Skincare: Why You Need a Serum.

Why You Need a Serum - The Stripe. No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum Review

One of the beauty questions I get asked the most over email is about serums. “Do I need a serum?” And if so, why? “And if I’m already moisturizing, why do I need serum too? My skin isn’t dry.”

The simple answer to this question is yes. If anti-aging is one of your skincare concerns, serum is the best thing you can do for your skin. I think that a lot of people (my younger self included) confuse serum and moisturizer, thinking that they’re interchangeable… or that you only need to use one of them. That isn’t the case. To break thing down simply, serum is the layer of active ingredients you smooth onto your face post cleansing and exfoliating… and moisturizer is what you apply after to hydrate but most importantly lock those active ingredients in so that they can do their best work. I like to think of serum as the superhero (doing all the work) and moisturizer as the hero’s guardian… making sure that it can work. As serum’s primary function is to deliver anti-aging benefits, it should not replace your moisturizer (especially your day cream… I’ve said it before but you need that SPF protection)!

Why You Need a Serum - The Stripe. No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum Review

Today in particular we are going to talk about No7’s Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum. We have chatted about No7’s line of products before (here) but if you aren’t familiar, the brand is actually the UK’s #1 skincare brand. When this serum launched in the UK, one was sold every ten seconds! This serum is the best selling anti-aging serum in the UK… in four weeks, it will clinically reduce the appearance of lines + wrinkles. It includes anti-aging peptides (MATRIXYL 3000 PlusTM) which work to repair damaged skin, Hyaluronic acid which works to retain water + create firmer skin, and antioxidants.

(For best results, pair the serum with their day cream in the morning and their intensive night cream here. You can buy a set that contains all three products here).

Why You Need a Serum - The Stripe. No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum Review

To apply, I’ll wash my face… pat it dry and then apply a pea-sized amount of serum onto my fingertips. For best results, sweep it onto your face + neck using an upward (lifting!) motion. Follow with moisturizer.

Why You Need a Serum - The Stripe. No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum Review

Why You Need a Serum - The Stripe. No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum Review

Created in Partnership with No7.

Photography by Lydia Hudgens.

Leave a Comment


  1. Regine Karpel says 7.1.16
  2. Leah says 7.1.16

    Grace – If I’m using an acne medication also, do you know if it matters whether I do that before or after the serum? Thanks as always for the great beauty info : )

  3. So glad you posted this, as I just bought an Andalou Naturals serum after deciding I should start using one while still being unsure as to what it was for. I’m curious, why are you only supposed to use a small amount? I find it hard to spread all over my face and neck when using a pea-sized amount, but is there a reason for that? Happy holiday weekend!

    • graceatwood says 7.1.16

      You know, I’m not sure why they say that because I have the same problem. I always just end up using more than a pea size… I thought maybe I just have a big face, but I use more like a nickel size amount to get my entire face and neck!

  4. Thuy says 7.1.16

    Great insight into serum. I love the analogy you used 🙂 In the past couple months, I’ve become more serious with my skincare so I really love reading about these.

  5. Breanna says 7.1.16

    Your skin is so gorgeous, Grace! Thanks for this article! I literally started using serum with my moisturizer 2 months ago and was amazed at the difference and now I know why!

  6. bets says 7.1.16

    In reference to the concern with being able to spread a pea size amount, found a little trick that may help. If you spritz your face with a hydrating mist beforehand it allows the serum to spread more easily. Saves on product as well! 🙂

    • graceatwood says 7.1.16

      I love that! Thank you so much for the tip!!!

  7. Sarah says 7.3.16

    I skip serum so frequently- but won’t be anymore! Thanks for this post.
    Sarah ||

  8. terri martin says 7.3.16

    Love this – SO helpful, thank you!!!

  9. Amanda S. says 7.3.16

    fantastic post – feel like I learn something new everytime I stop by.

  10. Laura L says 7.3.16

    i love this… i didn’t know the difference between serum + moisturizer but felt like it was a stupid question!

  11. Stacey says 7.9.16

    Where is your robe from? It is gorgeous!