Even the best, most top-of-the-line skincare products can be rendered powerless by improper usage, and serums are no different. But exactly what are serums, and how can they help afford you a beautified complexion? Read on to learn more about these miracle elixirs, what they can do for your skin, and how to properly incorporate them into your routine.
IN A NUTSHELL
Main Takeaways: Always apply products as directed. But as a rule of thumb, complete the application of your chosen serum on freshly cleansed skin and before your moisturizer.
Good to Know: Know your serum ingredients and be sure to use serums targeted for your specific skin concerns.
Recommended Products: Nectar of the C Vitamin C Serum, Just Dew It Hydrating Serum, and ‘A’ Game Retinol Serum.
What Is a Serum?
By definition, serums are highly concentrated skincare products that are made of smaller molecules than those that would normally comprise other products, like moisturizers or oils. This makes them lighter in weight, quicker to absorb into our skin, and more effective at reaching and penetrating deeper dermal layers.
True serums are also often water-based, contributing to their borderline weightlessness and freeing you from any oily post-application residue. In just a matter of weeks, and depending on your product of choice, you may notice visibly smoother fine lines and wrinkles, faded looking dark spots, and the minimized appearance of large pores. No matter what your skin type, rest assured that there is a serum for you and your specific skincare concerns.
How to Choose the Right Serum for You
Serums are currently all the rage and unfortunately, as with anything experiencing a winning season, posers will pop up. The most repeat offenders tend to be facial oils. But as they are oil-based, these can’t help but be much heavier, less penetrable formulas, incapable of delivering comparable results to the real thing. To avoid buying into a pretender, look for light water-based liquids or thin gels.
When you’ve got that nailed down, it’s time to consider your complexion’s individual needs. It’s much easier to understand what a serum will do for you when you know how the ingredients function, and serums are usually labeled by their feature ingredient. Some of the most popular ones include:
Notorious for brightening dull skin and evening tone, these fresh-feeling, vitamin C serums can be invaluable for anyone in need of some added glow. However, they can be a bit intense, especially for those with sensitive skin. Look for gentle formulas, like Nectar of the C. It contains 10% vitamin C for a mild and non-irritating formula fortified with 11 nourishing actives. This makes it perfect for all skin types. It can be used twice daily for amazing results that will leave you with a brighter, more glistening and consistent complexion.
Hyaluronic acid is a powerful humectant, which means it hydrates by drawing atmospheric moisture to and through the surface of the skin. The result is a plumper, juicier complexion, often with the thrilling byproduct of seemingly minimized fine lines and wrinkles. The smaller molecules that comprise the serum help hydration seep into the deepest layers of the skin, rather than simply sitting on top as with a cream or moisturizer. Just Dew It hydrating serum includes hyaluronic acid in its extensive list of hydration super hero ingredients, working to instantly revitalize dry, dehydrated skin and plump your skin.
Keep in mind that there is no substitute for a good moisturizer; but if you want to bump up moisture levels, a hyaluronic acid serum can definitely get you there.
Retinol is a form of vitamin A notorious for addressing a variety of skin concerns due to its impressive capacity to encourage collagen production in the skin. It is also known to increase cell turnover, which dramatically reduces one’s propensity for clogged pores. ‘A’ Game retinol serum works to smooth the appearance of lines and wrinkles, even skin tone, and reveal radiant skin with the power of retinol. It also includes peptides, plant stem cells, and rosehip oil to plump and nourish the skin.
Another ingredient with various benefits, niacinamide has become a bit buzzworthy as of late. One of its strengths is its ability to balance your natural oils. Those with oily skin will love the results afforded by a niacinamide formula, which will not only reduce a shiny appearance but also works on a deeper level to help keep pores clean. Look for ones blended with zinc to supercharge the benefits and clarify your complexion in no time.
How to Properly Use a Serum
Applying your serum at the right time is key. Since they need access to clean unadulterated skin, serums should be applied right after a good cleanse. Wash your face and pat dry with a fresh towel to ready yourself for serum application. If you use a toner, however, apply it before your serum to help further clarify and hydrate in advance. Then gently dab on your serum, avoiding the eye area unless directed, and press into skin; don’t rub. Once it has absorbed, apply a moisturizer to seal in all that nourishment.
A few things to remember:
- Remember that serums are highly concentrated concoctions. Don’t get skimpy, but don’t overdo it either; a little can go a long way. If you’re unsure, simply follow the manufacturer’s guide for proper dosage.
- If using a series of serums as part of your routine, start with the lightest formula and progressively work your way to thickest, bearing in mind that true serums tend to be light and water based.
- Know what you’re working with. Some ingredients often found in serums can cancel each other out or be too harsh for the skin (e.g., vitamin C and retinol). Do your research and make sure you separate ingredients that need space from one another to thrive. We recommend applying one formula in the morning and the other at night to get the best of both their benefits.