Most of you probably know I’m a vocal skincare lover, but that wasn’t always the case. In my early twenties, my definition of skincare was remembering to remove eye makeup and wash my face before bed. Oh yes, sunscreen should be somewhere. Now that I’m older, taking care of my skin is as important to me as taking care of my kids.Well maybe not only Just as important, but it’s on the rung below that.
Proper skincare not only gives you the confidence to create a foundation-free face in public, but it also makes your face feel nourished rather than neglected. When I first decided to get serious about my skincare regimen, it was confusing as hell to master all the products and understand how all the steps fit together. It’s hard to distinguish fad from fact, and I can’t seem to translate skincare terms.
So today we’re going to tease out one of the foundations of skincare: serums. If we’re being real, it’s hard to understand how you’re supposed to take care of your face and what exactly a serum can do, unless you have a personal skincare expert on speed dial. Now I’m no expert, but I’ve learned a thing or two in this industry. Also, I love that you guys came to research this topic and made sure I got everything figured out.
then. Let’s talk about serums.
All your serum questions answered
What is serum?
Serum is a lightweight formula with a high concentration of active ingredients to nourish and rejuvenate the skin. The serum contains the highest concentration of active ingredients and is available without a prescription, making it one of the most expensive skin care products on the market. Serums are traditionally water-based, which is great for people with oily skin. They consist of small molecules that penetrate deep into the skin, not just brush the surface. Serums can be hydrating or non-hydrating, depending on the type you choose, and you can manually select a serum with a specific combination of ingredients to combat your specific skin care concerns.
When do I apply serum?
You should use one or two fingers to apply your serum twice a day and massage into your skin. Since the serum contains powerful active ingredients, you only need to apply a few drops (1-3) to get the desired effect. In the morning, you should apply serum after cleansing your face and applying toner. Apply at night after cleansing and moisturizer before bed.
Do I want a water-based or oil-based serum?
Serums are traditionally water-based, ideal for those with oily skin. The water-based serum has a lightweight, gel-like texture that absorbs into the skin faster. Oil-based serums are more suitable for people with dry skin and give you a luminous complexion. That doesn’t mean that if you have oily skin, you’re limited to using water-based serums. Just make sure the ingredients you’re looking for are in the serum of your choice. You can look for a non-clogging (non-comedogenic) oil that works in harmony with your natural oils like argan oil.
But Sai, what about moisturizers, serums, face oils, etc.?
Ah yes, I know. There are so many products out there, and it’s overwhelming. So let’s break down the differences between all these products.
Essence and Essence:
Serums and serums are very similar except for the texture of each product. Serums are more viscous and usually contain higher concentrations of ingredients, while serums are more hydrating. Basically, these products are marketed differently, the word “serum” is used more in the US and the word “essence” is used more in Asian countries. Depending on the ingredients you’re looking for, you can achieve the same effect.
Serums and Face Oils:
Facial oils are great for anyone with dry skin and give you a radiant complexion. Facial oils are essentially charged moisturizers that provide more intense hydration, brightness, and nourishment. This is used before a moisturizer, or you can choose to mix in a few drops.
Serum and Moisturizer:
Moisturizers have larger molecules than serums and can moisturize and protect the top layers of the skin. They seal everything, while serums are more like your skin’s daily vitamin, penetrating deeper into skin tissue.
How to choose serum?
The good news is that there are serums for all the different types of skincare concerns, so you can find your skincare soulmate in a bottle. The first ingredient is the most abundant in each serum, and the potency diminishes as the ingredient goes deeper. So you can prioritize your skin concerns and find the best serum for you. Here are some ingredients based on your main skin concerns.
Dry | Vitamin E, Niacinamide, Glycolic Acid & Hyaluronic Acid
Dull | Green Tea Extract, Ferulic Acid, Resveratrol
Acne-prone | Vitamin C, Retinol, Zinc, Salicylic Acid