no skincare routine is complete without the boost of a serum. consider it the icing to your cake. whether you’re battling breakouts, fighting signs of aging, or in need of hydration- there’s a serum suited for the task. they’re highly concentrated and designed to treat specific skin concerns. while they almost always have a higher price point than your moisturizer, they’re the true workhorses behind every skincare line and will up the ante of any routine

WHY SERUMS ARE YOUR SKIN ROUTINE’S BEST FRIEND

more effective: serums are potent, fast-absorbing liquids that offer a bigger, more powerful dose of active ingredients than any other product. while cleansers and moisturizers tend to contain 5-10% of active ingredients, serums can contain up to 70% active ingredients for optimum effectiveness and visible results

deeper penetration: because serums are lighter skincare formulations, they’re able to absorb into the skin more readily and at a deeper level than what a moisturizer would. this is why they’re applied first after cleansing

targeted results: no matter what skin issue you’re looking to improve, there’s a serum designed to correct the issue. the high concentrated nature allows them to act directly on the problem at hand, making serums key to seeing real change in your skin

synergy with other products: since serums are liquid in texture, they’re easily integrated into your regular skincare routine and pair well with other products. this is where playing scientist comes into play (see more below)

MOST POPULAR TYPES OF SERUMS

HYDRATING

purpose: to deliver hydration directly to the skin

key ingredients: hyaluronic acid. a powerful moisturizing acid that can hold 1,000x its weight in water to restore & replenish dehydrated skin

recommendations: HA intensifier (dry/mature) + B5 hydrating gel (oily/younger skin types)

ANTI-AGING

purpose: to protect the skin from environmental aggressors such as pollution, smoke and the sun that lead to collagen and ellastin breakdown

key ingredients: antioxidants including vitamin C, E, niacinamide, and ferulic acid

recommendations: CE Ferulic (dry/normal) + alto defense (sensitive/acneic) + resveratrol (nighttime antioxidant)

CALMING

purpose: reduces inflammation and soothes sensitive skin to decrease redness and irritation

key ingredients: niacinamide (also known as vitamin B3). it’s non-acid and contains molecules that are crucial for allowing skin cells to repair themselves effectively

recommendation: paula’s choice

ACNE-FIGHTING

purpose: to fight acne-causing bacteria and prevent future breakouts

key ingredients: salicylic acid. a BHA (beta hydroxy acid) derived from willow bark. it’s oil-soluble, meaning it’s able to penetrate into pores and dislodge buildup. it also exfoliates dead skin cells on the surface, preventing future blockages

recommendation: blemish and age defense

 

HOW TO ADD INTO YOUR ROUTINE

after cleansing and toning, start with the thinnest consistency serum such as vitamin C, AHA’s or BHA’s, by pressing into the skin. let the serum penetrate for about 30 seconds to 1 minute before moving. next, follow with any calming serums such as niacinamide, and finish with your hydrating serum as the last step before moisturizer

*keep in mind, once the product has been opened and exposed to oxygen, temperature changes and light, it begins to lose efficacy so use often and within 6 months of opening*