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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 24 Nano Silver Healing Gel MoistureWORX Nail & Cuticle Treatment SilvrSTAT Antibacterial Wound Gel
At a powerful 24 ppm silver solution, ASAP 24 Nano Silver Healing Gel is currently being used by thousands of
men and women around the world to help soothe and renew skin all over the body.

As such, it has become a necessary treatment for daily skin care routines, as it helps promote natural healing. This gel is excellent for use on bites, burns, cuts and any other abrasions.
MoistureWORX Nail & Cuticle Fortifying Treatment
is a clinically-developed formula that restores and fortifies lifeless nails while soothing and conditioning dry, damaged cuticles. The nutrient-infused complex leaves you with shiny, strong nails and smooth cuticles.

Excellent replacement for the now discontinued Glytone Nail and Cuticle Cream.
HealthMax 24 is a water-based wound dressing gel for use in the management of; acne, rosacea, stasis ulcers, pressure ulcers, diabetic ulcers, lacerations, abrasions, skin tears, surgical incision sites, device insertion site wounds, graft sites, donor sites and 1st and 2nd degree burns.
ASAP Health MAX 24 Nano Silver Gel Avene Diacneal Soap-Free Gel Cleanser Glytone Exfoliating Gel Wash
Exfoliating Gel Wash
Our Price: $30.50
At a powerful 24 ppm silver solution, ASAP HCP Health Max 24 Nano Silver Gel is currently being used by thousands of men, women and children around the world to help heal and rejuvenate skin.

As such, it has become a necessary treatment for daily skin care routines, as it helps promote natural healing. This gel is excellent for use on bites, burns, cuts, acne, rosacea, dermatitis and other skin conditions such as molluscum contagiosum and more.

Made with 24 ppm patented SilverSol Technology (nano Silver Ag4O4 Molecules)
Avene Diacneal Gel Cleanser now has a new name and packaging: called Oil-Free Gel Cleanser. Same size container and ingredient formulation is very similar to old (see ingredients list for comparison).

Avene Diacneal Gel Cleanser is a gentle, soap-free gel cleanser for oily, blemish-prone skin. Cleanses the skin while preparing for the topical anti-acne treatment lotion application.
This specially formulated cleanser is designed to adjust the pH of your skin and also help rid your skin of dead cells. Used daily in combination with anti-acne products, this cleanser will enhance skin tone allowing for a glowing, healthy and revitalized complexion.
SkinTx Foaming Gel Sesha Acne Spot Gel DCL AHA Revitalizing Gel 15
Foaming Gel
Our Price: $37.50
Acne Spot Gel
Our Price: $38.50
As Step 1 in the SkinTx SKIN TREATMENT SYSTEM, the Foaming Gel is for all skin types, even the most sensitive or inflamed skin following laser resurfacing, microdermabrasion or post chemical peels. Sesha Acne Spot Gel also localizes the bacterial blemish and prevents the further spread of bacteria. AHA Revitalizing Gel 15 is no longer made by DCL. We recommend the DCL Resurfacing Lotion 20

A medium potency glycolic acid-based gel formula to relieve rough, dry, thickened skin. Excellent on body acne and calluses of the elbow, knees and soles of the feet.
Sesha ReNu Exfoliating Gel PCA Acne Gel - pHaze 35 DCL AHA Revitalizing Gel 20
ReNu Exfoliating Gel
Our Price: $42.00
Acne Gel - pHaze 35
Our Price: $44.00
Sesha ReNu Exfoliating Gel selectively removes dead cells to reveal toned, polished skin.
BENEFITS: Papaya enzymes exfoliate surface of skin by removing dead skin cells Helps unclog pores Polishes skins surface
Scientifically formulated to simultaneously address the four main factors responsible for causing acne to leave the skin clear and bright. Clears and reduces the severity of acne blemishes. Penetrates pores to help prevent develpment of new blemishes and blackheads. DCL AHA Revitalizing Gel 20 is a medium potency glycolic acid-based gel formula to relieve rough, dry, thickened skin. Excellent for use on combination/oily skin types and acne prone skin. Penetrates quickly, non-comedogenic.

This is a very potent 20% glycolic acid and is an excellent "bump up" product to the lower strength glycolic acid products within the DCL line.
PCA Revitalizing Eye Gel Sicuit i.cee u. Firming Anti-Aging Eye Gel Sircuit Skin Eye Dew
Sircuit Eye Dew
Our Price: $140.00
PCA Ideal Complex Revitalizing Eye Gel is an unprecedented, hypoallergenic,  anti-aging eye treatment which includes next generation peptides, stem cell extracts and growth factors to strengthen, firm and lift the skin around the entire eye area. New! Supercharged Formula now with potent antioxidants such as Tumeric as well as anti-aging Green Tea and Kombuchka (black tea ferment). These natural ingredients go right to work helping diminish signs of aging and fight the look of tired eyes. Twenty-four-seven exterior protection!

Sircuit Eye Dew is an anti-aging, super protective, intensely hydrating complex that’s specifically formulated for the delicate skin around the eyes.
SkinMedica TNS Recovery Complex Actifirm Z-Peel 30% Plus Actifirm Z-Peel 30% Plus
**It's Time to Upgrade Your TNS to LifeLine Stem Cell Skin Care - the new generation technology using non-embryonic stem cells for Repair and Rejuvenation**

Clinical Studies have shown that the active ingredients in LifeLine Skin Care (growth factors, cytokines, proteins and enzymes) extracted DIRECTLY from the stem cell (not the growing medium) contain much higher percentages of actives. We recommend using LifeLine Daily Defense Complex in place of TNS Recovery Complex.

SkinMedica TNS Recovery Complex with Nouricel-MD
Recommended uses:

* Anti aging skin care
* Sun damaged skin treatment
* Skin care after procedures

SkinMedica TNS Recovery Complex, containing the key ingredient NouriCel-MD, rejuvenates sun damaged and aging skin. NouriCel-MD is an unparalleled physiologic combination of antioxidants and other elements that are found naturally in the skin - a uniquely formulated, anti aging skin care product.
Actifirm Z-Peel contains Mucor Miehei mushroom extract and mimics Cathepsin D (a natural enzyme in the epidermis of the skin). Z-Peel exfoliates one cell at a time without passing the irritation threshold. This unique exfoliation process allows for the most sensitive skin to tolerate and exfoliate for a brighter, more even skin tone. FDA has banned the use of microbead technology in skincare products. Actifirm 30% Z-Peel Plus is no longer available. Orders for this product will be replaced with the regular Actifirm 30% Z-Peel Professional Size.

The natural exfoliation benefits of Actifirms 30% Z-Peel.

Highly effective in treating uneven skin tone and texture. Mucor Miehei mushroom offers enzyme exfoliation that mirrors skins natural shedding process.