Serums are just a fancy skincare step we don’t really need, right?
The truth is serums actively treat specific skin concerns and are the most important part of a beauty routine. In fact, serums are considered the “work horse” of any skin care regimen.
Why? Well, first of all, they have higher concentrations of active ingredients than moisturisers, and subsequently, they penetrate deeper into the skin. They also tend to be fine in texture, allowing them to be better absorbed and target deeper skin-cell layers. Another benefit of serums is that they can treat different skin conditions, from pigmentation and fine lines to dryness and blemishes.
To avoid walking around the beauty counters clueless, check packaging for active ingredients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin E or Pitera.
Pitera, a byproduct of the fermentation process – which is exclusive to SK-II – is a liquid rich in vitamins, amino acids, minerals and organic acids. This miracle ingredient of sorts bears a close resemblance to the skin’s natural moisturising factors so your complexion is able to repair itself while being nourished at the same time – this is why SK-II products like SK-II Stempower Essence Serum are suitable for sensitive skin.
Remember: a good serum isn’t sticky or greasy on the skin. Serums, for the most part, should be used in addition to a cream or lotion, however, they’re hydrating enough to be used alone.
The biggest difference between a serum and a cream or lotion is what the formulation doesn’t include. Serums tend to leave out occlusive, or airtight, moisturising ingredients such as mineral oil that keep water from evaporating. They also contain fewer lubricating and thickening agents, like nut or seed oils. Most serums are water-based, eliminating oils altogether.
And, because active ingredients are more expensive than thickeners, serums tend to be the most expensive – the same applies to eye creams. But when applied properly, a 30ml serum should last around three months of morning and night use. Most serums come in pump bottles or have dropper applicators so they dispense the perfect amount that your skin needs.
Still, when it comes to serums, a little does goes a long way. Yes, those few concentrated drops are seriously bad ass, super-efficient stuff. Serums are made of very small molecules, hence why the skin absorbs them quickly and deeply. But, don’t be fooled by thinking a day cream or lotion is all your skin needs. The thicker, heavier ingredients in creams form a barrier or film on your skin. Sure, that’s great for locking moisture in but it can also lock active ingredients out so there really are more reasons than one why using a face serum is important.
Another great tip to remember when layering your skin care is to work from lightest to heaviest.
Start with a toner or essence, follow with a serum, then apply an eye cream, face cream and finally, an SPF 30+ sunscreen.
So… are you sold on serums yet?
What serum do you recommend?