A skin serum is just not for the specialists. Whether you are a one-step skincare novice or a pro that follows all the 12 steps of the Korean routine, there is one product which you should have in your skincare, and that’s a serum!
If you have little or no knowledge of the how, why and what of a serum, we have listed a few basic points you should know, so you too can become a serum convert!
- What is a serum, anyway?
- Is it similar to a moisturiser?
- How are serums applied?
- So, is there any difference between a serum and a face-oil?
- Are there different types of serums?
What is a serum, anyway?
Serum is a highly concentrated liquid that goes on your skin soon after you wash your face, and before you apply moisturiser. It has very small molecules that deliver the nutrients to your skin on a much deeper level than other skincare products.
Is it similar to a moisturiser?
Nope! A serum operates at a more cellular level. It is brimming full with molecules of essential ingredients and these easily penetrate the skin, delivering nutrients directly to the deeper levels of the skin. A moisturiser or a lotion is much thicker and richer (so the skin absorbs these much more slowly) and they operate by creating a layer on top of your skin, sealing hydration and nutrients in.
How are serums applied?
After you wash your face, take a few drops of serum and pat it into your skin. It is important that you make sure to pat it and work it into your skin. Any dragging motions or trying to rub it into your skin will not work as effectively, with your fingers absorbing most of the product, and not your skin!
So, is there any difference between a serum and a face-oil?
Yup! Plenty of difference. Most serums are water-based, which makes them very easily absorbed by the skin. They are applied beneath your moisturiser. Always! Face-oils, are well, oil-based and are applied over the moisturiser. Repeat after us, serum – before moisturiser, face-oil is after!
Are there different types of serums?
Yes. Serums are used to target specific skin concerns and you have to pick them carefully depending on what concern you want to address.
Acne prone skin - look for vitamin C and retinol (which boost cell renewal and brighten the skin) and salicylic acid (which is an anti-bacterial agent) in your serum.
Dry skin – look for serums with niacinamide (which improves the elasticity of skin) and hyaluronic acid (powerful hydrating agent) in your serum.
Dull skin – look for ferulic acid and reservatrol in your serum, as these are known to brighten skin tone.
Pro tip: these serums are potent, so it is important to store them away from light. Start by applying the serum every alternated day and see how your skin adapts to it. If your skin feels comfortable, you can use it daily. Some serums, like the ones with vitamin C, increase your skin sensitivity to the sun and are best worn at night.