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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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ASAP Daily Moisturizing Silver Lotion GlyDerm Lotion 5 Gly Derm Lotion Lite 5
Lotion 5%
Our Price: $34.00
Lotion Lite 5%
Our Price: $34.00
ASAP Daily Moisturizing Silver Lotion contains 20 ppm of SilverSol Nano Silver combined with coconut oil, Vitamin E and Hyaluronic Acid is a light lotion formulation that is not too heavy and absorbs quickly.

Recommended for skin that is normal / combination with oily t-zone. Coconut oil and hyaluronic acid hydrate the skin while the silver particles treat redness, inflammation, active blemishes and overall sensitivity.

ASAP Daily Moisturizing Silver Lotion
is more effective than Benzoyl Peroxide at reducing p. acne bacteria on the skins surface without the side effects of dryness, irritation and bleaching. This lotion kills only the bad bacteria causing issues and leaves the good bacteria on the skin intact.
GlyDerm Lotion 5% allows for a low dose glycolic acid in a time
released formula to exfoliate dead skin cells while also hydrating the
skin and providing for gentle remodeling without the irritation and
redness typically associated with glycolic products. Excellent for
sensitive skin and teens.
GlyDerm Lotion Lite 5% - 5% AHA Indication - Normal, combination to slightly oily skin. Lite Lotions and Lite Hydrotone are formulated with no petrolatum or mineral oil.
Used to continue to improve skin appearance or to maintain the in office facials.

GlyDerm Lotion Lite 5%
is indicated for use to break up and slough off dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. In removing these dead skin cells, the skin functions optimally and pores shrink down. Improvement in skin coloring and overall health. Glycolic acid, when applied topically to the skin, smoothes the appearance of pores, fine lines, increases skin hydration and the skin begins to get a healthy glow.
GlyDerm Lotion Lite Gly Derm Lotion Plus 10% Glytone Rejuvenate Facial Lotion 1
Lotion Lite Plus 10%
Our Price: $38.50
Lotion Plus 10%
Our Price: $38.50
Gly Derm Lotion Lite Plus - 10% AHA Indication - Normal to slightly oily skin. Lite Lotions and Lite Hydrotone are formulated with no petrolatum or mineral oil. Used to continue to improve skin appearance or to keep the results of the in-office applications lasting longer.

Time Released exfoliating glycolic acid reduces breakouts, fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation as it unclogs pores and controls oil production. Lemon extract supports a bright and healthy tone, leaving the skin with a restored glow. Glycolic acid in a time released state allows for better tolerance of higher concentrations.
Attain smoother, healthier, and younger-looking skin.

Gly Derm Lotion Plus 10% helps the skin retain more moisture to rejuvenate the skin.

Many glycolic acid products simply can't do what they promise. And most over-the-counter brands have been neutralized or buffered. If you want the most effective Glycolic acid formulations available, rely on the power of physician-strength Gly Derm.
Step Up System
Used to hydrate sensitive skin and enhance skin tone for a healthy, revitalized complexion. This product has a pH of 3.3 and free glycolic acid percentage of 10%.
CELLective Peptide Treatment Lotion CELLective Clinical Retinol Transforming Night Cream NIA 24 Treatment Catalyst
Treatment Catalyst
Our Price: $71.00
CELLective Peptide Treatment Lotion with COQ10, Vitamin C and Japanese Green Tea has the light fragrance of natural lemongrass oil. This lotion incorporates peptides, antioxidants and natural hydrating oils to repair damaged skin, promote collagen renewal and increased skin thickness.
CELLective Retinol Transforming Night Cream is one of our "must have" products. This cream is recommended for use by everyone from a teen with acne to mature skin with deep wrinkles and sun damage. Encapsulated retinol (Vitamin A) stimulates cell regeneration to enhance skin tone, texture and reduces the appearance of discoloration, age spots and blemishes. This is a unique retinol based cream that is combined with powerful peptides, lightening and brightening agents, antioxidants and DNA Repair.

**This retinol cream is equivalent in strength to a 0.035% Prescription Strength**

NIA24 Treatment Catalyst is a skin fortifying oil that contains patented Pro-Niacin, proven to visibly improve skin tone, texture & hyperpigmentation.

This nourishing formula delivers an immediate dose of moisture and radiance while reducing the overall appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Actifirm Z-Peel Plus 15% NIA 24 Skin Strengthening Complex Repair Neova DNA Repair Factor Nourishing Lotion formerly DNA Repair Factor Nourishing Lotion
15% Z-Peel PLUS
Our Price: $82.00
Limited Stock Available on the Actifirm Z-Peel 15% PLUS

The first all in one product harnessing the power of Actifirm's patented exfoliating enzyme combined with "multisphere" beads to gently exfoliate the skin every day.
Neither heavy nor too light, this fortified cream visibly reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by enhancing the skin's barrier function, accelerating repair and delivering continual moisturization. Neova DNA Repair Factor Nourishing Lotion formerly DNA Repair Factor Nourishing Lotion
is a progressive, regenerating formula that effectively identifies DNA
damage and speeds its repair and combats the consequences of premature,
intrinsic and photo aging.
PCA C-Strength 20% with 5% Vitamin E -  pHaze 16+ Neova DNA Total Repair gloTherapeutics Super Serum
DNA Total Repair
Our Price: $102.00
Super Serum
Our Price: $117.00
A stable and effective vitamin C and E topical designed to brighten dull, resilient skin and minimize fine lines and wrinkles. Use day and night for maximum skin renewal. Neova DNA Total Repair offers the most advanced and powerful therapeutic intervention for UV-induced DNA damage. Neova DNA Total Repair is formulated with three repair enzymes - Photolysomes, Endosomes and Mitosomes - all liposome encapsulated. GloTherapeutics Super Serum features the ultimate anti-aging complex to help firm, tighten, renew, repair and strengthen, thereby supporting cell matrix. Skin will appear more youthful and structurally healthy.

This is a truly unique anti-aging serum that addresses several fundamental concerns that stem from skin that is starting to lose its vibrance, tone and clarity. As we get on in years, fine lines start to creep up around the corners of the eyes, on each side of the mouth and forehead. Some women start to notice brown spots they never had before that make the skin look uneven. ALL these areas of concern are addressed in just one product, Super Serum by gloTherapeutics.
NIA 24 Intensive Recovery Complex gloTherapeutics Peptide + Defense
Peptide + Defense
Our Price: $132.00
NIA 24 Intensive Recovery Complex contains 5% Pro-Niacin along with the moisturizing benefits of sodium hyaluronate and ceramide 3. This product is an excellent choice for individuals with normal to extremely dry skin or individuals desiring additional moisturization. Contains a liposomal Complex of Vitamins A, C and E and Ceramide 3.

gloTherapeutics Peptide + Defense
Revive the appearance of stressed, fatigued skin with strengthening ingredients to bring energy and life to your complexion. This potent blend of anti-aging and skin rejuvenating ingredients advance your skin care results, leading to a healthy and radiant appearance. gloPeptide + Defense not only provides natural protectants against environmental aggravates, but cellular and structural support. A blend of peptides improves skin function to enhance elasticity and durability, as well as may reduce the appearance of fine lines.