What is a serum and why should you add it to your skincare?
What is a serum?
Let’s think of your skincare routine as a three-course meal. The serum is like the main course. After starting things off with an appetizer (aka cleansing your face), and before treating yourself to dessert (aka a nourishing moisturizer), you fill up on all the important nutrients (aka serum).
Much like the main course, serums can contain a range of useful nutrients — for your skin.
Serums are designed to deliver high concentrations of specific active ingredients to the skin. There are many different types of serums out there that perform different jobs, ranging from hydration to skin brightening to anti-aging.
They are formulated to penetrate deeply into the skin to deliver specific, targeted results. Serums are intended for daily use, unlike masks and peels.
Serums can come in any consistency but are generally lighter than oils or creams. This consistency allows serums to better penetrate the surface of the skin and address the issue they’re meant to correct.
Benefits of a skin serum
As we mentioned, a facial serum will usually be specifically designed to deliver targeted results.
This is because they will usually contain potent active ingredients to give you the best outcome. Let’s look at the benefits of a few common serums.
Anti-aging serums: These can contain a wide variety of ingredients meant to firm, tighten, and lift the skin by supporting the skin’s natural collagen and elastin. Some products resurface the skin with consistent usage for a smoother, younger look. Ingredients to look for include a high concentration of Vitamin C, natural AHAs, Coenzyme Q10, bioflavonoids and bakuchiol (a natural alternative to retinol, to avoid irritating your skin).
Products we love:
Hydrating serums: Designed to infuse your skin with moisture on a deep level, these serums will penetrate your skin on a cellular level, to hydrate multiple layers of the skin and prevent moisture loss. Active ingredients to look for include Vitamins A, E and C, as well as hyaluronic acid.
Products we love:
Colour-correcting serums: Handy for a few reasons, these kinds of serums can help if you’re suffering from any kind of pigmentation, large pores or fine lines. They act by working on cellular turnover, bringing fresh, new skin cells to the surface, and improving the production of collagen in skin cells to promote a smooth, plump look to your skin. Ingredients to look for include AHAs/BHAs from natural fruit enzymes, Vitamin C and antioxidants.
Products we love:
How to use a serum:
Since the ingredients in serums can be pretty potent, consider any potential skin sensitivity before trying a new product.
This, in particular, is why we only use bakuchiol in our Bounce, as a natural alternative to retinol, as retinol can cause irritation problems for the skin, and shouldn’t be applying in the morning, as it can increase your sensitivity to the sun. Bakuchiol is equally as potent, but without the nasty side effects.
Everyone's skin is different, but on average, you should give it up to seven weeks to see how your skin responds to a new serum routine. Depending on the current state of your skin, you might even see initial results — like slightly more hydrated skin — in just a few days.
Generally, you should use a serum all over your face and neck twice daily, once in the morning and then again in the evening, before applying your moisturiser, such as our Facial Oils - Mint for oily/acne prone skin, or Next Level for dry/mature/sensitive skin, to get the best results.