Serum skin care is a must in ensuring that the skin looks and feels younger despite advancing age. Here are the most important things you should know about it.
Regardless of age, men and women who want to maintain the youthful appearance and beautiful radiance of their skin should consider serum skin care in their daily routine! While cleansing, toning and moisturizing products are also necessary, their effects can be magnified by the regular and proper application of face serums. With healthy diet, exercise and lifestyle habits, the best face serums will delay the signs of aging including fine lines and wrinkles.
But don’t just buy a face serum and apply it on your face either. You have to know the following information about said product, from what it is to how serums benefits can be enjoyed, so that you can get the best possible results.
What Is Face Serum and Other Matters:
A face serum is a topical skincare product with concentrated ingredients chosen for their beneficial effects on the skin. Due to its high active ingredient concentration, it should only be applied after cleansing the skin but before moisturizing. Its ingredients are also formulated in such a way that these can penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin, thus, it can more effectively address fine lines and wrinkles.
While face serums seem similar to face moisturizers, oil, and essence, these products are different and distinct. On one hand, serums may have high concentrations of moisturizing ingredients, such as ceramides and hyaluronic acid, but these aren’t moisturizers in the traditional sense. These are usually lighter in feel yet more potent in moisturization than conventional moisturizers, thus, these are applied in smaller amounts.
On the other hand, face serums are typically water-based products so these have a more watery feel than moisturizers and oils. Face oils obviously have oil-based formulations.
But serums and essences are so similar that it’s often a matter of marketing and labelling that differentiates the two products. Serums, nonetheless, are different from essences in a few ways – the former, for example, have a gooier texture while the latter has a more fluid feel. Be sure to read the label so that you will know which is which and you can make the right buying decision.
Face serums are also more expensive than moisturizers, essences and oils but for good reasons. These are, after all, more powerful in hydrating the skin so that its youthful appearance can be maintained. Think about these skincare products as getting the best bang for your buck!
We also suggest using face serums within the recommended period. You should look at the expiration date and use it within said time lest its ingredients become less powerful than expected. You must also store the vials or bottles in a cool and dark place after opening, as well as use it within six months to a year after opening; again, consider the expiration date.
The recommendation about using face serums within the above mentioned period has a basis. Many of the powerful ingredients can become unstable when these are exposed to air (i.e., after opening the vial or bottle). For example, ascorbic acid can oxidize upon air exposure and gradually lose its effectiveness. Read our face serum guide here.
Effective Serum Skin Care Starts with the Right Choice:
Face serums are typically formulated to address specific skin issues, from fine lines and wrinkles to hyperpigmentation (i.e., age spots). For this reason, effective serum use starts with making the right choice in the skincare product. Every person interested in using it should carefully consider several factors including: (These are also the crucial factors in choosing every skincare product from soaps and body wash to lotions and creams.)
- Your age
- Your skin’s physical condition (i.e., fine lines or wrinkles, uneven skin tone or age spots)
- Your type of skin (e.g., dry, oily, and normal)
- Your expectations about the results
- Your budget for the product
In this way, you can choose the face serum that will target your specific skin issues and nourish your specific skin type. Otherwise, you may well be wasting your time and money.
We recommend the following face serums based on skin type although we also want to emphasize that you have to consider the other above mentioned factors.
- The best serum for oily skin, especially acne-prone skin, contains the following ingredients:
- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) for increasing collagen production, decreasing inflammation, and boosting the skin’s repair process
- Retinol, a derivative of Vitamin C, aids in fighting the signs of aging as an antioxidant and decreases inflammation
- Zinc, a mineral, regulates oil production and soothes irritated skin
- Salicylic acid, a common ingredient in anti-acne product, unclogs the pores for better nutrient absorption and lesser bacterial growth.
- The best serum for dry skin contains more hydrating ingredients like:
- Vitamin E, an antioxidant, which protects against oxidative damage
- Glycolic acid for lightening skin discoloration and exfoliating the skin
- Niacinamide increases ceramide levels and enhances skin elasticity
- Hyaluronic acid aids in moisture retention
- The skin tightening serum are great for normal skin types, especially for men and women who want to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Their active ingredients include:
- Green tea extract for fighting oxidative stress
- Ferulic acid for increasing sunscreen effectiveness and promoting cellular repair
- Resveratrol for nourishing the skin cells
Aside from choosing the right face serum based on your skin type and needs, we also suggest avoiding serums with fragrances and colors. These can irritate sensitive skin and prevent effective absorption even when these make the serums more appealing, sight- and smell-wise.
Getting the Best Results from Serum Skin Care:
We always recommend reading the face serum review for use before applying it on skin. Keep in mind that serums can be formulated for use in the morning or evening only, or for use in certain parts of the face or on certain skin types only, even for use in a certain amount. We even suggest using serums as well as cleansers, toners and moisturizers from the same manufacturer, such as in a skincare set, if possible.
The most important aspects of using face serums are outlined below.
- Always thoroughly clean and tone your skin before applying your choice in face serum.
The active ingredients in it will stick to dead skin cells, dirt, and debris when your face isn’t as clean as it should be. Instead of penetrating into the deeper layers of your skin, these will become stuck at the upper layers. Their beneficial actions will not be visible even with several thicker applications on your skin.
When your pores are clean and open after your cleansing and toning routine, your skin can absorb the face serum’s active ingredients. These ingredients, by the way, have smaller molecular structures than those found on conventional creams, lotions and moisturizers. These can then do their work where it matters the most.
But don’t just clean your face either. You should keep these important tips in mind, too:
- Use lukewarm or tepid water when cleaning your skin. It will make your skin perspire so its pores can be opened in preparation for the serum’s absorption.
- Use a mild cleanser (i.e., no alcohol and other harsh chemicals) instead of regular soap. It will be gentler on your skin so there’s less damage done on it.
- Use gentle upward strokes when cleaning your face and be extra gentle around your eyes. These will not stretch your skin in abnormal directions so that there’s reduced chances for premature sagging.
- Massage the cleanser into every area of your face for 3-5 minutes. This will make your skin thoroughly clean without stripping it of its natural oils, which acts as a protective barrier against the environment.
- Rinse well.
But don’t rub your skin afterwards. The active ingredients will penetrate the skin better when it’s warm and moist, too. Just gently pat your skin with a warm moist towel and spray it with a light mist of alcohol-free toner.
- Apply only a small pea-sized amount of face serum.
Less is more when it comes to serums because of their high concentrations of active ingredients. A few drops or a pea-sized dot will suffice on your entire face – more will only mean wasting it since you will likely wipe away the excess.
A few things to remember about applying the serum:
- Apply the serum using clean fingers.
- Place tiny dots of it all over your face.
- Blend them lightly into the skin using short, light yet firm, upward strokes.
- Avoid pulling, rubbing, and stretching your skin.
- Tap your skin.
While the serum is still moist on your skin, you should gently tap on its surface for about 30 seconds. Your fingers should have a light tapping motion akin to gently massaging your skin. You can use the fingers in both hands – one hand on either side of your face – for good results.
- Apply moisturizer.
Wait for around 5 minutes before applying your skin moisturizer on top of the layer of serum. You shouldn’t ideally mix moisturizers and serums in a single application. The former has oils that can create a barrier that prevents the latter from penetrating the skin so you aren’t getting the results you wanted.
When you follow these recommendations, you will likely see the results of regular and proper face serum use within 3-6 months. Just be sure to use it as part of a wholistic skincare routine, which includes healthy lifestyle habits and use of other skincare products.