Serums have a huge range of possibilities. They moisturize, nourish, fight acne, pigmentation, age-related skin changes, and have an exfoliating effect. But then questions arise: “How to find your unique serum in such a variety? How often can you use it so as not to harm your skin? And after all, does everyone need serums? Spoiler alert: no, not everyone!
We have asked Frank Toussaint, a dermatology doctor in Saint-Denis, about serum as an element of skin care routine, its types, rules of application, and how to choose your perfect serum. This is what he thinks and advises his patients.
Face serums have been around for a long time, but still, I am often asked: “Why are they needed if there is a cream?” and “Do I need it at all?” The answer is unequivocal yes, we do! The cream is basic daily skincare, and serums are designed to solve specific problems. If the cream is chosen according to the skin types, then when choosing a serum, the type of skin is not important, and most importantly, the condition of the skin that must be dealt with (dehydration, acne, age-related changes, pigmentation). If there are no obvious skin problems, then the serum is most likely not needed.
Serums are a concentrated composition of active ingredients for solving a specific skin problem, the main purpose of which is to deliver them directly to the skin cells. The penetration depth of the serum is greater than that of the cream. However, this does not mean that one replaces the other. After using the serum, it is necessary to apply the cream to fix and, as it were, seal the active ingredients in the skin.
Cosmetic manufacturers offer a variety of facial serums that solve different skin issues and imperfections. Depending on the task the serum is designed to cope with, we distinguish the following kinds of this skincare product:
Moisturizing serums. Moisturizers instantly soothe irritated skin. First of all, they are necessary for dehydrated or dry skin. Plus, they can be used in the summer if you feel that the skin dries quickly and does not have enough moisture. The main ingredients of such serums are hyaluronic acid, glycerin, butylene glycol. They boost elastin and collagen production and can be used in the morning and in the evening.
Soothing serums are suitable for owners of sensitive skin. Look for the following ingredients in the composition: allantoin, niacinamide, neurosensin, herbal extracts. They help to calm redness and irritation.
Exfoliating serums are designed to remove dead skin cells and particles. The main ingredients are acids: lactic, salicylic, and glycolic. Such products should be used in the evening.
Anti-pigmentation serums contain vitamin C, arbutin, azelaic acid, retinoids. They are used strictly in the evening and during the day, it is necessary to protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation and sun damage with sunscreens.
Anti-aging serums are designed to tighten wrinkles and fine lines, remove skin flabbiness, and increase its tone. Retinol in high concentration, antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and peptides are the most common anti-aging ingredients in this kind of serums. Retinol serum is used only in the evening.
Serums for problem acne-prone skin contain substances that regulate the work of the sebaceous glands and antiseptic ingredients: AHA and BHA acids, retinoids, zinc, propolis, herbal extracts.
Antioxidant serums with vitamin C and other useful active components help to fight free radicals in the dermal tissues, fighting age-related problems such as wrinkles, dark spots, and other imperfections.
Cleanse your skin well, wipe your face with toner to restore moisture balance, and then move on to the serum. Since it is a concentrated product, it is necessary to use a small amount for application, from one to five drops. Be sure to read the instructions before use!
By the way, several serums can be used at a time, but a number of factors must be taken into account:
Apply the serum to your fingertips and quickly spread the product over your face with light patting movements along the massage lines, as if driving it into the skin. If the serum is thick and oily, then first rub it with your fingertips to warm it, and then apply it evenly on the face.
Wait 5-10 minutes for the serum to be fully absorbed before applying the cream (it complements the serum and strengthens the protective barrier). It is best to combine serum and cream from the same line, so the effect will appear faster and last longer, and this is not a marketing ploy. ”
The difference between a serum and a cream lies in the consistency and concentration of active ingredients. If you use serum just when there are certain indications, the cream is a compulsory step in the skincare routine.
Hydrating serums are indicated for people with dehydrated or dry skin types. Its hydrating effects reach deeper dermal levels, nourish it, and help you get rid of the irritating feeling of dryness and tightness. It often includes hyaluronic acid, shea butter, collagen peptides, and a complex of vitamins. After it, you have to apply a moisturizer to create an additional skin barrier.
If you are an owner of oily skin or combination skin, in most cases, you should not use moisturising serums as it will boost the production of skin sebum and can provoke the appearance of pimples and acne. However, if your skin became dehydrated and your cosmetologist advised you to use hydrating serum, in any way, moisturizer will be the last stage in your daily skin care routine.
So, facial serums are incredibly useful cosmetic products, but not everyone needs them. Fine lines, dehydration, dryness, and acne are the main indicators you can include a certain kind of serum. They perfectly suit problematic, dry, and mature skin that needs additional love and care. You should also remember that even a hydrating serum does not replace a moisturizer, and they perform different functions, so you should apply both skin care products to get a nice result and beautiful, healthy skin. It is also important to pay attention to the composition of the serum, which should not contain sulfates, mineral oil, parabens, and so on. Ideally, if you have a consultation with a professional cosmetologist or dermatologist who will help you to choose the best serums for your skin type and dermal issues.