What is a Serum?

what are face serums?

Should You Include Face Serums In Your Beauty Routine?

There are lots of different anti-aging products on the market, each one promising their own solution to younger looking skin. Face serums or anti-aging serums have become very popular in the last few years, but as with most beauty products there are many different formulations that make it difficult to select the right one for your skin. So let’s take a look at face serums – just what are they, why are they different to moisturizers and what’s the best way to include a facial serum into your beauty regime?

What are face serums?

Serums are specially formulated to help specific skin problems, for example fine lines and wrinkles, uneven discolorations, age spots or sagging skin. Compared to the type of moisturizers that you might normally use every day, the molecules in serums are much, much smaller, which enable the serum’s molecules to penetrate deeper into your skin than a regular moisturizer or lotion.

face serums

Serums are lighter than most moisturizers and more importantly, they have a lot more active ingredients, which are delivered deep within your skin to where they can actively improve the condition of your complexion. Serums are not usually oily and will quickly absorb into your skin, making them a dream come true under makeup! The texture of serums is fairly thick, similar to a gel, but not too thick so that it cannot be delivered via a dropper – most brands either use a dropper or a pump to deliver the serum.

Each branded serum will have its own list of active ingredients, which the manufacturer believes will best address the problems of aging skin. The three most common ingredients are Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C and Glycolic Acid. The combination of Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid is a powerful one and these two ingredients alone, make it worthwhile including a serum into your beauty regimen.

Why use a face serum?

As you age your skin becomes drier, the texture becomes rougher and the amount of collagen in your skin reduces. So over time your skin simply ages and you lose the bright youthful glow to your skin.  The result is lines and wrinkles, which start  small and fine, but then deepen with time; your skin can also become redder with patchy discolorations and age spots.

Facial serums, depending on the number and type of active ingredients, can help diminish and hold off the ravages of time and give you back a more youthful and radiant complexion. Some formulations are also specifically targeted at problem skin with ingredients that for example, can deliver a deep pulse of moisture to your skin or reduce mild acne in adult skin. So serums include ingredients such as antioxidants, skin brighteners, vitamins and peptides, all of which helps to give your skin a healthier and more radiant glow.

FYI: If you have an oily skin, then face serums are just about perfect for your skin type.  That’s because facial serums are not oily and absorb quickly into your skin, delivering nourishment deep down where it’s needed.

Moisturizers vs. face serums

If you are wondering whether you need a moisturizer or a facial serum (most people use both), there are distinct differences between these two formulations. Depending on the active ingredients in the serum you select, a face serum not only increases the hydration in your skin, but it can also deliver lots of fabulous active ingredients into the deeper layers of your skin. These ingredients provide an optimum level of nutrition to your skin helping to give your complexion a healthy and youthful glow.

face serums vs moisturizers

On the other hand, the molecules in moisturizers are too big to penetrate your skin as deeply as serums, so even if they have the exact same ingredients as a serum, you will have much more success with a serum than a moisturizer. Your moisturizer is good for hydrating the surface layers of your skin, whereas a serum is good for hydrating the deeper layers with some adding a pulse of moisture to the surface layers as well.

For example, moisturizers with Hyaluronic Acid hydrate the top layers of your skin, whereas serums with Hyaluronic Acid will nourish the deeper layers of your skin. So a serum with Hyaluronic acid is fabulous for delivering a deep pulse of nourishment and hydration to your skin, a serum with Vitamin C is great for reversing the signs of aging caused by free radicals (that’s why serums with both Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C are the most popular serums) and a serum with Glycolic Acid is ideal for clearing away blackheads, white heads and blocked pores.

How to use a face serum

Some people can simply apply a facial serum and that’s all they need – they have no need of a moisturizer to follow the serum. These people usually have oily skin, because if your skin is dry or very dry then just using a serum with following with a moisturizer (even though the serum delivers oodles of nutrition deep within your skin),  can dry out skin that is already too dry.

This is because serums are not a moisturizer in themselves, they just deliver lots of wonderful active ingredients deep within your skin. The surface layers of your skin, if too dry already, may still need the addition of a high quality moisturizer following the serum.

So if you want to include a face serum in your daily routine follow these steps:

  1. Cleanse your face and neck areas and pat dry. It’s important to just pat your skin, leaving it slightly damp when you apply the serum.
  2. If you normally use a toner, do so now and then apply the serum to your face and neck with your fingertips. You will only need a drop or two to cover the entire area – serums are really good value for money.
  3. Once the serum has absorbed into your skin, apply your favorite moisturizer which helps to lock in the serum and increases its benefits (you can omit the moisturizer if you have oily skin).
  4. Apply your makeup if desired.

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