Serums: The Skincare Product Everyone Should Use!


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If there’s one skincare product that doesn’t get the hype it deserves, it’s serums. Unlike cleanser, toner, and moisturizer, serums get a lot less love and seem a lot less necessary. So, we’re here to help you get to know serums better and clear up any confusion surrounding them.

What is Serum?

A serum is one of the most potent formulas on your shelf as it’s packed with active ingredients that can target multiple skin issues.

The purpose of a serum is to deliver a high concentration of active ingredients deep into the epidermis and it’s often a water-based cocktail of all the best ingredients the beauty world has to offer – like AHAs, hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, vitamins, retinol or peptides. Serums are typically heavier than an essence but lighter than a moisturizer and should sink into the skin quickly without leaving a greasy feeling.

However, there are also oil-based serums (like this one from Freck) or those that come in more of a lotion (like this fave of ours from Dior) or gel consistency (like this 111Skin serum)

How are Serums Different from My Other Skincare Products?

If you’re wondering what the difference is between a moisturizer, face oil and serum, it’s what a serum doesn’t include. Serums are normally free of heavier, moisturizing ingredients (like occlusives) that protect your skin by creating a barrier, which could otherwise prevent them from really getting to work. This is why serums are normally pricier than moisturizers, as you’re basically paying for the best ingredients. This also means that if you’re going to splurge on skincare, let it be on a serum!

When comparing a facial oil and a serum, it’s not just that they have a different consistency – oils tending to be much heavier – but serums tend to absorb much more quickly, which means they’re ideal for combining into your morning or evening skincare routine.

The Difference Between Essence and Serum

Wondering what the difference between an essence and a serum is? The main difference is the texture; serums are slightly thicker and an essence is much more ‘water-y’ and are often lightly patted into the skin.

How to Use a Serum

Apply a pea-sized amount after you’ve cleansed and toned for maximum effect, then follow with a moisturizer to lock in all that goodness. If you’re using more one than serum, like a hydrating serum and a separate treatment serum (like vitamin C), apply the serum with the thinnest texture first, which is the basic rule of skincare layering. For more info on layering your skincare products, check out our layering guide. And finally, don’t presume that more product means better results; serum is a potent formula, so too much product could irritate your skin or you’ll simply just waste formula!

How to Choose a Serum

Like everything in skincare, you need to get a serum that’ll suit your skin type and tackle whatever skin issue you’re dealing with. Because serums are so powerful, well-made formulas can be very efficient at solving specific skin concerns quickly, like hyperpigmentation, skin texture, fine lines and hydration – we told you they were kinda magical! The most important thing is to look for ingredients that will target your skin concerns and work for your skin type. If you have sensitive skin, you will need to be more cautious with ingredients like, AHAs, salicylic acid, retinol, and even vitamin C.

Hyperpigmentation: Vitamin C, retinol (vitamin A), niacinamide, kojicc acid, azelaic acid.

Oily/Acne-Prone Skin: Benzoyl peroxide, zinc, salicylic acid, lactic acid, niacinamide.

Dry/Sensitive Skin: Ceramides, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, squalane.

Normal/Combination Skin: Hyaluronic acid, ferulic acid, vitamins, niacinamide.

Fine lines: Retinol, peptides, vitamin C, coenzyme Q10, lactic acid, niacinamide.

Check out these amazing serums that will make a huge difference to your skin.

Serums may be more expensive, but they are worth it! The bottom line is, a serum is more powerful and contains more active ingredients than most other skincare products, allowing it to target issues a lot quicker than other formulas. Have you guys tried using a serum?