In This Article
Cleansing and moisturizing are the basics of a skincare regimen. But what about serums? Many don’t use serums because they’re not quite sure of the purpose, or it’s just another step they don’t want to include in their routine. Let’s take a look at what serums do to help you decide on whether it’s something you “need” or if it’s something you want to do to boost your skincare routine.
What Is Face Serum?
Face serums are lightweight topical products with a concentrated amount of specific active ingredients. Serums are made up of smaller molecules with high penetration power and can deliver a potent concentration of active ingredients. The idea of a serum is that with a more concentrated amount of active ingredients, it will penetrate the skin faster with optimal effectiveness. Face serums are formulated to treat various skin concerns such as anti-aging, dark spots, hyperpigmentation, acne, clogged pores, dehydration, uneven skin tone, redness, or sensitivity.
Serums VS Moisturizer
Although there are serums formulated to hydrate the skin, it is not a substitute for a moisturizer. Serums are intended to penetrate deeply into the skin to deliver targeted active ingredients, whereas moisturizers help to fortify the surface of the skin, bind skin cells together more effectively, and work at the surface of the skin to increase hydration. Serums are thinner and lighter, whereas moisturizers have a thicker, creamier consistency. The moisturizers’ job is to create a barrier and lock in moisture. If you’re looking to target a specific skin concern, a serum is better. If continuous hydration is your goal, go for the moisturizer.
Anti-Aging - Some common anti-aging ingredients include fruit stem cells, evening primrose, grape seed extract, vitamin C, peptides, growth factors, retinol, and alpha hydroxy acids to combat the signs of aging. They address issues such as fine lines, sagging, or wrinkles while firming and plumping the skin.
Skin Brightening - Serums that brighten dull skin works by fading age or sunspots, evening skin tone, and diminishing hyperpigmentation. Ingredients that are found in brightening serums may include green tea, licorice root, grapefruit, or antioxidants like vitamin E and vitamin C, kojic acid, ferulic acid, and peptides.
Acne-Fighting - The goal of acne-fighting serums is to prevent them before they form. Salicylic acid, alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) and beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), glycolic acid, citric acid, zinc, and botanical extracts like tea tree, thyme, cucumber, and green tea are formulated with small molecules that can easily dive deep into the skin and deliver potent active ingredients. Acne fighting serums tighten skin, unclog and minimize pores, absorb excess oil, and minimize any redness or irritation. They can also aid in fading acne scars, while gently removing any buildup of dead skin cells.
Hydrating - Dehydrated and parched skin can benefit from hydrating serums. It penetrates deep into your pores to deliver an extra layer of hydration. Ingredients such as argan oil, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, rosehip oil, ceramide, rosewater, sea kelp, jojoba, and vitamin E are excellent at keeping skin hydrated. Using a moisturizer after a hydrating serum is recommended to lock in the moisture.
Exfoliating - An exfoliating serum works to smooth and tone complexion, diminish fine lines and wrinkles, and correct discoloration and hyperpigmentation from natural aging and sun damage. It works to removed dead skin cells and unclogs pores. Key ingredients in exfoliating facial serums are alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic acid or lactic acid, retinol, enzymes from plant or fruit extracts, and citric acid.
Reparative - Reparative and renewing face serums stimulate the skin’s natural repair functions so your skin can heal at its core. It fades away acne scarring and sun damage while promoting the growth of skin cells such as collagen and elastin. They also work hard to protect you against harmful free radicals caused by daily aggressors. Some main ingredients in reparative and renewing face serums are seaweed, noni extract, flower water, green tea, ceramides, retinol, Resveratrol (from Japanese knotweed), antioxidants, essential oils, and Omega-3 fatty acids.