Serum vs Moisturizer: What Sets Them Apart?

You may already know that serums and moisturizers are two key players in the world of healthy, glowing skin. But what exactly does each of these powerful skincare products do? 

Having a better understanding of serums vs moisturizers can help you optimize each product’s unique role in your skincare routine and make it easier for you to achieve your overall skincare goals. So, let’s dive in. 



Serums are designed to target specific skin issues like dark spots, uneven skin tone, and fine lines. They are highly concentrated solutions that deliver powerful active ingredients to deep layers of your skin while also offering lasting hydration. Their potent formulation, including mandelic acid, azelaic acid, and lactic acid, penetrates the deeper layers of the skin and targets specific skincare issues, like wrinkles and discoloration, allowing you to be proactive about your specific skin concerns. 

Put simply, serums give your skin the nourishment it needs to overcome issues like:  

  • Dryness
  • Redness
  • Discoloration
  • Inflammation
  • Fine lines and wrinkles

So, just about anything you’re looking to address can be targeted with a serum. For instance, you might look for a corrective glow serum to combat inflammation and hyperpigmentation spots.

If you want to give your skin an all-in-one boost, look for moisturizing multipurpose serums packed with antioxidants and vitamins. Ingredients like saccharomyces ferment filtrate, and centella asiatica reduce inflammation, while ingredients like beta-glucan draw in hydration, and support the overall health of your skin. 



Moisturizers primarily address your skin’s hydration, helping you maintain soft and supple skin throughout the day. Moisturizers have a longer carbon chain and a thick texture that allows them to help lock in hydration and prevent transepidermal water loss. The ingredients in moisturizers work to rejuvenate dry skin and improve its ability to retain water, making your skin look more firm and bright. A good facial moisturizer will not only address dry skin but also contribute to an even skin tone and healthy skin texture.

In fact, an effective moisturizer can plump up your skin to make your fine lines look much more subtle. And, if you have issues like flaking or cracking from dryness, a moisturizer can serve as your first line of defense, guarding your skin barrier against external factors that can cause dry skin, like cold weather. By acting as a protective layer on top of your skin, moisturizers also lock in the beneficial ingredients found in your other skincare products. 

Quality moisturizers also include active ingredients that supplement any serums you use to give your skin an extra boost. For instance, moisturizers infused with inflammation-fighting copper peptides and antioxidants, like marigold extract, can help improve your skin’s elasticity and limit cellular oxidation that contributes to the aging process. 

What does this all mean? 

By choosing a moisturizer that enriches your skin and replenishes its moisture, you can effortlessly get even more out of your skincare routine.



You can see and feel the difference between serum and moisturizer.

  • Serums are thin and runny
  • Moisturizers are thicker and have a creamier consistency

Each product’s texture is optimal for its role in your skincare routine. Because serums are designed to sink deep into your skin, they have a thin consistency that easily permeates through your cells. Many serums are also water-based, giving them a liquid-y texture that’s designed for optimal absorption.

When massaging a serum into your freshly cleansed skin, it will quickly start sinking in and putting its active ingredients to work.

Moisturizers, on the other hand, have a rich, dense formulation. They’re designed to hydrate the top layer of your skin, which requires a thicker texture than a serum. Moisturizer's thicker viscosity allows it to easily adhere to your skin, creating a hydrating layer that protects and enriches the skin. 

Although moisturizer does absorb into your skin, it does so much more slowly, providing you with a long-lasting barrier against dryness.



To get the most out of your skincare regimen, incorporating both a serum and a moisturizer into your skincare routine can address a wide range of skin issues, from acne and sun damage to aging concerns like wrinkles and loss of firmness. Layer your moisturizer on top of a quality serum, like the Seven:Thirty THIRSTY Hydrating Serum. Here’s a look at our recommended step-by-step process: 

  1. Prepare your skin by cleansing and toning.
  2. Add a few drops of serum to clean fingertips. 
  3. Gently rub the serum into your face and neck, ensuring that you evenly spread the product across your skin. 
  4. While your skin is still damp, add two pumps of our HERO Peptide Moisturizer to your fingertips. 
  5. Massage the moisturizer into your face and neck on top of your serum to lock in maximum moisture. 

You only need to apply serum once a day, so pick a time that works best for you and stick to it. Moisturizer, on the other hand, can provide you with protection during the day and rejuvenation at night, so it’s helpful to apply moisturizer twice daily.

Try using your moisturizer on its own in the mornings, then combine it with your serum at night to let the active ingredients work overtime while you rest. For maximum benefits, apply your moisturizer on top of your hydrating serum to lock in optimal hydration.



Achieving your skincare goals starts with understanding the properties of various skincare products, and then finding high-quality, trusted options that work for your unique skin type. Our THIRSTY Hydrating Serum and HERO Peptide Moisturizer are formulated to address dryness, redness, inflammation, and more for people with all skin types, including sensitive, oily, aging, and even acne-prone skin.

In conclusion, the synergy between using a serum and moisturizer is key to a successful skincare routine. Understanding the specific roles and benefits of each and choosing products tailored to your skin type and concerns, can greatly enhance your skin health and appearance. Serum vs. moisturizer isn't a choice of one over the other; it's about how they complement each other in your skincare routine.

Curate your own unique skincare routine by exploring Seven:Thirty’s line of expertly designed products today.



Healthline. What Are the Benefits of Using a Face Serum?

ColoreScience. SERUM VS MOISTURIZER: WHEN TO USE EACH.,skin%20to%20lock%20in%20moisture.

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