Your skin is the largest organ in your body. It protects you from outside elements, absorbs nutrients, and helps regulate your body temperature. With all of these functions, it’s important to make sure that it looks good! There are many different skincare products out there but serums seem to be one of the most popular. Serums promise a lot for your skin including hydration, protection against environmental damage like pollution or UV rays, and more youthful-looking skin by reducing wrinkles and age spots. This blog post will help you understand what serum does for your skin so you can decide if it is right for you!
What are serums?
Serums are topical skin care products that can deliver high concentration ingredients much deeper in the skin, through our epidermal layer where they work their magic and give you a youthful-looking complexion! Serums have a small molecular weight which means they can deliver the key ingredients and potent vitamins of the serum right into the skin cells for optimal results! Serums should be applied to clean skin before your moisturiser, SPF, or makeup!
How do they work?
In chemistry, molecular weight is the measurement of how many grams an atom weighs. Serums are made up of smaller molecules that allow for quick and deep absorption by skin cells because they don’t have any carrier oils or creams like a moisturiser does. We are not suggesting skipping the moisturiser in your skincare routine but think of a serum as a way to target your skin concerns and your moisturiser to look after your skin’s overall health.
Common ingredients in serums and their purposes
Ingredient lists are often overwhelming and confusing. This will help you identify the more common serum ingredients so that you know what you’re looking for to treat your skin concerns!
- Vitamin A, also known as Retinol is a powerful ingredient that helps with just about every skin concern! Vitamin A increases collagen production and speeds up cell turnover which helps improve the appearance of pigmentation, uneven skin tone, and skin texture. It also helps to rebalance the oil flow of the skin which is incredibly helpful to improve acne.
- Niacinamide or Vitamin B3 helps to reduce acne by raising the acidity of the skin making it an environment that acne bacteria cannot live in. It reduces redness, yellowing, or sallowness and the appearance of pigmentation with its tyrosinase inhibiting ability.
- Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps to fight fine lines and wrinkles, brightens your complexion, strengthens capillaries, limits pigmentation production, and boosts collagen production in the skin. It also provides other benefits such as fighting free radicals for better immunity against environmental irritants or airborne pollutants that can cause inflammation.
- Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps to reduce UV damage, while also being incredibly nourishing and hydrating! This ingredient is perfect for dry skins and compliments many of the other ingredients in this list.
- Hyaluronic acid is a powerful hydrating ingredient that not only traps in water but also attracts it. This helps to hydrate the skin at much deeper levels than a moisturiser and helps plump out wrinkles and fine lines for a youthful look.
- Salicylic acid is vital for improving acne-prone skin because of its ability to clear out the pores and kill acne bacteria while reducing inflammation.
- Epidermal growth factors are a group of proteins that help your skin retain its firmness and elasticity. They do this by promoting healthy cell renewal, thickening the epidermis, reducing wrinkles caused by age or environmental stressors like UV rays in the sun as well as improving tone & texture while also keeping it hydrated!
- One of the best ways to keep your skin looking younger is by using peptides! These active ingredients are found in proteins, including amino acids. They function by retaining moisture and slowing down signs of aging such as wrinkles or fine lines for a smoother look that lasts all day long with every application. The penetration power helps the Epidermis stay moisturised, giving the skin a radiant glow!
- Antioxidants fight the negative effects of oxidative stress and free radicals. They calm cellular inflammation, making your skin look and feel healthier.
Benefits of using a serum to target specific skin concerns
A serum is an essential part of any skincare routine. Serums are especially helpful if you want to target specific skincare concerns, like dryness or acne breakouts for example! Below are four common skin concerns and how different serums and ingredients work to help them;
Acne – Acne is something that many people deal with on the regular, but there are remedies for it. Acne serums can help to kill off those pesky acne-causing bacteria which cause breakouts and prevent future ones from forming, reduce inflammation, while also helping balance sebum production so your skin stays clear! Salicylic acid, mandelic acid, and retinol are your best friends for acne-prone skin!
Aging – Serums are a great way to prevent and reverse the signs of aging. Serums are an excellent way to keep your skin youthful by stimulating collagen production and adding hydration. Serums also help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, age spots due to their hydrating properties. Look for serums containing Vitamin C, Vitamin A, or Coenzyme Q10 which helps keep your skin healthy by boosting collagen production for smoother texture!
Pigmentation – Serums that are targeted towards reducing and preventing pigmentation help by blocking or sedating the production of melanin. This is done via tyrosinase inhibiting ingredients such as niacinamide and vitamin C which have been shown in clinical trials as powerful tools for brightening and preventing pigmentation. Results are seen faster when used alongside Vitamin A which is responsible for revealing fresh cells by boosting cell turnover!
Dehydration – A lightweight hydration serum is the key to your skin’s hydration and health. It should be applied post-cleansing, before putting on any makeup or moisturiser! Hydration serums are packed with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid which not only helps to keep water in the skin, it attracts it as well! Your skin will not only absorb your moisturiser better as it has some hydration, but a moisturised state also helps keep wrinkles at bay and gives you that plump look.
Tips for using a serum
- Because serums are so active, a few drops should be enough product to cover your face, neck, and decolletage! You can always add more if you need to and will help you to get the most use out of your product.
- When applying serum, it is best to apply the product to damp skin. This will allow for maximum absorption and hydration!
- Like any skincare product, it is important to apply to clean skin! Trying to apply over other products or makeup (or worse – last night’s makeup!) will affect the absorption meaning you will not be getting the most out of your product.
- Because serums are full of active ingredients it is best to introduce them slowly. Start out applying them every few days, then work up to using them daily to give your skin a chance to get used to them. Slow and steady wins the race!
- If you are using more than one serum then you should see that they’re applied in order from thinnest consistency to the thickest consistency with oils always being the last applied product to improve absorption.
- While it is a great thing to know that many ingredients are safe for pregnant women, there is still a risk for some ingredients. Vitamin A and salicylic acid are not advised to be used while pregnant or breastfeeding but there are many ingredients you can use instead during this time. Always consult your beauty therapist or medical practitioner if you have any questions!
Now that you have a better understanding of serums, it’s time to choose which one will work best for your skin. Based on the article above, you should be able to narrow down your choices and decide what type is right for you! As always our team of skin experts is always happy to help – contact us today!