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Store shelves are lined from floor to ceiling with moisturizer options. How can you know which type of product — lotion, cream or serum — is right for you? Learn more about these products, so you can find the best skin care for you.

Lotions, creams and serums may contain humectants to moisturize and hydrate, as well as emollients to help seal in moisture and protect your skin. One of the biggest distinctions between these three is consistency.

Lotions are usually thinner in texture, because they contain greater amounts of water than oil. Creams, however, are oil-based and thick, containing deeply moisturizing ingredients. Serums are water-based, designed to be used in conjunction with both lotions and creams. And although they offer incredible benefits to the skin, serums are generally optional.


Because lotions are lightweight and made with minimum amounts of oil, they’re ideal for normal to oily skin. Drier skin types typically require more hydration. Lotions get absorbed quickly and can be used day and night. You’ll find a wide array of formulas.


Because of their thick and rich consistency, creams provide dry and sensitive skin with extra moisture. Moisturizing creams contain many healing ingredients, including oils, plant extracts, hydrators and humectants, and they provide the skin with a protective layer, sealing in moisture and fending off environmental damage. They also give skin a smooth, velvety appearance and certain anti-aging creams will even improve the depth of fine lines.

Cream is also beneficial for combination skin that shows a slight shine during the day but requires more moisture than a lotion can provide. Use cream sparingly or strictly on the driest parts of your skin (such as the cheeks and neck).


One of the biggest benefits of serums is that they’re designed to penetrate deeper into the skin. They contain less “oils, wax and heavy lipids,” and are lighter, according to Daniel Maes, Ph.D., vice president of research and development at Estée Lauder, in Notebook. In addition, serums deliver high concentrations of skin-nourishing ingredients.

Bottom line

Many people find that with seasonal changes they need to switch moisturizers. For instance, normal skin can get oily during the summer (thereby needing a lighter moisturizer) but might need extra hydration in the winter (from a cream).

You might want to consult a skin care specialist about which combination of products is best to use. For example, some moisturizers can hamper the effectiveness of serums. “In the case of products formulated with alpha and beta hydroxy acids, the oils used in creams and lotions can interfere with the acidity of the active ingredients, making them less effective,” dermatologist Natasha Cook, M.D., tells Notebook.

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Revision Hydrating Serum gloTherapeutics Lightening Serum gloTherapeutics Brightening Serum
Lightening Serum
Our Price: $42.00
Brightening Serum
Our Price: $44.00
Revision Hydrating Serum formerly known as Hydrating Serum is a very versatile product. Use alone for oily skin or layer with a moisturizer if you have dry skin. Apply this oil-free, lightweight serum after in-office procedures to sooth and hydrate the skin. This product also contains anti-aging properties. Battles discolorations with a highly effective combination of lighteners, melanin inhibitors and mild exfoliants. Additional ingredients complement the lightening process with benefits that help support the skin's health, strength and brightness.
pH: 3.0
Treats skin discoloration with a full spectrum of natural brighteners and smoothing ingredients to create a fresh glowing complexion.
CELLective Rapid Response Line Filler gloTherapeutics Pure Hydration Rhonda Allison MVC SERUM
Pure Hydration
Our Price: $48.00
Our Price: $54.00
CELLective Rapid Response Line Filler contains rich concentrations of hyaluronic acid and Vitamin C in filling spheres. These "filling spheres" penetrate the area where applied and literally attract and hold water in the lines and wrinkles plumping them up from the inside.
A lightweight gel that boosts hydration through an infusion of water-binding humectants. Provides a protective moisture reservoir that reduces the effects of dehydration, discourages transepidermal water loss and balances the moisture content Rhonda Allison's MVC Serum has proven to be a thirst quencher for dry, dehydrated skin. Blending essential vitamins (B, C, D, K) with potent building extracts forms a unique skin serum that nourishes, soothes, hydrates, and strengthens.
Rhonda Allison Drop of Essence Hydration Drops GlyDerm Intense C Serum PM Rhonda Allison MANDELIC ARGININE SERUM
Intense C Serum PM
Our Price: $55.00
Our Price: $58.00
Rhonda Allison Drop of Essence Hydration Drops is a silky, soothing, light serum that quickly penetrates the stratum corneum, providing valuable hydration and tissue support to slow down aging skin.
The composition and molecular structure of Omega 6 essential fatty acids are similar to human lipids and are recommend not only as part of post peel care, but as a daily moisturizer; increasing skin thickness, providing anti-inflammatory benefits
GlyDerm Intense C Serum PM is formulated with 7.5% L-Ascorbic Acid, the only form of vitamin C suitable for topical application.
L-Ascorbic Acid reaches the deepest layers of the skin to provide superior antioxidant protection, defends against damaging UVA and UVB rays, contributes to collagen synthesis and helps prevent premature signs of aging. Intense C Serum PM is a vitamin C concentrate with patented QuSome delivery.
Rhonda Allison Mandelic Arginine Serum is a blend of amino acids, antioxidants and AHAs that takes skin through a gentle corrective process. Great for all skin types - it is especially beneficial for photo-aged, sensitive, rosacea-prone, dry blemished skin and and young skin.
Rhonda Allison RETINOL SUPREME Osmosis REPLENISH Antioxidant Repair Serum Rhonda Allison ANTIOXIDANT COMPLEX SERUM
Our Price: $58.00
Our Price: $72.00
Rhonda Allison Retinolic Acid has a beneficial exfoliating, restorative effect on skin. This compound adds the perfect balance to strengthen the integrity of the skin.

Osmosis REPLENISH is your antioxidant army with liposomal delivery of the most proven and potent antioxidants available that prevents and fights free radical damage.

has 17 different antioxidants that are delivered to the deeper epidermis where they can effect change and protection to new skin cells.

Rhonda Allison Antioxidant Complex Serum is a firming, toning, strengthening, moisture-binding serum that may be used for all skin types, even blemish-prone skin.
Neostrata Skin Active Antioxidant Defense Serum Replenix Power of THREE Serum Retriderm Vitamin A Serum
Power of THREE Serum
Our Price: $79.50
Neostrata Skin Active Antioxidant Defense Serum

Boost your daily antiaging regimen with this powerful, concentrated serum formulated to combat oxidation-induced photoaging.

  • 8 powerful, multi-action antioxidants combat oxidative damage and protect the skin from premature aging
  • Bionic and Polyhydroxy Acids help prevent sun-induced cellular damage
  • Citric Acid, Lilac, Green Tea and Chardonnay Grape Seed Extracts work together to neutralize free radicals and help preserve healthy DNA
RepleniX Power of Three SERUM is a lightweight, fast-absorbing formulation in a hyaluronic acid (humectant) base that contains enough green tea extract to equal 500 cups of tea. 90% polyphenol isolates is the active ingredient within the super antioxidant and helps diminish the appearance in fine lines, wrinkles and pores while calming inflammation the skin. Caffeine is also infused within this serum to further the effects of the green tea. The visible reconditioning results provided by Retriderm Vitamin A Serum can be attributed to its high concentration of retinol. The topical application of Vitamin A (retinol) quickly promotes a clearer overall complexion by inciting the growth of new skin cells, which provide greater structural integrity for your skin.
Sircuit infusion-A intensive retinoid serum Pevonia RS2 Concentrate Retriderm Serum PLUS 0.75% Retinol
RS2 Concentrate
Our Price: $80.00
Sircuit Cosmeceuticals infusion-A intensive retinoid serum is formulated with extremely potent anti-aging, nourishing, protective and skin supporting ingredients. The most important being patent pending IconicA. IconicA contains skin perfecting stabilized retinaldehyde making it much more potent than traditional retinaldehyde. Pevonia RS2 Concentrate is specially formulated for rosacea prone skin and sensitive skin. Delivers immediate cooling, strengthens capillaries and controls blotchiness.


Retriderm Serum PLUS provides radiant skin while minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles with a 0.75% formulation. For noticeable improvement in skin tone and texture, Retriderm Serum PLUS is perfect for you if you have some visible skin care concerns or as a step-up regimen after using Retriderm Serum PLUS.
Replenix Intensive Eye Lightening Serum Sicuit revelation anti-wrinkle eye serum Rhonda Allison ELITE eEGF
Our Price: $94.00
New Revolutionary Eye Serum for Dark Circles and Puffiness... RepleniX Intensive Eye Lightening Serum --This specially formulated Eye Serum contains a comprehensive system of peptides, chelators, antioxidants and moisturizers. Sircuit Cosmeceuticals revelation intensive anti-wrinkle eye serum is a comprehensive treatment especially formulated to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, particularly those known as crow's feet.
This intensive anti-wrinkle serum is supercharged with a combination of the newest peptide ingredients, specifically formulated to help jump-start the repair process and fight wrinkles overnight.
Rhonda Allison Elite eEGF contains a special peptide ingredient -
a small peptide with a unique sequence to mimic the human body’s own
mechanism to produce collagen via TGF-b.  Use of this ingredient over a
6-month period (versus a placebo) gave an improvement of 350% fewer
wrinkles and enhanced firming and hydration.
Retriderm Vitamin A Serum MAX (ULTRA) CRS 10% Cell Rejuvenation Serum w/ Growth Factor Kinerase Pro+ Therapy C6 Peptide Intensive Treatment
The visible reconditioning results provided by Retriderm Vitamin A Serum ULTRA can be attributed to its high concentration of retinol. The topical application of Vitamin A (retinol) quickly promotes a clearer overall complexion by inciting the growth of new skin cells, which provide greater structural integrity for your skin. tabilized L-Ascorbic Acid in combination with liposome encapsulated TGF-beta-1 growth factor to achieve improvement in skin texture and tone Dramatically improve the visible signs of aging with Kinerase Pro+ Therapy C6 Peptide

Kinerase Pro+ C6 Peptide
provides advanced synergistic technology to improve the visible signs of aging and reduce the appearance of wrinkles by 27% after 30 days of treatment. Vitamin C, E and green tea extract provide additional antioxidant protection.
Vivite Daily Antioxidant Facial Serum Citrix CRS 15% Cell Rejuvenation Serum w/ Growth Factor Glytone Age-Defying Vitamin C+E Serum 20%
Save More at Checkout with our Buy More...Save More Discount Program. Add to Cart and see the Savings!

VIVITE Daily Antioxidant Facial Serum is a regular application of glycolics for hydration and renovation of the top skin layer. Also provides antioxidant protection to fight premature aging. Contains 15% glycolic compound. To be used once daily, every morning. Perfect under makeup.
stabilized L-Ascorbic Acid in combination with liposome encapsulated TGF-beta-1 growth factor to achieve improvement in skin texture and tone PREVENT
NEW! Glytone Age-Defying Vitamin C+E Serum 20% provides advanced antioxidant technology in a time-released delivery system to feed the skin protection against oxidative damage for 40 hours from the time of application. No other antioxidant-based product on the market can claim to protect the skin for that long after only one application!
Replenix AE Facial Firming Therapy Osmosis StemFactor Growth Serum iS Clinical PRO-HEAL SERUM ADVANCE+
Pro-Heal Serum Advance+
Our Price: $142.00
Topix Replenix AE (Appearance Enhancement) Facial Firming Therapy is specifically formulated to deliver a unique combination of three peptide, antioxidants, herbal extracts and moisturizers. This elegant serum formulation can quickly assist in diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while promoting a collagen rich skin appearance. Osmosis StemFactor Growth Factor Serum utilizes over 150+ different skin growth factors derived from pristine, adult stem cells, this magical serum improves all aspects of aging and skin damage. iS Clinical PRO-HEAL SERUM ADVANCE+ is supported by a brand new clinical study which cites its ability to promote and encourage healing, provide unsurpassed antioxidant protection, protect against UV damage, treat acne and rosacea, facilitate collagen production while increasing overall cellular integrity. Even treats cystic acne.