Share With so many lotions, creams, toners, cleansers, mists and treatments, skin care can be confusing! Understanding which product does what and how to use them can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. At Consonant we know that knowledge is power, so we’re breaking it all down so you can choose the best product pairings to discover your best skin. This article is all about the difference between a serum and a moisturizer and when to use them. What is a Serum and what does it do? A serum is a treatment product designed to target a specific skin concern and represents the treat step in your Consonant regimen. Serums contain a high concentration of an active ingredient (or several active ingredients that work synergistically) to achieve a specific outcome. Some serums provide exfoliation to decrease dullness and acne, while others target hydration and plumping. Serums are often formulated with small particle sizes to help ingredients penetrate more effectively into the skin. Some serums can be used together to provide similar benefits through a different cellular mechanism. What is a moisturizer and what does it do? A moisturizer is part of the protect step in your Consonant regimen. Moisturizer is one of those non-negotiable steps in a skin care practice because of the ability to seal underlying products into the skin and protect from external stressors. Moisturizers are formulated with a mixture of water-binding humectant ingredients, oils, and occlusives to maintain the water-oil balance in the skin’s moisture barrier. A healthy moisture barrier is what keeps skin flexible, functional and looking its best. Some moisturizers do contain active ingredients for an additional skin benefit but the low concentration of these compounds often doesn’t replace the need for a dedicated treatment serum. How to pair and layer serums and moisturizers. A Consonant cleanse, treat, protect, regimen makes it simple to build the perfect practice. Since serums act as a treat step they are layered after cleansers and before moisturizer. This ensures that the active ingredients are delivered potently into the skin without having to travel through a moisturizer. Since some skin concerns are best treated with a combination of two serums, layering them thinnest to thickest is a good rule of thumb for optimal effects. For a comprehensive look at product layering, checkout our layering guide HERE. Yes, sometimes skin care can be difficult to navigate but it can help to think of it like a sandwich. The bread is the cleanse and protect steps of the regimen (and you always need bread to make a perfect sandwich). The filling of the sandwich is the treat step in the regimen which can change depending on what you (and your skin) is craving. If you need to combat skin dryness, make a moisture sandwich with a Natural Foaming Face Wash, HydrExtreme, Ultra Moisturizing Face Cream, yum! Discover all Consonant serums HERE and our moisturizers HERE. Have fun and feed your face!