What’s Best? Serums or Moisturizers?

Feb15.2Which should you use?

Skincare Advice from Mira

I’d like to discuss a prevalent issue in skincare circles, that of moisturizing creams vs. facial oils and serums.

Like all issues nutritional, such as the best diet (animal products or vegetarian; vegan or Macrobiotic?), there are varying opinions about skincare, based on research, scientific or experiential data, opinion, or all of the above. No one size fits all, and while we all agree that sugar-laden soda drinks, fast food and no exercise are bad for your health, there are nutritional questions worth an in-depth discussion.

Similarly in skincare, some believe Toners are not essential while others feel they are the Holy Grail. Some swear by exfoliating procedures, while others believe less is more and maybe nothing at all is best.

Choose the path best for you, based on personal experience and information from sources you trust.  My conclusions are rooted in three decades of experience as a holistic practitioner and my knowledge as a Chinese medical practitioner.

Moisturizing Creams vs. Facial Oils and Serums.

I liken Serums to juices. You can include many concentrated ingredients to target certain conditions, or as dietary supplements and preventative care. A little goes a long way. I love Serums, love using them and inventing them, coming up with unique combinations, sometimes using ingredients I hadn’t realized are effective in a skincare formula.

I started making skincare products in 1979, way before the word “serum” hit the scene, when the mainstay of my skincare routine was a citrus-fresh moisturizing cream I made with five ingredients, without preservatives or much fanfare. It was easily absorbed, and needed to be refrigerated. I’d fill up several jars, store them in my refrigerator, and make a new batch every six months. I did that for many years, never used another skincare product.  I’m now privileged to have the most wonderful serums on hand, and I still reach for my creams daily.

If I liken Serums to juice, I liken Moisturizing Creams to the main course, to the basic foods we eat, the salad, the rice and beans. Moisturizing Creams should be used whether your skin is young or mature, whether it has issues or not, day in and day out, like you’d eat your main meal of the day.

Most commercial Moisturizing Creams combine water and oil, and require emulsifiers to bond the two, and since water can be a breeding ground for bacteria, a preservative is added to boot.

I use water and oil as well, but I don’t use emulsifiers or preservatives. I provide the creams fresh, made per order, with a good shelf life, provided they’re not left in the sun or with the lid off.  I remember once leaving a jar open on the table. My dog Maxi devoured the whole jar before I realized what she’d been eating. I’ll take that as a compliment–proof of purity of ingredients.

If you’re under 30 years old, Moisturizing Creams are probably sufficient and most important. After age 30, add your Facial Oil or Serum and combine with a rich and pure Moisturizing Cream, having the two be the core of your skincare regimen. Cleansers, Toners, Masques & Exfoliating Scrubs are helpful and often quite necessary. Use all of the above, and I guarantee your skin will look and feel great.

I recently completed a reformulation of my Moisturizing Cream recipe—the one from thirty years ago. It’s amazing, if I do say so myself. I can’t wait to share it with you, so please try it.

With love,

2 thoughts on “What’s Best? Serums or Moisturizers?

    • Thank you for your comment. I feel there is a lot of confusion around the topic and I was hoping to demystify it somewhat. I’m glad you found it useful. Feel free to ask about any topic you have questions about and I will share information and my personal opinion.

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