The Difference Between Emulsion and Serum


One of the reasons why I love Korean beauty skincare products is because their formulas are so effective. Serum and Emulsion is one of those products that I really enjoy putting on my face because you can instantly feel your skin texture change.

As there are a million steps to K-Beauty, let's start today with what the difference between emulsion and serum is! 


Emulsion: A light-weight, non-sticky, water-based basic moisturizer that helps your face absorb other beauty products. It helps retain hydration level and prevent moisture loss from our skin surface. It is good for people with oily skin, as it is water base, it does not cause pore clogging issues. (Also good for people with sensitive skin.) 

For example, the Shangpree Bitgoa Hue Emulsion (pictured) is a "brightening elixir of Ginseng and 7 naturally fermented ingredients penetrate deep into your skin to inhibit melanin production and brighten the appearance or skin tone to reveal translucent skin."


When to use: Good for daytime before your daily moisturizer/as prep before serum/moisturizer. There are some Emulsions that are meant to be used after serum to seal in the moisture--so be sure to check the fine print! 



Serum: Watery consistency with small molecules that can penetration to reach to the third layer of our skin, providing direct nutrients to our skin. There are serums that can target different things-- anti-aging, whitening, hydration and more. I would say this is a more crucial step to your skincare routine than Emulsion just because it's much more potent and high impact on the skin.

This Shangpree Long Lasting Concentrated Serum (sold on Peach & Lilly) is "suitable for all skin types, even the most sensitive skin types; is fragrance-free; addresses fine lines, wrinkles and overall loss of elasticity; brightens dull and lackluster complexion so they appear more radiant and vibrant." Sign me up! 


When to use: After cleansing & toning/essence, before your moisturizer. 


I've picked up this K-Beauty habit since last year and I've really noticed a difference in my skin since adding the extra step of essences and serums. If you have dry skin (like me), I would definitely recommend adding an extra step to your skincare routine, whether it be emulsion or serum to really give your skin a boost. If not, you can always learn to photoshop skin with my tutorial!