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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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Deluxe Trial PyratineXR Creme CeraVe Moisturizing Cream ACURE Organics NIGHT CREAM: argan stem cell + 2% chlorella growth factor
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
Our Price: $21.25
NEW! Breakthrough formula for Rosacea Sufferers.
Best suited for normal / dry skin types

PyratineXR with 0.125% Furfuryl Tetrahydropyranyladenine has been followed in clinical studies for the past 48 weeks before coming to market in an effort to determine improvement in rosacea-prone skin.
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream also forms a protective layer over the skins surface to help prevent moisture loss utilizing a patented delivery technology, MVE, that gradually releases these ingredients to nourish and hydrate your skin throughout the day. ACURE Organics NIGHT CREAM: argan stem cell + 2% chlorella growth factor

Natures nocturnal miracle! Age-fighting Argan Stem Cells, shown to help the skins natural repair process, firm and moisturize while 2% Chlorella Growth Factor fortifies collagen and elastin fibers. Hydrating Moroccan Argan Oil seals the deal, truly making this natures own skin rejuvenating system.
DermaZinc Cream PCA pHaze 33 Acne Cream CELLective Clinical Elite Facial Cream Ultra Lite
DermaZinc Cream
Our Price: $23.95
Acne Cream - pHaze 33
Our Price: $24.00
DermaZinc Cream features a high emollient base for skin moisturizing and 0.25% zinc pyrithione. DermaZinc Cream is non-oily, has no lingering odor and is safe to use daily. To achieve maximum results it is recommended that DermaZinc Cream to be applied twice daily on affected areas.

DermaZinc Cream is extremely effective in treating red flaky, itchy, scaly skin associated with mild to moderate cases of eczema, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis.
For mild acne, blemish-prone sensitive skin. After cleansing, apply a smooth layer to needed areas. During the day cover with sun block protection. Covering with pHaze 7 Protecting Hydrator (SPF 15) is recommended. CELLective Clinical Elite Facial Cream Ultra Lite delivers sheer, oil-free hydration with soothing aloe vera and nourishing antioxidants to deliver smoother, softer skin.


• Enriched with Vitamin A,C,E, CoQ10 and Green Tea to help soothe and calm the skin

ASAP Silver Skin Cream Avene Hydrance Optimale SPF 25 Essential Multi-Defense Day Cream SPF 15
ASAP Silver Skin Cream
Our Price: $25.00
Hydrance Optimale SPF 25
Our Price: $36.00
Sale Price: $25.20
Savings: $10.80
Essential Multi-Defense Day Cream SPF 15
Our Price: $36.00
Sale Price: $25.20
Savings: $10.80
ASAP Silver Skin Cream contains a powerful combination of SilverSol Nano Silver, Coconut Oil, Vitamin E and Hyaluronic Acid for treatment of dry skin.

Excellent daily moisturizer for skin that is dry while still experiencing redness, sensitivity, acne breakouts and rosacea.
Gentle, creamy moisturizer formulated with patented formulation provides long-lasting hydration and protects against environmental and UV stressors. Helps dehydrated skin restore its hydrolipidic barrier and regain smoothness and luminosity.

For normal to dry skin.
A moisture-rich complex fortified with multi-antioxidants and sunscreens developed to strengthen your skin against the harmful environment. Natural cell nutrients, humectants and botanicals provide superior moisturization and conditioning. Formulated with a unique Poly and Alpha Hydroxy Acid combination that works all day to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
CELLective Clinical Elite Fortified Moisturizer Akerat S Psoriasis Skin Cream Avene Akerat Cream
Recommended Alternative: CELLective Clinical Restorative Marine Moisturizer
CELLective Clinical Elite Fortified Moisturizer
is fortified with yucca glauca root extract, ceramides, vitamins A,C, E, and nourishing antioxidants to deliver smoother, softer skin.


• Ceramides assist in keeping moisture in skin
This product has been discontinued by the MFG. We recommend the following alternatives:

Coal Tar Soap
DermaZinc Cream
Urix 40 Urea Cream
RESTORE Internal Immune Repair
ASAP Silver Cream
ASAP Daily Moisturizing Silver Lotion

This calming treatment cream is formulated to address the most common symptoms of psoriasis.

Akerat S relieves and prevents itching, irritation, redness, flaking and scaly skin.
Targeted body care for thick and rough skin, as well as severely dry and extremely dry skin conditions.
Unique combination of Urea, Salicylic Acid and Lactic Acid that works synergistically to help rid the skin from its thick flakes and minimize rough and hardened skin.
Skin is deeply moisturized and softened.
Fundamental Multi-Protective Day Cream SPF 15 DermWORX Heel Elbow Intensive Cream 20% Urea NIA 24 Gentle Cleansing Cream
Fundamental Multi-Protective Day Cream SPF 15
Our Price: $40.00
Sale Price: $28.00
Savings: $12.00
Heel & Elbow Intensive Cream 20% Urea
Our Price: $35.00
Sale Price: $31.50
Savings: $3.50
This daily anti-aging creme is formulated to hydrate and retexture skin, helping to visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles, while revealing brighter, younger-looking skin. This was formally called the Sensitive Formula. MoistureWORX Heel & Elbow Intensive has a nutrient-rich, comprehensive formulation that attacks the problem of very dry, thick skin across 10 variables. In a clinical study, users saw a complete elimination of the problem within 22 days - less than one tube! There was also an 18% decrease in skin thickness and a significant improvement in skin roughness.

Rich and replenishing, this cream cleanser removes surface impurities and makeup. Infused with moisture that binds the skin, leaving it feeling soft and supple. Contains 5% Pro-Niacin.
Pevonia Preserve Body Moisturizer Glytone Rejuvenate Overnight Cream Glyderm Cream
Preserve Body Moisturizer
Our Price: $33.00
Rejuvenate Overnight Cream - DISCONTINUED BY MFG
Our Price: $48.00
Sale Price: $33.60
Savings: $14.40
Cream 5
Our Price: $35.00
Pevonia Preserve Body Moisturizer - Preserve a youthful body with this creamy, light-textured moisturizer. Smooth, hydrate, nourish, repair and soften skin texture with this rapidly-absorbed, revitalizing body moisturizer. Part of the Glytone Essentials Line
A rejuvenating night cream formulated with a unique, patented microvesicle delivery system that slowly releases skin-enhancing glycolic acid and moisturizing agents while you sleep. Softens, smoothes and retexturizes skin for a healthy looking complexion.
GlyDerm Cream 5 AHA Indication - Dry or mature skin. Used to
continue to improve skin appearance or to keep the results of the
in-office applications lasting longer.
CELLective Clinical Glycolix Elite Facial Cream 15% GlyDerm Hydrotone Max Sircuit handsome Ultra Luxurious Lavender Hand & Body Cream
Hydrotone Max
Our Price: $36.00
CELLective Clinical Glycolix Elite Facial Cream 15% contains 15%
ultra-pure glycolic acid to accelerate the removal of dead skin cells
and provide softer, smoother, skin texture and tone.
Cosmetically elegant cream formulation contains dimethicone to help
prevent water loss and improve moisturization. Rich cream formulation
contains vitamin E, vitamin A, and vitamin C to condition the skin and
assist in minimizing free-radical-induced skin damage.
Hydrotone Max - For Mature or very dry skin. Compounded with powerful hydrating ingredients, this is an extremely effective moisturizer for very dry or mature skin. Excellent for winter use as a barrier against moisture loss. Sircuit Handsome brings it all together with an innovative blend of precious ingredients to restore moisture, soothe and strengthen the skin. We call it pure lavender nirvana.
No shortcuts here! Sircuit goes way beyond the normal to bring you a hand and body creme that's just a million times nicer. You'll get compliments from the first day you use it...
Avene D-Pigment Spot Corrector Rich MEG 21 Hand Treatment with Supplamine Gly Derm Cream Plus 10
D-Pigment Spot Corrector Rich Formula
Our Price: $52.00
Sale Price: $36.40
Savings: $15.60
Cream PLUS 10
Our Price: $38.50
Avene D-Pigment Spot Corrector treatment for hyperpigmentation reduces the appearance of dark spots and restores skin's luminosity. Its soft, velvety texture is suitable for the needs of dry to very dry skin. Preferred Customer Discount at Checkout
Our new formula addresses the delicate skin of the upper hands by using a different liposome to deliver Supplamine rapidly into the skin. The results are superior moisturization, reduction in fine lines and improved skin tone.
MEG 21 Hand Treatment with Supplamine's age defying formula reverses the appearance of age-related paper-like skin within 4 weeks.
GlyDerm Cream Plus 10% AHA Indication - Dry or mature skin. Used to continue to improve skin appearance or to keep the results of the in-office applications lasting longer.

  • Improved skin hydration
  • Removal of excess dead skin cells revealing a smooth complexion
  • Softening of lines and wrinkles around the mouth, eyes and forehead as well as cheeks
  • Reduction in the size and visability of enlarged pores
CELLective Clinical Glycolix Elite Facial Cream 20% GlyDerm Cream Plus 12 eau thermale Avene Retrinal Anti-Aging Creme 0.05%
Cream PLUS 12
Our Price: $40.00
Retrinal Anti-Aging Creme 0.05%
Our Price: $58.00
Sale Price: $40.60
Savings: $17.40
CELLective Clinical Glycolix Elite Facial Cream 20% is cosmetically elegant and has been specially formulated to help achieve softer, smoother skin texture and tone. This light cream formula contains a rich blend of antioxidants including Liposomal Vitamins A, C, E and Green Tea Extract with combination of Co-Q10 to assist in minimizing free-radical-induced skin damage while aiding in the restoration of healthy looking skin.

GlyDerm Cream Plus 12 AHA Salicylated Glycolic Acid - Dry or mature skin. Used to continue to improve skin appearance or to keep the results of the in-office applications lasting longer.

GlyDerm Cream Plus 12% is a free acid value of glycolic acid in a time released formula allowing for exfoliation of dead skin cells and hydration of the skin simultaneously.
Recommended by dermatologists worldwide and sold exclusively in through physicians, all Eau Thermale Avene products are classified as dermo-cosmetics, which are at the forefront of skincare innovation.
Retrinal, a form of Vitamin A, has been clinically proven to significantly reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles with little to no skin irritation. Helps to restore radiance and elasticity to the skin. (It is recommended that first-time users of this product start at the 0.025% level and work their way up to 0.1%)
CELLective Antioxidant Creme Cocktail DCL AHA Revitalizing Cream 15 Avene Retrinal Anti-Aging Creme 0.1%
Retrinal Anti-Aging Creme 0.1%
Our Price: $72.00
Sale Price: $50.40
Savings: $21.60
CELLective Antioxidant Creme Cocktail provides full spectrum antioxidant protection using resveratrol, coffee and goji berry extracts. This highly therapeutic creme also contains powerful peptides for wrinkle reduction and hydration. You can actually feel the penetration of these powerful antioxidants. Recommended Alternatives:
Glytone Rejuvenate Facial Cream 2
Glycolix Elite Facial Cream 15%

A medium potency glycolic acid-based cream formula to relieve rough, dry, thickened skin. Contains 15% glycolic acid in a cream base that will exfoliate and refine skins surface while maintaining moisture to avoid excessive dryness during treatment.
Avene Retrinal Creme 0.1% is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, this specialized anti-aging cream effectively restores a more youthful appearance to the complexion.

Using Retinaldehyde, a non-irritating form of Retinoic acid, it firms and smoothes the skin, leaving it looking younger and healthier.