am using currently in relation to this topic. Spot anything familiar to you?


① B.liv's Shrink and Tighten [larges pores reducing serum] 30ml



Function(s) : Pore minimizing and collagen boosting.
Remark(s) : The texture is almost like water, yet on the oily side. Warm sensation is observed once applied on skin. Notable pore shrinking effect after applying for 2 to 3 weeks.


② ISKIN's Vitamin C Serum 5% 30ml



Function(s) : Brightening and anti-aging.
Remark(s) : The texture is slightly thicker than B.liv's serum, still on the watery side. Notable brightening effect (especially freckles and pigmentation) after applying for 2 to 3 weeks.


③ Nature Republic's Ginseng Royal Silk Watery Cream 60g



Function(s) : Moisturizing, whitening and wrinkle improvement.
Remark(s) : The texture is thick and rich (thou it might not seemed to be from photo). Instant moisturizing effect once applied on skin. My all-time favourite watery cream. ❤


④ ALIVE:LAB's Multi Ice Cream 100ml



Function(s) : Moisturizing and whitening.
Remark(s) : The texture is firm and rich. Instant and long lasting moisturizing effect being observed.


⑤ Hatomugi's Skin Conditioning Gel 180g



Function(s) : Moisturizing.
Remark(s) : Just by looking, the texture is almost like ALIVE:LAB's Multi Ice Cream. In fact, it is lightweight than the previous. When apply it on the skin, it melts instantly, like watery cream. Instant and long lasting moisturizing effect being observed.


That's all for now. If you would like to read more posts like this, do leave a comment below and share with me your thoughts. Let's learn together! :D

'Til the next time. Cheers!



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