What is a face serum? Everything to know and if you need one.
Honestly even though it feels like you need a beauty degree to understand what a serum is – you really don’t because in this blog post I will tell you exactly what a serum is; what it can do for your skin and most importantly if they really work! Outside beauty circles, serums are still confusing. Cleansers cleanse; moisturizers moisturize, but serums? Not so obvious.
What is a Face Serum?
Serum is a skincare product you can apply to your skin after cleansing but before moisturizing with the intent of delivering powerful ingredients directly into the skin. Serum is particularly suited to this task because it is made up of smaller molecules that can penetrate deeply into the skin and deliver a very high concentration of active ingredients. This makes them a great tool for targeting specific skincare concerns, like wrinkles (as one example).
Most often, serums are clear, gel-based or liquid, and they tend to be less thick than a moisturizer. They’re typically applied before moisturizers to help lock in moisture.
Often, a serum is able to hydrate more effectively than even the heaviest creams. The molecules are able to truly penetrate the skin and hydrate on the deepest level, while the heavier creams sit on those top layers. Hydrating serums do not necessarily replace your moisturizer, but can boost the hydrating effects of your moisturizer. To get the best benefit from a serum you should use it with your moisturizer.
Is a Serum the same As a Moisturizer?
Yes and no. Serums can be chock-full of moisturizing ingredients (hyaluronic acid, ceramides, vitamin C) to help skin retain moisture. But, that doesn’t make them moisturizers in the traditional sense. Face lotions and creams are richer and create a barrier on top of the skin to keep all that good stuff in.
What about the cost?
Agreed!! Serums are expensive but it is because they have such a high concentration of active ingredients. However there are some cheaper options on the market which won’t break your bank – we have some here! These are from Delia Cosmetics – cruelty free and hypoallergenic (but more about that later).
How do you use a Face Serum?
Everyone’s skin is different, but on average, you should give it about seven weeks to see how your skin responds to a new serum routine. Depending on the serum and 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 moisturizer.
In fact I have been adding a drop or two of my serum to my moisturizer and it has completely changed my skin. It goes on so nicely. I mix a few drops of the serum into my hand with the moisturizer. And I then apply it to my entire face and neck in the morning and the evening. My skin is so much smoother and the roughness has also gone now.
What are the benefits of using a Face Serum?
- The better condition your skin is in, the more amazing your makeup looks and wears throughout the day. “It’s simple math — the less problems you have to cover, the less makeup you have to use. Serums help give your skin a fresher, younger and healthier appearance.
- No matter your skin condition there is a serum out there for you – I will go into more detail below but it is very important that you know the ingredients and exactly what you need.
- You are never too young to start using a serum and the sooner you start the sooner you will reap the benefits.
- Due to the increased concentration of ingredients – less is more! Serums are not like moisturizers so you don’t need to use layers, a little bit goes a long way and you can even use them twice a week to see the benefits.
- They make your skin glow and reduce signs of fatigue
- They smooth the texture of your skin (this is legit it really worked for me)
- Decreases fine lines and wrinkles
- Keeps your skin hydrated by locking in the moisture
- Can be used as a makeup primer
What are the disadvantages?
Your main concern in using serums is skin sensitivity or if you have something like Rosacea or Eczema. Then they might irritate your skin because the barrier has been broken. So if this is a problem for you try a serum with a lower concentration of the active ingredient such as the serum from AA Cosmetics. And then use it once or twice a week and see how it affects your skin.
What serum should you be using?
When you purchase a serum you need to know your skin type and most importantly the condition that you have and want to improve. As I said there is a serum for literally everyone whether you have dry or oily skin, or you have wrinkles, or imperfections – keep reading to see which one is for you!
Vitamin C Serum from Delia Cosmetics
This face serum contains 100% Vitamin C so you can start using it twice a week and then increase it to more than that. Remember to do a ‘patch test’ beforehand to see how your skin will cope. Also it is very important to have cleansed skin before applying a serum so that the ingredients are absorbed quickly. Vitamin C serums are known for brightening, and reduce the appearance of dark spots from hyper-pigmentation.
This serum is for all skin types and tones – so that is great! If you have any of the following signs of skin discoloration: uneven skin tone; dark spots; excessive dryness; roughness or minor wrinkles then this is a good serum for you to use.
Vitamin A, E & F Serum also from Delia Cosmetics
This is a revitalizing and rejuvenating face serum essentially combating signs of tired skin such as: dullness, excessive dryness, 1st wrinkles, signs of fatigue and loss of elasticity. It also contains some other ingredients – Co-enzyme Q10, Omegas 3, 6, 7 and 9. This serum is also for all skin types and I love the convenient dropper for easy application.
In a recent blog post Siobhan from Sugar&Spice blog wrote about the benefits of face serums contain Hyaluronic Acid (HA+). This serum contains 15% HA+ and can be used day and night – remember under a moisturizer and we even have the HA+ moisturizer from AA Cosmetics. HA+ is not only good for dry skin but also combats the following: lines and wrinkles, loss of firmness and elasticity, fragility and dehydration. Remember when applying serum to also apply it to your neck – and in an upwards motion as well.
HA+ serum from AA Cosmetics
Stem Cell Serum from Delia Cosmetics
Packed with anti aging ingredients this face serum will benefit your skin from sagging, lines and wrinkles, fragility, loss of firmness and elasticity. It gently lifts the skin slowing down the aging process. I mean aging is something going to happen to all of us – we can’t stop it BUT we can make sure we look after our skin. Start today.
If you are alive today you know the benefits of not only using collagen in your skincare BUT also in your daily food supplements. I wrote an in-depth blog post on the benefits of collagen – the regeneration of fibroblasts along with Vitamin C which together keep your skin wrinkle free and glowy. The face serum from Pierre Rene contains 100% collagen so a little will go along way. And again less is more when it comes to using serums. This is a short summary in diagram form of what serums can do for your skin.
Are there any other uses of a face serum?
YES!!! And I would like to end this post by saying that in my opinion you should be incorporating a serum into your skincare routine. And there are ones on the market that won’t break your bank (we have some but there are other really good brands) so even if you use it twice a week it will be beneficial. In the photo below are 5 more ways you can incorporate a face serum into your skincare – don’t delay start now!