Just as you started to get to grips with the monotonous routine of cleansing, toning and moisturising your skin every day the beauty world introduces a new, must-have, miracle step – serum.
But, what is it and do you really need to use one?
If you are left mystified by what a serum actually does, you’re not alone because even the best of us are baffled by its contradictions. It’s moisturising but not a moisturiser, oily but not a face oil, watery but not an essence.
So, let’s make this easy. A serum is a skin care product that you apply to your skin after cleansing but before moisturising with the intent to deliver a potent shot of ingredients directly into your skin.
Unlike a moisturiser, serums have a lipid-soluble base which allows the active ingredients to penetrate into the epidermis instead of lying on the surface. This way, they can offer highly-concentrated doses directly to your skin which makes them great for targeting specific concerns like wrinkles, brightness, acne or hydration.
It’s because of this ability to soak into your skin, paired with the fact that they contain concentrated doses of effective ingredients, that serums can often be pricey but if it’s results you’re after, this isn’t a step you’re going to want to scrimp on.
So, how do you use one?
Using a pea-sized amount of serum, gently massage the product into your face and neck a couple of minutes are your cleanser. Then, proceed to apply your regular moisturiser and make-up as normal.
There are also formulas specifically designed for nighttime use so that you can slather on the product for maximal results come morning.
That being said, with so many variations on the market, knowing which one to pick for your skin concern can be a minefield. Products that contain Vitamin C, retinol and salicylic acid should be a go-to for anyone with acne-prone skin as these will help to reduce inflammation, ace as an antioxidant and unclog pores.
Those with dry skin should look for serums that contain Vitamin E, glycolic acid and hyaluronic acid for extra moisture, elasticity and gentle exfoliation.
While dull complexions will feel brighter and smoother thanks to ingredients like green tea extract and ferulic acid.