- Face serums can be quite complicated to understand as they mimic various skincare products.
- Serums contain potent active ingredients that penetrate deeply into the skin.
- Serums differ from moisturizers and face oils.
- Serums can be used both during the day as well as night.
- Store serums in a cool, dark place.
- Serums for various skin types have different effects.
There is more to healthy skin than nourishing it regularly with sunscreen, face wash, moisturizer, exfoliator, and peels. Here’s a hint: It is usually applied after cleansing and before moisturizing.
Yes! We’re talking about the face serum! This is one crucial ingredient in every skincare regimen that must not be skipped.
Face serums can be immensely complicated to understand as they mimic various skincare products. For example, it has moisturizing properties but is still different from a moisturizer. It is oily but not like face oil. Many people have several questions in mind when it comes to serums. Well, fret not, here is a quick guide to everything you need to know about face serums.
All Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Face Serums Answered
#1. What is a face serum?
Face serum is a set of concentrated skincare ingredients that help to address specific skincare concerns. The ingredients are made up of small molecules and hence can penetrate deep into the skin and nourish the skin layers that lie beneath the surface. This feature makes serums very effective in treating specific skin issues like wrinkles, etc.
#2. What are some of the powerful ingredients in a face serum?
Serums contain active ingredients like:
Antioxidants: They help to protect the skin from sun damage, as well as damage on account of environmental factors, pollution, and free radicals.
Retinols – They are vitamin A derivatives and have powerful anti-aging properties. Retinols boost collagen production in our body and help address various skin issues like acne, wrinkles, and fine lines.
Hyaluronic acids – Also known as hyaluronan, hyaluronic acid is a natural substance that is produced by the body, and the most considerable amounts are found in our eyes, skin, and other connective tissues. Hyaluronic acid helps keep the skin lubricated and moisturized and prevents dryness by retaining its natural water levels.
Anti-inflammatory agents - Many serums come with anti-inflammatory ingredients like arnica, aloe-vera, zinc, etc.
#3. How does a serum differ from a moisturizer?
Though a serum is similar to a moisturizer in many aspects, there are many distinguishing aspects.
A moisturizer has various ingredients to make it feel soft on the skin's surface like vitamin E, mineral oils, etc. These ingredients act as a sealant that rests on the skin's surface, prevents moisture evaporation and makes it softer.
A serum, on the other hand, has less of such surface sealing ingredients as its purpose is to penetrate deeply at a cellular level and deliver targeted results.
#4. What’s the difference between a face oil and a serum?
Traditional serums are water-based. They nourish the inner layer of the skin as the molecules are relatively small and can penetrate deeper. Hence, these are predominantly applied before a face cream. Oil-based serums have a slightly bigger molecule, and therefore they are applied over the moisturizer. With the increasing popularity of face oils, many oils are also being marketed as serums.
#5. Can I use serum if I have skin problems?
Serums are concentrated. Hence, if one has sensitive skin or is prone to allergies or any skin reactions, it is better to consult a dermatologist prior to using it. It is always advisable to do a patch test before using serums all over the face. Avoid harsh chemicals or makeup when using serums as they may alter their efficacy. Also, people who are prone to severe skin issues like eczema must use serums with caution.
#6. What is the best time to use a serum?
Serums can be used both during the day as well as night. It is best to apply it soon after cleansing and toning. When applying serum in the morning, follow it up with a sunscreen. If you use serum at night, then top it up with a moisturizer. Do not layer too much at night as doing so will not enable the skin to breathe easily.
#7. How should serums be stored?
Serums (especially those containing vitamin C) tend to break down on being exposed to sunlight. Hence, it is best to store them in a cool dark place and use them within six months to a year as described on the label. The cap should be replaced tightly after each use as certain potent ingredients in the serum tend to turn unstable when they come into contact with air.
#8. What type of serums work best for specific skin types?
For Acne-prone skin: Look for serums that contain salicylic acid, aloe Vera, and vitamin C.
For Dry Skin: Look for serums that contain vitamin E, niacinamide, or glycolic acid.
For Combination Skin: Look for serums that are lightweight and contain vitamin C, hyaluronic acid or salicylic acid. Lightweight serums enriched with vitamin C or vitamin E, combined with any of the above acids, will target acne, for instance, without over-drying the skin's remaining areas.
#9. What are some recommended serum options?
There are a plethora of serum options out in the market. The active ingredients and texture in them offer various benefits and functions. Serums enriched with essential oils like jojoba oil, shea butter, etc. work well for those with dehydrated skin. Those with oily skin type will do well with serums formulated in a water-base, while those with dry skin can do good with oil-based serums and those containing hyaluronic acid.
Furthermore, there are various serum options for skin brightening, skin repair, anti-aging, hydration, etc. It all boils down to the active ingredients contained in the serum.
Serums are a real game changer when it comes to our skin health. There are various options to suit everyone, no matter what his/her needs are. Hence, it is best to first identify the specific skin condition you need help for and look out for targeted serums that address it.