With the plethora of skincare products on the market, it can be overwhelming to sort out the best products for your skin. Maybe you’ve found your favorite cleanser and your ideal moisturizer– but now you’re looking to further treat your skin with the right face serum. In this article, we will talk about what a serum is, why you need a serum for your skin, how and when to use a serum, and the best face serum for your skin.
IN A NUTSHELL
Main Takeaways: A serum delivers a concentrated amount of active ingredients to target a specific skin issue. The most common serums are hydrating serums that usually contain hyaluronic acid, brightening serums that contain vitamin C, and retinol serums to target signs of aging.
Good to Know: If your serum contains vitamin C, try storing it in the fridge to help it last longer and prevent it from oxidizing.
What Is Serum?
In short, serums are liquids that are meant to deliver very concentrated amounts of active ingredients to your skin. Generally lighter than moisturizers, they are traditionally water based, although there are serums on the market with an oil base.
Serums have the ability to penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin, which is why they’re so effective and important to include in your daily skincare routine.
What Does Serum Do for Your Skin?
Generally speaking, serums deliver highly concentrated active ingredients deep into your skin, targeting a specific skincare concern. Because they are meant to work deep in your skin, they can be more effective than a moisturizer, toner or mask.
Why Do You Need a Serum?
If you have any specific concerns with your skin —dryness, uneven skin tone, wrinkles, or sensitivity, for example —that you need extra help with, a serum can will focus on that issue.
Here are a few of the things serums do for the skin:
1. Serums hydrate – Whether your skin is dehydrated from stress, lack of water, or traveling, there are many reason why you might need extra hydration in the form of a hydrating seru, Keep in mind that you’ll still need to seal in that hydration with a moisturizer. Look for serums with hyaluronic acid to best hydrate your skin.
2. Serums exfoliate – Some serums are very effective at exfoliating. Proper exfoliation smooths your skin texture, refines your pores and allows your skin to better absorb other products, making them more effective. Look for serums containing AHAs and BHAs to smooth your skin and rid of dullness.
3. Serums brighten and even the appearance of skin tone – If you have uneven skin tone, a brightening serum is your best friend. They can help even out the appearance of skin tone and work to reduce dark spots. Add a vitamin C serum to your skin routine for glowing skin.
4. Serums plump the skin – Since serums penetrate a deeper layer of the skin, they can really help the skin lock in moisture, causing a temporary plumping effect that helps keep the skin looking young and radiant. Any super-hydrating serum will help plump your skin.
5. Serums create a calming sensation – Serum’s emollient effect on the skin leaves skin feeling smoother and calmer.
6. Serums protect – Many serums deliver a high concentration of antioxidants, which help protect your skin and restore your skin’s natural barrier.
7. Serums help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles – There are several types of serums that will help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. These include retinol serums to increase cell turnover, hydration serums to plump the skin, and vitamin C serums to restore glow.
8. Serums firm and tighten your skin – Serums often contain firming agents that will help revitalize the appearance of mature skin. Those that are focused on anti-aging usually include peptides or retinol to encourage collagen production, leading to younger-looking skin.
Best Face Serums – Which Should I Use?
The great thing about serums is that since they target specific problems, you can find a serum that works for any skin type. Choose a serum that targets the skincare concern you’re trying to solve. And of course, avoid ingredients that aren’t right for your skin type.
Best Serum for Dry Skin
Known for their incredible ability to hydrate skin’s deeper layers, serums can feel like little miracles in a bottle for people with dry or dehydrated skin.
If you have dry skin, look for a serum with:
- Hyaluronic acid helps to draw moisture to the skin and keeps it there.
- Glycerin is what’s known as a humectant, a substance known for its ability to retain moisture.
Just as hyaluronic acid helps draw moisture to the skin and locks it in, glycerin will help bring your own moisture up to the skin’s surface. Our Just Dew It hydrating serum contains both of these ingredients and is ideal for those with dry or dehydrated skin.
What dry skin should avoid:
- Salicylic acid is an oil-controlling acid that can make your skin even drier, so stay away from it.
Best Serum for Oily Skin
If you have oily skin, look for a serum that helps control and balance your natural oils.
Look for a facial serum with:
- Vitamin B3, or niacinamide as it’s also known, is an antioxidant can helps balance oils that can clog pores.
- Squalane will balance natural oils, making it perfect for oily skin.
If you are concerned with clogged pores that often come with oily skin, our ‘A’ Game retinol serum employs the above ingredients, plus the power of retinol to keep your pores clear and skin smooth.
What oily skin should avoid:
- Oil-based serums – These may be too heavy for those with excessively oily skin; however, don’t be afraid of serums that include oils. Certain oils, like jojoba oil, are great for balancing oily skin.
Best Serum for Combination Skin
Choose a serum that helps maintain your natural glow and protect your skin from the elements.
The best serum for combination skin contains:
- Pink grapefruit is rich in antioxidants and citric acid, which helps to purify your skin, keeping your skin looking fresh.
- Vitamin C is naturally found in our skin but depletes as we age. Adding vitamin C to your skin routine keeps your skin even and bright, as well as protects your skin from environmental stressors.
Our Nectar of the C serum contains both pink grapefruit and vitamin C, working to keep your skin looking young and bright.
What combination skin should avoid:
- Artificial fragrances – If you have skin that is prone to bad reactions, don’t risk further irritating it with harsh artificial fragrances.
Best Serum for Uneven Skin
It’s not easy to find a product that really balances out skin tone which is why face serums feel like such a revelation.
Here are some ingredients to look for in serums to tackle this issue:
- Vitamin C is especially effective in evening out skin tone when used with Vitamin E.
- Licorice root is an antioxidant, it contains liquiritin, which can help with the appearance of uneven skin tone.
Fleur & Bee’s Nectar of the C is formulated with 10% Vitamin C and other antioxidants to help tackle uneven skin tone.
What uneven skin should avoid:
- Parabens – Honestly, this goes for everyone, but parabens are thought to exacerbate skin damage.
Best Serum for Wrinkles and Aging Skin
Because of their very concentrated nature, facial serums are great for mature skin.
Here are a few ingredients to incorporate into your skincare routine to minimize wrinkles and tighten skin:
- Organic Jojoba is bio-identical to your skin’s natural oil, making it incredible at softening and conditioning mature skin.
- Rosehip Oil is full of fatty acids, which helps to plump up skin. It is also packed full of powerful antioxidants like beta-carotene to firm and tighten the skin.
- Retinol is one of the most common anti-aging ingredients on the market. Retinol is a form of Vitamin A that helps to boost collagen production in your skin, resulting in the reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
We’ve combined all the above ingredients in one anti-aging serum that is ideal for beginner retinol users. ‘A’ Game retinol serum works overtime to reduce signs of aging and to rejuvenate mature skin.
What people with wrinkles or aging skin should avoid:
- Alcohol – You know how your skin feels dry after a night out? Well, alcohol also dries out your facial skin when applied topically in high concentrations, so be sure to choose products with a low alcohol content.
Best Serum for Sensitive Skin
Serums are a great balm for sensitive skin.
Here are some ingredients that work especially well on sensitive skin:
- Organic Aloe Vera works to nourish the skin while forming a thin, protective layer, while hydrating the skin.
- Chamomile is known for its relaxing and soothing properties, which are as effective for the skin as they are for the mind.
What sensitive skin should avoid:
- Benzoyl Peroxide –Generally a skincare ingredient found in products geared towards acne-prone skin, benzoyl peroxide is much too harsh to use on sensitive skin and can further aggravate any sensitivity.
When to Use Face Serum
Most serums can be used twice a day as part of your regular skin care routine; generally, you should apply a serum to clean skin, before your moisturizer.
It is always important to follow directions on the label in regards to how often to use any serum. For example, most retinol serums should only be used every 2-3 days when first incorporating retinol into your routine. On the days you don’t use a retinol serum, apply a serum that will keep your skin hydrated or help to brighten your skin.
How to Use Face Serum
It is best to apply it early in your skin care routine, when your skin is clean, allowing it to absorb deeper into your skin for best results.
- As always, start with clean skin that’s been washed with a natural face wash.
- Apply toner and allow it to absorb.
- Add a drop or two of serum on your face, then another drop onto your neck. Keep in mind that serum is highly concentrated, so a little goes a long way.
- Gently massage into your skin, avoiding the eye area.
- Apply an eye cream to the skin around your eyes.
- Finish with your favorite moisturizer to seal in all the goodness!
As you can see, there is a facial serum for every skin care concern. Don’t be afraid to use more than one serum in your routine to target different concerns. Just note that serums are not meant to be layered, so use one serum in the morning and another in the evening.
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Pick the Best Face Serum for Your Skin
What exactly is a serum?
Serums are liquids with a high concentration of active ingredients that can penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin. Usually water based (although some are oil based), they are generally lighter and less creamy than moisturizers.
What do serums do?
Serums are used to target specific skin concerns. One of the most common serums is a vitamin C serum, which helps to brighten skin, even skin tone, and minimize the look of dark spots, fine lines, and wrinkles. Serums can also be used to hydrate, exfoliate, or plump the skin. They can even work to protect the skin from environmental stressors.