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Serums vs Creams: What Skin Care Routine is Best?
October 19, 2023

Serums vs Creams: What Skin Care Routine is Best?

6 mins read By Darcy Laceby skin

Following the launch of Maxerum, our collagen serum that’s clinically proven to help with appearance of fine lines, we wanted to explain the difference between serums and creams. That’s why, in this article, we weigh in on serums vs creams, how to apply face serum, and which face serum is best.

While we’ve been thrilled with the amazing response from our fabulous Absoluters on the launch of Maxerum, our collagen face serum, some of the same questions keep popping up.

For example, what is face serum and what does it do? Is serum better than cream? When should you apply face serum? And finally, what is the difference between serum and cream?

Well, we wanted to answer these common queries and better explain the best face serum benefits. 

For the lowdown on serums vs creams, continue reading, below.

What is face serum and what does it do?

Before we jump into the difference between serum and cream, let’s first talk about face serums and how they work.

Designed to deliver a high concentration of active ingredients to the skin, face serums are a lightweight, fast-absorbing skin care product. These fast-acting formulas are typically used to target specific skin concerns, such as fine lines and wrinkles.  

For example, in our clinical results, reported an 18% improvement in wrinkle appearance and a 28% improvement in skin firmness when using our Maxerum collagen serum twice a day. More general face serum benefits can also include hydrating dry skin, evening skin tone, and treating acne flare-ups

What’s more, due to being water-based, most serums are ideal for oily skin types. Another face serum benefit is its “minimal” nature, making it the ideal choice for a low-hassle and low-maintenance everyday skin care routine that still delivers powerful results. 

Face serums vs creams: what’s the difference?

Basically, the main difference between serum and cream is that a serum is lighter and thinner in texture than a cream and is designed to be absorbed more easily and quickly through the skin. Serums are an ideal transport medium to get your active ingredients to penetrate deeply into the skin for maximum benefit. This is because serums leave out the more occlusive, moisture-locking ingredients, such as petroleum derivatives and oils, that you find in creams - these are the ingredients that give the product its “creamy” qualities.


It’s not just serum vs cream differences to bear in mind though – face serum benefits differ from product to product too. Maxerum, for instance, is an all-natural serum densely packed with skin-boosting ingredients, so it has a naturally dewy, slightly stickier texture than some other serums. All this means is you should leave it to dry completely before applying SPF and creams on top. So, when it comes to applying face serum, don’t rush the application, and be sure not to over-apply, as a little goes a long way!

When to apply face serum

The best times to apply face serum is once in the morning and once in the evening, as part of your everyday skin care routine. It’s important to only apply face serum to clean skin too, which means before your makeup in the morning and then after taking off your makeup in the evening. 

In terms of the order of your skin care routine and whether you apply face serum or cream first, always start with serum. If you apply cream first, you can limit the absorption of the serum due to its occlusive nature. Only when you’ve given time for the serum to absorb (around 5 minutes) should you start to think about the creams in your skin care routine.

What skin care routine is best?

Now we’ve taken care of serums vs creams and the best time to apply face serum, let’s talk through the essential steps of your own skin care routine:

  1. Cleaning: Clean your skin with a gentle foam or gel cleanser. Clay based formulations are very good at purifying and unblocking pores. Clean your skin first thing in the morning and before bedtime, and also use a gentle scrub once a week - maybe one that contains AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids).
  2. Prepping: Prep your skin with a decent toner. Choose the one formulated for your skin type (oily, dry, combination skin).
  3. Boosting: Apply your skin serum. The Absolute Collagen booster serum Maxerum works a treat, as it contains four skin-boosting ingredients: Matrixyl 3000, Matrixyl Synthe 6, bakuchiol and hyaluronic acid. Pat onto skin evenly and wait 5 minutes for absorption. 
  4. Moisturising: Apply your face cream for a hydrating and soothing effect. Find one that suits you best! Choose one preferably with SPF protection for the daytime all year long!

Still unsure on the differences between serum and cream? Or maybe you’d like more advice on how to apply face serum? Drop us a line and let us answer all your burning questions! Or, if you feel ready to begin your Absolute Collagen journey, start shopping for Maxerum collagen serum today.

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Article written by Darcy Laceby

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