Wrinkle Serums vs. Wrinkle Creams: Is there a Difference?

The difference between wrinkle creams and serumsThe short answer to this question is a resounding "yes".

For most people, though, that one word answer isn't enough. And odds are that if you're reading this article, you are probably confused about what makes a serum a serum and a cream a cream. There are some very important differences between the two products, and knowing the specifics can be an essential part of knowing your beauty regimen.


Difference #1: Wrinkle Creams and Wrinkle Serums have Different Textures

Wrinkle creams are typically oil-based, while wrinkle serums are usually water-based. This is a very important difference, as it might even determine whether the beauty product you buy actually moisturizes your skin or leaves your face looking like a mess.

Some oil-based products (but not all) are "comedogenic", which means they can clog your pores and irritate your skin. If you already have oily skin or combination skin, using an oil-based wrinkle cream instead of a water-based wrinkle serum could give you breakouts or leave your skin feeling greasy and shiny.

Water-based products, like serums, are more easily absorbed by your skin and the active ingredients will penetrate better, resulting in a stronger effect. However, if you have extremely dry skin, a water-based serum may have trouble delivering the higher level of moisture which your skin needs.

Difference #2: Serums are like Snipers, Creams are like Grenades

The military reference may seem odd when talking about beauty products, but it’s an appropriate analogy. Serums typically contain a stronger concentration of active ingredients than creams, and are used to target specific areas or problems. For example, eye serums are especially popular for targeting crow's feet, puffiness, and sagging skin in the delicate area under the eye.

Creams, on the other hand, are generally formulated to deliver moisture all over your entire face. Because you are supposed to use more of the product, they also tend to come in larger containers, whereas serums are usually packaged in tiny bottles. The label on the back of a jar of wrinkle cream might instruct you to apply a quarter-sized dollop of the product over the entire area of your face, whereas most serums only require a drop or two to be applied to a small area.

A Closing Note about Serums vs. Creams 

Trying to decide between a serum or a cream doesn’t have to be an either/or choice. Often, beauty gurus will pair serums with creams in an extended beauty regimen. Serums are usually applied first because they get absorbed quickly into the skin with little or no residue left behind, and can even prime your facial skin to better receive the positive effects of your favorite wrinkle cream. But in the end, it all comes down to what specific type of skin you have and what will work best for your anti-wrinkle needs. Take a look at our wrinkle cream reviews and wrinkle serum reviews for an in-depth look at the top products on the market today.